The Outbound Run

Fishing Boat by dendoktoor on Pixabay

Out and back, day after day. Cold wind and salt spray weathered his face like a granite cliff. Someone ought to write a short story about a guy like that, Eli thought as he watched Captain Marsh check the heading of the Sea King and make a slight adjustment. Of course, nobody would believe a story about a boat that went out full of treasure and came back empty.

The Captain noticed him and nodded.


“Captain. We’re a little light today, aren’t we?”

“That’s as how they want it,” Captain Marsh shrugged, an oddly fluid up and down movement Elias had seen plenty before and always thought odd for a man his age and in his profession. Captaining a fishing boat in the Atlantic was a hard life and Captain Marsh had been at it for longer than anyone in his crew could remember. No one dared ask either. It wasn’t done. Asking how long you’d done anything on the sea was almost like asking for Father Dagon or Mother Hydra to splinter your boat and your bones.

Eli shrugged back. “Well, if that’s what they want…but…what are we taking them instead? They always want something down there in that city of theirs.” He turned to the cabin door. “Might as well get the crew working on dumping it all over, right?”

Captain Marsh turned, a boathook in his hand. “We won’t need ’em this time. Sorry, lad. It’s blood they want today.”

The boathook fell on the sacrifice.

My favorite H.P. Lovecraft story is “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”. Today’s story takes place in a town perhaps not very far from there, on a boat captained by one of a…certain lineage. I hope it suits the source material!

Play along with the writing prompt here.

(Photo Credit: dendoktoor on Pixabay)