Adventure at Sea

Ruth, Eli and Chaman were traveling by ship on the Marah from Byblos to Rome and Chaman told them that two of the sailors on this ship were old friends of her husband Kamran, who was not making the trip with them.  Chaman told her new friends Ruth and Eli that her husband was the leader of a band of thieves that included Barabbas, Farhad and Omid, but Kamran got out of the business when he saw that he could make more money legally than working as a criminal.  Ruth, Eli and Chaman took a walk around the deck, when they ran into Farhad and Chaman said, “I have told my new friends about your unique ability to convey a sequence of events, bring your characters to live and explain all the vivid details, that transport your listeners deeply into your stories.”  Farhad said, “Oh, so you have told them that I like to spin yarns and that I am full of shit.”  Chaman said, “Well that is yet to be determined, but I always enjoy your stories and Eli and Ruth both said that they would also love to hear some of them.”

Farhad said, “Barabbas, Omid and I were all drinking in Mehragan’s saloon, when we met these Cilician pirates who tried to convince us into joining their group.  Barabbas said that he had no interest as he suddenly left with a woman that he met in the tavern.  Omid and I told them that we did not have any experience being aboard ships, but we were both interested in traveling to different places.  They seemed to be impressed with our pillaging skills and they said that they would be able to teach us all the necessary skills that we needed to be on a ship at sea, as long as we were prepared to attack anyone of any nationality, owing loyalty to no one, but our shipmates and the captain of the ship.  We both decided to take a chance and the next day when we woke up we were aboard the pirate ship Neptune’s Trident, captained by Skull Thrush of Tarsus.”

“We both enjoyed being out at sea, breathing the fresh air and listening to the tranquility of the water.  I liked being able to look out into sea and have dreams about visiting exotic lands.  Omid was adept at climbing, so he worked with the ship’s sails rigging and masts and I was assigned to the galley, because I had some experience cooking.  One day we attacked a ship that was carrying wine and olive oil from the Sardinian port of Caralis to the Phoenician port of Tyre.  We let all of our captives go after we confiscated their cargo and then we made our way toward Crete, because we knew that they would not ask any questions about where we got the cargo from.”

“We had a favorable breeze for several days, and everybody was looking forward to how we would spend our share of the booty after we sold the stolen cargo.  We broke into a cask of wine and started to enjoy our spoils.  Just after midnight our ship was attacked by a great sea monster.  Sea monsters are the most dangerous water-dwelling creatures that a crew can ever face, they are ultimately horrifying and mysterious, because these foes can come up on you all of a sudden and you never know when they are lurking just below the surface.  The deep seas and the oceans are able to hide many secret inhabitants and just because you have not seen something, you cannot say that it does not exist.  The unknown should always be feared, especially when it is enormous in size and resides in the vast dark unfathomable depths.  I woke up when I heard the cry, ‘Sea monster attacking off starboard bow!’  I got to the deck when the huge Sea Serpent was still a whole ship’s length distance away.

“It was a full moon that night, which allowed all of us to see the monster approaching.  This sea monster was so huge that its head reached as high as our mast, when it came out of the water.  The colossal head and neck of this monster was only visible once it surfaced, but we discerned a wavy motion in the water behind the creature, so we knew that part of its body was concealed under water moving in undulations, like a snake or a sea serpent.  The enormous monster had a long-pointed snout, its teeth were glistening in the moonlight and its red glowing eyes were about the size of a warrior’s shield.  I saw the sea monster dive under water, and it raised its tail aloft, as it plunged back into the water.  I saw that its body was as wide as our ship, and about three times as long.  It came up again and spouted water from its snout like a whale, just as the creature moved slowly toward our ship.  I was never so terrified in my whole life, as I sensed the creature was going to attack us.”

“The creature thrashed its head and neck from side to side, as it climbed across the bow and then it bit off the head of one of our crew.  It chewed for a short time and then spit the skull back out on to the deck.  My fear was enhanced when I saw how easily this creature was able to kill us.  The sea monster continued its attack, as the pirates tried to stab it with their swords.  It swallowed up several more members of the crew and it did extensive damage to the ship as it crashed its massive body into the Neptune’s Trident.”

“I yelled out to Captain Skull Thrush, ‘Let’s head back to port, before the monster sinks us, as half the crew is already lost.’  Captain Skull Thrush replied, ‘Shut the hell up!  I can’t let that sea monster win!’  I noticed a split in the seam of the ship near the wood planks, which made up the hull.  Water started gushing in and we were sinking fast, as crew members were being devoured all around me.  The battle continued until captain Skull Thrush struck his sword into the animal’s right eye and the monster returned to the sea.  The sea serpent got away, diving below the water, leaving behind a large funnel that our ship was drawn into.  Omid and I were both thrown out of the whirlpool and I could hear the suction of the water along with a loud splintering noise of cracking wood.  This funnel caused our ship to swirl around very fast, which resulted in it breaking up into pieces.”

“I grabbed onto a plank of cedar, which kept me afloat and I paddled my way over towards Omid.  We were able to fasten together a tiny raft to lift ourselves out of the freezing water.  We saw four of our fellow pirates clinging on to another raft and the captain was among them.  Casks of wine and olive oil were floating all around us and then suddenly the monster resurfaced and looked straight at captain Skull Thrush.  The captain raised his sword and he was swinging it wildly, as the sea monster swallowed him in one gulp.  The three other brave men that were on the same raft as the captain, did their best to survive, but the monster ate every one of them.  As clouds rolled in front of the moon, it became very dark, but it was apparent that Omid and I were the only ones that were able to escape.  The sea was very rough and we were drifting aimlessly in the dark.”

“We managed to fall asleep and when we woke up the next morning, we were both hungry and very thirsty.  We were able to salvage a cask of wine from the sea that was floating near us.  We were stuck on the open sea without food and with only a slim to none chance of surviving.  I realized that our survival was dependent on us being able to find an island.  I felt that I had no other recourse, except to pray to God for His help, even though I knew that Omid was not a believer.  Omid said that he would not pray with me, but he hoped that all of my prayers would be answered.”

“I prayed, ‘Oh, God above we are stranded in your vast dark sea.  We ask for your help, power and wisdom and that you allow us to find the strength, so we can make it to safety.  May your wind carry us to a place where we can be rescued?  If we are allowed to survive by your good grace, then we will give up our thieving ways and work in peace with the universe.’  After drifting with sea currents for two days, we saw the broad tail of a fish appearing above the waves and it seemed to be following us.”

“A being surfaced next to our raft that had the torso of a woman, but below her navel, she was a fish.  I shook Omid and told him to look at the mermaid.  She had long green hair, the color of seaweed that was adorned with seashells.  Her skin was blue and pale and she wore a string of sparkling pearls that enhanced her breasts.  She smiled at us, but her eyes kept on blinking, as I think she was trying to adjust her sight to being above the water.  She was breathing heavily, hacking and coughing, because she was not used to being in the fresh air.  She dove back underwater and then she came up to the surface again.  She made a honking sound and then she seemed to be breathing better.  She spoke saying, ‘I am Analisa, daughter of the third cave of the Crab Nebula, the Holder of the Wondrous Comb and the Heir of the Radiant Pearls of the Boiling Sea’.”

“I told Analisa that my name was Farhad and then I introduced my good friend Omid.  I said that we were thieves from Byblos, who had just become pirates aboard the ship Neptune’s Trident.  I let Analisa know that I had just prayed to God and then I asked if He had sent her to assist us.  Analisa said, ‘What makes you think that God is a He?’  Then she said that she saw us fighting the sea monster, which was her enemy, so she wanted to help us.  She said that this sea monster had eaten many of her friends and also a lot of fish in this part of the sea.  She told us that this monster was a glutton, who ate so much that it was creating a famine.”

“Analisa said that she was grateful that we had chased the sea serpent away.  She said that she followed the monster to its lair and she could tell that it was severely injured, it was moaning in agony and it was probably mortally wounded, which made her very happy.  She brought us fish to eat and asked if we needed any help getting back to land.  I looked at the freshly caught fish and my mouth started watering, as I was real hungry, but I was still hesitant, as I had never eaten a raw fish before.  I saw Omid take out his knife and slice off the head of the fish and then he cut off a thin slice, which he immediately consumed.  I yelled at Omid to cut off a slice for me, which he did and then I ate it.  I told him to pass me the wine as I needed something to wash this down with.”

“Analisa asked us if she could have some of our wine.  I replied, ‘Certainly’ and then she grabbed the cask of wine and took a big gulp and then she sang, ‘Joy to all the fishes in the deep blue sea, God will provide answers if we let it be.  I like to frolic under the sea, its better there and I let down my hair.  I am happiest when wet and the fish are all around, emitting a soothing sound.  When I am floating under the sea, my life is filled with bubbles and I have no troubles.  I enjoy being on the ocean floor and I would never dream of going ashore.  I can play all day in the waves by the coral caves, far below and far away.  There is no air when you are way down there and I can live my life without a care.  A life lived without wine is very sad, and it may make you become raving mad.  The taste is sublime, it is almost divine, yes this is some mighty fine wine’.”

“I stood up on the raft and told Analisa what a beautiful voice she has and I let her know how much I enjoyed hearing her song.  Analisa smiled at me and then she swam over to me and kissed me on my lips, while she was holding her arms around me.  Omid said, ‘Don’t let her pull you under!’  Analisa broke off our kiss and she swam away from me, and she folded her tail underneath her, then she said, ‘Your friend does not trust me.  I understand that mermaids are known to lure handsome young sailors to fall in love with them and then they deliberately drag these sailors down into the water and drown them, as they squeeze the life out of them.  I came here to help you because you defeated my greatest foe.’  Analisa started combing her hair and then she said, ‘You can either accept my kindness or ask me to leave, but don’t accuse me of trying to harm you’.”

“I told Omid to apologize to Analisa, because we needed her help and she had been good to us.  Omid said he was sorry for his accusations and Analisa said that she would accept his apology and it was time to move on and get us to land.  She pushed our raft, till we finally landed on the island of Kasos.  We both thanked her, but she said that she owed us more than we owed her and then we waved goodbye to each other.  It was quite an ordeal and we were both feeling lucky to be alive, when we finally made it shore.  We drank from a stream on the island and we found figs, grapes, berries and birds to eat.  We were both alive and we had a fantastic tale of survival to tell.  Captain Pelles rescued us and we have been aboard the Marah ever since.”

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Mermaid.

17 thoughts on “Adventure at Sea

    1. I actually never thought about that part of the story. How would you like it to end? Analisa the mermaid said that she followed the monster to its lair and she could tell that it was severely injured, it was moaning in agony and it was probably mortally wounded, and maybe it was able to heal in its lair, or not, as the story went on without the sea monster. There is another part of this story which is told on the way back from Rome where Farhad tells about his encounter with a genie.

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  1. What a wonderful Greecian adventure. The Ancient Greeks called mermaid the Nereid. This where the Old man of the sea, Calypso, Poseidon, and Amphitrite come from among others. I loved your tale it felt perfectly placed in the legend and lore.

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  2. Here’s something similar 🙂

    Oh, the Tomahawk Kid,
    Do you know what he did
    On a cave on Treasure Island?
    Sixteen men on a dead man’s chest
    Didn’t know where to find him.
    When we set sail across the seven seas,
    There was Captain Dan, Billy Bones, and me…
    and the Tomahawk Kid.
    Full fathom five, the Kid is alive!
    And the crew was climbin’ up the rigging,
    Washed on land, on the silver sand,
    We got no time for digging!
    When we set sail across the seven seas,
    There was Captain Dan, Billy Bones, and me…
    and the Tomahawk Kid.
    Yo Ho Ho,
    Yo Ho Ho,
    Yo Ho Ho,
    Let me hold my captain,
    And I’ll hold your hairy hand,
    Let’s forget the treasure,
    We can skip across the sand!
    The Tomahawk Kid, you know what he did,
    He hung his head in sorrow.
    No treasure chest, he did his best,
    He gonna come back tomorrow.
    When we set sail across the seven seas,
    There was Captain Dan, Billy Bones, and me…
    and the Tomahawk Kid.

    Source: LyricFind

    Songwriters: Alex Harvey / David Batchelor / Hugh Mckenna
    Tomahawk Kid lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Carlin America Inc

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