I watched and waited. I knew they'd fall. I hoped of course. How could I not? To see them fly? But that only happens in fairy tales. And this isn't one. It never has been. Oh, it might have been once; a tale of love and rescues, monsters and heroes. But that was then, and too much has happened since.
All I see now is pain. Anguish. Hurt. All I see now is a final betrayal. All I expect is another thin slicing of the soul. One of them fell, one of them was pushed. A reckoning? It was all he understood. In the end.
I’d promised I’d try. So I did. The whinch held, and they both fell, spluttering, onto the deck. Will stared up at me, his face a mess of saltwater and blood, maybe a Eucharist.
“He shot him. He was faster than we thought. Stronger too. We have to get him to someone who can help.”
I nodded. Arrangements had been made of course.
“We should get him below. Do what you can, I will steer.”
“You’d trust me? Even now.”
I looked at him.
“You’re still here aren’t you?”
He nodded in reply. A different kind of forgiveness trembling in his flesh.
“It was the best I could do. The only thing.”
He turned as he fumbled with the blankets and tarpaulin, and bent his head to Hannibal’s chest.
“Don’t die. Please. Not now.”
I didn’t hear the rest of his words. But it was enough.