Sword of the Saints: Sinner Chapter Five

In the dark tumbling dungeons of Erebus flooded with the endless tears of dead and dying mortals, even there is light, as bubbling forth, yearning to crest into the amicable shine of day and join the everlasting sky came a man’s final panicked and exhausted exhortations and wild exclamations as he vainly grasped and fussed at the fastenings of his divine armor appointed in whirling stars as he sank further and further into the nether vorago voracious to steal his mortal breath forevermore.  On all sides, the broken and blasted bodies of slaves and sailors drifted aimlessly downwards, strange and blinkless as if the very wax figurines of some monstrous diorama.  Just the broken tip of a sailor’s lance had he, dulled with the long years of use and abuse—now little more than a bludgeon, his sole implement against the sinking steel dragging him ever downwards—slow, slow, proving ever more finally his downfall.  Garbling black imprecations at the outrageous cast of fate muddled in the blackening waters threatening the bloodied burst of his eardrums to undoubtedly attract the predatory gaze of murderous things conceived before the first tread of land, exasperated he tried and tried with every last exasperated essay only to witness the stiffening of his extremities as invisible hands continued to pull him downwards—the abyss increasingly his home.

But like the screaming, howling resuscitation of the struggling dying, heart pumping with every last gasp of berserkergang vigor, he strained just one last time, as the invisible tears drained down his cheeks with his final glimpse of the escaping star stalwart above, an old friend from what seemed a bygone age consumed with the inevitable progress of time and the obliteration of childhood innocence within the unceasing blows of the practice yard.  And then he whispered something only for his fiery ears contemptuous.  His dying hand drifted aimlessly to his hamstring and fixed meaningfully across his own leathern snap, which rapidly gave out and burst under the merest expression of intended force, and so similarly gave way the clasps of his greaves, which sunk with accelerating desire for the far-flung ocean floor.  And so, as if by miracle, the grand part of his panoply gave away, and with a renewed desire to live a long life—if only to escape such a fate—he trailed the final abandoned bubbles of his violent imprecations towards the shadowless noon forever away from the drifting, swaying dance of the horrible drowned.

As his head crested the remunerating waves, with the sound of slaughtered swine gasping the beloved respirations of the gentle air, he couldn’t help but notice—quite impossible—the inferno oven of something nearby crackling and exploding like the collected contents of a thousand overheated furnaces.  Whirling about hither and thither, seeing only dissident refuse of timber and canvas in his waterlogged vision, he suddenly came to rest upon something brilliant and bright, blinding against the sky.  She was alight, the brigantine.

“Nothing could survive that,” he mumbled without evident sadness, as he clasped upon the nearby flotsam straining to see upon the horizon any evidence of friendly land.