The first thing he was aware of was the heat of the sun on his haggard old face, and the sound of the sea once again at peace. He could hear gulls calling overheard, and he was aware that he was bobbing up and down. All the events of the day came back to him and he sat up abruptly. He began coughing up salty sea water and almost tumbled off the broken chunk of his precious vessel that he was lying on as if it was a bed.
Looking around him, all that met his eyes was destruction. Pieces of The Swordfish were strewn all around him, like the bones of a rotting giant and as far as the eye could see there was no life except for him and the gulls quickly flying away from him into the distance. He glanced down, and he just so happened to have washed up on the piece of the vessel from the side that had The Swordfish ornately carved into it. He ran his fingers over it tenderly and silently thanked the boat for its service, and for saving him one last time.
He was desperately thirsty, and his face was sunburnt from lying out in the open in the beating heat of the sun for who knows how long. He lay back down on the broken but sturdy fragment of his boat and closed his eyes. This was it, he was stranded in the middle of the unknown ocean, with nothing but the remains of his boat and crew for company, and once again he was the only one left.
He closed his eyes and let himself drift across the sea, and again to sleep. As he did he tried to remember what had happened after he was hit by the mermaid, but it was all a blank. Did he crawl onto this make shift life raft, or did he wash up on it by chance? Either way he was extremely lucky.
As he drifted, he dreamed of his family, of his past, and of the end. Eventually he was woken by a peculiar sound, it sounded like a baby crying far into the distance, but the crying had a booming sound to it, as if the baby was absolutely giant. He sat up bolt upright, looking terrified, and spied the source in the distance. Once again he saw that giant beast off into the distance, seeming to sit on the horizon and bend it with its sheer weight.
The Captain smiled with merciless determination. He wasn’t going to die from hunger or thirst; he was going to die in battle. He could try and climb onto this creature and do his best to gouge its eyes out with his hook. He had no illusions that he could ever hurt it or even get anywhere near it, but he was going to die trying his best to kill that which destroyed his beloved boat and slaughtered his crew. Beginning to paddle with his one arm and one leg, he began to slowly make his way towards the creature, with thirst and hunger wracking his body, and the heat from the sun making his head swim.
Sharks began to circle around him, and he ignored them. He also attributed the fact that they seemed to be giant clockwork toy sharks to a hallucination, but he secretly knew they were probably real. This ocean held many bizarre wonders and secrets. He bet that even if he did make it out of this mess alive and well, people would never believe the tales he had to tell, but that was okay, they never did before anyway.
The infant was getting closer, but very, very slowly. He ignored all around him and just fixed his eyes on it, he didn’t even notice the sun begin to set and the sky become streaked a brilliant blazing orange as night prepared to waltz in and steal the light. His old bones were aching deeply and his joints felt so stiff that he would have swore all his limbs had been replaced with wooden replicas, but he kept going, completely and utterly determined. His face was caked with dried salt and his lips and tongue were cracked and bleeding from the heat, the thirst, and the hard work, but he kept going. He was all out of rum, but he kept going.
It was almost completely dark now; the sky dyed a deep, dark blue, and the sea a deeper, darker blue still. He could barely make out the shape of the infant looming above him, but it had fallen completely silent. He could almost imagine it was waiting for him to come to it, so it could pick him up and crush him as if he were a mere fly. Stopping his pathetic flailing paddle, he listened closely for any sign of life. He suddenly heard a low snoring sound that made his teeth shake and the water around him bubble and vibrate. The great beast was slumbering!
“Yer number is up, you foul and disgusting creature!” He mumbled under his breath. Again, The Captain really didn’t like babies. He began paddling towards it again, as silently as possibly, though if he screamed at the top of his lungs the creature probably wouldn’t be able to hear him from all the way up there. He didn’t realise that he was scraping his hook back and forward across the wood in desperate anticipation, it making an eerie sound like nails on a chalkboard.
The beast was so close now he could smell it, a bizarre mix of sewage and sweet soap, and it was just over a ships length away. Its navel loomed before him like a gigantic and deep, dark cave, and he realised distantly that this thing is so massive that the deep ocean depths only go up to its waist. Suddenly, despite the growing darkness, a shadow fell over him, and over the beast. It fell over the entire ocean and despite the darkness; he could still just about see what he was looking at with his dark accustomed eyes.
Another creature loomed above and behind the giant infant. The infant, who had eyes the size of and deep blue of lakes, who had hands the size of islands and a belly button like a bottomless ocean trench, looked tiny compared to this new threat. Hell, compared to this new threat it actually looked like a baby. The Captain felt himself shaking in wonder, but not in fear. He began to wonder if there was anything that could actually scare him.
In the dark shadows he imagined a terrible creature, a giant demon with horns, fiery red eyes and teeth like giant jagged mountains. He imagined a horrible slimy creature, a writhing mass of tentacles that would drive men mad if they looked it in the eye. He imagined of all of this but still he did not look away. He would stare death in the face; he had not come so far and survived so much to die a coward, to die a quivering wreck.
The giant creature plucked the infant from the water as if it weighed nothing, and The Captain had horrible visions of it tearing it limb from limb and eating it. He couldn’t see because of the shadows, but he heard no sounds and it simply lifted it somewhere into the darkness, out of sight. His raft rocked and shook from the waves made as the water flowed in to fill where the infant once was, like blood filling a wound, but it didn’t capsize and he held on tight to avoid falling off.
A black outline of a clawed hand came reaching back down towards the ocean, towards him, and he felt his heart jump into his throat, as if it was planning to abandon ship and swim away from him after all these years. He thought the hand was coming for him, and he imagined those long talons cutting him to ribbons, or the giant fingers grasping and squeezing him until his eyes pops out, but the hand ignored him and travelled deep down into the water in front of him.
It seemed to grasp something, and then pull on it, and The Captain felt the ocean around him tremble as he heard an ear splitting pop, and then a massive, disgusting, sucking roar. To his horror, right in front of him a massive whirlpool began to open up, and he pulled into it. The whirlpool grew and grew until it basically covered the whole ocean, and The Captain realised with disbelief and awe that the entire sea and all that lived in it was being sucked into this whirlpool. As whirled around and around, holding on for dear life, he saw the hand lifting what looked like a giant, colossal anchor, or plug, from the depths and lifting it into the air.
As he watched it slowly climb as he spun around and around and felt his stomach heave and churn like the whirlpool itself, he caught a glimpse of the creatures face, as it loomed above him. It was so huge that he couldn’t even see its entire body, and the rest of it seemed to rest far over the horizon, as if it was reaching across the entire length of the earth to destroy him. It had the face of a woman, of a beautiful woman. A beautiful loving woman.
He suddenly had the notion that she couldn’t even see him, and that he was nothing but a speck of dust or tiny plankton to her. He was also struck with the certainty that this was the infant’s mother, and if this was the mother he hoped with all his soul that the father had walked out on them and stormed across the earth, maybe even the stars themselves, to find another beautiful young giant monstrous woman, but this one without a colossal infant child.
As The Captain stared into the black depths of the hole that the entire world seemed to be getting sucked into, he laughed loudly and screamed at the top of his lungs, “Good riddance to this ridiculous world, I’ll see you in hell, me loyal Swordfish crew!”
Millions of fish, giant whales, vicious sharks, monstrous giant squids, and terrible creatures no man had ever laid eyes on were sucked into that black gaping maw and lost forever. The Captain followed, laughing all the way…
“And that, Captain William Sark, is how you will die.” The fishman muttered.