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Old June 26th, 2013, 08:06 PM
Cosmic Fury's Avatar
Cosmic Fury
Evil Overlord
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Someplace unimaginable
Age: 23
Gender: Male
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Alright, so it's been very close to a year since I composed this. This is one of those things that you very rarely see that are written by the author in one sitting, out of fear that he'll lose his inspiration if he dares to take any sort of break/rest from it. This is one such work.

I have slightly edited this from the original version, in an effort to patch up writing that was done in the small hours of the morning -- however, these changes do not take away from its meaning or content.

Thank you for reading, and please enjoy.
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Braving the Storm

The waves crash over the side of the ship, pounding its starboard side, while the crew desperately hold onto the ropes that keep the mast from steering them right into the vast, titanic thing forming at the bottom of the abyss that some of them saw below them, and that some of those fell into, never to see the light of day again…

The dark, black cold of the Abyss awaits us, the Captain says, if we do not pull our floating piece of wood out of the watery jaws of the earth… The mast will only hold for so long, before lightning strikes it or the winds ruthlessly cut it down, so that Death has his satisfaction over us all.

The ship isn’t moving any faster, in spite of the best efforts of many of the crew. Here and there, leaders are made and others cast down. Some hold on to the bitter end, and others give up the fight, all clinging to something in a last desperate hope that the jaws of the Abyss does not swallow them and their mates whole, to be forgotten forever by history.

Others man the oars, and row hard enough to please even whatever gods they deem to worship in their hour of darkness. They move without instruction, as the oar master has already been dashed against the wall. He is out, and either he will awake to a peaceful morning, or he will find himself with his fathers by the time his gods finally cast the light of day back upon the sea… if they ever bother.

On deck, a cabin boy mans the wheel. He knows what the wheel does, and how to steer the ship, but he has no experience. He holds on because he is there, and the helmsman is somewhere else on the ship… Is he on it at all? Has he been tossed overboard like so many others in his fight to save the ship?

The new pilot braves the storm with doubt in his mind. He knows that only two things alone now matter in what is left of his world: He is here, and he is ready to walk hand in hand with his destiny into either the gaping jaws of the doom at hand should he fail to save the ship, or back into life’s warm embrace. The storm rages on around him more violently than ever, yet he still mans the wheel with as much determination as his battered mind can force into his tattered hands. The wind howls at him, blinding him to all of the other woes that would scream at his ears…

The Captain is out on deck, calling out to his crew. He sees his first mate tossed into the sea, and he grieves, for it was not his first loss of this terrible night, and the worst is not yet over. He watches in helpless horror as the deck of the ship itself is torn into pieces by the storm. He looks at what are left of the cannons, and he despairs. Many will not survive the night, of the few that yet remain.

A crewman bravely climbs up the mast; a rope has broken by another man's fall, and it needs to be mended, or the mast is lost. He reaches the crow’s nest, only to be battered ever more harshly by the wind, and he is the sole witness to seeing Death itself open up in the form of the chasm he sees below him. He sees the rope is shattered, and realizes that there is only one hope for it: to simply hold on… and so he does. Like steel, his grip is. With an iron will, he holds on with a determination that even his gods would envy -- but the storm batters him with an equal determination to send a defiant seaman to his doom.

The tattered man looks below, and sees only what remains of the once-proud crew of the Sea Star, struggling to save the ship from its fate, along with their fellow mortals with a power that the gods seem to hate them for… The sailor sees this, and he knows that in this hour, he is alone in his own war against the storm. If he lets go of the rope, its ruins will tear asunder along with the mast...

In the cellar, several men lie helplessly on the deck, having drunk themselves blind -- at least when their death comes, it will be painless. They have no hope like the rest of the crew, but these have given up the fight long before they are crushed by the sea which they once boldly shouted at the gods that they could conquer. One of their number still plugs in a leak here and there, but he will slowly go too; he drank as much as the rest.

The howling winds break one of the masts, sweeping more away into the screaming death that waits near the ship. At long last, chaos and disorder reign over the ship, as yet another leader is hurled silently into the Abyss, his screams entirely muted by the violent storm. The eye has passed by the crew an eternity ago; they will have no reprieve from the raging abyss near their ship, nor from the storm above, both of which hammer away relentlessly at the besieged ship...

The crewmen manning what is left of the rudder still bravely hangs on, with his only master being the will to hold Death off another five or ten minutes before the last of them loses strength enough to aid whatever cursed soul is still manning the wheel on deck in a failing effort to hold Death itself at bay. The Captain is now helping two or three others with throwing countless things overboard to lighten the ship‘s grievously light load... His grief for his falling ship is more intense than even the gods are ever capable of feeling, but they still refuse to let up the storm.

The marines are aboard the deck, helping endlessly with manning the remaining masts and other torn parts of the ship. Most have already thrown their swords overboard in the knowledge that the sword of the gods would take them before their enemies‘… They, too, have lost hope, but their courage holds its own, in spite of the fact that Death walks hand in hand with each of them, because of the mere fact that they see others not yet willing to give up the ghost…

The cabin boy is tired beyond belief, and his grip on the wheel is slackening… The night has grown old, and the storm still hammers the ship, as if the gods want them all to die after witnessing their terrible wrath. The gods of the storm are winning the fight over the wheel, and the cabin boy finds himself steering it with the current of the massive, screaming hole in the sea, knowing that if the ship does not make it, he will never see the sun again...

The main mast has also broken, and the brave crewman who had valiantly held the ropes together lies in a tangled heap upon the deck, knocked out by the fall. He will end when he and his Doom finally meet, be it when the ship hits the bottom of the sea, or in his old age… All the ship’s crew can do right now is pray that the remaining oarsmen row hard enough, and that the new pilot knows what he is doing… and that the gods will bring the ending of the storm.

Dawn beings to break, but the ship still draws closer to the howling abyss waiting for it. The cabin boy has but one chance to steer it through, but he does not have the strength. He knows where the ship should go, but his iron grip finally begins to weaken… He refuses to give up his ghost, but it wants to go. His soul yearns for release, and his mind is almost broken. His body is now a wreck from fighting the gods themselves, yet two hands hold onto the wheel, and two feet are firmly planted onto the deck. He continues the struggle with the storm, but he will finally weaken, before long…

As the ship draws closer to the edge of the terrible hell that is waiting for it, strong hands seize the wheel. It is the Captain, wearing the same iron expression found on the gods' faces in the fury of the storm. The cabin boy finally falls, but the Captain knows what to do… he always does. The captain steers his precious Star deeper into the dark abyss, knowing that he will take his ship out, or take it out faster...

The sunrise breaks the edge of the horizon, with every color imaginable breaking the gloom of the night. The ruined ship is illuminated in the raging storm as the sun finally breaks out and sights the crew -- only half are left standing, with the rest tired, dead… or gone. The Star finally emerges from the Abyss, and plows like a whale towards the far side of the jaws of a watery hell. The storm finally abates, and the worst is over. The tattered ship with only one of its masts left drifts closer and closer to a nearby island, its will having finally broken in its newfound freedom…

The gods have abated their fury, and have turned the crew of an unknown ship into the most glorious thing on the sea… The sun rises and shines down on the Star, revealing not a ship or a crew of sailors, but instead a glorious product of the fury of the gods, and the determination of men to hold strong, even in their darkest hour.

Even though the Star is mostly broken, she still shines as the star in these men’s hearts. It is the golden vessel that took them through the halls of Death and back so that they could see yet another storm pass through to see glorious Dawn awaken after. The hearts of the torn crew know now that their lives are yet worth living, even during the darkest of storms, for after all storms will come the peace they now hold so dear to their hearts.

The Captain is weary, along with all of the crew, but they made it through the storm with their faith and courage alone. Those above all are what give strength of the hands of men -- men who are ready to take up their own banner, and fight for a new future for themselves, whether it be for their lives… or simply for a better tomorrow.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Composed and revised by Cosmic Fury
July 4th 2012 -- Revised June 26th, 2013
Please do not copy and paste this elsewhere without giving me credit for it, as I worked very hard on this. Thanks!
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Last edited by Cosmic Fury; July 5th, 2013 at 01:33 AM.
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  #2    
Old June 27th, 2013, 03:58 AM
Cooljoshua567's Avatar
Cooljoshua567
 
Join Date: May 2010
Gender: Male
Oh wow, it's very rare for me to see a fic that is done in present tense instead of past. Also, you don't even use quotation marks when a characters says something, very unique. Awesome job with this man
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  #3    
Old June 29th, 2013, 04:03 AM
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Cosmic Fury
Evil Overlord
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Someplace unimaginable
Age: 23
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Thank you! I figured that interrupting it with normal dialogue would sort of trash the fast-paced mood the story was setting, and so I found a way to work around it while maintaining the overall tone.

Thanks for stopping by and reviewing! I very much appreciate it when someone notices my work.
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Old June 30th, 2013, 10:42 PM
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PhantomX0990
Uh, I didn't do it.
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Minnesota
Age: 23
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Wow, I quite liked this. Like the other reviewer said, it's an interesting and not often used tense. It made it interesting to read. One thing that made me laugh when I first started reading.

Quote:
The waves crash over the side of the ship, pounding its starboard side, while the crew struggles against the ropes that keep the mast from steering them right into the vast, titanic thing forming at the bottom of the abyss that some of them saw below them, and that some of those fell into, never to see the light of day again…
My response was, well, somewhere between "Uh, oh" and "Well this could end quite badly."

Only bit I notice for correcting, you do use the word 'struggle' quite a bit.
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Old July 5th, 2013, 01:28 AM
Cosmic Fury's Avatar
Cosmic Fury
Evil Overlord
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Someplace unimaginable
Age: 23
Gender: Male
Nature: Mild
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Yeah, it was the only word I found to use for the moment. I wrote it in the small hours of the morning, after all.
EDIT: Went back and changed it up a bit.

And thanks! I appreciate the reviews.
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Last edited by Cosmic Fury; July 5th, 2013 at 01:34 AM.
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