There was a noise, a noise I can’t really place. I feel I should know what it is. I feel that it’s a noise I should have recognised from all my years at sea. But I guess I have been trapped in this darkened hellish pit of misery by the blackest of pirate captains for way too long and nothing is what it once seemed any more.
Is that a knock at my door? No, no, it can’t be, I’m hallucinating. No one has ever knocked on the door of this cell, they enter as they please, sometimes with as little noise as possible. So it can not be knocking.
There it is again.
Why is that sound so familiar? Only a few days ago I wondered if forgetting my name was the worst thing that could happen to me in this hell hole. However I’m quickly realising now that there is something much worse and that is forgetting everything! Will the time come when I even forget that the sound I am hearing is even familiar? Is familiar even a concept I can relate too?
No I have to break this train of thought, I can’t let myself get dragged down any further by it. Familiar exists and it exists for a reason. I know that sound. I know, I know that sound. But what is it? Do I dare wish for it again in case it’s something bad?
Too late, there it is again.
Despite being under the water line of the ship I can feel the ship move, feel it rock to one side enough that I move slightly on the floor. The tilting happened almost at the same time as the noise and the noise seems to be getting closer, if that’s possible.
Oh man! That was a big one and it was right above me, I’m sure of it
Of course that’s what it is. How did I not recognise I? How did a man who once sailed the seven seas as a pirate captain with a respectfully loyal crew not instantly recognise that noise? Have I really been trapped down here for that long that I have forgotten exactly what cannon fire sound like? Is it even possible to forget something that I had heard so many times in my life? Too many questions and not enough answers, I need to stop questioning and focus.
The thundering of cannon fire roars through the air and assaults my ears, it’s a sound I have not heard for so long but is quickly coming back to me. It’s being muffled by the hull and the inner decks above me but I can tell it’s increasing in it rapidity. Could the darkened men of this ship whose faces I never seem to be able to see be fighting the fight of the courageous, or are they caught up in a fight driven by despair?
As I scamper to my knees and crawl towards the door in the vague hope that it’s been unlatched and I can make my way to the top deck and see what it happening my mind is flooded with images I only seconds ago thought may never come again.
In my minds eye I see the deadly muzzle flash of the large cannons, it’s a flash that should rob the enemy of their pride. But without knowing who the enemy is it’s impossible to know whether any pride has been stolen. I also feel the rocking of the ship as each cannon fires and my mind knows instantly that the battle, whatever it may be, is only on one side of the ship for if it was on each side at the same time the cannon blasts would nearly negate each other or tear the ship apart if it was not built as my own were. As to which side it’s on I can not tell with such limited information.
With my many years of captaincy, my many battles at sea and my small armada of well crewed ships I should be able to tell how many cannons are firing, but the sounds of the cannons further down the ship are muffled too well.
I suddenly realise there is something much more important to be thinking about. Water is running into my darkened cell, I can’t see it but I can feel it nipping at my bare toes. That can only mean one thing, the ship has been hit and it’s taking water. Almost instantly the cannon fire stops but it does not register, I have other things pressing on my mind.
Is my cell breaking apart? Will the hull open up and allow the deep ocean to swallow me? Will the evil blackened crew let me drown or shall I forever be their slave?
Water may not be gushing into my cell, a good sign if ever I saw one, but suddenly something had changed. I instantly become hyper aware of everything around me. Sounds I didn’t know were there quickly fill my ears. Sounds I’m not even sure I would have recognised ten minutes ago are suddenly bombarding me.
Two vessels side by side, their hulls crashing hard into each other then moving apart. Grapnels clawing at the rails of the ship as the invading crew plan to board their prize. They could be brutes planing to take over and claim their spoils, I have no way of telling.
I hear musket fire cracking through the night air replacing what was cannon fire and enforcing my thoughts that the combat had moved to close range and one crew or the other was going reign supreme.
With the sea water lapping at my toes and the ship listing just a little bit I suspect, or maybe that is hope, that the crew forced to surrender is the blackened crew who have kept me as their slave for too many days to count. I prey that they bloody fettered bodies and limbs are left to stain every plank of this stinking ship.
I hear someone on the other side of my cell door. Suddenly the sound of fighting is muted again and all I can hear is the sound of the door lock being released. The next thing I see is a crack of light, not bright light, just light, as the door begins to open.
Is it the blackened crew coming or have I been saved?
Previous Pirate story here.