The sand crunched under a pair of light buckled leather boots as they set foot on Black Mountain island. The sun began to rise, a clean-shaven man picked up his wet tricorne hat and looked towards the rough sea, his beautiful ship had smashed into rocks that were concealed just beneath the surface of the water, a storm had manifested as if it were engineered by the gods and forced his ship into the treacherous terrain.
He was flung into the icy grips of the ocean and carried to the shore by an undercurrent. Smoke began to billow from the wreck, he watched his motley crew scramble to get away from his burning beauty, screams came from within the ship with parts of her raining down due to a massive explosion.
The water turned cherry red with severed limbs floated towards the shore, he watched in dismay while his prized cargo floated off in crates and barrels. He worried more about what was happening to the collection of oddities he had acquired over the years than his crew itself. You see the Captain of the burning beauty named Samsara was in fact a Privateer, but not any Privateer. He started off as an official pirate, licensed by the British state to seize Spanish ships and a portion of their prizes. That was until he came across a supposedly cursed artefact that changed the course he once followed. He was now more a collector of supernatural eccentricities, from superstitiously declared cursed or possessed items to the much darker and sinister kind, those being some of them were alive and even worse some of them were dead, and now they were leaving him one ocean current at a time.
The wooden barrels and crates covered in magical symbols were swept off by the gulf stream while others rolled to shore on the waves. A few crew members washed up on the beach intact with some of the crates and, apart from vomiting and choking from the amount of ingested saltwater, they were fine for the time being. The Captain watched the embers fall from Samsara’s main mast, crumbling and crashing down into the ocean, her piercing red flag disintegrating in the flames enveloping her crow’s nest. “Cap’n Sir,” he turned to a tall young man, “we are all of us cursed, Cap’n Sir,” he warned pursing his chapped lips. The Captain did not answer his neurotic powder-monkey.
He walked towards the other crew member with the youngster following behind. He was relieved to find his Quartermaster alive, they had travelled the seas together for many years collecting peculiarities from many continents. “Cap’n,” his raspy voice quivered slightly, “why are you not aboard Samsara?” he asked with the rest of the crew standing behind him. The Captain became angry, he pushed past his second in command as the Bosun muttered his concerns to another member under his pungent breath. The Captain turned and explained that he was flung off the ship and due to the current ended up on the shore. He continued to tell his crew that if they questioned him again they would all wish they had died aboard Samsara as he drew his cutlass. The Captains tough linen breeches and calico waistcoat were drenched, he looked down at his hands as the saltwater stung his fresh burns, he looked towards what was left of Samsara, he then looked at the barrels floating further away from the island. “She left me as mysteriously as she found me,” he said to himself. The storm seemed to dissipate within a matter of moments before his eyes, he rested his decrepit hat on his head as he remembered meeting Samsara.
The Captain was stranded nine years before on a small island after being robbed on one of his many senseless explorations, he was looking for a cursed mirror that was believed to open a doorway to another world. To his consternation, he was led astray and left on a deserted island to die, his ship the Alexandria Delroy was taken from him, his crew were slaughtered except for his Quartermaster who managed to escape the ship and find the Captain. He lay resting against a Banyan tree with the pale moonlight casting down on their tired bodies, suffering from dehydration and losing the will to live he looked out to the ocean. He was not sure how many days or weeks they had been on the island but his body was shutting down, he looked towards the ocean and begged to be saved from a hellish death, he offered everything from an eternity of service to even giving his soul, to whatever or whomever was listening and interested.
His Quartermaster seemed to be on the brink of death and it would not have been long before he ended up a salty corpse, one that the Captain would have to eat to stay alive. He stared out at the ocean waves, in the moonshine he saw something coming, waves gently crashed as he watched in awe. A haunting three masted ship sailed towards them, her scarlet flag was a beacon of hope for the Captain. She sailed silently, and ethereally. He woke his emaciated Quartermaster to show him what was coming and was euphoric when he acknowledged the ship proving that he was not hallucinating.
The ship came to a gentle halt, waiting for them, the Captain and his Quartermaster dragged themselves into the warm ocean water and used most of their energy to swim towards the mystical ship, her name was carved into the dark oak wood, Samsara. They looked up at the bowsprit carving of a Siren but neither of them had ever seen one of that nature. Her teeth were carved to look like a sea monsters, jagged and interlocking, her arms stretch out from what looked like raven wings. The Jacobs ladder dropped down and they mustered everything they had to climb aboard the ship. Their brine soaked clothes clung to their bodies as they dropped onto the immaculately clean deck. The Captain staggered to his feet and wondered why no one had come to their aid, there was pure silence aboard his mysterious saviour. He began to search the ship, he staggered down some wooden stairs into the Captain’s Quarters.
He grinned examining a purple sapphire that lay upon a piece of silk, an array of weapons lay scattered on some damask to the right of a wooden cabinet. He opened the cabinet to find a pair of linen breeches amongst other items, the clothing he found was flamboyant and expensive and there was a selection to choose from. Jewels, gold escudos and pieces of eight lay scattered within the Quarters, he had stumbled across a treasure cove. He looked at a map that was drawn on papyrus, it showed an island with black mountains and the coordinates to get to it.
He realised he was on a pirate ship but wondered where everyone was, maybe they had met the same fate as his crew. His Quartermaster had explained the odious torture he witnessed their crew endure before he escaped. While he explored the Quarters he wondered if maybe he was saved by the Gods of the sea, after all he did ask for help. He continued his inspection and found a large book with the name Samsara written on the front lying next to a lit candle. He opened the book and flipped through the pages, it was a log book. He noticed the writing was in Portuguese, he had seen the language being written by one of his now deceased crew, he could not make head or tail of it.
What he could understand were the dates and there was something most peculiar, every nine years there was a line drawn through the previous crew and then it started afresh once again. Maybe I’m not reading it correctly he thought before looking at a pair of short leather boots, he closed the ship’s log and he removed his ruined boots of the same style, he then continued to remove his clothing. A long scar ran from the base of his spine around to his left nipple, he parted the hair on his chest admiring the scar in an oversized mirror, a reminder of being victorious in battle and that he was not easily defeated. He dressed in the breeches and slipped on an embroidered calico waistcoat, the boots fit as if they were made for him.
He looked to the wooden floor, three frown lines ruffled on his forehead and his grey eyes focused and singled out a lighter coloured plank. It creaked when he pushed his new boot down on it, the Captain went down on his knees and lifted the plank. His fascination peaked with the discovery of a leather-bound book concealed within the secret compartment. He reached into the hiding place and retrieved the book. He unwrapped the leather strap and admired the jewels encrusted in the eyes of the ravens on the front. He pulled the candle forward from the cluttered desk for more light and sat cross legged on the floor.
The ship rocked fiercely on opening the book, he turned to the first page, his excitement and curiosity began to escalate. The book was a manual, that of a magician or a witch on conjuring and capturing demons, denizens of darkness richly explained that only one’s nightmarish imagination could dream up.
He had heard many tales on his travels which had inspired him to search for the mirror known as Tartarus. A mirror that for now had eluded him but if what he read in this journal was true, it would only be a matter of time before it was his. In that moment, he decided that he would finally venture to the place drawn on the papyrus, but those black mountains would need to wait. He would go in search of what the magician’s journal had documented. He closed the journal and stood up, he lay the book on the satin sheet before he walked up the stairs out of the Captain’s Quarters and called out for his Quartermaster who was nowhere to be found.
Finally finding his way to the galley, he found his Quartermaster sitting at a table where food and drink were laid out, again it was if they were being expected, “who prepared this?” he asked his second in command to which he shrugged his bony shoulders. They ate and drank until they were satisfied but they could not understand that there was no one aboard the ship. With full bellies and slightly intoxicated bodies they decided to retire for the night, they would fathom what their next move was after awaking in the morning. That would be the birth of a new journey that would last for nine years.
“Cap’n Sir,” the Bosun interrupted his reminiscing as the bowsprit began to burn, the siren’s face seemed to smile fragmenting from the fire. “What are we to do about your collection?” he asked frantically wringing the saltwater out of his Monmouth cap. “Maybe this was her plan,” the Captain realised looking at what was left of Samsara “maybe it was not the Gods or the Fates that brought us here but in actual fact the darkness.”
He thought back to after she had found him. A month had passed after Samsara had saved him and his Quartermaster, he was searching for the ship’s log to show him but it was nowhere to be found. What he did stumble across were various maps to numerous locations that were supposed to be harbouring evil entities and infernal items. The Quartermaster warned him not to pursue such a course without a crew and pointed out that it seemed like a madman had constructed the maps. The Captain became obsessed when his imagination ran wild, he thought of the good name he would achieve by being one to capture those things that most people believed were fables and folklore. He would be a savant of the ethereal, a saviour for those believing to be cursed or haunted. He would capture the entities and remove the items, all thanks to the journal he studied fervently.
Over the next few weeks he obsessively learned how to construct the mystical sigils and talismans to draw out and trap the demons the journal detailed. However, he had searched a few locations for such creatures of darkness but what he found instead was nothing more than a few men looking to join his crew. He began to wonder if there was any truth to the journal or if it was nothing more than a fool’s errand.
That was until Samsara steered him and his new-found crew into what would be his first of many skirmishes with evil. He sat reading the journal one night in his quarters and heard a commotion, he made his way to the deck as the lookout shouted that there was land ahead. He looked over the oak carved balustrade, “there should not be an island here Cap’n,” his navigator assured him completely addled. The captain looked at the island, his heart began to beat rapidly, he opened the journal, he scanned through the pages until he found it. “It’s in the journal!” he shouted lifted it up into the air and pointing to a picture of the island.
He commanded they drop anchor making his way back into his cabin, he secretly hoped that he would find something on the island fearing his crew were beginning to lose faith in him. The pages had instructions on what talismans or amulets to use on the island for safe passage, it also showed a route towards a cave. He turned the page to find a drawing of something peering out from behind a large stalagmite in a cavern. The warnings were great within the journal but the treasure was greater, the captain’s eyes sparkled reading about an entity that could direct its master to hidden treasures and lost fortunes. He sat for a couple of hours constructing the magical paraphernalia.
Making his way back to the deck his crew watched with bated breath, waiting for him to make a decision. “To the island,” he commanded, his crew began to cheer. “Cap’n,” his Quartermaster and friend stood before him, “should we not wait until dawn?” he questioned. “No,” he replied, “the beast in question lies dormant in a cavern,” he lied knowing too well what was instore for him and his crew. But he was consumed by cupidity, he could not wait another second.
A few of the crew made their way on one of their ship’s boats towards the ominous island. One of the gunners on board had a strange sense of foreboding in the pit of his stomach when they reached the shore. Large leafy plants rustled as creatures scurried away from the crew’s fiery torches, they made their way deeper into the heart of the jungle terrain and before long the smell of decaying meat drifted through the jungle overgrowth causing alarm among some of the crew members. They stood by a crossroad in the middle of the island, the Captain was trying to work out their next step, his Navigator looked at the instructions and pointed to the left; the Captain nodded and they forged forward, they did not realise hundreds of figures stood in the tall grass, hidden in the shadows they watched the crew. Their tongues were all removed, their eyelids were sliced off so they could always bear witness to what it would do to those coming to its island, for they themselves had tried before and failed to capture the beast or collect any of its treasures.
The Captain and his crew made their way towards a large cave they could see in the distance, cutting through some overgrowth a deckhand discovered a symbol inscribed on a boulder. The Captain noticed the symbol from the journal, it was that of the nameless demon. They continued onward until finally they stood before the cave. Huge wooden torches sat on either side of the entrance, the Quartermaster examined the devilish faces carved into them. The crew began to mumble between each other fearing for their lives. The Captain walked up to the entrance, a revolting smell escaped from within. “It’s now or never,” he said to his crew before entering the cave.
The cave walls shimmered with an opalescent glow from the quartz stone rocks within. They cautiously made their way into the cave, the Captain turned his head hearing something splash in one of the pools of water situated on either side of them. The water rippled while the crew huddled together behind him. As the Captain looked at the perilously sharp stalactite hanging from the cave ceiling he lost his footing and slipped down a moss-covered slope, his torch fell into a puddle of water extinguishing his flame. “Cap’n,” the Quartermaster said cautiously walking down the slope, “I’m fine,” the Captain assured his second in command standing up. Large over grown multi-coloured fungi grew in the second part of the cave, the walls still shimmered from the quartz stone but it now had a smokier appearance, the Captain searched for the next passageway but he could not find one. He took a torch off one of his crew as he searched the walls.
“Be still!” he commanded, none of the crew moved. A woman’s sigh filled the cave followed by their flames almost extinguishing from a sudden gust of wind. “Cap’n Sir,” the Navigator whispered, “it should be impossible for wind to reach us this deep in a cavern,” he explained. The Captain was aware that supernatural powers were at play, “search for the next entrance,” he commanded in haste, the crew anxiously began searching the cave. “Was the demon not supposed to be dormant?” the powder- monkey asked the Quartermaster to which he struck the young man across the face.
“Do not question the Cap’n,” he warned. The crew continued to search every nook and cranny, the Captain opened the journal to see if he had missed anything but he had not. He walked towards one of the deep pools of water and looked into it. “Cap’n, there is no new entrance,” the Quartermaster assured his friend. “Aye there is,” he said pointing to the water. “You can’t honestly suggest,” the Quartermaster was interrupted by the Captains voice echoing in the cave, “Aye!” he answered passing his Quartermaster the journal. “Do not open this journal,” he warned him, “ever!” he warned him again. “You two come with me,” the Captain said pointing towards a deckhand and the powder-monkey.
The Quartermaster was told to stay behind with the navigator and another able seaman. “Cap’n Sir,” the navigator said, “are you sure you don’t want me to come with you?” he offered his services. “If I don’t come back I’m going to need you to get my Quartermaster back to the ship and crew,” he explained. “How long should we wait?” his friend asked to which the Captain grimaced “as long as you can.” He replied before diving into the depths of the pool descending with his two crew members not far behind him.
The water was surprisingly warm, the quartz had more of a green tinge to it beneath the surface but still provided enough light for them to see a passageway ahead. The Captain turned feeling a stir of current behind him, thousands of tiny bubbles enveloped them, the Captain noticed something slithering in the depths with them. The water around the Captain turned a tint of red followed by his arm beginning to sting, he looked down at the blood seeping out of a fresh wound on his forearm. He watched on with dread, lurking within the torrent of bubbles a rotting hand with a black laced sleeve wrapped its bony fingers across his powder-monkey’s face. Blood was seeping from his eyes as the hand dug its broken nails into them, the powder-monkey opened his mouth to scream. The Captain caught a glimpse of the woman, her cheekbones protruded through he waterlogged rotting flesh. The powder- monkey began to drown, the Captain and his deckhand swam through the passageway narrowly escaping the demon.
They both gasped for air reaching the surface, they scrambled to climb out of the water which was now bubbling. The Captain slipped onto the quartz stone floor with his crew member falling on top of him. They could feel the heat coming off the now boiling water. The Captain was helped up by his crew member, they turned to find they were standing in front of a narrow pathway covered in moss. They both looked at the pool in horror, the boiled powder-monkey burst out of the depths landing before them. The deckhand gazed below the pathway, rows of deadly sharp stalagmite lay scattered beneath the trail. “What was that thing Cap’n Sir?” he asked nervously but the Captain did not respond, he searched his pockets to make sure he had the talismans on him. “Steady,” he cautioned his crew member gesturing for him to cross first, the deckhand gave a resigned sigh and tested how slippery the moss was by rubbing his bucket boot against it.
He drew his cutlass and tried to scrape the moss off but realised the pathway was slippery with or without the moss. The Captain’s patience ran thin with the trembling deckhand, “move aside,” he commanded, the relieved man followed his Captain’s instructions. The Captain made his way vigilantly towards the middle of the path, he heard the woman sigh once again, the pathway began to tremor causing him to slip and fall to his knees. His crew member hastily made his way over to his Captain to help him up but with one wrong footing he slipped, he screamed falling over the side, the Captain heard the deckhand’s bones crunch when he connected with the stalagmite and then a deep long haunting moan came from his mouth before everything became silent.
The Captain who was still kneeling on the pathway peered down to see the deckhand had been impaled by the stalagmite. His leg was still twitching and blood was trickling down his beige breeches. The Captain looked up hearing the woman’s sigh fill the chamber. He crawled cautiously over the moss, losing his footing he almost fell to his death more than once. He stood up reaching the end of the pathway. He was now alone, without his journal, he turned and looked back. He contemplated for a while if he should retreat. “No,” he said out loud struggling with his emotions. He looked before him at a narrow passageway that he would have to squeeze through to get to the next chamber of the cave. The Captain began rubbing his hand against his throat, nervous of how constricted the passageway was, he did not like the idea of becoming trapped.
Behind him a ghostly apparition began to manifest, with creaking bones she stretched her rotting arms forward towards the Captain. Pieces of the skin around her mouth flaked off as she screamed at him. He stared into her withered face, she glared intensely at him as a hunter would its prey. He hastily squeezed into the narrow passageway, his body became paralysed in fear that he was too big to fit through, he looked back at the creature shoving her face into the passage, her sunken eyes were oozing a black substance. She ground her brown stained teeth before floating backwards plunging into the pool of water. He caught his breath and pulled himself through the passage, a great relief came over him when he exited the other side.
The sound of water dripping echoed in the quartz chamber, his eyes focused on a boneyard of explorers. He walked between the skeletal remains towards a formation of quartz stone that had elevated acting similar to a staircase, he looked down and noticed that most of the bones had been gnawed or chewed. He looked up towards the top of the quartz stairs and could see a scroll of some kind resting on a pillar.
The woman’s sigh could be heard in the chamber behind him, he ran up towards the scroll but the apparition appeared and dashed in front of him. Her brown hair was pulled tight against her skull and into a neat bun, in contrast to the rest of her dishevelled body. She wailed when the Captain pulled out the talisman of protection, “be gone!” he commanded her, she swung her bony hands at him trying to claw him. He began reading an incantation to bind her but what he did not realise was that it would bind the demon to a body.
She wailed once again before he finished the incantation, an unseen force dragged her to the back of the chamber, she screamed grabbing onto the bones of the ill-fated explorers before vanishing behind a large stalagmite. The Captain thought that he had banished her but in actual fact the demon had just climbed into the original body it was mimicking. The Captain walked up to the scroll, he carefully opened it and his eyes filled with tears, his emotions elated, the scroll showed several islands and one of them had a sketch of the mirror Tartarus. Its carved faces of screaming children sent shivers down his spine, but he had to find it, he had to have it and he would stop at nothing until he did.
The Captain turned hearing the sound of steel scraping against stone. He looked into the chamber but could not see any movement. Again, the sound filled his ears followed by the sound of boots running echoing within the chamber. The Captain drew his cutlass ready to battle but everything became still. He stood for a while before slowly making his way down the quartz stairs, he stood before the bones of the explorers. From the darkness, behind massive spirals of stalagmite a pair of black side-lace boots appeared revealing the woman. Her mould covered, black lace trimmed skirt was full of ash, he watched her open a rotting silk parasol, her mouth crumbled when she smiled at him.
He looked at the purple sapphire that lay on her bony neck while she slowly sashayed towards him. The Captain pulled out his talisman for protection but it did not seem to bother her. She spun the parasol playfully before revealing a large pair of antique scissors concealed in her torn lace corset. She gave a satisfying moan keeping her oozing eyes on the Captain.
He did not know what to do and began backtracking, he pulled out another incantation and then a mantra but nothing seemed to stop her. Her laughter resonated in the chamber and the Captain could hear two voices coming from within her, one of a woman and one of a beast. “Who are you?” he asked, the demonic creature dropped her black parasol into a pool of water, from her corset a red centipede crawled making its way up to her mouth, it burst when she crunched it with her teeth. Her oozing eyes were sunken into her rotting flesh and the smell that arose off her was like nothing he had ever experienced. “Who are you?” he asked again standing halfway up the stairs, she opened her mouth and one of her brown teeth fell to the ground.
If the Captain could find the demon’s name, he would be able to trap it. She opened and closed the shears of the scissors before lifting her lace trimmed skirt to walk up the quartz stone. With every step he walked backwards she walked forwards, the Captain found himself at the top of the formation with nowhere to go. The Captain drew his cutlass and awaited her next move. She wailed distorting her face, revealing a much more terrifying creature. She struck forward with the scissors, the Captain luckily dodging her attack. He drove his cutlass into her chest, she frowned at him before her demonic laugh filled the cavern, she struck the scissors down into his shoulder. He screamed feeling the tip of it scrape against his shoulder bone.
He fell to the ground, bright red blood squirted from his shoulder as he ripped the scissors out. She smiled pulling his cutlass out of her chest and then wailed once more, that is when he noticed the purple sapphire had the symbols of imprisonment etched in gold on the black lace of the choker. The demon had entered her body and was now trapped within the sapphire. The Captain stood up and ran towards her, she lifted his cutlass to attack, he struck the scissors down into her neck trying to cut the lace choker off.
He screamed when she repeatedly bit into his neck, she giggled and spat out a chunk of his fat from the back of his shoulder. He lifted the scissor blindly and just cut… everything became still.
His heavy breathing was the only thing to be heard, he slowly pulled himself away from her mouth and looked into her eyes. It was nothing more than a corpse, he pushed it backwards off the formation and her bones crumbled to dust. He looked to his feet to find the sapphire, he picked it up and noticed it had a smokier effect to it. The Captain put the sapphire in his waistcoat and walked back down the stairs, he picked up a tricorne hat off one of the dead men’s skulls before walking out.
That day was not his day to die.
The Captain remembered how he barely survived that day, he walked towards the breaking waves, he opened his waistcoat and pulled out the journal, it never left his side since that time. Not after the things he had seen, those that roamed in the darkness and even those that roamed in the light. The talisman for safe journey surely is what propelled him out of his burning ship and landed him onto the safety of the shore, the spells within the pages were what kept him safe from the demonic forces that he had entombed and collected. He had etched these very spells and talismans into the wood of his beautiful Samsara, for naught he thought watching her burn. But something was amiss, he could not shake the feeling that he was nothing more than a conduit in a grander scheme, his salvation was in actual fact nothing more than a vessel of darkness that had used him relentlessly.
Demonic screams began to pour out of the ship, a black substance began to seep out of her and stretch towards the shore. He stood back watching the limbs floating in the water being ferociously ripped beneath the surface. “Cap’n,” his Quartermaster called him away from the shoreline. “This washed up,” he said passing his captain the sapphire, the Captain looked at the beautiful clear cut sapphire. “It’s not smoky,” he said grimly.
A familiar wailing sound came from the remains of Samsara, the Captain looked towards the remains of his ship to see the eerie demonic woman standing on the water, parasol in hand. She smiled at him and began walking towards the shore. “Run!” he shouted to his crew, but when he turned towards them he noticed something was wrong. Their eyes were completely black, they sneered and hissed at the Captain. “But the protection spell,” he clamoured, his crew lifted their shirts showing the Captain that the protective talismans he had branded on all of their flesh had been destroyed due to burns they suffered from the explosion.
His crew was possessed by the darkest and vilest entities the world had locked away, and he was to blame for setting them free. He dropped the sapphire and the journal onto the sand, he turned around, the woman grinned resting her cold wet hand against his face. He could smell the rotting flesh permeating off her, she slowly pulled the antique scissors out from her corset. “Who are you?” he whispered asking her one last time. She ground her teeth, her jaw bone tore through her flesh, “Lady Charlotte” the demonic voice answered before striking the Captain in the upper left side of his chest. He dropped into the sand, she opened her parasol walking off into the island. His crew members’ bodies dropped beside him, the demons left their temporary vessels, they sneered and hissed darting off in all directions.
The Captain could feel his life slowly draining, he dragged himself towards one of the barrels on the beach and rested against it. “Let me out,” a young boy’s voice whispered from the barrel. “Let me save you,” it begged. The Captain was no fool and he would rather die than allow one of those foul beasts to possess his body.
He heard a large splash in the ocean, “how?” he said in disbelief as he watched Samsara begin to rebuild herself. In that moment, he realised that he had been fooled from the beginning, he was nothing more than her latest pawn. The ship regenerated before his eyes while the demon in the barrel begged again. “Samsara,” he shouted out watching the masts erect themselves. “Samsara!” he cried, “take me with you!” he begged. “We can collect more,” he bargained with the demonic ship. The Captain watched Samsara regenerate, he gazed over to his open journal and witnessed a line appearing through his name. The journal shut and set on fire as Samsara set sail.
Samsara had deserted him, there was no hope left now. “Who are you?” he asked the demon feeling he was slipping away, “I am me,” it whispered, the Captain knew exactly which demon it was and decided death would be a sweeter escape. He took one last breath before blood spluttered from his mouth, he died with his eyes fixated on Samsara sailing off into the horizon.
The Captain jolted, awakening, he was lying against a Banyan tree. “It was a dream,” he whispered looking at his dying Quartermaster. He could not believe how real it all felt, he found himself repeating what he dreamed, begging to be saved from a hellish death, again offering anything from an eternity of service to even giving his soul, to whatever or whomever was listening and interested. He looked out at the sea into the pale moon light, but nothing came.
Nothing for a while, he smiled seeing a familiar vessel slowly sail towards him. “Samsara,” he whispered, she waited for her Captain to board. The same series of events occurred and he found himself back on the ship, this time when he entered the Captain’s Quarters he remembered where the purple sapphire had come from, he began recalling where everything came from. He had journeyed far and wide and everything on the ship was his. He retrieved the ship’s log, the last name being the name he remembered being called. But then as he looked at the other names he remembered been called by all of those as well. He now read the foreign writing, it was letters to himself. For he was a part of Samsara and she was a part of him. He was doomed to repeat the same cycle every nine years, each time bringing different monstrosities to the Black Mountain Island. The Quartermaster watched patiently from a window, his Captain looked at the light buckled leather boots, his green eyes turned black as he grinned. “Go on,” he whispered; the Captain put the boots on, instantly erasing his memory.