“Watery Grave” by Gam, Storytelling Contest Winner
A dead mist settled over the Gulf of Thelasia, seeming to choke the life out of every person who wandered outside. Even the fires that burned in the town’s torches lost their vibrancy and life. A crew of ten men were hauling supplies onto their ship, the heavy weather making it hard for them to breathe. The minutes dragged onto hours, each hour lasted a day in the bone-chilling weather; finally, however, the crew finished. Starting their trade voyage, the crew followed their duties in a methodical fashion for the wind was nearly nonexistent that night.
One day passed yet still the ship could not find its way from the fog. Another day passed and the crew started to get restless. With no wind and barely any progress overnight, some of the crew tossed uneasily in their sleep. One member in particular awoke with in a heavy sweat. Mopping his forehead off with his heavy blanket, the sailor pushed himself upright and swung his legs off of his cot and onto the ship’s floor. Steadying himself for a brief moment he arose and began to head to the ship’s deck. Looking through the mist something caught his eye and he slowly leaned over the railing to get a closer look.
Very quickly the man entered a trance-like state and he began to tip over the railing. After only a few seconds the sailor flipped over the side of the railing, snapping back to consciousness with just enough time to loose a chilling cry before he hit the shockingly cold water, which enveloped his breathless body in seconds, sending him to a watery grave. The morose phenomenon continued every day until only two men were left alive: the captain and his first mate.
The two men had discovered that they could not stay awake at night no matter how hard they tried and as such were never able to save their comrades. Dreading the next night for they knew that one of them would die, the two men prepared dinner for the day, and feasted knowing that for one of them it would be the last.
Finally, night swept over the fogged sky and the two men grew weary, their eyelids slowly slipping downwards even as they paced the decks trying futilely to remain awake once more.
The next morning the captain found himself alone and stranded on the desolate ship, his isolation pushing in on his psyche. He began to see his old crew mates walking the decks and heard the cannons firing. The day passed as the captain kept himself locked in his room where he believe himself safe from the well-known apparitions.
Glancing through the window, the captain saw the sun begin to set and moved to his door to walk back to the deck, accepting his death when suddenly the ship broke through the fog and there, not far off was the ship’s destination. The captain laughed quietly to himself for a long while but instead of stopping, the laugh slowly grew more intense until it became a cackle and eventually the captain simply ran for the railing and threw himself off the ship where he landed in the chilling waters and simply allowed himself to sink, thrashing for air after only a minute, but failing to get any as he had sunk too deep.
Legend has it that on days where the fog was, as it was on that night, you can still hear the mad laughter of the sea captain which is quickly ended by a splash in the water. It is also said that if a sailor heads out on such a night the same fate will befall him as did the rest of the crew.
the same fate will befall him as did the rest of the crew. such a night the same fate will befall him as did the rest of the crew.