A descriptive prose based on the famous painting
|It was barely day break before the sea erupted around Ishigami with a sudden and impressive fury. The world seemed to bank and roll like a mouse in the paws of an amused cat. Mt Fuji hung in the dawn darkness, more of a painting on the backdrop than a towering, god-like force. In front, where Edo should have been, stood only waves. Colossal waves with fingers of ice reaching out to the sailors below, trying to snatch them away.
The roar of the wind howled around them and the crash of the waves completed the rising crescendo of power. Ishigami, along with the rest of the drenched crew, strained on his oar, praying to break through the relentless waves and see land again. The grunts of strain were barely audible alongside the boat master’s hoarse cry for more power, more speed, more rhythm. But it was no use.
The smell of the sea had never been stronger. The live fish on deck were dying, and with death releasing a choking stench that not even the salt and brine could mask. The grey skies threatened rain, but it smelt as if it had already started to pour. But when the wind shifted, Ishigami swore he caught the briefest scent of Konora or Mizunara – a slither of green when all else is grey. It was a fleeting smell, only noticed after it had already passed. Soon his mouth was filled once more with the taste and scent of the unholy sea they had caused to stir.
Hard work and salty wind had already created calluses across Ishigami’s long hands and marked face, but now the sea was attacking him. Water stabbed at his eyes, while flotsam attempted to smother him. There was no part of him that was dry. His arm screamed and protested, but he forced them to push on. Shore had to be just beyond this rise.
The sea swallowed him with a suddenness that he had expected, but never thought would happen. The roar of the wind was drowned by a rush of water, his blistered skin was soothed by a sudden cool, then erupted in anger against an onslaught of salt. Ishigami was aware of all of this, yet none of it mattered to him. It was happening to someone else, somewhere far away. Under the waves, he felt weightless, as if the sea was cradling him to sleep. The battle raged on above him, but none of it mattered any more. The god they had awoken was terrifying and beautiful.