I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one our ancestors were told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me. Ella, my co-sailor on the other hand was gripped with so much fear, curled up in the cabin of the ship. According to her; "waiting for death to do it's will."
Part of me wanted to give in like Ella. Perhaps we were doomed, perhaps there was no escaping the curse. Every time there was a chance of victory, the sea deals us with obstacles. First there was the flesh eaters, the unending storm, the fierce sharks. But then, giving up goes against everything I stand for. Mother would always say; "Even o
n your last breath, never give up. Giving up is for the dead. Provided there is life, there is hope. If there is hope and will, then there is surely a chance of success." These were times when I wished mother was here, she would definitely have a way out of this. She Is the one person I know who had the solution to all problems. I couldn't make mother magically appear therefore I had to make do with the person present. I stormed down to the cabin to go get her. On hearing the door creak open, she started chanting.
"Oh! Death, have you finally come for me. You are the inevitable end point. No matter how fast a person runs, he can never outrun your grip. Take me oh! Death. Take me from my misery, quench this fear which burns within me. Take me..."
I stood at the entrance for a while listening to her, then I cut in.
"Death will surely take you, but not today Ella, not on my watch. I need you back on your feet."
"Peter, why do you even bother. Hasn't it dawn on you that there's no escaping our curse. Nobody has made it out of the black sea, ever."
"So what, we lay here for how long waiting for death to come. That is torment Ella."
"What torment is greater than pushing a door which you know you can never open."
"It might just open if we push harder."
"Peter, the earlier we accept our fate the better. We both knew our action will lead to this curse, yet we went along with it. We brought this on ourselves."
"That's no excuse to accept defeat."
"Look around you peter, there's no escaping this. If we sail to the west, we will face those sharks again. Sail to the east and we will get stuck in the storm. Sail backwards and we will encounter the flesh eaters. Sailing forward only takes us deeper into the black sea, who knows what torment lies ahead."
"What if we sail through. Think about it, if the black sea is as cursed as we were told, why send obstacles. Why are they so afraid of us sailing through these points."
"I see what you are doing. You are telling yourself a different story. That can't change the reality."
"What if my story is the reality. Ella, I say we pick one of the less challenging obstacles and try sailing through it with all we have left. If I'm to die on the black sea, I want to die fighting."
It took all the convincing power in me to get Ella to agree to my suicide plan. We had to choose between fighting the flesh eaters, these were people who have been lost in the black sea for ages, they feed on newly accursed like us. They move with the speed of light, and their first bite is a killer bite on your neck. They were thousands of them lurking in the south. Or we could head straight into the storm in the east, honestly it is more of a tornado. Or we could battle it out with the sharks. Considering the fact that we had no weapon on our ship, we stood no chance against the flesh eaters and the sharks, we decided to try our luck sailing through the storm.
"Keep pushing goddammit!"
" Peter, I can't hold on much longer."
"If we lose this main mast, we will lose the ship to the storm. Hold on a little longer, let me knot the bottom."
I was still at it when the storm tilted the ship, pushing us and everything to the left side of the ship.
"We are sinking Peter. We are going down! Dear Lord, accept my humble spirit."
"Not yet Ella! Not yet. Hurry grab as many box as you can and throw them overboard, we have to balance the weight on both sides."
Drenched with water, bleeding from some parts of my head, I ran from one end of the ship to another throwing things overboard. We were at the heart of the storm, I knew it would all be over soon. Ella who was probably in shock sat at a corner shivering. I tried to make my way to her, when a heavy lightening struck, sending the main mast crumbling to the deck. With that, our ship capsized throwing us into the dark sea. I felt water feeling my nostrils, my eyes were covered with darkness. I felt my body falling deeper and deeper. Then I heard my mother's voice repeatedly in my head. "Even in your last breath, never give up." Slowly, I fought my way back up.
I held onto a floating Plank screaming at top of my voice trying to locate Ella. The sea was deep, and the waves made it terribly difficult to swim through. I clenched tight to the plank, hoping that Ella would find something to hold on to. In the midst of everything happening, I remembered that Ella never took her swimming lessons serious.
With our ship capsized and destroyed, the storm subsided. I can't say for sure how many hours or days I floated on the plank. I know I passed out and the next time I woke up, I was on a shore, surrounded by people who were looking at me with disgust.
"He has the stench of the black sea."
"He must be an accursed."
"We should push him back in!"
"He will only bring bad luck to our lands."
Then a stern male voice came from a distance.
"Let him be, that man has been through enough hell for two lifetime."
It was sad that Ella wasn't here to see that one could actually make it out of the black sea. Henceforth, I was known as Peter the accursed and no one ever interacted with me for fear of inheriting the curse.
doubleworld To The Multiverse🌀🌀