Hoisting the Sails
Aren slowly exhaled when he looked out the window of his office in Karosgrad. Admittedly, it was just in his house, but it was a place where he could relax. He rest his head in his hand, while his elbow was relaxed on the table, looking about the room, filled with model ships in glass bottles. It was a hobby of his- as he previously sailed the high seas of Almaris seeking treasure and adventure when he was a lad. He stood up from his chair and pushed it into the desk, pacing towards his collection as he gently picked up one of the few models. A sigh escaping his lips, he set the bottle down, and a smile began to perk from the corners of his mouth. He decided that it was time once more to lower the sails.
Fitted in an outfit more appropriate for seafaring, Aren assembled a group of men that he had grown close to over the time he had spent in Karosgrad; a group of sailors that shared the same passion that he did. With a greeting and a smile, they boarded the ship that Aren had owned, docked to the east of Karosgrad, and set sail. As they began the voyage, Aren lifted his head up, and gently shut his eyes, feeling the cool ocean breeze brush past his dark auburn was just the thing he had in mind to relax. His lips staggered, tasting the salty air- this was his home away from home, the ocean. He walked up to the helm of his sloop, and rested his folded arms on the steering wheel, taking in the sights of the great, blue ocean; here, Aren quite literally had no worries- or so he thought.
Slowly, the sky began to darken among the sea, the clouds churning into a grey conglomerate mass that distilled fear even into the most veteran of sailors. Aren however, was unaffected. He has seen many a storm in his lifetime, what’s one more? Little did he know, this storm would be the last one he would ever go through. Initially, things were not as bad as the sky telegraphed- with a light drizzle amongst the seamen, the water began to churn slightly, but that barely affected the ship that the lot sailed upon. As time went on, the storm gradually became more and more ferocious, the sailors began to worry, sweat upon their brow as the water rocked the boat to and fro. Aren took the helm and began to steer the ship, turning the wheel with all his might so that they have a chance of making it out of this alive. They were at the mercy of the sea- and Mother Nature was not feeling generous….
The best chance that they had of surviving this hell-storm was to escape it by outrunning it- and that’s exactly what the captain planned to do. Gripping the helm with his bloodied, white-stained hands, he grit his teeth, and narrowed his teeth, peering at where the waves originate so that he could find the path of least resistance. For as long as he fought- his efforts seemed to be for naught. The angle that they were faced was undesirable, the sails were blown off of one side by the boisterous wind, and they were much too light to survive this. The waves never quelled, crashing against the sides of the unassuming sloop as the boat rocked more extremely; Aren wasn’t going to give up, despite the dire circumstances, but to him- they had a chance. The wind thrusted the boat to lean towards the port, causing Aren to lose his footing and stumble, crashing into the side of the boat as he felt a wave of disorientation crash against him. The men beneath the deck were bailing as if their life depended on it- and it did, but it wasn’t enough.
Aren knew what he had to do, but he questioned his will to sacrifice himself for the sake of others. His lips quivered as he covered his face. He was going to die, he wanted to save himself- he shouldn’t have come on this trip. But thinking negatively wasn’t going to solve anything. On board was a rowboat, fit enough for nearly everyone on the ship, leaving a few others behind. In the worst case scenario, everyone could bite the bullet and attempt to fit in the small rowboat. Everyone worked together to lower the boat and began to enter it. They fit together like sardines, but they were somewhat sea-worthy. Aren took a step inside, and the rowboat began to sink at the back. There wasn’t enough room for him, or else everyone would perish. His face lost color as the panic began to ensue, he didn’t want to die! He still had stuff he wanted to do! Aspirations! Love! Anything!
His breath faltered as the crew begrudgingly sailed away. He fell to his knees amongst the storm, on the sinking ship that was beginning to face the watery depths. It was over for Aren. He wanted to lament, but his mind was foggy- he could not think of a single thing. His legs refused to move, but he made them; picking himself up with the help of the ship and standing tall, folding his arms. His trembling legs steadied themselves, and his shaking began to cease. His lips turned upwards into a small smile as the beads of rain fell upon his head. He closed his eyes, and accepted his fate. He was going down with the ship, as all captains should.
As the ship nearly sank to the bottom of the water, the skies began to clear, a premonition that Aren had caused. As his spirit cleared and accepted his fate, the skies did as well. With that, the sailors made their way home, docking their worn rowboat in Karosgrad and taking a bottle of mead from a flask, pouring it from it’s container onto the ground. Aren had no family, but he did have friends, and he had superiors. The sailors would go to the people that were important to him and report the falling of the soldier of the sea.
Aren was never to be seen again.