The sea was still. The only sound to be heard was the lapping of the gentle waves against the sides of our ship, gently rocking us back and forth. It caused all the men aboard to go quiet. Just a few seconds ago we’d been in a violent storm yet now this calm had come to rest on the waves. The seas may have calmed, but the violent storm had only moved from the waves to now wage on in our own hearts. We should’ve been relieved, but there was something about this silence. It was an eerie calm.
That was when we heard the cries. The dried out voices of desperate men. Our captain called back as loud as his voice allowed him only to be returned with silence. Our captain started barking orders at us, demanding we get closer to these poor souls should they need our help. So we did. We rushed to our positions and started in the direction of the voices. It seemed the closer we got, the more the sickening feeling grew in our stomachs, but we trusted our captain and kept at our work until at last we heard loud cries of help. There we saw him–if what we saw could be described as a ‘him’. The figure we saw was inhuman. His flesh hung from his bones and, like the rest of his ship and crew, he glowed with an unearthly red as though he had climbed his way out of hell.
We had all heard rumours of the Dutchman (for that was no doubt what was before us), but had never come across her ourselves. We all knew the legend of the Dutchman–her captain had vowed to round the Cape of Good Hope regardless of the cost. As the story goes, he was cursed by the devil to wander the waters for all eternity. Some said it only was by the love of a woman that he would be saved, while others claimed that this was a falsehood.
It didn’t matter what men said about her–the truth was far more terrifying. The Dutchman’s captain wore no hat as there was no hair or flesh for it to rest on. His crew moaned tearful oaths begging, pleading, for us to send their messages to those both dead and alive. The captain uttered no sound, but stood quiet and resilient. He stared into the eyes of our captain–finding the measure of this man who bore flesh when he could not. In contrast to the painful, desperate cries of his crew, we all stood still and silent as the waves beneath us.
The ghost captain continued to size up our captain, not a word from either man. We stared at his crew too shocked to look away, lest we never see these apparitions again. Then it happened. Right in front of our eyes they were gone! The ship, the crew, the cries–all gone, as though it was nothing but a dream. All of them returned to the Locker from whence they had come. No one would believe that right before us stood the crew of the Flying Dutchman! Though she was always seen from afar by a lucky few, our crew had been the first to see her captain face to face. It didn’t matter what other men thought of our stories, we would always know that we had been the first to see the crew of the Flying Dutchman and to gaze into the eyes of her terrible captain.
I hope you enjoyed this little piece I wrote. I’ve had it on my heart to write something about the Dutchman and then thought it would be fun to do it from a narrative point of view. Please let me know if you liked it and if you want me to do more myths and legends in this format.
God bless you, all my dear avidReaders 🙂