01 Feb Our Hands Are Tied To The Ocean Floor
If someone finds this, I hope this account sheds some light on what happened to me. As of now, things look grim and I’m trying to cling to some form of hope. But I’m mostly doing it for Mel, my girlfriend. If I crack, she’ll crack. So I’m putting on a brave face and writing down my fears here, for you. Whoever you are.
Three days ago I rented a boat and took her out to sea. I wanted to do something romantic. Watch the sunset over the water or something. We’ve been together for a couple years now and the idea of a ring grows more appealing by the day. The captain of the small thirty-six foot vessel was named Henry. IS named Henry. Last I checked, he’s still alive. The weather was bad when we left, but it was the last day of our vacation and I wanted to make it special for Mel. We should have turned back long before night took us, but I kept feeding Henry money. He saw the storm clouds. He knew the risks. But I kept flashing hundreds and paid for him to ignore the coming hell, putting my faith in his abilities to navigate us safely back home. That was a mistake. Also, I’m pretty sure he was drunk before we even set sail. If you can put a face to the term “sea dog” then you know all you need to about our captain.
The storm came just as predicted. Caught us way, way, out at sea and absolutely fucked us up. It was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever lived through. The waves, the rain, the thunder. I’m honestly surprised we’re all still alive. Well, Henry isn’t doing too well. He’s below deck in the small cabin, lying across one of the two cots. The sail snapped during the gale and cracked him hard across the head. I managed to stop the blood flow, but he’s touch and go.
Which leaves Mel and me absolutely screwed. Even if I knew how to operate a boat, I couldn’t because we have no sail. The small engine was lost in the storm. Snapped free when the mast came crashing down. I tried the radio, but I can’t seem to raise anyone. I don’t even know if I’m doing it right. I used up all the flares as well. That was three days ago, when shit hit the fan.
There’s some food left, a meager supply stored in the cabin below, but it won’t last long. I can’t believe any of this. Three days we’ve been adrift and at the mercy of the tide. We haven’t seen anyone. Henry’s strength is failing and sleeps most of the time. Mel stopped crying yesterday and has gone mostly silent. Which leaves you and me. I’m scared. And I have no idea if I’ll live through this.
Another day has passed. The sun was hot today so we stayed mostly below deck. The last thing we need is a blistering sunburn to add to our misery. Henry didn’t move much today. He managed to ask me about the radio and tried to give me instruction on how to use it, but I couldn’t understand most of what he was saying. I think he’s getting worse. We need to get him to a hospital.
Thought I saw something on the horizon at some point earlier, but I think it was just my imagination. It was just a sliver of darkness. A shadow. Probably a mirage. I can’t take the silence. Mel just isn’t engaging anymore. It’s like she’s given up. I don’t think I can handle that. Don’t leave me alone with my thoughts. They’re dark enough as it is.
Same day. I’m sitting on the deck beneath a full moon. The waves are alive with its light. It’d be beautiful if it wasn’t so haunting. Mel’s asleep down below deck. I tried the radio again, like I have been, but wasn’t able to pick up anything.
It’s just after midnight and I’m tired, but I don’t want to sleep. I don’t want to go down into the cabin and listen to Mel toss and turn as nightmares plague her. She’s so scared. So am I.
About an hour ago, I thought I heard something. Probably nothing, but I want to keep writing so I’ll tell you about it. It sounded like clacking. Like someone smacking two pieces of firewood together. Twice it happened, but it was so faint I’m not sure it was even real. Probably not. I need to sleep at some point. But not yet.
Maybe we’ll be rescued tomorrow. Ha. As if.
We saw something today. It was around midday and Mel was on deck with me. She saw it first. It was the strangest thing. It was a canoe. A huge, weathered canoe. It had to be at least twenty feet long. It looked old, wooden, and was completely empty. The ends of its curvature rose up into sharp tips, almost needle thin. I’ve never seen anything like it. I took it as a good sign. Maybe there’s an island nearby or something. It lifted Mel’s spirits, thankfully. She started talking again. Got excited.
Despite my lingering hope, something about that canoe made me feel uneasy. It just drifted by about fifty yards from our boat and then out of sight. I wish it had come closer because I could have sworn there was something written on the side.
Managed to get some food in Henry today. He seemed a little better after that. Asked us what day it was. How long we had been out here. Instructed me how to send an S.O.S on the radio which I did. Haven’t heard anything back. I’ll keep trying.
I told him about the canoe. I didn’t expect the reaction he gave me. His face went white and he grabbed me by the shirt and pulled me close. He whispered something urgently in my ear with all the strength he could muster.
“Stay away from them.”
Night again. Mel’s asleep at my shoulder. I’m on deck, just watching the water. I’m lonely. I’m scared. And I can’t help but think we’re never going to be rescued.
Hold on. Saw something just now.
Two canoes just drifted past our boat. They were identical. They looked like the one I saw yesterday. What on earth are they? Where did they come from? They were closer this time, about twenty yards out. And this time, I was able to see them clearly beneath the light of the full moon. There was something scrawled along the sides in big dark letters.
Our hands are tied to the ocean floor.
What the fuck does that mean? They drifted into one another and collided briefly. It made the same noise I heard the other day.
Horrible day today. Henry stopped breathing for a couple seconds, but Mel was able to revive him. He’s asleep now, but she’s a mess. I spent most of the day trying to comfort her. It seemed kind of pointless. I can’t lie about the danger we’re in. I’m waiting for her to go to sleep so I can go up on deck again and watch the stars. It’s the only peace I can seem to find lately.
Night. Just me and the night sky. The stars are brilliant right now. I feel like crying. There’s not much food left. We’re really pushing it. We might have another three days before we’re out. That’s if we’re careful.
Something just happened. I almost dropped my notebook in the water it scared me so bad. It was that clacking sound again, like those canoes bumping into one another. But it was loud, like there were hundreds of them. I can’t stop thinking about what was written along the sides of those things.
It’s late now. I ended up falling asleep on deck, but I’m up again. Still night. And I can’t believe what I’m staring at right now.
There are hundreds of canoes out there, beneath the moon. They’re close to our boat, clustered together in a tight circle. They’re just floating there, bumping into one another and making that terrible sound. I feel it pressing into my skull. Each one has the same thing written across it: Our hands are tied to the ocean floor.
Henry died today.
Didn’t write anything yesterday. We ran out of food. Waiting for the hunger to catch up. I can already feel it, and yet I know it’s only the start of our torment. Didn’t see any of the canoes last night. Saw something else.
Lights. Lights in the water. There were two and they very far away. Green. Like spotlights beneath the depths. I watched them for a long time while Mel cried herself to sleep. I cried a little too.
I don’t think we’re getting rescued.
There’s something wrong with this place.
Trying to ignore the hunger. Been watching the canoes instead. They’re back. Dozens of them. Mel is watching them too. It’s cloudy today so we’re sitting on the deck. She keeps muttering to herself over and over again. I didn’t catch it at first. Did eventually.
She kept saying, “My hands are tied to the ocean floor.”
Mel’s gone. I woke up in the middle of the night cause I heard splashing. When I saw she wasn’t next to me, I panicked. It seems my fears weren’t in vain. She’s fucking gone. She left me a note. I don’t even know what it means. It’s nonsense. Biblical shit. Shit about Hell.
I cried so hard. Harder than I ever have before.
The lights are back. Closer. Whatever the source is, it’s huge. The volume of water that’s ignited by these two beams is incredible. Something about it scares the shit out of me. Probably because the canoes are back. They seem to be swarming the lights. Drawn to them.
Something terrible is down there.
I think I might kill myself. I’m so hungry.
Watching the lights in the darkness again. They’re blinking. Don’t know if that’s good or bad. I can’t count how many of those fucking canoes there are. Clacking together. Always fucking clacking.
Been a couple hours. Got lost in my thoughts. Mesmerized by the lights. Something’s changed. It’s the canoes. I can see something in them. Things. Shadows. Masses of darkness standing beneath the moonlight.
They have horns coming out of their heads. Huge, long horns that extend high into the sky. I think they’re watching me. I think I’m losing my mind.
I’m going to swim out to the canoes tonight. They’ll be back. Seem to only appear at night now. The hunger has consumed me. And the thirst. Christ. Drank some ocean water earlier and then threw up an hour later. I’m not going to last much longer.
If I’m going to die, then I want to know what the fuck is going on out here.
This is it. Lights are back. The canoes are here. They’re all filled with those terrible horned shadows. I think they’re waiting for me. I think Mel saw them. Because the longer I watch them, the more I want to go out to them. I understand the madness of that. But I don’t care. I’m going to go now. The lights are blinking so fast.