WORDS FROM THE WELL 47

They snuggled in again, trying to wedge themselves securely in place. For another hour they endured, while the boat pitched and tossed ever more wildly, and the sky darkened above them until the clouds reached far to the south-west and the setting sun was lost in them.
No-one came near them; the crew and the captain were too engrossed in striving to keep the ship to her heading. At last, heavy seas began to wash over the deck, just as darkness was falling. There were cries of alarm all around them, and Mal-Den started to get up.
‘No – keep to our place. This is little enough shelter, but it is all we have.’
As Raðenn spoke, the black clouds above were split with lightning and the following thunder tolled around them. Rain drenched them. They heard a scream, and a shout of ‘Captain, captain!’ Lightning and thunder came again, and a cracking and crashing as the mast toppled. The ship lurched wildly about, and Raðenn clung desperately to Mal-Den.
The next wave that came over them washed them smoothly out of their corner and flung them like helpless kittens over the gunwale and into the sea. As it closed over their heads, each lost his grip on the other’s hand, and they sank deep into the chill water.

sue bridgwater

sinking

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