the smuggler’s bible

He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood

Board-her-in-the-smoke gets an extra ration of rum on his birthday. It’s hard to say how old he is, the years move faster than a man can count.

He spends the morning in the forecastle, watching grey swells break against the hull. Before noon, something else begins to rise. The sea froths against black hide pebbled with bony scutes. A moan fills the air. The ship quivers.

My god, the size of it. Board-her-in-the-smoke cocks the harpoon over his shoulder, looks for the wet glint of the creature’s eye. He waits.

Steady, now. There might be only one shot.

Steady, now.