Sacrifice

The man woke up to the smell of his own urine swilling around on the bottom of the boat. The sickening stench of the mariners that rowed the landing boat hit soon after, and it was only then that he tasted blood in his mouth. Last he remembered, he was awoken by a curious wet sound in his hotel room, before something impacted his head and light flashed in his eyes. The fragmented memory elicited a sting of pain from the bloodied wound across his face, and had he not had a foul smelling piece of cloth placed neatly and tightly across his mouth, he would have yelped. He heard the slick sound of the oars being drawn in and out of the water with a seaman’s accuracy, and, realising his predicament, he slowly opened his eyes.

The rowers all had that same greasy hair grey skin that everyone had had back in the port town, and, from the few whose faces he could make out, they all had the glassy, dead stare of a salmon in a fishmongers.  Beginning to feel an immense sense of foreboding towards what he feared must be their destination, he tried to stand up. His limbs screamed in protest against his action and he realised, with a queasy horror, that his arms burned with raw skin where they had rubbed against the rope that securely bound him to a 7 foot splintered pole, like a pig ready for the roast. The foetid odour of rotting seaweed had  been slowly rising since had regained consciousness, and, despite the caked rag that bound his mouth, he tried to recall his religious youth and recant a prayer for anyone that would listen, despite his knowledge that God did not dwell where they sailed to. His efforts earned him a sharp kick in the ribs and a sailor’s thesaurus of curses. Tears of pain and terror began to streak his face, and it was only then when he hung his head in resignation that he noticed what they had done to him.

Etched onto him with the unerring accuracy of an artist skilled at his craft were designs of such complexity and awful significance that, had it been placed in a gallery, it would have been praised for the work’s sheer impressiveness and decadence. As it was, the fish blood it had been drawn in shone quite magnificently in the moonlight as it displayed sacred text, prayers, and, arms wide, emblazoned across the chest of the youth, an image of a terrible fish-headed demon preaching to a chorus of doomed souls.

He felt the course and pace of the boat change as it rocked with the waves of shallower waters, and the man began to cry anew, whimpering pathetically as he felt strong, scaled hands grab the pole. Lifted up, he saw the rest of the boats crew, bloated and fleshy, long having given their oaths. Despite the gag, he managed to scream in cosmic terror as, through eyes held open with fear he took in the monstrous sight of, silhouetted against the cloudless night, Devil’s Reef.

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Hiya! Thanks for reading! I just felt that I needed to write something tonight, and an hour or so playing Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth lead to this. Of course, that game takes most of it’s influences from “The Shadow over Innsmouth”, one of Lovecrafts most well known and best liked works. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you want you can go follow me over at @JethroReading on twitter and share this among your friends! Seeya!

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