Land Ho!

I had no spare time the next day. A vicious wind had sprung up, and nearly every crew member was up on the masts trying to tighten the sails as they taughtened in the near gale. My thin arms clung to the rigging, and the wind wipped my hair out of its braid, lashing me across the face.

A man stood upon the mast, a retractable telescope in his hand, staring out over the water with fierce determination. He was lashed to the mast to keep him from falling. Ages past, the crew growing tired as salt spray coated them, and the wind made them struggle to keep their balance thirty feet or higher above the deck.

And then, as the wind grew feircer, a cry went up from the man above.

"Land ho!!!" he cried, voice snatched away by the wind. But it was the words eveyrone had been looking to hear, and a hearty cheer came from all on the ship.

Then a deafening crack split the cry. I lost my footing on the mast, which was beginning to tip dangerously to the side. People were lowering themselves on ropes, crying out for everyone to get to safety. All the men had gotten to deck, but I was hanging by one hand on the rigging, unable to get another grip. Everyone was yelling.

"Marina! Come down!"

"I'm... trying," I yelled back, trying to get back up. My hand slipped on the rope and I barely managed to grab the handhold with my other hand. The mast rocked dangerously, loosening my grip even more. Ten sailors were trying to stabilise it, but it was breaking, cracking like a rotten tree, and the wind was a formidable opponent.

My hand slipped again, and I felt the skin on my hand rip open as the rough fibers cut in. I was hanging thiry feet above the deck. If I fell, there was no way I would survive. I fought harder, and the wind tossed me around like a ragdoll, but my foot caught on the rigging. Yells still came from below, and the creaking of the waving mast got louder, but I hung on, beginning the near impossible climb. I was sure I wouldn't make it in time.

"Come on, you can do it, Marina!" It was Darren, but the cry was echoed all around. my foot slipped again, and for a moment I hung in the air, before latching on to the rigigng. My hands burned as the rope ripped at the already broken skin. I was closer to the deck. but the mast was swaying even more now.

I forced myself on, until, ten feet above the deck, I fell. I felt my ankle twist below me, but a second later, the mast crashed down, splintering and sending wooden spikes in all directions. I couldn't move, and a figure hurled into me, throwing me out of the way of the falling mast. I hit the deck headfirst, and succumbed to darkness that graciously made me immune to the pain.

The End

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