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Please note: Flash fiction stories are submitted by members of our Discord server. Many contain adult themes and may be objectionable to some readers.
“Captain, we’ve been trapped in this fog for days. Weeks even! How much longer until port?”
Captain Reynault ran a hand over the collar of his shirt, looking anywhere but at his men. His eyes glanced at the melodic waves crashing against the old, familiar boards. Eventually he simply had no choice but to gaze upon them – twelve in total. Their faces all contained an uncertain countenance.
“If I may be so bold, I dare say I don’t know. But I know someone who surely has some good news for us, let me see!”
Feeling some relief in their chatters of acceptance, he ascended the ropes to the crow’s nest. Once more he looked upon the waters smothered with an overbearing haze that swallowed up the bulk of the Sun’s light. Upon reaching the top, he took a second to orient himself before taking in his Bird’s Eye Mate.
“Nay Cap’n, I ‘aven’t seen but a speck o’ dust, or a break in the mist. Trapped, aye.”
The word lingered in the air, hung in the cloud that sought to bury them.
“Thank you, Gavin.”
He nodded in approval before turning to look out toward the bow again. Reynault took out his sextant and aimed it around but it was hopeless. He then took out his compass and turned a few times to orient. With a scowl, he realized the overwhelming answer.
Captain Reynault descended. Upon reaching the base, his men stood waiting. A glimmer of hope dwindled within them still.
“Just a few days more. We’ll have to cut rations short, but we’ll be fine and we’ll be there sooner than you think.”
He nodded firmly before walking off in no particular direction. The men all nodded with each other and shared thoughts for what to do upon first arriving. Rowdy parties, joyous endeavors, and plenty of hot water as well as hot food.
Before Reynault’s thoughts could ascertain just how far his deception would hold, a rumbling roared out from the obscured water. Great, silvery tentacles ripped out and around the heft of the ship. In the time it took to bear witness to the structures, they were already crushing the ship.
Reynault barely had time to croak out something resembling an order in the time it took to completely destroy the ship’s integrity. With total collapse, the boards beneath them gave out and water took in the ship and its crew.
In a daze, Reynault found himself floating adrift. Captain of none, he believed himself to be lost to sea until he felt himself bump against a heavier clump of wood. His eyes blinked a few times to clue in his waning awareness, and he saw a few of his men gathering up a raft of sorts.
“Captain! You’re alive!” one called out, causing the others to turn and begin efforts to pull him onto the raft.
“What happened to the beast?” Reynault muttered out, now sitting on the makeshift bundle.
“Strangest thing, it broke the damn Merryloo and then vanished into the black of the abyss. But we should be alright which is good. We just need to get a few more boards for paddles and we can row ourselves the rest of the distance methinks!”
The rest of the distance.
They were hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles adrift before fate decided their endnotes.
And they still had hope born from his cowardice prior.
Reynault laughed until the Sun slipped out from view.