Ships in the Sea and Sky
March seems to have turned into the month of sharing my work with you. Below is a short which is my first, and possibly only, attempt at Sci-Fi Horror.
I was in my thirties when I saw the other ship.
It was a calm night, and the sea was quiet. Only the soft sound of waves brushing against the boat prevented total silence. The sound was rhythmic and soothing, adding to my sense of peace. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, enjoying the smell of the sea.
“We should have taken this up years ago,” my dad said, settling back in his chair and cracking open his third beer.
“Yup, told ya so,” Jake, my dad’s lifelong friend and current roommate, smirked. “You should have listened to me.”
“Night fishing hardly sounds glamourous,” I said. “Especially when the only experience we have of it is you getting in at 5 in the morning reeking of beer and fish guts with nothing to show for it.”
“Fish is not the reason I come fishing,” Jake said. “It’s for the peace, the beer and the atmosphere.”
“And now the company,” dad said. Jake held out his beer can for a clink and the two laughed.
“I have to admit,” I said. “This is peaceful.”
It was pitch black except for the moon, a few stars, and the light of the boat. Jake was right, this was peaceful. There was something infinitely soothing about a calm sea at night. I decided that I might have to take them up on the offer to tag along on a few more trips.
“This is nice, just the sound of the sea,” Jake said, echoing my thoughts.
“It would be even nicer if you’d shut up,” Dad said. Jake laughed.
We sat in comfortable silence, listening to the sea wash against the side of the small fishing boat.
I was drifting off when dad shook me.
“Did you hear that?” he said. I sat up, blinked the sleep from my eyes and listened, but all I could hear was the sea and Jake softly snoring in his chair. Nothing else.
“Nope,” I said.
“Really?” Dad frowned.
“Might help if I knew what I was supposed to be hearing.” I leaned back in my chair.
“Humming,” dad said. “Like an engine, one of those quiet ones you get on the electric cars.”
“Probably just another boat,” I said. Dad grabbed my arm, his grip hard.
“It isn’t like any boat I’ve heard before.” His voice was trembling. Surprised at his obvious tension, I stood up and looked around, searching the sea for lights. I saw nothing. “It must have been passing.” I shrugged. Dad looked sceptical.
“Didn’t sound like no boat,” he said again.
“Like you would know,” I said. “You know as much as I do about boats, and that isn’t a lot.”
“I know what I heard,” dad said. “It wasn’t a boat.” Despite his words, he seemed to settle down, and I followed suit. I was relaxing back in the chair and could feel myself drifting off to sleep when I noticed the hum myself. I opened my eyes and glanced at dad. He was staring at me, a worried expression on his face. I listened to the sound. Dad was wrong. It wasn’t like an engine, it was far too smooth for that. It put me in mind of the sound speakers give off when you’ve got the volume right up but didn’t yet have music on. A bass sound, low and quiet, something you feel more than you hear.
“Jake,” dad said, kicking Jake’s chair. Jake snorted awake and glared at us.
“Pete, for heaven’s sake, don’t be an asshole,” he said, straightening his cap.
“Shut up and listen,” dad said.
“What?” Jake said, but at dad’s expression he fell quiet and listened. He shrugged after a few moments. “Probably something on the boat, I don’t know. Don’t look so worried.”
“Ignoring the fact you don’t know what your own boat sounds like, this is something to be worried about,” dad said. “We’re miles out to sea, with a guy who can barely drive his boat. What the hell is making that noise?” Dad’s voice was rising in volume as the hum got louder.
“It’s not coming from the boat. It’s coming from everywhere,” I said and stood up, unable to keep still. I could feel the air vibrating with the sound. I shivered as I broke out in goose bumps. “It sounds big.”
“Big?” dad said. “Just sounds bloody loud.” I spun on the spot, trying to see what was making this noise, but there was nothing out here. The sea still looked calm.
“Has to be something,” I muttered.
“What the hell is it?” Dad snapped.
“Could be the Hum,” I said. Dad gave me a look. “It’s a phenomenon. People all over the UK & USA have reported it. A sound like this, no known cause.”
“Isn’t that delusion?” Jake said, heading to the edge of the boat. I shrugged.
“Then all of us must be delusional,” I said.
“Bloody shut up!” dad yelled at the sky.
“I don’t think yelling will help,” I said.
3 thoughts on “The Other Ship Part One”
It made me think of Unidentified Submerged Objects/USOs.
Thank you, that’s what I was going for 🙂