In the small hours Dorson’s armchair was again host to his tortured imaginings...
Captain Dorson kissed his youngest daughter then stood, blew out the candles and bayed her goodnight. Later when the dreams came he would try to hold on to the image of Annie sleeping softly as a drowning man clutches floating timber.
The Captain walked down the steps to his kitchen and sat, knowing that at least one of his daughters needed him almost seamed to make what he had done right. When he had told Jane about his Cowardice she had struck him hard, tears flooded into her eyes and she had hurriedly packed some of her positions into a crude bundle. Jane had tried to take Annie with her when she left, he had struggled with his own daughter, she was not strong enough to fight him and was forced to flee alone. That night he had slept curled tightly around Annie’s sobbing form.
In the small hours Dorson’s armchair was again host to his tortured imaginings, he could feel the mass of wood, rope and cloth writhing at the bottom of the sea, and it was searching for him. Probing her own Wreck for a means to find him, senseless but desperate for a means to find her Captain. Her rope was tightening on something she could use, something that could hear his treacherous heart pound against its cage. Propelled by a coil of rope a lifeless figure broke the surface, slowly it began to snake across the still sea. The Captain was awakened by a chill that threatened his candles, Dorson sought its source. After closing every window and double bolting the door, Captain Dorson retook his post at his chair.
He awoke in a blackness that at the strike of a match revealed its self as his living room, the wind took his match. The second strike showed him that the draft was coming from the hallway, he willed himself to investigate but was trapped in the grasp of a overwhelming dread. Steeling his soul against the unnatural breeze Dorson struggled his way to the corridor. In the corridor it became clear that the cold front was emanating from the plaster and oak of his own walls. Upon its discovery the wind began to pick up, starting as a whisper and growing to a shout, forcing him into the belly of he dwelling. In time the deep howl of the wind was supplemented by a hideous scraping from his kitchen, holding himself tightly Dorson pressed into the room to find the stove sliding back and froth down a stone channel it was etching into the floor, with each sway, the channel grew. The longer the Captain stood the more he could feel the sway of the room, as it lurched back and forth, he had to escape, bouncing of tables and chairs Dorson made a desperate sprint for the living room and dove though the narrow door.
The living room was eerily still after the violent movement of the kitchen. Dorson ran his fingers though the rug, reassuring himself that he was merely going mad. The silence was getting thicker and more oppressive by the minute, the wind having now died down. Was it to be that he would lie on this patch of sanity all night, Dorson weighed up his options but found none to his likening. Some deep part of the Captains brain told him to get upstairs, that higher ground and Annie would protect him from whatever bout of madness befell him. As the captain stood, he, on a whim picked up the blunt and nicked hatchet the lived beside the fireplace and held it across his chest as though it would protect his weak heart from this dreadful onslaught.
Something was watching him, the feeling shot though him as if connecting the soles of his feet to the ground, it took all of his will but he managed to turn around and see the length of wet rope that was laying in his kitchen. He inched to the side until he could see the dark shape being held aloft by the rope about its waist, the light from the street revealing a peaceful smile and closed eyes. It was his First mate, Bill, held with his toes just off the ground by that sodden rope. Bill was full of splinters and one of his arms hung crooked, his chest did not move. Without question Bill was dead, the muffled sob that Dorson gave made the rope slither, turning bill to face him. The rope could hear him, no that wasn’t it, she could hear him, she was using bill as her ears. Dorson backed away, trembling as the rope pushed its way towards him, slapping sickeningly against the floor.
The Captain tore in a flurry of limbs and tears up the staircase. He hid in a corner, fearful of leading her near to Annie. Bill was carried up the stairs, his limbs swinging backwards with the angle of assent. Bill eased passed Dorson’s hiding spot, the rope was arms length from the Captain, he vowed to free bill. The axe bit into the rope and the rope torqued its self, Dorson was forced to let go of his weapon and fell back nursing his wrist. Bill was thrust towards him and Dorson beat him self free from the corpses embrace, the splinters digging under his skin, and ran to try to put him self between Annie and this terrible monster with its once dear face. A coil of rope slammed him against the wall, he felt bones slide loose from their housing and snap.
Bill was looming over Annie, his tail of rope slavering wetly against the floor in anticipation. Dorson tried to stand but his ruined body could not, Annie rolled over and sighed dreamily. The Captain howled at the amalgamation before him too stop, the roped slowly turned bill around. “ I doomed the men you loved and betrayed you, but she did not, please…” Dorson stopped to give a bone-rattling cough “take me, let me be with you forever as it should have been”. She moved bill away from the crib and pushed the cold body face to face with her Captains, then coiled around them, binding them together into a cocoon, Dorson’s forehead was forced into bills nose until it broke, the dim light was blotted out and a dead mans blood filled his weeping eyes.
The sobbing bundle was dragged over cobblestones and down dark streets, over pebbles and though the surf, dragged to a depth where there could be no life, sept that of a Captain forever bound to the ship that loved and hated him in equal measure.
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