“Captain, Captain,” the raised voice of the young boy yells as he knocks hard on the Captain’s door.
Captain Flanigan’s eyes spring open, “Come in, what is it?” he gruffly responds.
Opening the door to the Captain’s quarters the young deck hand stands there staring at the Captain.
“Well spit it out boy!” snarls the Captain.
Gulping the young lad says, “Sir, they’ve spotted a ship on the horizon just coming out of the morning mist. They sent me to tell you.”
“Is it The Raven?” the Captain asks.
“Can’t tell sir. Still to far away,” the boy responds.
“Alright, tell the helmsman to hold her steady, I’ll be along shortly,” the Captain orders.
Not staying any longer that he has to the boy turns closing the door behind him and runs back to the wheelhouse to relay the Captain’s orders.
Captain Flanigan rises his old stiff body out of his bunk and heads to the jug and basin in the corner of his quarters. He splashes some cold water on his face trying to wake himself up. Looking in the mirror his old sea weathered face stares back at him, sighing, he takes his comb and runs it through his thinning hair. Smoothing down his long-grizzled beard he deems himself ready to face the day. He hauls on his shirt, pants, and coat. Pulling his boots on, Captain Flanigan grabs his hat and heads out the door, making his way up to the wheelhouse.
Arriving, Captain Flanigan says, “What have we got?”
Lance, who is at the helm, replies, “We spotted a ship resembling The Raven about twenty minutes ago just over there on the horizon,” Lance points as he speaks.
The Captain takes his telescope of the desk, bringing it up to his eye he looks towards where Lance had pointed. Spotting the ship in the distance the Captain says, “Bring her about port, forty degrees. Let’s get closer and see if it’s The Raven.”
Captain Flanigan stands with the telescope in his hands, checking occasionally, to see if he can make out any details of the ship. He is hoping that at long last they have found The Raven. The Captain and his men were tasked with finding the missing ship, they had been searching for her for the last several months. This was their first possible sighting.
While sipping a hot cup of coffee the Captain stood watching as they drew closer and closer to the ship. Finally, they were close enough for the Captain to issue his next order, “Alright slow her down Lance. There’s no flag flying so let’s be very careful and approach her slowly. Send the men to their stations, have them at the ready.”
“Aye Captain,” Lance replies, nodding to the men to carry out the Captain’s orders.
Ignoring the hurried movements coming from behind him Captain Flanigan keeps his eyes trained on the ship, now about a mile away. Putting his empty coffee cup on the table, the Captain raises the telescope once again, squinting into the lens he tries to make out the markings on the ship’s bow.
Excited the Captain says, “We’ve found her boys! It’s The Raven. Lance bring us up along side her when we get close enough,” Captain Flanigan orders.
“Aye sir,” Lance responds.
Thirty minutes later, just as he was ordered, Lance brings their ship, The Hawk, up along side The Raven. The Captain orders some of the men to fellow him to the deck. Thus far not a soul can be seen on The Raven and the Captain has a worried look on his face.
“Billy. Jim. Lower the Skiff and head over to The Raven. The rest of you boys tie some ropes to the rail, we’ll toss them over and pull the ships close together to make boarding her easier,” the Captain barks out his orders.
The two men, Billy and Jim, do as they are told, hurrying to get the Skiff in the water. Four of the other men work on attaching the ropes. A short time later the Skiff is tethered to The Raven and the two men shimmy up the rope ladder to the ships deck. Within minutes the two ships are only a couple of feet apart and ready to be boarded.
“Alright Lance, take four men with you and check her out. She looks deserted but if you find any survivors bring them up on deck. I’m heading to The Raven’s wheelhouse.”
“Aye Captain,” Lance replies.
With his orders issued Captain Flanigan proceeds to board The Raven. As he crosses the deck he looks up at the wheelhouse and stops, staring hard at the window. He was sure he just saw someone moving up there. Quickening his pace Captain Flanigan hurries up the ladder, eager to find out what had happened to The Raven.
Opening the door, the Captain enters the wheelhouse, gazing around he spots a man standing back on in the corner.
“Ahoy Mate,” Captain Flanigan issues his greeting.
The figure in the corner does not move.
Inching closer to the figure, Captain Flanigan tries again, “Hello, I’m Captain Flanigan. I’ve been looking for The Raven for the last three months. Can you tell me what happened?”
The figure slowly turns around. Captain Flanigan stumbles backwards in fright.
“What in God’s creation,” he gasps.
The figure’s face was pale and translucent. The gaunt hollow eyes staring at him were dark and soulless.
With a thin laugh the figure rasps, “Ye should not have come. Only death for your men and misery awaits you now. And you Captain will suffer the same fate as I. Traveling the Triangle, forever trapped in an endless voyage.”
Smiling the most sinister smile Captain Flanigan has ever seen The Raven’s Captain turns back to the corner.
Shaken, Captain Flanigan stumbles backwards out the door, slamming it shut behind him. Running for the ladder to the deck, he can’t seem to get his old arthritic legs to move fast enough.
As his feet hit the wooden deck below, he starts yelling, “Back to The Hawk. Lance, get the men back to the ship now.”
Lance yells the orders along to the men. He hurry’s back to the Captain.
“Sir we found only a partial crew in their quarters; they are all dead. There is only bones and tattered clothes remaining on the bunks. It’s like they have been dead for a hundred years. What is going on?” Lance worriedly asks.
“We are trapped in the Triangle,” the Captain fiercely responds.
“Son of a Bitch,” Lance replies. Continuing Lance asks, “How can that be? We were over a hundred miles away from the Triangle.”
“I don’t know but we need to get out of here. Now!” the Captain urgently says.
The rest of The Hawk’s boarding party arrives back up on deck. They all quickly return to The Hawk, except for Billy and Jim who were left to release the ropes and return the Skiff to their own ship.
In The Hawk’s wheelhouse again, the Captain hurriedly issues his orders, “Get us away from The Raven then fire the cannons and send her to her watery grave.”
Lance is at the helm and maneuvers the ship to a quarter a mile away from The Raven. He relays the order to fire the cannons.
With a loud boom the three cannon’s fire. In the wheelhouse all eyes are trained on The Raven. Everyone gasps in horrified surprise when the cannon balls bounce of The Raven’s side, dropping down into the ocean.
As some of the men bless themselves Captain Flanigan whispers, “Sweet Mother of Jesus. What is happening?”
Coming to his senses the Captain orders, “Lance get us as far away from here as possible.”
With a trembling voice Lance whispers, “Aye Captain.”
A minute later the Captain angrily says, “Why are we not moving?”
“The ship is not responding sir,” Lance shakily replies.
Just then the whole ship hears the hollow laughter of The Raven’s Captain, in a thin voice he says, “I told ye. You’re trapped in the Triangle, there is no escaping.”
With that voice ringing in their ears, dark clouds rolled in from out of no where and thunder and lighting lit up the sky, rain poured out of the heavens.
The storm continued for days. The Captains men were worried and very frightened. Once the rain let up Captain Flanigan sent some of the men out in the lifeboats to try and escape. The lifeboats did not move far before they became stuck like the ship. Some of the men tried to swim back to The Hawk but the currents kept them far away from both the ship and the lifeboats. Captain Flanigan could still hear their cries for help as they tried to keep their heads above water. The cries lasted for hours before the men were finally swallowed up by the sea. As the days past Captain Flanigan decided they were the lucky ones. It was pure torture for him to watch the rest of his men slowly perish from hunger and thirst.
Captain Flanigan stood looking out the wheelhouse window. He could no longer tell how much time had passed. The days never seemed to end. He was alone now on the ship. He felt his hold on reality slowly slipping away from him. Looking to his left he could see that The Raven was still a quarter of a mile away. Occasionally, he caught a glimpse of the Raven’s Captain, but his sightings were getting to be fewer and fewer. Turning back to stare at the empty ocean he knew he was on the brink of insanity; it was just around the corner for him.
“Commander,” the Petty Officer says, as he knocks on the Commander’s office door.
Commander Hunt looks up from the maps and charts he was studying, “Yes Petty Officer?” he replies.
“It’s stopped raining sir and we’ve spotted two ships on the horizon to the west,” The Petty Officer responds.
“Friend or foe,” the Commander asks in his deep baritone voice.
“Can’t tell sir,” replies the Petty Officer.
“Alright,” Commander Hunt says.
Rising his two-hundred-pound frame from his chair the young Commander heads out the door to make his way to the Bridge. This was his first voyage as Commander, and he was eager to prove himself to his men.
Arriving at the bridge he grabs his binoculars and looks to the horizon.
Seeing the two ships in the distance, he asks, “How far away are we from the Bermuda Triangle.”
“Still well over a hundred miles sir,” replies the Chief Petty Officer.
Making his decision, Commander Hunt issues his order, “Plot an intercept course Chief Petty Officer.”
“Aye Commander,” the Chief replies.
Off in the distance on the horizon Captain Flanigan raises his telescope, he sees the passing ship changing course to head directly towards him. Throwing his head back Captain Flanigan’s gleeful uncontrollable laughter fills The Hawks wheelhouse.