Based off a dream I once had, "The Crew of the 'Darkness Rising'" is about a girl, who, without knowing who she is or what she's doing here, is thrust into a world where she has to rely on a captain of a ship who just happens to be... a rat?
I sat upon an orb of yellow-white light with antennae on its "head," between which my legs sat crossed, my hands daintily situated on my lap. The sky above me was entirely pitch black, like a blanket, blotting out all the stars and the moons. The scene below me wasn't much different, but the rounded world gave way to infinite waves. On top of the tides, a magnificent vessel with her sails entirely unfurled, at the ready to go anywhere the wind took her. Its masthead took the shape of a siren, hair billowing in the wind.
The captain climbed up to the crows’ nest, where he waved at me, and I waved back at him and his crew. I noticed, even from this distance, that he wasn’t human -- his face was furry and like that of a rat’s. I think they call that a ratskin. He was wearing a long blue coat with gold buttons and fastens. The rest of his crew wasn’t much better: not a single one was the same race. There was orcs and different types of elves, different bestials, other humanoids. There were about twenty members to the crew.
A short amount of time later, I faltered in my waving because I noticed some sort of anti-light emitting from the cabin in their own, smaller orbs, about the size of a basketball each. At about this point, a small creature came from my shadow with the body of a meerkat and the tail of a squirrel. It said, “That is evil, my friend,” as if I didn’t already know.
I frowned, and turned to the meerkat-squirrel. “Of course it is. I recognize evil when I see it.” The anti-light had all formed up into a larger orb of it, almost double the size of my orb of light.
We went on bickering like this for a good while, until the meerkat pointed out, “Now look what you’ve done. Now it has teeth!”
Sure enough, when I looked up to see the larger ball of anti-light, it had grown fangs that curved into a smile that made my heart leap up into my throat. Each tooth was a sabre easily the length of one of my arms, all interlocked in countless rows like a shark’s jaws. I could feel my light-orb tremble and shake, and when I looked down at it, its antennae formed into antlers or horns longer than the anti-light’s teeth.
Without my saying anything, or even knowing what to think, my light-orb charged at the anti-light, and the pair of them began to fight with my meerkat and myself in tow. And, after couple moments of fighting, the anti-light opened its gaping maw and devoured us whole.