The wind blew strong, howling past the sole figure standing upon the prow of the cargo ship. A man, unnaturally tall and gaunt, with skin so pale that the moonlight reflected off of him was making him beautifully eerie, in stark contrast to the blood that had spattered across his hollow visage. A little girl, the sole survivor of the abhorrent massacre that had occurred just moments before, hid behind the shattered prow of the ship, praying silently that this tall, pale monster would not find her. Her legs caught up in a net that had been left lying around on the deck of the ship.
He stood there, smoking a long cigarette as the ocean roared out, seemingly in grief of the captain that it had lost, only moments before as the gaunt man had done his terrible, terrible work. The man had come like lightning, an avenging angel come to make the captain and crew answer for their sins, which were many. The figure wore cloth, possibly of very fine material, (’twas hard to tell through all of the blood) wrapped around this phantom haphazardly, like bandages over a festering wound. His face was hidden for the most part; his hands wrapped up, except for the fingertips which gripped the hilt of his blade and the grip of his gun, the tools of his grisly work. He was like a mummy robed in silk and soaked in blood, but still fresh underneath the wraps.
The gaunt man looked out at the blood red moon, and exhaled a smoky sigh.
“Cry Havoc,” he sighed, sounding weary and morose, “And let slip the dogs of war.” This figure, this vile apparition then turned, and his eyes locked with those of the little girl.
And a grin played across his features.
The smell of the apparition overpowered the scent of the blood that had soaked the ship, and the horror strode closer to her, step by step, drawing closer with the smile of a demon engraved onto his face-
And then he stopped.
The little girl cowered before this giant, who stood before the girl with the blade, which still dripped with blood, gripped in the beings slowly whitening knuckles, his eyes like blank canvas, giving not even an inch of expression and the blade raised into the air slowly. The white eyes seemed to move, eyes that should be sightless but clearly saw all, as the blade rose to its apex and began its descent….
And bit into the deck, slicing the net off of her. The figure looked down at her, and a much gentler smile played across his features, as he sheathed his blade and sat down beside her, and the wraps on the man’s face fell off, revealing his gentle features. The two sat in awkward silence for a moment, neither one wanting to start the conversation, such a morbid subject it was. Finally the little girl looked at him, and said two words that confused the man. “Thank you.”
The man was baffled. Was he being thanked for sparing her? He never had any intention to harm her, the exact opposite in fact. The man spoke again, and his voice was like a gentle river, soothing and flowing evenly, but always hiding a secret underneath. “Thank me for what little one? I have done nothing here that is deserving of gratitude; I have only done what I was meant to do. have done nothing more and nothing less.” The girl smiled, which only served to baffle the tall man further. “Well, you did save me mister, and I’m really happy about that. So thanks!”
The tall man shook his head and leaned back against the ship, still smoking his cigarette. “It will be many days before the ship reaches shore little one.”
“So perhaps I should know the name of my first mate?” “I’m Sarah Goldwin. And who are you mister?”
~ Daniel Parchment