Buried At Sea: Pilot Episode
Torrinda walks around the eerily quiet decks, looking for any sign of the crew. “Hello?” He calls out. “Is there anyone out there?” He opens up a barrel of empty rum and searches inside. “Huff? Cap’n, you in there?” He replaces the wooden lid and shakes his head. “Did they go on a party without me? The thought makes him frown, but he continues to search and goes below decks.
He enters the bottom of the stairwell of the first floor, glancing to the left and right. The hairs begin to stand on the back of his neck, the odd feeling surrounding the area growing thick. “Seriously guys… This isn’t funny…”
A loud thump echoes farther down the corridor, the sudden loud noise making him jump. “Ha ha. F.. Funny. Huff, that you?” He takes a few steps towards the area of the noise, sweat starting to form on his upper lip. “Blue? C.. Cap’n?” He grabs a lantern hanging from a hook on of of the rafters. With a slight shake to his hands, the candle dancing and creating moving shadows, he moves a small bunch of supply crates where the sound had originated from.
“Ha!” He peers over the boxes hoping to startle his would be jokester, but there is nothing. Frowning again and looking towards the empty doorway he sighs. “Is it because I got promoted to first mate? Is that why you guys are ignoring me?” A shuffling noise is heard from deeper inside the dark doorway, a faint murmur of a voice telling him that someone is here and that they have finally been found. “That’s it!” With renewed confidence he briskly walks through the doorway, the lamp leading the way…
“Guys, seriously! Very funny…” Still there is no one there. His skin begins to crawl as this situation doesn’t sit right with him. “What the?”
Suddenly the candle in the lantern goes out. “No! No, no, no!” A child’s laughter enters the room, its volume cutting through the silence, making his blood run ice cold. It giggles sweetly and begins a nursery rhyme.
“Mary had a little lamb…” The voice suddenly turns demonic in nature, the voice harsh and cold. “But I ATE IT!!” Torr yells, unable to see anything, the darkness not allowing him to even see his hand in front of his face.
“What?” He stammers. “What do you want?! Guys? G..guys? Wh..where are you?”
The voice purrs like a jungle cat. It snickers in the darkness. “My, my, my. It would appear that you are all alone. How sad.” Torr, shaken by the whole ordeal, searches in his pockets for his flint and steel. After a few attempts he is able to relight the candle in the torch. He quickly moves it to his left, the small flame nearly going out once more with the action.
“No!” He cries out. “I have a bunch of crewmates…” He knows they are here, but unseen up until this point. His shoulders slump, wishing that they were here now. “…somewhere.”
The voice laughs, its tone mocking him harshly. “Dead men tell no tales…” Torr’s brow scrunches in confusion. He has heard the tale before, but is this thing just repeating it or is he giving a clue to the fate of the crew?
“So will you…” Torr tries to state, the darkness not letting him see anything. “If I ever find you.”
The voice, frighteningly close, whispers into his ear. “I’m right behind you!”
The lantern goes out again. The spectre laughs once more, this game more accustomed to what it loves. “I haven’t had this much fun in decades! I can smell your fear.” A quiet hush fills the room. It happens so suddenly that Torr cannot react. A bone chilling cold washes over his entire body.
It is like a thousand tiny needles injecting him with ice all at once. He nearly falls to the ground, but somehow he wills his numb hand to grab ahold of the wood to keep himself upright. Through chattering teeth he tries to speak.
“Wh..what do y..you w..w..want? A..am I g..g.going t d..d..die h..here? A.. alo…one?” The cold slowly begins to fade, warmth returning to his body.
“Your captain,” The voice begins. “has stolen something from me. I want it back.”
Torr, feeling his body return to his call, is confused for the second time. “What? W..what could he have stolen from YOU? Who, or what, ever you are.”
“Your captain has lived up to his calling, trust in me that! Unbeknownst to him, a little treasure he had plundered many years ago was something of mine. A jewel.”
Torr, sure that there is no immediate danger surrounding him anymore, shifts his weight to his left foot. “A jewel? Seriously?”
The voice chuckles, the sound like two rocks grating against each each other. “If you, and your beloved captain, only knew of its power. It is a soul stone… Shimmergloom by name. One I have used for centuries, trapping souls that wander into my domain.”
Torr leans against the wood frame of the doorway, the darkness still full around him. “What domain? Where is it?”
“The realm of shadows…”
The realm of shadows? It is a myth, a legend to keep the men – and women, from venturing into uncharted lands. It isn’t real…or is it? He doesn’t know what to think about the revelation. “Why can’t you just get it yourself? Then you can continue to take OTHER souls.”
There is a momentary pause. “I cannot just take it. I am from the realm of shadows. I am not whole in your world. But, if you were to procure it and GIVE it to me willingly… Then I can reclaim what is mind.”
Torr begins to piece everything together and understands what part he will play in all of this. With a heavy sigh, he asks. “You want me to steal it from him, don’t you…”
“Precisely!” The voice purrs in anticipation. “You will do so and return it to me.”
Torr, feeling a little braver at the moment, shakes his head not wanting to betray any of his crewmates. “If I refuse?”
The chilling cold returns to his body once again. “Then I will take you and seal you away in the realm of shadows with me! Then I will take the crew. It is not a place you want to be in, I assure you..”
Shocked of the outcome for everyone involved, Torr is backed into a corner with no means of escape, nowhere to run. With a defeated posture, he agrees. “I will try…”
The cold intensifies, Torr’s eyelids drooping from the energy sapping effect of the warmth leaving his body. “No!” The voice booms into the darkness. “You WILL do this! You have three days. I will return to you in that time. For your sake, and everyone else aboard, you had better be up to the task.” The cold overwhelms him to the point where he fades in and out, then finally passes out. His body feels weightless, like it is falling. Suddenly he hits the ground..
And awakens to find himself in his sleeping quarters. He looks around frantically for any signs of the spectre, but doesn’t find any. With a nervous laugh, he wipes the sweat from his forehead and looks over to the bottle of rum lying on the floor, some of its contents having split to pool on the wood.
“Man! No more rum shots before bed for me! Whew!” He lays back down on his hammock and smiles, the whole thing was just a nightmare. Before his eyes close, the candle suddenly goes out.
Buried At Sea by Matt Wright is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://www.atramentous.net.