Dead at Sea

 

There he stood, a man of indomitable spirit, perched on the bow of his colossal vessel. His entire life, locked away in a giant wooden casket pitching and rolling through the ominous depths of the Pacific Ocean. The portentous content of the vessel was of great sentimental value to the man on the prow.

 

The savage sea spray whipped at his weathered face leaving flecks of salt on his leathery skin. His wary eyes panned the horizon, the warm sunrays liquid in the humid atmosphere, slowly receding as a blanket of darkness nonchalantly rolled back upon the sky leaving the man and his ship deserted in the desolate vastness of the ocean. With no one to comfort him, the man clung to the post on the bow. The knuckles of this right hand turned white from clinging on, his other occupied with the pendent hung around his neck caressing the deep engravings upon its surface, tracing each line, each curve, and every crevice.

 

Past memories flashed like lightning bolts before his eyes. A small tear began to grow in the corner of his eye, his eyes moistening. The small tear grew into a raindrop that rolled sorrowfully down his weathered cheek stopping at his jawline, only to detach and fall. Rolling. Twisting through the chilling night air only to land in the barren ocean and have its ravenous jaws pull it down into its hungry depths. The night was playing with him, his soul, his mind perturbed by the eerie crash of the waves, to him they sounded like the souls of the dead lost at sea. The man couldn’t think straight, the forces of the ocean pulsing through the ship he could feel it in the wood beneath, a fluctuating monster, moving him as if he were a puppet of nature. He couldn’t move. His body frozen as if some strange force bound him to that pole for all eternity, the salty ocean’s spray clung to his face, his lips parched, a thin layer of salt covering them.

 

He faced the gruelling storm alone. No one to help him, no one to stand by him.  Foamy claws scrabbling at the side of his ship. The man was struggling to hang on. 

 

A colossal wave pounded the starboard; the roar of the waves pierced his eardrums like a knife to the heart. A blinding pain shot up his arm causing his iron like grip on the pole to loosen. It was only then that he realised his arm had been severed clean off, viscous blood spewed out from his veins, but, he couldn’t feel it, he just stared lost, transfixed to the stream of blood, oblivious to reality. Another wave, bigger than the first collided with him, this time hurling him like a rag doll into the cool night air. It was as if time had stopped. He had endured so much, so much pain and loneliness.  He’d worked so hard all of his life, accomplished so much, and yet no one was there for him. Even on his deathbed.

 

His dilapidated torn body seemed weightless as he flew through the air. From the corner of his eye he could see his life disappear beneath the eager surface of the ocean. Slowly being sucked under, falling into the darkness within. The cold liquid seeping into every nook and cranny, slowly pulling apart his soul in front of his eyes.

 

He hit the ocean, the pressure forcing the life out of him. What felt like an eternity was mere seconds as his lifeless body disappeared into the dank darkness, swallowed by the jaws of the ocean, the final wave pushing him under. The sharp undercurrents carrying his body further into the depths to rest with his empty remains. A life once lived but then forgotten, a life once lived but never appreciated.

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