Undead Men Tell No Tales
by Corinne O'Flynn
Stepping onto the beach, I was overcome with a dizzying bout of vertigo. It hit me like a bolt from the sky and dropped me to the ground. I clawed at the sand, holding on to the world, waiting for it to stop spinning.
“Captain?” Albie’s voice was muffled and distant. He shoved my pack off my shoulder and grabbed my arm.
Bile rose in my throat like a shot. I rolled onto my back as a spike of pain rammed right through my belly. I dug my fingers into the sand, unable to move.
Hands gripped my shoulders. I opened my eyes to find Albie’s face hovering over mine, his eyes wide and his mouth moving. If he was speaking, my ears couldn’t hear him over the roar rising from inside my head.
I stretched my legs out and felt the cool water seep through my boots, bringing with it the smallest sense of ease.
Gods! Yes! Water!
Instinct drove me backward. I needed the water. I couldn’t stay here. I pushed myself off the ground and toward the lapping waves.
Albie pulled me to my feet, stopping my progress. Pain exploded behind my eyes and a galaxy of white-hot stars bloomed in my vision. It hurt to stand straight, and I knew deep inside that if I stayed where I was, I was going to die on this sad excuse for a beach.
I flung my first mate’s hands off and dropped back to my knees, scrabbling in the sand as I crawled toward the water.
I just needed the water.
The beach seemed to stretch out before me, the sea teasing me, moving farther away from me with every passing moment. I reached for it, my hand outstretched, aching for relief as the world shrank to the size of a pin and the lights went out.