The Ladies of Horror
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A Strange Sort of Mutiny
by Terrie Leigh Relf
Lightening stretched across the sky, coming perilously close to our ship. There were but a few of us on deck who bore witness as we rushed to complete the captain’s orders. We remained silent while hefting body after bloody body into the churning sea. It was a strange sort of mutiny, if mutiny it was.
Most of the men were already dead when we discovered them, hands still clutching bloody, gore-slickened knives. There were a few others, though, that teetered between life and death. The ship’s doctor had done his best to stem their bleeding before sewing up the gashes they had rent lengthwise from wrist to elbow.
Our crew was very nearly depleted, and the cause of this madness was beyond our ken. There was talk about tainted bread or meat, even ale, but that wouldn’t explain why each and every man had performed the same gruesome act. Despite the grievous sin committed by these men, the religious among us murmured prayers for a safe passage to the afterlife for these lost souls. Others cursed them and the bad luck their deed would bring.
As the last body was tossed overboard, it was carried on the waves before sinking. One of the arms was raised above the surface as if reaching out for rescue. Lightening struck the palm, and the arm disappeared from view as our ship continued on through the storm.
The watch took their stations. Some of us gathered in the galley, heads lowered as if looking into one another’s eyes would reveal who was next—or even worse, cast a collective spell. When the captain arrived, he called for brandy and ale to fortify us against the growing chill. Cook brought us a hearty stew and bread, and we ate until our bellies were full.
After supper, we headed to our berths, hoping to get at least a few hours of sleep. It wasn’t long after when the watch rang the alarm.
All hands now on deck, we discovered that the storm had passed. One of the men leaned against the bow, yelling, his words unintelligible. We scanned the surrounding sea, which was now placid and shimmering with an eerie light.
The worst was over, or so we thought . . .
Just off the bow, the water began to swirl. A vortex! But no, it was something worse. Something much, much worse.
The water ceased its downward spiral and spewed upward, followed by another and another vortex doing the same . . . Chaat, the Dark Water God of legend emerged, His hunger not yet sated.
Fiction © Copyright Terrie Leigh Relf
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Terrie Leigh Relf:
For thousands of Earth years, the Transgalactic Consortium has had a quiet interest in this planet and its inhabitants, the Haurans. While the Sisterhood of the Blood Moon works together with the Consortium and Haurans to maintain balance in the universe, the Blood Moon is fast approaching. The power of this moon reveals untold secrets . . . including a sacred covenant with the Mora Spiders. There is an ancient pact that needs to be honored—but at what cost and for whose purpose? The world may come to an end. But will there be a chance for a new beginning?