Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Wichita Kansas, U.S.A.
Silence in their souls.
Silence in their souls.
The lightning flashes revealed the rising waves like moving mountains being lifted to an angry sky but in the darkness the waves fall back down again with soul crushing force. Upon the tempestuous sea the ship is tossed and turned and beaten as if it were nothing but a splinter upon currents of time.
The sails along with their moorings had been torn from the masts long ago and now flap in the gale winds like ghosts seeking solace on a moonless night.
The rudder turns this way and that moved by the strong currents causing the ship to wonder aimlessly with no hope of recovery. Alas the ship moves like a drunkard upon a slippery slope awash with rain.
No one stands too on the deck for they have been washed away and the hull is lifeless as well for the crews who remain have died long ago. The ship is a derelict, lifeless and dead but yet there are voices that still linger.
Yes there are voices that can still be heard by those who have ears to hear. They weep and mourn for there is none to rescue them and they scream out accusations and curses in hopes those who did this to them would find no peace.
The ship’s name is Abaddon translated “Abandoned all Hope” and she screams out for vengeance retribution and for silence in her soul.
As the storm dissipates the waves shrink and the rains recede until only the breeze stirs the lonely sea. Wayward birds whose wings are tired and overtaxed refuse to land upon her deck or masts and the fish refuse to swim in her shade. They can sense Abaddon’s unrest; they can sense her dread.
The creatures that happen by, the great leviathan and the serpents understand Abaddon’s curse but those upon the vessel drawing near do not. They cannot hear the voices or the warnings from the spirits within. They do not understand the absence of foul or fish, they do not hear with understanding ears or see with preternatural eyes. And so they see the abandoned ship with its hanging sails both torn and ripped and think there may be booty to salvage or rites they may attain wherewith to lay claim according to the laws of the sea.
‘Bring us alongside the rigged ship and ready yourselves to board, men.’ The Captain of the Bounties Beauty calls out. His first mate sets the powder to his flint pistol and secures his sword even as he bellows out the orders snapped at him by his captain’s firm voice.
Sixty men make themselves ready to board the ghost vessel, eyes wide and mouths wet with anticipation of treasure and gold… conquest! They toss the ropes and grapples when the Bounties Beauty is close enough and cheer as the secured ship is drawn to them by the strong arms of the slaves on board.
The bound men strain at the ropes even as they hear the cheers of those who captured them and stole them from their homes. They curse the men even as skin peals from their palms as the ropes pull and twist in their hands. Whips crack upon their backs and force them to cry out and wail for mercy. The slavers laugh at their plight and yell for them to pull for their lives. And they do pull. They pull the Abaddon closer until finally the hulls are close enough to touch and the solders are able to jump the gap.
The captain and first mate lead the crew of the Bounties Beauty onto Abaddon’s deck with no understanding of what they have set their feet upon. The men curse and rampage through the stores and cabins but find nothing of interest, nothing of any value that can be used.
They see the ripped sails and know this ship has seen hard times. They know the storms have most likely pulled everything from the top deck so they move to the lower holds with booty on their minds, but what they find there sets their fears on fire like a spark upon dry forests.
Seventy-five corpses hang from the hull’s ceiling and sixty more are shackled to the floors. Their bodies are withered and wax-like like leather awash with mucus. Shafts of spears are run through their torsos and their eyes have been cut out. Disemboweled mothers and children have been secured to the walls forced to suffer before weeping husbands and fathers.
Those who stepped upon the hold’s deck plates first began to vomit and those behind turned to flee the scene before them but those behind them held them fast and would not let them go. ‘This is a cursed ship!’ one of the men cried out.
‘Steady yourselves men!’ the captain shouted over their fears. ‘The corpses cannot hurt you. Search the grain vats and the closets. Search the lower decks and the captain’s hold. There is treasure here, I know it.’
The men hesitated but obeyed playing the sign of Sigmar upon their chests and foreheads as they moved past the remains of those who had gone on before. A single gold coin was found in the pocket of one of the children, but other than that nothing else of any value was found.
The men stood among the dead, sixty-two including the captain and first mate. Those who had been hung swayed back and forth with the roll of the sea and the ship groaned and creaked with the movement of the men. But there was something else now, something else just beyond the realm of mortal men's hearing, just beyond the realm of mortal men’s vision that was stirring.
The souls of those who had died began to cry out but those of flesh and blood could not hear. They could not discern the shifting of the tides or the movements of the ghosts all around them. Death was in the air and the slain would have their revenge.
‘I saw one of the bodies look at me.’ one man said. His voice was shallow and hushed with fear. Those who heard him told him to stop trying to make jokes and pushed him down. Some of the men laughed as he fell over a child’s body and landed face first in a woman’s lap.
The captain laughed as well and finally to the crews delight ordered them back to their ship. The men did not argue and began to move back to the stairs, but before they could exit the lower deck the man who had been pushed down began to scream.
His scream turned into a gurgling plea for help, it sounded like he was drowning. Blood began to seep up from the planks below the soldier’s feet even as the corpses began to move. They began to rise from their prone positions and lay hold of the men from the Bounties Beauty.
Those who were hung by the neck reached out and pulled screaming men close to their breasts and ripped out their throats and tore off their faces. The blood rose so fast it hampered the men’s movements and kept them from running, allowing the dead children to lay hold of limbs and tear off the flesh with whitened teeth.
The captain shot one of the corpse women in the chest creating a small hole in it but blowing out a chunk of her back the size of a dinner plate. Ribs and lungs exploded out of her yet still she drew close to him, arms extended, hands grabbing, jaw working in longing hunger for his flesh.
As he backed away in shock he saw his first mate pulled down and drowned in the ever deepening blood. The hollow eye sockets of the woman glared accusingly at him while he tried to turn from her cold embrace but she could not reach him because of the bonds that prevented her from stepping closer to him.
He began to laugh when he knew he was far enough away from her for her death touch to claim him but he let out a gasp of dread as hands gripped his legs and crotch pulling him down into the blood from below. He screamed as teeth tore his flesh away and severed fingers from his hands.
Though the stairs were clear not one man escaped from the wrath of the dead. Abaddon’s curse and the ghosts of the lost had claimed those who would plunder their grave.
Those still aboard the Bounties Beauty shook with dread and fright as the soldier’s screams pierced the ship’s hull and assailed their minds and spirits. Many, even the slaves fell to their knees and begged Sigmar for aid, but instead of receiving Sigmar’s help, they only heard the dwindling cries of the damned.
‘Cut the ropes and get us away from this cursed ship!’ one of the men begged. Someone else cried out when they saw the captain and the others exit the Abaddon’s hull and creep upon the top deck toward the Bounties Beauty.
The sun was setting and visibility was low. Those who remained upon the Bounties Beauty welcomed their captain and fellow crewmen back on board with open arms but troubled thoughts. The stench of death was upon them and they moved with stiffened steps.
They did not answer those who received them on board but glared at them through the growing shadows with empty eyes. ‘Welcome back cap,’ a man said. His words could not be finished because the captain had ripped out his throat with his teeth and torn out his stomach with hands both skinless and lacking of fingers.
Screams and pleas for help and in disbelief were soon silenced as the dead consumed the living. Those slaves below deck chained to their seats could do nothing but scream as the shambling fell upon them. Blood fell upon the deck planks as well as intestines, gnarled bones and brains.
In the silence that followed, the winds began to stir the waves into rising and falling mountains once again. The rains along with thunder and lightning turned the ships into aimless souls once more upon the angry lonely sea.
In a place beyond the realms of mortal men the voices begged for vengeance retribution and silence in their souls.
‘Take us down and set us free. Mourn for us as we would mourn for thee. Take from us the pain of death. Release from us the sting of torment. Our eyes are gone but yet we see. Our flesh is dead but still we live.’ – Recovered from the wreck of the Abaddon upon the jagged rocks of the forgotten sea.
A good reputation take a long time to build, but only a moment to destroy. Wow, that's deep!
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Other stories from Adrian.
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