Arms trembling from exertion, plus lips that trembled from the cold, Sara figured she must have looked quite a sorry sight. She was unable to hoist herself up farther anyway, so she entangled her arms in the ladder to keep her from plunging back into the water below, and rested. A few weak flashlight beams held by crewmen above her cut into the darkness and illuminated her dangling body as she thumped her forehead against the thick metal hull of this floating monstrosity to which she was precariously attached in frustration, "Oh crap."
Her head swirled with loathsome images of the crew's intent for her: some of them torturous, some of them sexual, all of them violent. She had always been secretly proud of her vivid imagination growing up, but as she twisted in that rope ladder in the black, chill air she began to curse it. She remembered the terror in the mermaid's eyes when she looked upon the approaching ship and suddenly Sara understood. The other girl had known something bad was coming. Oh, how Sara wished she had braved the waters and swam away with her new friend.
Instead she hung there limply, awaiting with dread what lay before her once she made it on board the enormous sea craft . She estimated that she must quite resemble a bit of seaweed that had gotten ensnared in a fisherman's line as he reeled in, but found it difficult to shake free the annoying hanger-on.
Whatever. She suddenly found herself in no hurry to board this vessel. She even looked longingly at the black liquid below her and gauged the effects to her already battered body should she attempt such a foolhardy plummet back into the sea. But the shivering reached deep into her bones and she curled into a fetal position in the waning hope to conserve her body heat, while hanging from a rope ladder some twenty feet up in the air. Her breath came out in little puffs of frozen mist which curled around her blue lips before disappearing into the night.
With little choice, Sara looked up toward the flashlight beams that crisscrossed her face as the crewmen struggled to keep her lit and quietly plead to them with tearful eyes, "Please don't hurt me."