Chapter 10

Written by: Anna Zhigareva

The Zodiac sped towards the horizon, where the vague outline of a large vessel moved gracefully against a gathering storm. 


Chief Officer Toby twisted around to watch the last rays of sun fade over the waterline. The red skies painted a dramatic background to the heart-wrenching image of the Kalypso disappearing to the depths of the ocean. The rest of the crew sat facing forward, towards the greying skies in the east. The two pirates now peacefully slept as the Zodiac sped its way across the ocean’s expanse.


Within several heartbeats, they reached the African Star. As they navigated through the ensuing fog, the ship’s large frame emerged wholly from the masses of white and Toby issued orders to swiftly board the ship.


Within minutes, the pirates had been laid down to sleep alongside their fellow crew in the mess, and Toby resumed his position beside a much-relieved Wilkins on the captain’s deck. The rest of the crew mingled restlessly on the lower deck, nervously smoking as Wilkins attempted to divert the ship away from the approaching storm that had engulfed the sky.


To the wide eyes of Wilkins and the rest of the crew that had stayed aboard the African Star, Toby had explained with as much certainty as he could muster the happenings that had taken place on Kalypso before it faded out of existence.


Before long, Sal, or Bertram, appeared on the captain’s deck. No white light radiated around him, but his complexion was pale, his eyes a faint blue. Toby knew it was time.


The pirates stood in a circle, shoulder to shoulder, in the centre of the mess. They looked paler than before, fainter, as if within moments they would slip out of this world and into their own. Something told Toby that if they left now, empty-handed, they would not find the happiness aboard the Ebenezer that they had so devoutly searched for in the Atlantic.


Adam handed a small bag of BD 109 to each of the members of the Ebenezer crew, lastly to their captain, Samuel West, who out of all looked the sickliest and palest. His burden had been the heaviest of all, Toby realised with a sinking feeling. His head still churned with the events aboard Kalypso, but he forced himself to stand upright. A Chief Officer had to remain sober-minded no matter what. Wilkins too heaved an exhausted breath but stood straight as the pirates drew closer together in a tight-knit circle.


Just as suddenly as the Kalypso had appeared on the radar of the African Star not three hours ago, these silent, tired pirates faded out of sight. The only movement was a breeze that twirled through the mess and out through the open door to the deck. As it passed by, Toby thought he heard a distant, whispered “thank you”. Then silence. His gaze followed the voice, but it belonged to no one. 


The skies outside had cleared of all signs of the coming storm.


Anna, you pulled the threads of the story to the conclusion so cleverly I could see the pirates fading away. What a perfect ending to a story titled Ghost Ship. Well done and so smoothly, expertly executed!