All Stories, Historical

Black Bird of Prey, the Death Ship by Tom Sheehan

The battle had been harsh, crude, and longer than expected, but at the inevitable end the ship Gerben Huraq had sailed on for three years, initially at the point of a maniacal sword in the hand of a maniacal privateer, was sinking fast. Huraq, still on the good side of thirty years of age and seemingly primed for long distance of days, had once crawled up a rescue rope to that ship from another sinking ship. Now, twice saved and twice accepted aboard a rescuing vessel, he was in the water again, in the Black Sea, the sea of seas, death scene of floaters, those abandoned, thrown overboard or fallen from their stations at battle, each one in a downward slide into their own histories. He had no idea how long he would last on this wide sea, until one precise moment when he espied the growing dot of a mast at full sails advancing from a distant point, ever moving closer, hope most possibly a  passenger, and a final surge of excitement propelling his nearly inert body toward an expectant welcome.

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