Off the Record (Narrative). 24 August 2012

Dear readers,

As I relax over a glass of French Brandy, I figure I’d bring you something different for a change. I will brush off my narrative cap and write you a short story. I hope this will make things interesting, and I certainly hope that you will enjoy this. So without further delay, “Frozen”. I will apologize in advance, as I have not written in this fashion for over two years now, and my skills might appear rusty. At any rate, this is my first attempt in a couple of years to create something fictional. Enjoy.

The wind was cold, it surrounded me like the blanket I once had as a child. Except, there was once exception, this blanket did not offer the comfort I had hoped it would, nor did it assure me that, everything was alright. No…..this blanket kept me in discomfort, as I tried to wiggle my fingers, and move my head to the left. It wasn’t moving, both of them weren’t moving. I, wasn’t moving. It’s so cold, damnit, so cold.

Am I seeing things? Is that? No, it can’t be! He died! He died a few hours ago! Is this some sort of, joke? Some sick manifestation sent to me because of my sins in life? No, it can’t be. He’s dead, he died a few hours ago I saw it! I held his lifeless hands, of which when they fell to the floor, a letter was left in mine. Damn, these death letters, this just makes my job that much harder. Good lord, why. Why me…..

Section 1: Bravado

I had arrived in this, port city weeks ago. So far, I am liking what I am seeing. The Governor had, done a good job in regards to developing the naval base and the adjacent town. All the amenities of home were present, or so it would seem. I think, the only thing missing here is, a gentlemen’s club. Yes, a gentlemen’s club.  A place for an officer such as myself to, spend his evening as so I desire. Sadly, the Governor’s wife is a puritan witch, and thus we cannot have what we desire. Pity, I would have liked to remain on this colony, but I guess vacationing will have to wait. I continued down the alley of this town and passed some rather, unsavory figures along the way. It was interesting, not long ago, they were my soldiers. It was only a few hours ago that these, fine young lads, were in rank and formation, taking every order I bellowed out. Now, they were out in town, whoring, drinking, and gambling. At least, they were not committing theft or, killing innocents with their spare time. No, these men were simply indulging in the finer things life had to offer. I shouldn’t criticise, after all it was I, who suggested that we should have a gentlemen’s club in this colony.

I continued down the alley, nodding at these, partially sober fellows and occasionally dodging the aggressive one who probably harboured some hatred towards me. However due to my rank, they could not settle this in a brawl, unlike their fellow soldiers. In a way, I was thankful for this, as they would probably draw brass knuckles on me the moment I detach my dagger from my fine leather belt. Then again, I’d probably conceal a fire arm, just to be safe. There are plenty of soldiers in this army, but only a handful of fine officers such as myself to lead them. I, am more valuable than these monkeys who are no more useful than a dock labourer.

It was passed midnight when I finally returned to the fortress, and by now my, hands were slightly cold and….strange, my hands are cold. And yet, this colony is positioned in a warmer part of the planet. Strange, very strange. Regardless, it was passed midnight, and I had returned to the fortress to bed down for the night, having finished my little adventure into town to see what the boys were up to, of which I am thankful I did not partake in such pleasures. It was uncivilized to do so, and I would tarnish my rather finely crafted reputation. I proceeded to my quarters in the upper level of the fortress. When I reached for the key in my coat pocket, a familiar sense of comfort washed over me. I pressed the key into the socket and turned, that familiar ‘click’, was there to greet me as always. I pushed the door open and proceeded inside, throwing down the key onto the small wooden table to my left and kicking the door close. I sank into my chair beside the table, and picked up the cigar I had left half-smoked on the table. I lit the cigar and drew in the smoke, held it for a few seconds, and released it into the air, slowly. The fort’s commander dislikes my habit, but fortunately for me, I out rank him, and thus I can do whatever I like and he is powerless to stop me.

I kept on seeing weapons all over the room, simple, pens and spoons, I suddenly could devise a technique to utilize them in a lethal manner. Perhaps it is just me, perhaps, it is because I spent so long out in the field that I had forgotten what peace was. Perhaps, to someone else, it was a set of pens, and a spoon. I drew in another puff from my cigar and placed the item down. Slowly exhaling, I stood up and paced over to my bed. Falling onto the rather course mattress, the rest of the smoke left my mouth and I eventually dosed off. This may seem simple yet, the dream I proceeded to have, was the same. Some cold environment, ghosts from the past, and a, immobile me, trapped by frostbite and lady winter’s chains. It was strange, and yet somehow, I felt that a similar event, was soon to occur.

Morning came sooner than expected, and I was roused from my bed at the ungodly hour of five in the morning. The fortress commander had decided to, take the soldiers out for a stroll, well, a stroll is putting it lightly. He ran the poor souls like racing dogs, day in and day out. Though the results were undeniable, fit, strong, and healthy soldiers in the service of the king. I only wish I had such determination, at present, the only determination I have, is to indulge in the buffet assembled for us officers. I suppose it is appropriate, we are more valuable than these peasants who attempt to replicate our actions.

It wasn’t long before word reached my ears of a pirate raid on a small settlement on the other side of the island, and I was dragged away from my eggs Benedict, toast, and coffee. Shame there are no officers on this colony who are competent enough to deal with them. So, once again, it falls to me, to deal with these, freaks of nature and to bring the king’s justice to them, by any means necessary. Hah, any means, even if it means killing them with cannon and cutlass.

The ship’s crew appeared to be discontent with the morning’s activities. I don’t blame them, I too am discontent but unfortunately, I am an officer and must show restraint when it comes to emotions.  So we set sail on our frigate, towards the other side of the island. It wasn’t long before the pirates knew we were onto them and begun to send some of their friends to greet us. We dispatched them with little effort, and those who surrendered, well, let’s just say they received an early access to the place we call heaven. I digress, we continued along the island’s eastern shore until we reached the isolated settlement on the other side. Sadly, I knew not of what was to come in the next few hours.

Section 2: Suicide Kings

We had engaged the pirates. The men fought valiantly, some valiant enough to collect a medal from his majesty. We continued fighting for another six hours when, out of nowhere, a fog bank rolled in. The men and I dismissed it as some minor environmental event until, suddenly, the masts began to freeze. The cloth sails suddenly, froze right where they flew in the gentle morning breeze. There was a crack, and all of a sudden, the pirate’s ship sank into the depths, broken in half by some mysterious force below the waters. Was it a stroke of luck? Was it some, twisted demonic , entity that some unknown primitive sent to aid us? Or was that animal sent to sink us, and instead sank the wrong vessel? I couldn’t tell, but what I could tell, was the fear written on the men’s faces. My first mate, usually a firm and strong fellow, was suddenly cold and nervous. I couldn’t tell what had happened initially, but then I realised, my crew was freezing up into statues. Not stone, but ice. Some ghost-like entity had swept down upon us from the heavens and had begun to work its’ magic on my men.

A few hours had passed, and by now, the crew had taken shelter below decks in hopes of warming up. Poor souls, if only they were better educated, they would know that going below decks will not save them entirely. I remained at my post in hopes of navigating out of this, mist, but to no avail. My helmsmen by now had frozen to death and I was left without anyone to steer the ship. So I took it upon myself to do the job, it wasn’t hard. We all had to do our time at the helm of the ship once in our careers. I was frightened, for once, I was genuinely frightened.  We had set forth to engage some pirates, instead, we were sucked into some magical element of which after a brief period, had begun to consume my men as well.

Suddenly, a figure appeared on the deck of the ship. It was wearing some black cloak, something, not seen in these waters for nearly six hundred years. As it raised its’ head, a lifeless face appeared. The half-rotted muscle and flesh jerked as the figure tried to smile at me, with the rest of it’s face nothing but bone. I froze, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t cry out for help.  My first mate tried to raise the alarm, but he too was frozen where he stood. Somehow, this creature, had a hold of us both. I tried to cry out for help, but my throat was blocked by something.

A hiss came from the, thing, as I like to term it. Lord knows what it was, but I knew I had to stop it from consuming the rest of the crew. I tried to reach for my blade, but my hand would not move. The creature, slanted its’ head and, with a flick of its’ hand, summoned my crew to the upper decks. The men, their faces now pale and drained of all blood, obeyed. It was as though, the moment they went below decks, they became slaves to this creature. It pointed towards us, and the crew slowly marched its’ way up the deck and towards where I stood helpless with my first mate. Suddenly, I was free, and without hesitation I drew my blade. Too late, they had already reached my first mate, and the screams that came from his mouth, echoed into my ears. I lunged forward with my cutlass, piercing one of my former crewmen in the stomach. To my surprise, he simply looked at me, and grabbed hold of the collar of my coat. Pulling me closer, he smiled, and revealed the most revolting sight of maggots and rot I have ever seen in my years with the fleet.

I kicked at the man, and was able to free myself. Sadly though, he had my blade, lodged in his stomach. I was weaponless, I had forgotten to bring my pistols, and even my spare dagger, I had left on the table back in the fortress. The sky was a dark grey with white mist rolling between the cracks, and the water was steaming, even though the ship itself was now encased in ice.

I bolted into the captain’s quarters, and pushed the frozen doors shut, locking them and bracing them as best I could. I then began to search for, some kind of weapon to defend myself, and after finding a small knife, sank to the floor at the very back of the room.

The wind was cold, it surrounded me like the blanket I once had as a child. Except, there was once exception, this blanket did not offer the comfort I had hoped it would, nor did it assure me that, everything was alright. No…..this blanket kept me in discomfort, as I tried to wiggle my fingers, and move my head to the left. It wasn’t moving, both of them weren’t moving. I wasn’t moving. It’s so cold, damnit, so cold.

Am I seeing things? Is that? No, it can’t be! He died! He died a few hours ago! Is this some sort of, joke? Some sick manifestation sent to me because of my sins in life? No, it can’t be. He’s dead, he died a few hours ago I saw it! I held his lifeless hands, of which when they fell to the floor, a letter was left in mine. Damn, these death letters, this just makes my job that much harder. Good lord, why. Why me…..

I suddenly realised that I had been sitting there for hours, and there was no sign of the cursed crew members. I was hullucinating as the fellow of whom I had collected the death letter from, had died years ago. I was simply thinking of that fateful moment when the world froze and I was left to die in that god forsaken ice cave.  I looked at my hands, they were black. They had, lost all signs of life and were now simply hanging there, clenching that knife I had collected earlier. Suddenly, footsteps appeared in front of me. I looked up, and saw that creature again. This time I could see it’s eyes. The blue spheres peered at me as I starred at it before looking back down to my hands. I noticed a dripping motion to the right and when I peered towards that direction, I saw the decapitated head of the first mate. His expression was of fear, and I suddenly realized……what was going to happen next……

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About thoughtsandtopics

Creating articles related to the games industry and military news.

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