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The Black Ship

The black ship rides on an inky black sea in a shrinking world.
A lone man stands on deck and contemplates death. Today when he looked at the sky he saw something. The sky was black as ever, but today he saw texture in its blackness.
He saw waves.
He knows it is almost time.

The sailor has an old fashioned pistol, a pearl-handled muzzle-loader. It has only one bullet, which is too big for the barrel. But soon it will be time, for the bullet is gradually shrinking.

He eyes the bullet. It is a smooth glassy black, and heavy. Beneath the hard surface, strange textures swim. He fancies he sees a flash inside its mysterious depths. It is now only a little too big for the muzzle. He loads the gun with powder. He primes the flint. He places the bullet on the muzzle. For a while it sits there, then slides down the barrel. He raises the gun. His finger moves on the trigger.

The sound rolls out across the silent black sea that surrounds the ship and swallows both sound and ship.


© Daniel Winterstein 1998-2008

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