Word Count → 429 :: Come meet Merik! Optime form.
It happened fast. Before the crew of the Scarab could react, waves were breaching over the vessel's wooden hull. No one had expected a squall this far north, but all expectations went through the window at sea. The men aboard were at the mercy of an unpredictable ocean, or rather, the will of the Gods. It was midday, but sky had a dusky dark quality to it and it rained in such a way that the ocean and the air above it were indistinguishable from each other. The air inside the hull seemed to vibrate and boat bowed in ways that defied all prior experience. There was shouting on the deck, and beneath, there were tender muttered prayers.
Beneath the deck there was a room with a table with maps strewn about its surface. At its end stood Merik with a hand on each corner to keep balance as the ship leaned at hard 45 degree angle. At his back and against the wall sat the four stone tablets he had sworn to transport. They had blown far off course, further than the map accounted for. All was lost.
There was more shouting from the deck, but it was interspaced with something else -- the sharp cracking of wood. Merik left his chambers and climbed out onto the deck and into the rain. Fear flashed in Merik's eyes as lightning streaked across the sky. He could see that the main mast snapped at the base and it threatened to drag the boat asunder with the next set of waves. The Scarab leaned heavily against the weight of the fallen mast. Two men had already fallen from the deck into the churning sea below. Three other crew members struggled to save them, but it was no avail, for the Scarab was wracked with yet another wave.
As she capsized into the water, the bow broke in half. Those caught beneath the deck were sealed in their watery tomb. Merik and the rest of the crew on the deck were thrown into the frigid water. The rest was a blur. Somehow, he managed to cling to some refuse from the wreck. He held on for dear life.
* * *
Upon the shore the bodies lay. The gulls gathered to peck and prod at the dead as the sun finally peaked out from behind the dark clouds. It was early evening now, and the storm returned to the nothing from which it came. Merik lay among the dead, yet unlike the others who's chests were stilled by death, he drew shallow breath.