incomplete, rough draft
It was late October and winter was well on it's way. The
temperature was in the low 40s and Shay was shivering violently,
soaked all the way down to his trousers. He assumed he was
somewhere off the Bay of Biscay in Northern Spain and Southern
France. They had been traveling about 20 knots steady for the
last few days he had been on the boat which would put him roughly
in Northern Spain from Liverpool. It was October 17th 1784 when
Shay ran away from his father, Arch Duke Bradchett of Lawsten,
They had been staying in a summer villa in Liverpool when Shay's
father, the duke, announced over dinner that Shay Atticus
Bradchett would be studying abroad in France for the next 4
years. Shay left the dinner table immediately and set to packing
a small cloth bag with a set of clothes and some money and left
that evening without further ado, but it wasn't even a day before
he ran into a southern trader who claimed he had stolen some of
his wares. Shay denied this but some of the local vendors began
to chase him down to take him to the port's authorities. He ran
to hide aboard a docked trader's galleon before he had fell
asleep. Hours later the ship's first mate found him and showed
him to the captain. Captain Marco de Quemadura gave him once
glanced and drew his sword upon Shay, pressing the tip under his
chin, lifting his head.
"Boy, what is your name?"
The captain looked up at the first mate, "Hijo del duque. The port's men were talking about 'em" He said then looked back down at the Shay. "Running away from home are we? Well I'll make ya' think twice about that next time eh?"
He laughed then grabbed Shay roughly by the collar, throwing him at the First mate,
"Take 'em down to infierno. Shackle 'em to a cannon ball chest."
The captain crackled loudly as the first mate led me away and dragged me down a flight of shallow steps into a cold, empty part of the ship, filled with barrels, sacks, and chests. The pudgy man shackled one wrist to a iron handle attached to the side of the nearest chest.
"We'll bring you food every dawn and dusk. I would eat it if I was you, that's all the food you're gunna get, Ha Ha Ha." He said, laughing throatily that made my ears ring.
Several miserable days passed and he ate every meal given to him, yet after finishing he would only feel hungrier. A storm coming in from the East threatened to push us further out in the Pacific so the crew were scrambling to keep the ship level while we fought the wind. The thrashing of the ship only worsened as the wind picked up. The once tranquil waters now heaved the ship around like a toy, filling the air with groans and moans from the ship's hull. Shay frantically thrashed his arm around trying to dislodge the shackles from the iron ring of the chest but his efforts were beginning to look futile. The chest contained something heavy (probably cannon balls) and wouldn't even budge no matter how hard he pulled. More groans filled the hull of the ship along with new creaking as the wind picked up. Shay yelled furiously at the deckhands running by begging for the key to the shackles but all seemed to busy to listen to what a small 14 year old had to say. Wind and rain battered everyone from above on the deck and large waves washed over the edge of the boat, dripping down into the lower floors of the large Galleon, leaving a musty, humid smell like mold. Much of the water washing over the sides of the boat dripped down to the lower levels, soaking Shay, leaving him with chilled extremities.
He spit out a mouthful of salty water and began trying to squeeze his wrist through the shackle cuff when an earsplitting crack cut through the air like gunfire. A Mast had begun to quiver and dislodge from the ship, where it landed in the ocean, making the ship dip into the water slightly more. Abruptly the boat fell rapidly starboard, dragging anything heavy towards the lower side. Shay wrapped his free arm around a vertical wooden pillar as the chest his shackle was attached to slid heavily to the right side of the boat. He yelped loudly as the chest, full of cannons, weighing at least 60 pounds, dangled from his wrist, pulling at his arm painfully.
Suddenly loud shout filled the air from the deck above,
"los tiburones!" "Tiburones!" "Sharks!" "Sharks in the water!"
Shay let out a small shriek. And began to panic, fearing that he would either drown or be eaten by sharks.
"Help! Someone please help!" He called out but stopped when the most wonderful sound filled his ears. It was a sound, very unique to itself. It was a calm whistle of dolphins and a woman's voice singing a ballet of unknown words. The men's yells from above were silence, leaving the song and ocean as the only sounds. Shay loosened his arm slightly as he began to relax but almost immediately tightened his hold on the pillar, remembering where he was.
"Can someone up there help me?!" He called up to the deck but no one answered.
Shay ducked his head and peeked through a hole in the floorboard. What he saw scared him; several of the crewmen were leaning dreamily on the railing listening to the song, others were actually attempting to jump overboard or walk into the water towards the dark circling shapes in the water.
"Hey! Oi! What are you doing!" He shouted at them but their focus seemed elsewhere. He watched helplessly as them men, absorbed in the melody, dived into the dark waters and didn't come back up.
Suddenly, another crack sounded behind Shay as the side of the boat ripped apart in the storm, tearing Shay's grip from the now destroyed pillar. Tears started to run down the sides of his face, he was now terrified. He couldn't seem to get the shackle off and the boat was sinking. He sobbed slightly as he crawled the few feet the shackle allowed him, over to a port hole on the side of s hip that looked into the water now that it was slightly submerged. He looked out into the deeps waters seeing no sort of life when suddenly a bright silver thing flashed by. He jumped back slightly shocked and looked again but saw nothing. Last time he checked, sharks were said to be gray, not shining silver.
By now what was remaining of the deck was completely vertical and was sinking into the ocean, Shay along with it. All this because he didn't want study abroad in another country. Shay wiped his face closed his eyes praying silently when another wave washed over the side, flipping the ship entirely and flooding it with sea water. The floor he was on was one floor below the deck so it filled with water right away. It was shockingly cold and paralyzed him, forcing the air from his lips. The chest began to drag him rapidly, deeper and deeper into the freezing ocean water. His eyes opened wide trying to make something of the blurry silver shapes crowding the ship in front of him. The shapes seemed to double under the water as they swarmed like minnows around fish food. The pressure began to squeeze the air from Shay's lungs while he sunk limply down into the darkness, hundreds of feet below. His eyes were half closed and the last of the bubbles escaped from between his lips as the horrifying scene moved farther and farther away from him. He gave up and sucked in a lungful of water and began to feel himself retch and gasp for something that wasn't there. He closed his eyes, letting his consciousness slip away, but that's when something grazed his arm. He peered out from his half closed eyelids as the weight around his wrist abruptly disappeared and he stopped sinking, and floating without rising or sinking under the water. The last thing he thought he saw surprised him and made him chuckle before he slipped away; Fish people?
"Not so tight, you'll suffocate him." A calm voice said close by.
Shay curled his fingers slightly as the pins and needles of returning blood filled his limp limbs.
"He's waking up." A different voice said from behind his head.
Shay opened his eyes slowly against the dim cabin light. Three faces stood above him, presumably the doctor, first mate, and the captain.
"Ah, yes boy, Your name?" the captain asked.
Shay opened his mouth and sucked in air to say his name but sat up retching out the remaining sea water from his lungs. "Shay Atticus -cough- Bradchett." He gasped between coughs and gasps.
"Ah the Duke's boy. You know many people are wondering where you are." The Captain remarked.
"Yeah I figured." Shay said closing his eyes.
"Don't worry we'll be back to the Scotland Yard by nightfall, you'll be home by tomorrow." The captain stated.
"Alright. Thank you." Shay said, turning on his side to sleep.