A Pirate's Eyes

My eyes beg me to open them. They are screaming, pleading, for any light to seep into their skin, for they have been imprisoned in a land of black; a sky without stars. I don’t subject them to this torturous existence out of joy or out of malevolence. Fear is what compels me to shackle them like that. My ears, who can see more than my eyes can, hear the thunderous waves crashing onto the mossy shore I just landed on moments ago. My ship, smashing against the rocks like a broken record. My mates, sinking to the muddy seabed. My courage, drifting away like a leaf on a river. Calmly, surely. It slowly fades until I struggle to recall a moment when it ever existed. All that remains is a shell, an empty vessel. I am a man, yet I am not. All that I can see is nothing, because I don’t dare to tell Him that I have any bravery left to witness, with purpose, my agonising existence.

A voice.

It’s faint but I notice it. Suddenly, the noise of my friends drowning and my ship disappearing begin to loosen their grip on my mind; whatever is left of it.

Look at me, the voice yells. Is this a trick? Is this the Devil playing a joke on me, mocking my remaining slivers of humanness? That would be him. Yet, what if it isn’t? What if my own selfish sense of importance is placing the idea of the Devil higher in the hierarchy than the soul of another? A soul that may be able to save mine, in a time where I thought my soul left with my courage. How will I know? I won’t; that’s no consolation. Perhaps I will know, if I release my eyes from their cuffs of perpetual dark. Even then, will I? More than I would know if I didn’t, I suppose.

My eyelids flutter as I begin to unlock the cuffs. My eyes are both pained by the piercing light and joyed by it. Suddenly, without prediction or predetermination, my other senses begin to arise from their slumber. My feet feel the sharp, coarse, stinging rocks. My hands feel blood dripping down to the wrist. Drip. Drip. My face feels the waves lightly brush past, teasing what is really out there. Finally, finally, my eyes are released from their prison and are free to roam the realm of the perceivable.

Freedom comes with a cost, for the truth is unconditional. My eyes confirm what my ears, my feet, my hands and my face had all been screaming as true.

However, the voice has no owner. The voice has no face, no confirmation that my eyes can be set upon. And yet, I smile. While the Devil succeeded in his trickery, he did not account for my courage. The winds had drifted it back, along with my soul, and it arrived at my feet. All I needed to do was see.

I step forward.