The world faded in around her, a blur of bright, blinding colour. The distorted hazy shape of a person stood overlooking her. She strained to look past her observer, but the struggle to take in everything, as it swayed and swirled in her mind, caused her vision to diminish as she lapsed into sub-consciousness.
Her vision faded, one again, back into reality. She had awoke on a solid wooden bed but it was pitch black. Her eyes had yet to adjust to the depth of the dark, but she was beginning to take in her surroundings. Confused, she slowly sat up on the bed. Her clothes were damp and her sandals missing.
The sound around her began to return to her ears. She heard the waves lapping slowly at floor level beneath her. She placed her hand on the wall. It was moist and cold. She got up from her makeshift bed, her bones were aching and she became breathless quickly. She felt along the wall adjacent to the bed. She still couldn’t see clearly, but her fingers ran along the sides of an inset panel. She places her fingers to either side of it and pried at it with all the strength she could muster. It didn’t budge. She was about to give up as she found a small latch at the top of the panel. She opened the latch and the panel fell open rotating about a rusty, broken hinge at the bottom of the wooden porthole.
The moonlight of the outside world fell in a brilliant beam across the room she was in. She put her head out into the cool night air and looked around. All she could see a white path of shimmering light tracing the way to the horizon under the moon. There were no lights in the distance, no trace of any other ships.
The light from the porthole dimly illuminated the room she was house in. She could see paintings hanging on two of the walls. One above her bed, was of a woman and a man lying together. The other, on the opposite wall, was of the same gentleman, posing in a garden with a – presumably his – dog on a lead at his feet. The artwork in both pieces was intricate. Whoever had painted these was obviously a professional.
Beneath the second painting was a cheat of drawers. On examination, the lady found nothing. All the drawers were empty. The furniture was well decorated, however. She did not know which style it was in, but whoever owned the paintings and this piece of furniture was obviously very wealthy.
On the forth wall, directly opposite the small hole through which her only light was coming, the lady saw a large solid oak door. She immediately went to try the handle. The door was open. It let out a loud creak as she pulled the door just wide enough to see outside her confinement. Light hit her eyes as she peered through the small gap she had created. Her eyes quickly adjusted and she could see a long corridor, lit by candles.
As far as she could see, noone was about, so she opened the door fully. So stood still as she stared down the door. It looked as if this were some sort of prison. There were three metal gates on either side of the hallway. Without a further look back into the room she originally discovered herself, she walked slowly and carefully past the first set of cells.
Peering into the left first, and then the right, they appeared to be empty. If there were any inmates at the time, they must have been asleep for she heard not a thing other than her deep breathing.
She hastened her investigation of the jail, the final four chambers were all empty. She noticed that the walls in each of these compartments were dripping with water far worse than her room was. There was very little furniture in these cells. An old rotting wooden bed and rusty iron chains fastened into the solid wooden walls. These cells were certainly not a polite and enjoyable place to have to stay.
At the end of the corridor, there was a loud creak followed by a clunk of wood on wood, drowned by the momentarily amplified sound of the waves. The lady looked back and saw inscribed on the door she had minutes ago left, was the word “Supervisor”. The room she had found herself in was presumably quarters for the man in charge of observing the inmates.
In front of her was a set of five stairs leading up to another door, which stood ajar. Stepping quietly up the steps, she peered out. The full moon shone brightly, illuminating the deck of the ship well enough that she see where she was. The door she was standing behind formed part of the bow of the ship. She was looking back towards what she was later to discover to be the captains lodge, above which was a large ships wheel.
Attempting to listen for any signs of people was practically impossible. The noise of the waves splashing against the sides of the ship coupled with the flapping from the sails above seemed to echo in her head.
Pushing the door open just an inch further allowed the nights wind to edge its way into the room. She hadn’t noticed just how strong the wind was blowing until now. It began to howl and circle around inside and started to make her feel cold.
As the door was edged open one further inch, more of her surroundings became apparent. There was a dim light coming from above her. It cast a shadow of railings onto the deck in front of her. She could only guess someone was on the decking above where she stood. Perhaps a lookout, checking for any signs of peril ahead, she thought.
But her thoughts were cut, mid sentence. A particularly strong gust of wind caught the door and it slammed open, smashing heavily against the outside wall. She heard a voice shout, a voice she knew, a very musky voice. She had heard him just before falling deep into the water. She was beginning to remember.