Title: Storm Front
Word Count 200 (double drabble,)
Disclaimer Nor mine, nor ever will be
A slight editorial comment first. Even in today's Navy, for truly severe storms, our ships are all sent out to sea. They are safer out there, away from anything that they can collide with. But for those on shore, who love them, such times are not easy.
Rain shook the window. It leaked in with the cold air around the loose frame. It misted Horatio with nose itching cold, and the smell of the sea. The storm had come with the winds shift at sunset. He could hear the surf tearing at the shore. There would be foam at the land's edge, brown with sand, like the head on a beer. Under that soft deceit, were the hidden rocks, to tear the belly of a ship or a man. Far away over the water, the sizzle of lightning, the thunder immediate. No time to count or even breathe.
“Its close.” Archie's voice was gruff. . “Poor bastards.”
Horatio and Archie, knotted together, forced idle in the prison room. God, keep us all from the lee shore.
Somewhere out past the smeared window, men's voices fought the wind. Men were aloft with feet slipping, with hands torn and bleeding. Men soaked with cold, and the canvas heavy, slapping and fighting, because of course ships are alive.
French, Spanish, English. On such a night they rocked as one. They suffered as one. Because of course, the sea is alive, and it is no man's friend.