This is a weird tale written for the April 2021 prompt.
|Jada woke to the sound of grinding metal. Peering around her bunk, she could see only the pitch of darkness, but the sound continued to rumble. It was as it the ship was groaning, but that was ludicrous. It was a ship.
Under her covers, she pulled on jeans. She sat up to pull on a heavy cable-knit sweater. Jamming her hat over her unruly curls, she jumped down from her bunk and moved silently out into the corridor. The sound was louder there.
The floor below her seemed to throb and vibrate. It sounded ghastly and surreal. Jada picked her way along the passage moving toward the sound. Drawn to it.
Down into the bowls of the ship she moved. Her eyes scanned for any sign of life. No one was around. How could no one else hear the clamour?
The further she went towards the noise, the more her body seemed to vibrate to the frequency. She felt like a pebble bouncing and popping around in a metal sieve. Panning for the ultimate gold... and finding none.
At the boiler room, she cranked the turnstile the kept the door secure. It took all her strength, but it slowly gave way. She crept into the confined space.
She could hear voices. Was that the captain? He was yelling. But who was the other?
"Stay the course. We have our orders. We cannot risk detection or we will all go down." She heard the captain bellow over and over again.
Jada looked around seeing only the captain. Who was he yelling at?
The groaning moans of the great ship thundered around her. It was almost deafening. With her hands plastered to her ears she could make out another voice. It seemed buried within the great clashing of metal and steel.
"I follow no orders. I seek and destroy. You know that I must. That I cannot let that sub rip through our hold. I must blast it. It is the only way.'
Jada watched as the captain tried to take back control, but his efforts were thwarted. He struggled to move the things before him. Part of her was ready to race out to help, but another part held her captive. She watched in amazement and terror as one of the metal cables flew through the air and knocked the captain clear across the space. She saw him fall and lie lifeless before her.
"Nobody can stop me," the thunderous voice roared, just as she heard the powerful blast of a torpedo rumble out from below her. "No subs will stand a chance. They must all be destroyed."
Jada slipped back out of the boiler room and made her way up through the passages as quickly as she could manage. She needed air. Sheer terror gripped her.
Her voice felt like it was ripped out of her as she called out to anyone who could hear, but there was no one. It was as if the whole ship had slipped into a deep sleep.
Around her the ship vibrated with a heavy laughter as she heard the thunderous voice say, "damn them all to hell."
By the time she reached the surface of the ship, she could see only rolling fire balls shooting out over the ocean. The blaze scorched her skin. She looked down to see a flash of metal cut through the dark water towards the ship…then a blast.
She was airborne. Flying through flames that lapped at her. Singed her. Tried to pull at her, but she shot beyond. the fiery heat was scalding, but it was nothing compared to the numb-inducing shock of the Atlantic.
The landing stole her breath and she sank like a rock, plummeting into a hell of her own, before resurfacing to drag in lungfuls of singed air, heavy with the acrid taste of bombs and death.
She was alone, bobbing in the vastness of the ocean. Struggling for air until her hands made contact with floating debris. Jada scrambled onto a floating piece held on for dear life.
The helicopter found her like that the next morning. The only survivor in a sea of destruction. She was unable to utter a non-sensical word. No one believed any story she could mutter and she was committed to an asylum for the weirdly insane.
Words = 721.