The fog was thick around the open port. The captain had us each positioned five feet apart at the port and starboard bows so that we did not run into anything in the gloom. We were crawling, with only one sail at half-mast. We could hear the waves slapping the hull of only our boat. I listened hard for the creaks of docks or the sounds of anything really that would mean we were not alone in the white-out mist. I heard nothing but water on wood below me and cloth rustling in the wind around me.
I was on the starboard side and thus spared the sight of the initial assault. The tremendous crunching crash as something ripped through the port beam, ripping amidship outboard. The screams of those stationed along the port bow.
Then shouting from the other sailors demanding to know what happened. Panic.
“Silence” Bellowed our Captain. Not another word was spoken by the crew. “Deckhands to Arms. Riggers Hoist All Sails.”
The riggers climbed like monkeys. I had my rapier in my right hand and my short sword in the left in a reverse grip. Then I saw the huge crab claw. It was bigger than me. Bigger than any man. It clipped the main mast a few feet above the deck and carried it, and a half-dozen riggers, into the gloom.
A leviathan crab in a trading port. It was mindboggling. These vermin, because for all of their colossal size they were no smarter than the basic beach crabs, should be hunted down and destroyed as soon as they approach a port city. They destroyed ships for no other reason than to get at the sailors on board to feast upon.
The ship began to move, forward and starboard, away from where the crab most likely was. I strode to the port quarter to try and score a strike against the next attack from the crab. The ship heaved a little over halfway along my short journey. I fell and rolled, careful to not cut myself with my own blades. Then I looked up and saw the starboard bow of the ship in the clutches of both of the crustaceous claws. It pushed the starboard bow of the boat underwater, lifting the stern. The pitch caused myself and others on deck to slide towards the crabs waiting mouthparts. I didn’t think, just stabbed my short sword into the deck of the ship and held on for dear life as the rapier slid into the gullet of the leviathan crab along with more than half of the crew. Then riggers began to fall from the masts, crossbeams, and ropes they had been clinging to as the beast shook the ship.Finally the vermin let go. With a huge splash the stern of the ship landed back into the bay. I clung to my short sword. I thought I was the only one left alive. Then I felt the ship turn. I looked up to the wheelhouse. There stood the Captain. He had tied himself to the rails. I looked up into the rigging. There were other sailors up there too. I looked around the main deck. I was alone down here. I looked out over the bow, we were headed out to the open sea again. Hopefully the next port would be close by and relatively vermin free.