THE LADY OF CALMWATER
After granting his wish to be released the voodoo priestess leaned down until her lips met his bleeding ear,
"See," she said, "I am not without feelings for you."
She set him on a makeshift raft, far away enough so she could not see his pain. The sheet of ice stretched out in all directions. With each heave jagged, translucent blue shards thrust upwards. The rising drifts closed in on the buoyant wooden platform. Its sole occupant curled in a fetal position, struggling to stay conscious. His battered lip bled incessantly down his unshaven chin. The steady stream stopped when the wound froze over. Swollen eyes pulsed with hot blood, turning his lids and surrounding are purple, his nose permanently misshapen. The arctic chill came as almost a welcome change to the dark dungeon he occupied for days, tortured for his treason.
Soon the platform will be surrounded by nature's most destructive device. A moment later, it will be crushed by the sheer weight of the unforgiving ice floe. Delivering its occupant into the waiting oceanic graveyard.
The slab of wood, slick with a thin layer of ice reflected the cold midday sun, bright yet already low in the dark blue, brooding sky. The lethargic castaway shivered when a wave burst into droplets of ice before raining down on him, frozen by the arctic blast. His stilted breath came out in smokey puffs through peeling, water deprived lips.
He had all but given up hope, until the faint rhythm of oars slapping water brought him back to the living world. A hooded man standing on the bow of a small row boat, telescope in hand, headed directly toward him.