The Dark Lady
The ship sighed as she rocked gently, back and forth, in the ocean. Blood soaked into her decks and bodies splashed over the sides. Her captain strode over her decks, shouting orders and seeing to his crew. Wood from the other ship floated in the water around her as the largest chunk left burned in the twilight.
It had been a good fight. The swiftest ship in the ocean, she had come upon the freighter like a shark, hitting hard and fast with her cannons. Her crew was brave and strong and won the fight quickly. She had only taken a few scratches, injuries her captain would soon see put right when they put into port. The prisoners from the other ship were crying out below decks, men and women scared of their fates, begging her to be merciful.
Her captain celebrated his victory, pulling several of the prisoners to the deck to entertain his crew. They opened casks seized from the other ship, spilling some of the wine to give her a share. One of the captives served the captain exclusively and The Dark Lady could feel him enjoying her. He was a good captain; he deserved to enjoy his victory.
As the dawn approached, they were nearing the port and the ship sighed with relief to pull into the docks. The chains clanked as the prisoners were taken off to be ransomed or sold and the crew set about making her the strong, beautiful ship they loved. The repairs were done quickly and they were ready to set out once more.
There was someone on deck who didn’t belong there as they pulled out of the port. One of the prisoners had stayed. Her captain announced he was to be wed that evening, as the sun set. The Dark Lady wept as she felt her captain’s heart given to the interloper. She was supposed to be his first and only love, carrying him across the turbulent ocean.
As the sun set, she could feel a storm brewing. The crew was celebrating her captain’s betrayal and didn’t notice as she set a course directly for the heart of the storm. The rain beat down on her crew, her captain, as she sailed further into a storm than she’d ever gotten before. She could feel parts of her breaking and she held onto as much of her crew as she could. Some of their bodies were lost but she kept the parts she had pledged to her, their hearts and their souls. The interloper fell over the side and her captain cried out but The Dark Lady held him as she struggled out of the storm.
The storm transformed her. She became a part of the ocean, of it and above it, with her crew and her captain. No more did she need to set into port, though she did it anyway when the moon was dark, no more did she need repairs. Her captain strode her decks, shouting orders to a crew that never tired, and bathed her with more blood than he ever had before. There were no more prisoners, no more interlopers, to disturb her.