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Do You Read Me?

by Marissa Moore 6 months ago in fiction
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By: Marissa Moore

-THIS STORY HAS VERY DARK THEMES INVOLVING INSANITY AND SUICIDE-

"We often hear stories of ships breaking down and the crew starving to death, turning against each other, or resorting to cannibalism before they eventually go insane or die. I wonder if the next story about a wrecked ship will be about my ship..." I sighed to myself "why am I even writing in this journal anymore? Maybe just to keep myself sane for a little longer." It's only been 4 days, but when everything around you looks the same and you are isolated from everyone, your mind gets weaker every passing hour. Now we are in the hands of the violent sea, her unforgiving tides deciding our fate.

I keep picking up my radio...I can't count how many times I've said "This is Captain Singer, do you read me?" Only to hear static afterwards. We were out of range, we have been this whole time. My only hope was to keep trying as we drifted, hoping we would come in range and my message would go through. I have 5 crewmates to keep alive, I hoping I can keep all of them...and myself, from losing our minds.

I stepped outside my chambers to join my crew, one was inspecting the damage done to the ship, while the rest looked for seagulls, seagulls are a sign of land nearby. We haven't seen anything and all of us have skin that is hot and various shades of pink and red from being in the direct sun all day. "Captain!" I heard a voice which snapped me from my thoughts. It was Mark, approaching me. He was a very kind man, smart...and my biggest hope. I assumed he was coming to talk to me about the ship, he was the one inspecting the damages. "Ah, Mark! Tell me you've got some good news for me." I replied, smiling. Marks expression made my smile short lived. "Sir...the damages are too severe. I don't see a realistic way of us repairing anything." Marks tone got lower with each word. Sounding tired and hopeless. "I see..." I replied "well, I'll just keep trying my radio. At least it's something."

"Days didn't feel real anymore. It all felt like one big day, I don't know how long it's been, hopefully not as long as I think." I was about to pick up my radio when I suddenly heard a crash. I quickly ran to the deck to find 2 of my crewmates fighting. Jack and Aspen, of course. Those two always seemed to be at each others throats, even before our ship broke down.

"I know you are storing extra food away for yourself!" Aspen yelled, shoving Jack. Blame was setting in... the first step to losing your mind is thinking everyone is against you and somehow screwing you over. "Why would I do that?! Just to be the last one to survive and be alone on this godforsaken ship?!" Jack yelled back, shoving Aspen. "Because you're a selfish bastard! You'll let us all starve, I wouldn't put it past you to resort to cannibalism just to be the last one standing!" They began getting more physical and violent. I had to stop this, I can't watch my crew tear each other apart.

"Hey!" I yelled, gaining the attention of all my crewmates. "What good is any of this going to do?!" My words were directed towards Jack and Aspen, but the whole crew was listening. Jack turned to Aspen "...you think I want to be the last one standing?" Jack had a concerning look on his face, like he was ready to prove something. "It's quite the opposite, my friend. In fact, I want to be the first to go." And with those few final words, Jack ran towards the edge of the ship, and jumped into the water. At the height he jumped at, either the impact from the water would kill him, or he would dive so deep that he couldn't return to the surface for a breath before drowning. Regardless of it being the impact or depth...he didn't return to the surface.

Everyone was silent for the rest of the day. Aspen seemed to have tears in his eyes the whole day, I wanted to comfort him...but what do you say after something like that happens? Night fell and I was returning to my chambers. "Captain..." a soft voice spoke from behind me. I turned to see Aspens watery eyes. "Did I kill him? Did I drive him to do that?" Aspen broke, and tears fell from his eyes. "No, Aspen. Jack saw no hope, and wanted to leave this world on his own terms. It was his decision. It wasn't your fault." I reassured Aspen, which surprisingly seemed to work. "Thank you, Sir. One more thing" he said, as I was about to turn away. "Yes?" I asked, Aspen paused, almost like he was figuring out what he wanted to say exactly. "Do...do you think...maybe Jack did the right thing? Is jumping into the ocean a better fate than whatever this ship has planned for us?"

I stayed silent...I honestly don't know what to say to that. A part of me believes Jack was right, and going out on your own terms is better than becoming a physically and mentally fragile shell of your old self, while you either jump anyway, or whither away to nothing. Aspens voice removed me from my thoughts "I'm sorry, I guess that's a rather tricky question...goodnight sir, and thank you again." Aspen shook my hand and headed back to his own chambers.

"It feels like months have gone by. Maybe it has been months. All I know is my radio is getting us nowhere and only 2 of the 5 crewmates remain. Aspen and Mark. I'm not sure how much longer they'll hold on...I'm not sure how much longer I'll hold on honestly. We were all losing hope. It doesn't matter if you're the captain or a crewmate in a situation like this...when you're fucked, you're fucked." "Am I writing to hold on to the remaining strings of sanity?" I whispered to myself.

"This is Captain Singer, do you read me?" Static. With every failed message, I get closer to disconnecting the radio all together. Doing that would prevent anyone from finding us at all. I walked out onto the deck to find Mark and Aspen talking amongst themselves.

"I don't want to give up, because a small small part of me thinks I'll hear a voice on that radio." I said, in a shaky voice. "Captain..." I heard Mark say. I turned my gaze up to meet him and Aspen. "Sir...we...we've..." Mark struggled with his words and turned to Aspen. "Sir, we are going to jump" Aspen said, in a dull voice. I nodded, I can't say I'm surprised. "Are you sure? Once you jump..." I started, looking over the edge, "you can't come back on, and I can't help you." I turned back to them. "What are we holding on to? It's been months!" Aspen yelled, clearly his emotions are all over the place, and he just wants it to end. "I understand" I said in a low tone, "at least I get to say goodbye to you two." I said, my eyes obviously tearing up. "We wish you luck, sir." Mark said, holding out his hand for me to shake. "Honestly..." I said, while taking his hand "I believe I'll be joining you on the other side soon."

I shook hands with the both of them and asked them to wait until I was gone before they jumped. They agreed, knowing that if I saw them in the water, I would try to save them. As I closed the door to my chambers, I heard a crash in the water. My heart sunk a little. "How much longer do I hold on? WHAT THE HELL AM I HOLDING ON TO?!?!" I screamed. I'm alone...I'm completely alone. Night fell, and I was only accompanied by the stars now.

"This is Captain Singer...please...does anyone read me?" I asked in a desperate, emotional voice. Static. That took my final strand of hope. I stepped out of my chambers, leaving my radio connected. I looked up at the night sky, I wanted it to be the last thing I see. I heard a faint sound of static again, but nothing followed. I turned my back to the ocean and looked at the sky, taking a deep breath. I began to fall, with the last thing I see being the night sky, and the last thing I hear being my radio say "yes, we read you!"

fiction

About the author

Marissa Moore

Some stories are written just to be entered into challenges

My ideas for stories tend to be on the darker side, so take that as a you will.

Non binary (they/them)

19

Psychology major

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