Let the Dead Lie & Other Stories

Welcome, fair readers to this little corner of the darkness around us, By picking up this anthology, you are willing to expose yourself to the dark recesses of my mind, in the forms of stories ofcourse. So please, sit back, relax, and delve into the abyss with me as the darkness enraptures us within each of these short stories...


4. A Seafarer's Tale

   "Ah, what a dreary night, oh well, least my chambers not lie empty." Scurrying around to prepare myself for the coming night; the poisons of choice laid to bare, fine adornments are strewn everywhere. This me, and I am my, A child who sadly, would love to die. But here they come in dribbles and droves, my fans, my colleagues, my friends, you too, the one reading this, through and through. They come right in and sit on down, fewer still begin throw drink after drink, quite rudely down, ignoring my lovely frown. All here, all down? Ah, well, do gather round.

   “Ah friends, gather round… Um scuse me sir, put the glasses down.” Seeing annoyance in his face the man, quietly, backed down. Pulling two rings; one of silver and red, quite the shiny thing, and the other, black and gold, which was just as aptly, dark and cold. “This ring here is my own to call, a family from which, all will fall. The other, my friends, holds a stone, deep in red, like blood from those, who are nice and dead.” Looking at the ring, his face was twisted as if appalled by the very thing. “Its story is sad, I must admit, but sadly I, cannot part with it. The sole witness to a man’s greed, so foul was his deed, that the ghosts from then continued to haunt he. A Ship’s mate he was, consumed by greed, now, my friends, let me tell you of his deed.”


The Dark Voyage

   It was 1933, if I remember correctly, that this ring witnessed the death of many. It was aboard ship along the English Coast, A story I hear lost to most, the ship was a passenger liner of the finest grace, low on mileage due to a shameful slump in a country’s economic pace. Warwick Castle was the vessel’s name, a namesake for an English fort of notable power and fame. Her voyage was simple, New York to London in less than six days, not a bad pace in this time and place. Her captain was a man named McCreary, and lord almighty was he dreary. His killer, a stoker, named Phillip Murry, born and raised in little Missouri. Why kill the dreary man? Simple, he’d upset Murry, at the wrong time and, in the wrong place. Murry was friendly with the ship’s doctor, a man named Herbert Chase. Some pills he choose to crush, mixing it in with the captain’s blush. Oh, but the death was kept a hush, wow, what a way to kill a rush.

   “Tell me,” Murry called to the doc who stood appalled. “Do you think I shouldn't have killed he? Let me first tell ye, he was planning on cutting me, what a cheeky thing to do to me, don’t ya think?”

   “Twas not that got ye, it was that precious little thing, his silver ring.” He moved around the man as he looked at him shamefully, “I should report you for having committed this foul deed.”

   “Or, I could cut ye in on a deal,” he sputtered as he chugged down another mug of ale. “You know of the ship’s newest, and finest cargo?” He put down the mug, “Tis a wonderful amount, of fine, unpolished gold.”

   “And what is it ye plan?” he grinned, “The gold will not move so easily.”

   “Exactly why I need yer help, I’ve already got the chef involved, and the first machinist’s mate.”

   “Old Johnny Bee?”

   “Precisely, I plan on getting the gold, but I’ll have to kill ‘em all, dead and cold.” By them, he was referring to all those who’d be aboard on the return voyage to New York, a total of six hundred souls in all. Normally the doctor, being a man of practicality, would've said no, however, a cut in on some gold was able to turn his heart icy cold.

And so it was, as the ship fitted out for its return and a new captain took the helm that the group of four cursed fellows plotted  and started on their fool’s folly. The chef was to slip some white poison into the soup to be served to those in his care; he slipped some poison in as well in the roasted hare. There was a dance that night on the well deck, to which the machinist’s mate had already lowered the loading cranes and pulled their security cables nice and thin. What was Murry to do, easy, start a series of fires in the ship’s multiple coal chutes. At the stroke of midnight it started, the band started up at the captain’s bidding, to which some moved to the well deck to start their night of glee. The gold had secretly been carefully smuggled aboard the motorized boat which hung ready to go, waiting to fall from davit number two.

   “Alright lads,” Murry chuckled, “It’s almost time to be had, has all been done as planned?”

   “Every things going according to plan,” the chef laughed in a darkened jest, showing a side of him that, was quite grotesque. “The first batch of rats have taken the bait, all that’s left to do now is lay in wait.”

   “And what of the cranes, eh Johnny?” In a red chair in the lounge he sat, clad in overalls and oil; his motions were deliberate and sauntry. “I flipped the switch but a minute ago, shouldn't be long before they felled in one swift blow.” The third man turned to the stoker, talking quietly as he pointed at him with boiler poker. “Hey, Murry, what’ll we do with Chase? Can I kill ‘em, I promise, I’ll do it, post haste.”

   “No, Chase serves his place, so I don’t think killing him will be the case.” The other two nodded politely though, when they left, they seemed angered, but only slightly so. He looked at the ring on his hand, happy that he stole it, plucked from a dead man’s hand.

   “Can you believe the nerve?” spoke the mate, his voice soaking in hate. “What’s the doc done, why does he get to enjoy this fun?”

   “Perhaps we should end it then,” the cook responded, his frown now upended. “I say you’ll  kill him quick, one good stab with this here ice pick.” The two plotted, and agreed to carry out this heinous deed. They found the doctor by the lifeboat as he’d been told to hurry, as ordered by Murry.

   “Hello gentleman,” he answered plainly, “Can I help you with something, please, speak plainly.”

   “Plainly?” answered the chef indirectly. “We’re here to discuss some business.”

   “Let’s end this, before Murry notices something’s a miss.” The mate growled, moving towards the doc in a slow, deliberate prowl. Ice pick drawn he lunged at the doc, but, it was all forlorn. Stepping aside the man, instead hit the boat and carved into himself, like a thin tin can.

   “And then there were three,” the doc replied, smiling gleefully. Snap went the cables and like that, the massive steel cranes killed them all. Hearing the noise the two looked over the rail; oh the gruesome sight would turn any man pale. There they lay, at least a hundred of them laid bloodied and filleted.

   “The lines have snapped, killing them all, like rats in a trap.” The chef turned away, of his face was the look of dismay. “They died real quick, cut into nice little bits. My prey instead, will lay in their bed, puking up foam, until they are dead.” Their thoughts were disturbed as the ship began to lurch. The vents above their heads suddenly burst into flames almost killing them dead.

   “The ships aflame, and now friends, onwards to shore, so we may split our gains!” called the stoker as he emerged from the ships inner quarters. Ah, but what is a good tale of greed if they got off all scot free?

   “I claim this gold, tis all mine!” the chef declared as he withdrew a Gewehr. Three quick blasts, but none completed their tasks. Murry dashed over the deck and stabbed the man, clean in the neck.  

   “You slimy stitch, my how karma caught up with you, ain't it a bitch?” There he fell dead, hitting the deck, like a sack full of lead. Murry looked over, his eyes full of fury. “Lower the lines Chase,” commanded he, “And make haste, the survivors will be on us without waste.”  The man did as he was told, he cranked out the davits and released the winches’ brakes. Down the boat spun, hitting the water with a great splash as the gold must have weighed a ton.

   “What about I?” Chase called, “you’ll not leave me to die!?”

   “The only man who can keep a secret is a dead one!” Murry called back, convinced that he’d won the big one. Paled by betrayal, the doc took up the gun and aimed it at the lowly Hun.

   “For what hath been committed here, I shall spare none, but one,” and with that he fired the gun. The shot twirled through the air, spinning without a care right into Murry’s head, leaving the man, well, rather dead. The panicked survivors, were rushing about, the new captain had begun to bring the ship hard about. The sea may have been cold, but the doctor jumped in, all because, he wanted the gold. He made it to the boat and disappeared into the night, but not before taking the ring, dumping Murry overboard in quite a hurry. The ship itself sadly, it’s fate was felled, turning around into a horrible gale. The wind spread the flames, burning everything, into nothing, but charred remains. Lost and adrift, the ship slowly, began to tip; when morning came round, the once proud ship, had already gone down. Truthfully though, this ring of silver and red, being here today means that the lone man had survived the ship of the dead. How it came by me? Well now, why should I even bother to tell thee? Tis my secret and mine alone, now shall we move on, I’m sure you’re all through my droning on...


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