Chapter 6

The White Pearl sailed through the untamed seas, but still holding its course for town. Crew men had an uneasy feeling though they were under the supervision of a great captain. Aside from the constant rocking of the ship, whispers and laughter could be heard from the wind as it blew past them. The ship came upon a giant wave, sending it many feet above its normal route. It rode on it for a few seconds until it came rushing at an angle, as if the sea was playing with it. Most of the crew prayed while others cursed, but Nills had to wake the captain to maintain order. He knocked hard against the cabin door, but no answer. Then with a strong kick, the door flung wide open revealing the captain on his cot sleeping.

Cursing himself for doing what needed to be done, he punched the captains’ shoulder with might. Hars woke up suddenly and surprised until he realized of what just happened. He got up with an angry stare at Nills, picked his small keg and took a good swig of it. Placing it down, he looked up at his frightened crew mate and said “Matey, all ya gotta do is tell me we’re outta food and rum.” Nills shifted a bit, holding back a shrewd remark. “Well, what now be the problem?” Hars commanded. “We’re in the middle of a storm, captain” Nills replied with a stern look. “A storm, eh? I’ll be out in a second. Just let me get me compass” the captain said while he looked around for it.

The cabin doors swung open again as both men came to greet the playful, yet powerful storm. The captain grabbed hold of the door handles to keep balance and slowly walked his way up to the ship’s wheel. He motioned his crew mate to let him take charge, and quickly getting into control. Turning the wheel in the direction he wanted, Hars looked in that way to see a huge wave rising as if it were to block passage. A terrible thought came to his mind, but quickly perished it. Something so out of nature could not be happening, not now or ever. Yet it happened at every chance Hars could get! A wave would rise up in every direction except for south, towards town. Nills nor any of the other crew mates could believe what was going on. The black oceans became alive and the winds help by whispering directions to the sea.

Madness! The captain thought as he could do nothing but let the ship head towards town. Though it was their goal to head there, but not within a storm! A crew mate cried aloud, “This is a blessing! Truly it is!” Nills and the rest stared at him, as if he went mad. The man looked around with tearful eyes, “Don’t you understand? We are secure within from any threat. The Gods are watching over us!” He then raised his arms to the sky, but seemed insane to others. The captain looked at his crew, eyeing each one. Most have been with him for many years, while others like the insane crew mate have only worked with the captain for a few months. Hars couldn’t and wouldn’t tolerate any insane or inhuman actions aboard his ship. There had to be order.

“Nills!” the captain called out through the pouring rain, “get some rope and take the mad man to the brig!” Nills ran to the mast and picked up the soaking rope, which was a bit heavier due to the added water. Turning towards the crew mate that was too distracted by going on with his ramblings, he slowly walked up behind him. With a quick snatch of the arms, Nills brought the man down and tied both hands together. One of the crew mates came over and helped with the door and leading Nills down to the brig. He opened the cages’ gate and quickly shut it when Nills threw the disturbed man in. The cage was quite big, but mostly rusted due to weather and age.

Back on top, Hars could do nothing but allow the sea to push the ship towards town, which was a day away. The rain had stopped, but the wind kept on going by and almost every breeze was a laughter heard. Fumbling around in his pocket, he brought out his smoking pipe and some tobacco. Took a good pinch of it and stuffed the pipe to the brim. It never occurred to the captain of the beauty and workmanship of his smoking pipe. It was made out of the same wood as the ship. Both sides and towards the base were ships carved into the white wood. The sails were painted gold and the sea blue. Each wave etched in carefully along with the detail of the ships. The front part was of the mast of the White Pearl, a young, beautiful, naked woman. Her hair painted red, eyes of dark blue and skin of light peach. Out of days of all days in his life, Hars cared a lot more about this little thing than ever before. But why now? He thought as a bead of sweat came down his forehead. Something gloomed over him, as a cat over its prey. Playing with it, over and over, until it got bored and went for the kill.

South it was for them, and what awaited them might not be the warm smiles and cheers of their friends and families. No, the captain thought, the black oceans was always a tricky bitch with men of the sea. In his heart, he knew the end of this path would be the end for all others. Beyond the horizon and risen from the waters, dagger rocks pointed in all directions. One of them, towards the ship.

 

While this story is the property of Eric McVinney, the title and references from any Sonata Arctica song belongs to Sonata Arctica. Distribution to any unauthorized persons are prohibited.

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