by Rob Marenghi

So here we are – in a damp cell that he ordered to be built. I hear waves pounding, wood creaking, drunken shouts. I look at the filthy bowl in the corner, the stains on the walls and the rats at their leisure. I turn to him. I used to admire him but now I find him pathetic. Mutiny! What kind of man allows that? He let their greed get the better of his greed and now we die.

Where did he go, that man who knew no fear? That man who stood tall. That man who killed his enemies and raped their women. He was always strong, most of all with me. After cutting off heads he would ruffle mine. I saw it all, heard it all – swords and screams. Then I saw what no-one else saw – insomnia, tears, incontinence. The door opens.

‘Come on ye dog!’ yells one.

‘To the depths with ‘em,’ screams another.

They grab his hair and I peck their hands. They take us up. I’m scared – darkness and wind, the certainty of death. Ice moves through me. We traverse the plank to cold eyes.