Pink Moon Rising

Pink Moon Rising

A Story by Riss Ryker

On its way to pick up a load of pineapples and coconuts, the Loralei encounters a storm. What happens next is beyond the imagination...

The bow of the Lorelei broke through the heavy fog like an apparition, bobbing precariously as the ocean storm tossed her up mountainous waves then back down into the sea's watery valleys. With a four-masted  barque and a barnacle covered steel hull, she had a top speed of about twenty knots. Captain Benjamin E. Barnes and his helmsman, Gunner Watson, struggled to keep her sailing upright as the storm bashed her around like paper boat on a wind-swept lake. His crew of five men struggled to stay on deck as wave after wave washed over them. 

"Gunner!" the captain yelled, "what's our coordinates?" 

"Sir, I can't tell, the compass is spinning in every direction!" he yelled back over the voice of the storm. 

"Captain!" Jordan Briggs, the shipwright, struggled to get closer to the stern,  sliding dangerously on the wet deck. "The main mast has a huge crack, sir, I don't know how much more of this she can take!" 

"Can you tie her down somehow? " Benjamin asked, "Where's Marcus?" 

Marcus Cunningham, the ship's second mate, popped his head out from the hatch. "Captain," he yelled, "We're taking in water, sir, it's not looking good down there! "

Benjamin swore mightily and raised his fist to the sky. "You'll not take me down, by Jesus, not today!" he screamed in frustration. 

Just when it seemed all was going to end badly, the sea miraculously calmed, the air around them strangely silent. The sky, an odd shade of rose and violet, illuminated the atmosphere around them in color. 

Gunner looked down as the compass stopped spinning, checking the chronometer for their position in the ocean. His eyes widened at the impossibility of what his instruments were telling him. 

Christopher Wainwright, the lookout, climbed up to the crow's nest with his telescope, surveying the area and the strange colored sky. At twenty-two, he was the youngest of Benjamin crew. Climbing back down, he joined the others at the stern.

Gunner reported his findings. "According to my instruments, it says that we're in the Sargasso Sea, which of course, is utterly impossible."

"Your reading it wrong," Benjamin said, unwilling to believe that they went that far off course. Even if they did go off course, they weren't even in the right sea! The ship was in the Pacific, heading for the Hawaii Islands to pick up a load of fresh pineapple and coconuts. For them to be in the Atlantic would have taken them weeks to voyage!  An impossible feat in only a couple of hours.

"Sir, with all due respect, I'm only going by what my instruments are telling me,"he said. 

"Then your instruments are wrong!" Benjamin yelled. "There's no way in HELL we could have drifted thousands of miles in a matter of hours! "

"Captain!" Christopher interrupted them, "Look!" He pointed starboard at a strange mass floating on top of the glass-like water. 

The five men went over to where he was pointing, amazed to see floating all around them, seaweed so thick and massive it was almost as if they were on land. The seaweed extended as far as the eye could see, and they knew there was only one place on earth that this phenomenon occurred. The Sargasso Sea. 

"This can't be happening." Benjamin said softly. 

But as the ship came to a stand still, bogged down in the thick, green slime of the seaweed, it was obvious that without wind, they were stranded indefinitely. How they even arrived here was a question that burned in all five of their heads.  

"Gunner," Benjamin addressed his second in command, "What exactly do you know about the Sargasso Sea?"

They all drew around Gunner as he answered his captain. "Well, I know that the name, "Sargasso, is actually taken from the seaweed that floats all over it, Sargassum, and as you guys know, it's also the location of the Bermuda Triangle. That fact alone is a mystery all by in itself. Here's the weird part. It's basically a sea unto itself, within a sea. It's surrounded by some of the strongest currents in the world, like The Florida, Gulf Stream, Canary, North Equatorial, Antilles, and Caribbean currents. All of these currents interlock, separating the Sargasso from the rest of the Atlantic, making it a stagnant body of water."

"How can we get out of here?" Benjamin asked the question that was burning in everyone else's mind. 

"I have no clue." Gunner answered. 

The five men waited for a breeze or a wind, ANYTHING that would produce movement. After three hours of pacing and thinking, Christopher spoke up. 

"Sir," he addressed his captain. "Maybe we should start finding things on this boat that we can use to paddle. The five of us should be able to at LEAST get out of this green muck were in."

"Captain!" It was Jordan. "I think we have a BIG problem here. Look at the seaweed!" 

The men, curious, followed where Jordan was looking and gasped. All around the circumference of the ship, the seaweed was slowly making its way up the side. 

"Grab a knife or anything that will cut, and let's get cutting! If this stuff is as heavy as it looks, we gonna sink!" Benjamin told his men. "Move it, NOW!" 

The sargassium had other ideas. The more they cut, the faster it grew until it was engulfing the ship at an alarming rate. The worst part was, that with every chop of the knives and machetes the seaweed seemed to scream in agony. Then it begun to bleed. In horror, they watched as bright red blood spurted all over them with every chop. The more they cut, the faster it replaced itself, making each cut seem futile. 

"Captain, what's going on? What IS this stuff?" Jordan yelled, his face and clothes covered in the seaweed's 'blood'. 

"Just keep cutting, don't stop for nothing or we're done for!" Benjamin said, swinging his knife upwards and slicing the vegetation over and he men panicked as the ship started listing, threatening to tip and go under. 

Sweating, swearing and cutting, the men were overcome as the seaweed climbed the main mast, pulling the boat into the sea.  Wallowing in the thick, green mass, the very weight of the Sargassium wound itself around the men's bodies, pulling them under the sea to their deaths. 

General Gerard Sutter looked over the reports in disbelief. Found just off the coast of Tantalus Hawaii, an unmanned ship floating aimlessly. What stumped him was the fact that it was covered in seaweed. Seaweed only found in one place in the whole world. The Sargasso Sea

© 2015 Riss Ryker

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Added on March 14, 2015
Last Updated on March 14, 2015
Tags: Stormy seas, strange happenings, dark short stories, bad weather


Riss Ryker
Riss Ryker

Amsterdam, NY

Riss Ryker is a self proclaimed introvert, a dreamer, and believes in kindness to others. She loves to grow flowers, herbs, and hang out with her three dogs and her python named Blossom. A new writer .. more..