Canto Twenty – The Evil Island
We were lost because the Reefer Mary Celeste no longer had a navigator aboard, and Chinooki had apparently destroyed the radio and all the other electronic equipment on board as well. Kooky and I tried to keep her on the course we had been following, but two of us were simply not enough people to manage a ship of the size of the Mary. We quickly lost our way in a thick fog and we were going in an unknown direction at too high a rate of speed. We knew how to use a compass and we might even have been able to wait for the stars if our minds hadn’t been turned to Jell-O pudding by the mermaid’s singing.
“She killed all of our crew, didn’t she?” said Kooky.
“She did. You know, Chuck warned us about her. We should’ve listened.”
“You are right, Captain. I realize that now. But at the time, it was like I was under a spell or something. She had power over me.”
“Yes, she did. Over all of us, apparently.”
“I am so sorry, Captain. I’ve caused the death of us all, haven’t I?”
“None of us should ever have let someone else take control of our lives. We should’ve realized the danger from the start. You can’t blame yourself alone.”
It was right after that conversation that Kooky spotted Chinooki sitting on a distant rock.
“I am going to make her pay, Captain. She is going to regret coming on board the Reefer Mary Celeste.”
Kooky was at the wheel, and he steered the entire ship directly towards the rock where Chinooki was sitting.
“What are you going to do?” I asked.
“I’ll ram her! I will run her over!”
“Kooky, she’s singing right now. Do you think maybe she wants us to do exactly what you are doing?”
“Maybe so. Maybe not. But I have ta!” And the strangest thing is that I let him do it. I let him ram the Mary bow-first into the rock. It tore through most of the front end of the ship, separating her at mid-ship into two parts, both of which sank to the bottom. I remember swimming in the ocean with shark fins in the water near the horizon. I remember hearing Kooky call out and a sudden thrashing, and I wondered if it were the sharks or the mermaid herself who claimed him. I never saw him again. I never saw any of them again. I blacked out, and don’t remember anything before awakening on the sand of the Evil Island’s shore.