Upon A Sinking Ship

Last Moment of an Admiral

So be it far from me to dwell on matters such as death, to rue the day I cast off the shackles of life and plunge into those icy blue depths. Perhaps it shall be quick, though I doubt that to be so, for the death which I’ve reaped is far more than I could ever sow. In this fit of ash and chaos that surrounds me, I can’t help but feel the plucking urge to run, but before my time is through, I shall order who ever remains, to fire our ships last remaining gun.

It can’t be true, the fight can’t be over yet, for my men still have fighting breath! I remain hopeful they’ll cling to me yet, beyond this ship's dying wreck! But alas, what fate has bestowed upon this broken bow cannot be given back, even if our continued struggle is allowed, death is the only thing that shall be wrought upon this burning deck.

The men, they cry out, losing hope quite fast, turning to me and asking for help, I find no deeds to suit their task. Run to the life boats I try to cry out, run for your life to those boats, no deeds will quench your vengeance!

Running to and fro, from aft to fore, they gather what’s left, hoping soon they will run ashore. I sit and wait, calm and straight, upon my Man-of-war. Wondering how this all came to be, I ponder my last ponders, sitting and thinking, reading my mind. I try to search for reason to abandon, to justify a moral crime. Coming to realize no excuse shall do, I remain stern and confident at my post. Even upon this imminent threat I can’t help but blink an eye, for what should happen if I do, would I perhaps die?

"Abandoning ship!" they call out. "Abandoning ship!" I can’t help but give salute to my men, as they flee from death's grip. I see the enemy, that arch, vile nemesis, turning its guns upon the run of those life boats that have went. What wretched foe would seek to destroy, those who cannot contend, perhaps it’s just me, but maybe not, that can feel their hearts rend.

In a pluming hail of gunfire, my men screech and gasp, their hopes demolished, I see now the enemy’s flag of what they meant. A red banner raised upon their sails, meaning to give us no quarter, but even so, is it not the job of a general, to lead his men away from slaughter? I could’ve done more, impeccably much, to gain their last attention, to give my men, whatever remained, any sort of hope to relieve their tension.

But no more are they, no more they ever will be, the cannons fire, the wood splinters, and it’s the last of them I will ever see.

Now is the time that I shall see, through smoke and twisted fog, the devils that stare back at me, upon this sunken log.

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Upon A Sinking Ship