Three Drinks into a Bottle of Rum

1 August, 1719 (I do believe)

The good Doctor Farquharson and I were three drinks into a fresh bottle of Jamaican Rum when we heard the first whispers from the other side.  I had put the final touches on the Capt'n's charts.  He had beckoned me to set a stealthy course to winter quarters in the far southern islands.  Doc Stirling had just finished lancing a boil off of Tubby's substantial arse and was in much need of drowning that remembrance from his mind. 

The Doctor was the first to hear the low, soft murmuring, like the sound of satin rubbing against satin.  At first hearing, we both cast it aside as possibly sail slowly ripping in the rising night wind coming at us from starboard.  But it persisted.   The whispers would hide from our hearing then return with the next rolling of the ship.  We proceeded to hurry on to our fourth drink, in the thought that fully drunk was a less frightful place to be than being half-drunk.

But in the end, it fell to me to first make out the voice.  Clear as the sound of seagulls mocking the crew, so was the sound of this voice, coming to us through the timbers of our quarters.

"Prepare to meet thy doom."

"Prepare to meet thy doom."

I verified my madness with the Doctor and his wide-eyed stare confirm my fears.  They be ghosts on board, lurking in the sinews of the cursed vessel.  "It's Preacher Roe sent back from the dead to warn us of our doom."  These were my words and they proved to be the thoughts of my drinking mate.

"Prepare to meet thy doom."  Again and again, the words came upon us on as the cold comes upon the blood of a dying man.

"Prepare to meet thy doom."

If it were not for the peace of a rum-soaked slumber, the fright would have been too much for us.  But with the first bells of daylight, all that remained was our good laughing at the effects of rum and each our secret worries that all was not well, not well at all.

Oliver Dickens, scribe and navigator


The End

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