Cold water ran down my cheeks and into my eyes as the ropes bit into my leg. It felt as though my skull would split from the blood rushing into my head, but I didn't dare make a sound. Not ten feet below me the pirates continued to ransack what was left of our ship.
"Look alive there mates! We don't want to be here when the navy swings past again."
Over the sounds of the lashing rain I heard boats dropping into the water. The voices faded away until all that was left was the creaking of the rigging and the crashing of the waves upon the deck. I slowly opened my good eye.
All gone. The deck was empty; empty of goods, of equipment, of friends and foe alike. The rain slowed and the clouds parted to let the rising sun through.
I had been on night watch, huddled against the rain in the crow's nest when we were attacked. The first shot took out the main mast and I tumbled out head first. My legs caught in the black rope of the rigging and I watched as a pirate ship sailed alongside us and boarded our defenseless cutter. Most of the crew was killed before they could even raise arms. I saw the captain hurry to the lockbox by the wheel and pull out a whisking potion; with one swig he was gone.
Now I'm alone, stranded on a ruined cutter in the middle of the sea.
No drinkable water.
No whisking potions.
A jagged gash in my left leg.
It's been three weeks now. There's been no sign of the navy nor any other ship. The storm must have blown us far off course.
I'm starving. The pirates took all the food and there are no fish to be caught. I've been sucking the rainwater off a ruined piece of the sail.
I cut my foot off yesterday. My wound had continued to fester. My attempts at cauterization were feeble; the fire was not very hot.
I can see my ribs through my skin; I've lost too much flesh.
I've been lying on the top deck for days now, too weak to move. After this entry I'm stuffing this log into a bottle and tossing it overboard, hoping that somebody will find it and tell my family what happened.
To my wife Lisa, I love you.
To my children Adam and James, I hope you grow to be fine strong men.
There's a ship on the horizon. I can't make out the flag. It's huge, whatever it is. Larger than a grand frigate, if my eyes can still be trusted.
I closed my eyes for a moment, and now the ship has pulled alongside of me. She's a deep black, no banner on her mast. They've thrown a ladder overboard and a gaunt man in white is beckoning to me from the deck so high above me. Perhaps they'll let me sign on with them for the voyage home.
Home. El Pollo Diablo will take me home.