Friday, May 7, 2010

The Ship in Grim Silence bears the Wave's Lashes

Lashes - 409

Ben Azevedo


The man cried out as the salt-encrusted rope struck him. Mr. Farley, the first mate, squinted down at the man on the deck. The whip had raised a welt, but hadn’t broken the skin. People were so soft these days. Crying about nothing. The captain raised his arm again.


Another scream. Mr. Farley shook his head. His own back was covered in a map of scars from exactly the same treatment. Except in his day, the whip would have left cuts. Hell, a man would have been killed for doing what this blackguard had done.


None of that “walking the plank” bullshit either. Maybe in the glory days there was time for silly games like walking the plank, but those days were long gone. No, these days it was just a shot to the head, or a quick slash. Pirates didn’t have time for games.


There was no scream this time; the man appeared to have lost consciousness. The captain looked at Mr. Farley with disgust. Mr. Farley shrugged. The captain dropped the whip on the man’s raw back and stalked into his chamber. Mr. Farley looked around and shouted at the men to get back to work.

Inside the ship

Captain’s Log: May 1887

It’s been 47 days since we left port. I whipped a man today for speaking of mutiny. I was barely hitting him, but he passed out. I don’t remember where we picked him up. Mr. Farley is the only original crewmember left anyway. The rest were killed or were smart enough to get off this godforsaken boat. Can’t leave so I’m hoping for death.

The captain returns his pen to the inkwell and flips idly through his journal.

October 1875

We have survived our first raid! We are all rich! I have ordered the ship back to England so I may tell Amy of the news. Oh with this fortune I shall soon be able to buy us a house and retire to the country!

November 1875

We are leaving England. Amy has renounced me. I brought her a gold necklace from a French schooner, and she told me she never wanted to see my face again. As she turned her tear-stained face to leave the room, I watched a single lash drop from her beautiful eyes to the floor. I sealed it within the necklace and left.

The captain sighs heavily and absently traces the locket around his neck.

The Story of Benjamin Darling, Part 1 - State Radio

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