• Dzama

One More

Arth was up in the crow’s nest when it all happened. The sea monster ripped the boat apart below him, tentacles squeezing the life out of the crewmembers on deck. The mast swung back and forth as the ship was torn asunder and Arth hung on as best he could. Finally he was thrown off, landing some distance away in the brine.

He paddled through the bloody water that was strewn with debris and body parts. He couldn’t help but notice the giant tentacles grab other sailors and rip them apart. When he got hold of a life saver he clung to it and he tried to paddle away from all the screaming and mayhem.

Eventually, he made it to a small atoll with a single palm tree on it and fell asleep on the sand. When he awoke the sea monster attack seemed like a bad dream. But soon he noticed the beach was littered with flotsam and the remains of sailors that the monster had torn apart. Walking up and down the beach Arth came upon the body of a girl. He recognized her as the one who had waited on them when they played poker every week below deck. He tried mouth-to-mouth resuscitation but nothing happened. Then he carried her body under the one palm tree and lay her in the shade.

After hours of digging with shells, he rolled her into the shallow grave and covered her up. He created a little grave monument for her with some pieces of wood forming a cross and shells spelling out her first name: S-T-A-C-Y. He sat beside the grave and stared out at the sea, the reality of his situation finally sinking in: he was stranded in the middle of the ocean not far from a sea monster’s lair with no food or fresh water.

Over the next few hours he set about making an elaborate pattern under Stacy’s name with shells and pebbles. After hours of artistry, the whole tiny island had become a memorial to Stacy. Arth fell asleep then, dreaming about Stacy serving him whiskeys while he played cards, winning hand after hand. In the dream the captain stood by the door and urged him to go to his post up on the crow’s nest. “One more hand,” Arth kept saying. “One more hand.”

Copyright © 2008. All Rights Reserved.

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