Recovery would be slow

Welcome back to the daily prompts. The third for this week.

Recovery would be slow

The ship had sunk in calm seas in 1715. She left the Far East port in March, docked briefly in Bombay, and was never heard from again. Her Plymouth berth lay empty. Her owners grieved her fate – the ship, the crew, the cargo.

Nicknamed ‘Dragon Hoard’ for the gold ingots and caskets of precious gems she carried, the curious and the greedy searched for her for 300 years.

Every nautical mile of her expected route had been scoured with the most modern technology of the day. This time, the technology proved equal to the task. It found her.

They expected recovery would be slow and difficult. Exploration was needed.

Divers donned deep-sea gear, strapped cameras to their fronts and oxygen to their backs and somersaulted backwards into the lethargic, tropical swell.

They resurfaced with frowns and questions.

Two skeletons only, their barnacled bones dispersed in a broken cabin.

Broken masts strewn on the dark, sandy bed, jagged edges smoothed with time and currents and made ragged again by flourishing hydrophytes. But charred beneath the plant life, sodden charcoal.

An un-scorched and intact hull, bar expected rotting.

It was as if fire had rained from above, burning sails, searing masts, and consuming any crew above deck.

Gold and precious gems? Not a sign, nary a brass ring.

The explorers eyed each other, fingered their beards. They whispered, Dragon Hoard, and stared into the dusking sky where clouds broiled on the horizon, shaped for all the world like giant dragon wings.

Follow the daily writing prompt on Facebook or Instagram.

Find Cheryl’s flash fiction and short stories, including audio versions of some, here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.