The Golden Ship
Nicholas John Forbes Saunders
Another wave collided with us and tore a hole in the side of the ship. The wind howled in fury through the thick veil of rain that surrounded the vessel. My crew were all utterly terrified and were either trying to tie themselves to the mast or praying to their gods for salvation. I tried to call out to them but could hear nothing over the raging storm. After realising that it was useless, I tried in desperation to steer us into the waves to slow our pace, yet the winds only pulled us ever closer to the eye of the storm. Then, with nothing else left to do, I looked ahead of us and saw an impossible thing.
I saw a gleaming golden ship which parted the crashing waves and the howling wind. A ship that redirected lightning and left only peaceful waters in its wake. Their vessel turned from its path at the sight of us and sailed towards our hopeless selves. The storm subsided as they drew nearer, with the rain clouds thinning and the sound of the rolling thunder turning slowly more muffled the closer they sailed. The winds were all but gone after a few seconds and the waves were no stronger than ripples in a rock pool. As they pulled their vessel aside ours, I saw it in more detail than ever, its golden hull accentuated by the silver depiction of a naval battle intricately carved into the side. After a few moments of peace, they then helped us jump aboard one by one until there was only myself left. I waited for the moment when the boats were at their closest and jumped. When I was hauled aboard, my mind felt instantly lighter as if all my fear just melted away in the presence of an all-consuming calm.
After a few minutes of adjusting to the wordless silence of the craft, I finally looked around myself and the crew caught my eye. There were over fifty people who worked the ship and none of them had any scars, or scrapes or blemishes at all. There was not even any sea spray staining their clothes. They all seemed to shine with health and strength which rubbed off on those of us who had just arrived. My body became weary as we left my barnacled ship behind and I fell into the warm embrace of sleep.
I awoke lying next to the captain of the ship, and after sitting up asked.
“Who are you? And where are you headed?”
With a calm flat tone, he answered: “We are the Psychopomps, and we are going to the east to give your souls rest.”
“To give our souls rest?” I responded with some confusion.
At these words, his face turned grim and seemed to make the entire ship visibly darken. With empathy in his eyes, he spoke.
“Yes, you died in that storm and we came to save your souls from being lost to the waves.”