31 Days of Halloween #14

The Goosemother Scroll - Episode 7 Text below!

The dark ship drove hard and fast, driven by hellwinds to crush the little sailboat into flotsam.

“What will we do?” Pyg despaired. There was no hope of maneuvering out of the way, and Pyg had never learned to swim.

“We have to jump!” Leap answered. “Climb onto my back, and I’ll carry you!”

There was no time think beyond those precious seconds. The pair dove into the inky black sea with naught but a prayer as the demon vessel obliterated their pitiful craft. But where would they go now? They could not swim forever, both of them knew. Their food was gone, and without a boat, they were destined to drown.

By miracle or design, Pyg noticed a rope trailing in the water from the side of the ship. Without another thought, she grabbed it as it passed and hoisted herself up.

“What are you doing?” Leap shouted. “Don’t you know what’s up there?”

“Maybe we’ll die if we go up there,” Pyg called back, “but we definitely will if we don’t! Come on!”

Up they climbed, brutalized by sudden winds, the freezing sea spray lashing their faces. At long last, they reached the top, threw themselves over the side of the ship and fell, exhausted, onto the sodden deck.

At first, there was no sign of anything living or dead. For a moment, Pyg and Leap held hope that their eyes had deceived them in the mist. Here, the weather was calm. Dark, yes, but quiet. The ship’s bell clanged solemnly with the motion of the sea. Its wasted sails idly flapped. Taut ropes groaned. Wet wood creaked. And Pyg thought, this is the sound of aloneness.

And then the fog rolled in again. Between every wispy tendril of mist, shapes formed and faded and formed anew. Shapes like the creatures Pyg had once seen in a dream. The hairless creatures. The true masters of this ship. No longer could Pyg doubt the existence of the Ghosts of Men. They stood before her, looking at her without eyes, threatening without tongues. And there were hundreds of them.

“I think I made a mistake,” Pyg whispered.

“Probably not as bad as the one I’m about to make,” said Leap.

Then he stood up, and after a moment’s hesitation, walked directly to the dead men.

“Leap!” Pyg cried. “No!”