Ship on the Horizon

Image courtesy of

Memory of the blood red sunset was gone. The sky had turned black, specked with a milion stars. The night was unusually dark, the moon just a thin line curved into a sickle. This was the reason why they were on the beach on that particular night, waiting for the ship to appear on the horizon.

“We don’t have much time! The ship is said to arrive in only two hours. We should already be able to see it if it weren’t for the fog”, Karlow said.

Karlow was the leader of the group. He naturally took the position, being the only one wise, and brave enough, to carry out the plan. Some said it was done before, some said it wasn’t, but the truth was not important, anyway. Even if it was possible, everything had to be done perfectly to succeed. The odds were not in their favour. That was why they all did their best to concentrate on the smaller tasks they had, trying not to think about the finale.

“Why do you think he’s doing it?” one of the men whispered to the other. The reply never came.

Karlow became one of them, but he was still the high-class gentleman who spoke, dressed, and acted differently than the rest of the group. He was also far more dangerous. They were petty thieves, pickpockets, horse stealers, and only the worst of them attempted to rob carriages. There was some skill, but not much thought in their actions. Karlow, on the other hand, was a planner. A conspirator. He could destroy a person using only words. The group never understood why he gathered them, but they couldn’t refuse the great opportunity he offered.

“Now, be careful! If you put the lights there, the ship would turn to avoid it and it would hit the cliff over there!” every Karlow’s word was an order.

They turned on the little gas lights. Every inch mattered. Every inch meant life or death. Carefully, following strictly the given orders, the men arranged the lights. They were put on high rods and left to hang over the sea.

The ship became visible. The crew’s lives were in danger, and so were the lives of the group on the shore, but only  those on the beach were aware of it. And all they could do was wait.

Karlow showed no sign of fear. He walked along the small, rocky beach and made sure the lights were in their place. The men could hear their hearts beating in their chests. Minutes went by painfully slow.

“It’s going in the right direction”, men began to murmur. And really, the ship turned away from the beach. As soon as it happened, the men started to celebrate.

“It’s not over yet!” Karlow shouted, and they went quiet. The man had great power over them, the people who had always hated authority. They remained motionless until it finally happened.

The ship crashed into the cliff. The sound of death spread over the beach. The darkness had done it’s part.

“It’s done,” Karlow said. “Now go on that ship and take all you can! And make sure no one survives to tell what happened!”

About wreckers on Wikipedia.