I suppose I should not fool myself that this letter shall ever reach you, yet I cannot help but hope. With the famine and the disease that followed it like a hungry child in the wake of the baker’s cart, what is there really left to us now but hope?
Yet even that has been stripped from me now.
I knew as I waved to you from the boat, watching you on the short as we drew away from harbor in our small fleet, that this was no ordinary fishing trip. There was so little fish to be had – too much of it belly up, you saw well as I – but even if legends fill bellies no more than food, at least chasing after them gives the feeling that we tried.
Besides which, someone claims to have seen the beast some several seasons back. On that little bit of say-so we’ve been sailing out, and the island is in sight now, just as he said it’d be, pale and shimmering in the moonlight.
I drew the short straw, love, and I’m alone on this boat.
We dropped anchor to weigh off the coast of the island, letting it drag heavily in the sea where the anchorline can’t reach bottom. As I sat and waited, the others clambered into the other ship. They left me behind with run of the ship, with gunpowder and biscuits and matches. They said if it was to surface it was like to eat me.
I saw something a few hours ago some several miles off. I saw it, and the waves that hit the longship rocked it like an angry cradle. Just the one looming lump of dark glistening flesh glimpsed above the waves, but I saw it. I understand why they left me so many powder kegs. I wonder how much longer it will take the thing to reach me.
I write this letter and affix it to one of the cork buoys in hope that it will be found and passed along to you in spite of that hard and hungry thing out there.
Not out. Down.
It’s down there, and I haven’t seen any gulls nor fish in several hours now. The water’s beginning to ripple, and I think it’s time I be ready to light the powder kegs.
I miss you, love, and if this be my final letter, know that I was glad to bring food to your table again at last.
This piece of Nightmare Fuel was inspired by this picture supplied by G+ user Alex Feltir Sunderland; artist unknown:
For more info on the Nightmare Fuel project, click here.