- Vol. 03
- Chapter 10
Image by Megan Archer
The Red MistThe water slapped backwards and forwards across the wooden deck inside the remains of the hulk, its erratic movements washing around across the deck matching the awkward lurches of the slowly sinking ship. Every trace of water inside was washed red, stained by the blood draining out of the bodies sloshing around in the water or drip fed by those held temporarily above the seas reach, pinned to the frames and sides of the ship by wooden splinters that spat off the impacts of the missiles that had hit the ships fragile flanks.
Blood splattered almost every surface, the length of deck head was speckled and daubed with large smears, the insides of the hull walls were splashed and sprayed with ichor, the mast bottoms that still ran through from the deck above were freshly dressed in red, as if painted to protect the wood from the sea. The deck crew all now slop together, their rhythm of movement fixed by the swell breaking in, their raucous words now silently swallowed by the salt water they lay in, every man and boy split, riven and holed by the shot and shell that had ruined the ships sides.
Once proudly cleaned and inspected everyday, the wood inside the ship that had been turned smooth by many harsh hands and years of patient polishing was now scarred, scratched and blown into splinters that had spit the hands that had carefully tended. As the ship leans against the swell items half hidden in the clouded water wash down from one side to the other. Unused cannon balls, bits of gun carriage and parts of people cut into chunks by the flying wooden knives pile against the wooden walls of the ship. The unclotted sea water leaks back out of the holes rent in the sides of the hulk whilst bodies, rope ends and wooden remnants make small dams around lesser rents sifting out the debris from the streams of blood that slowly bleed into the sea around.