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A chill in the air, the night colder than any he could remember.

Conrad, the lookout aboard the Night Owl, stood fast, as he had for the last 40 years. Inhaling, he felt the icicles form in his lungs, a bitterness against the warmth of his tattered coat.

The ship was silent. He could no longer smell the sea, only the retched odor of rotting corpses that invaded his nostrils. The crew, mostly dead or dying, laid across the planks of wood, barely kept afloat, the pieces falling into the brine, taking parts of his shipmates with them.

He manned his post, unable to move, his hands stuck to the rim of the crow’s nest. The effervescent moon glared at him, an evil look on the face of the midnight sun. Conrad glanced once then returned his stare into the pitch.

The sounds of waves against the sides of the ship were the only things keeping him alert. He feared he would, eventually, freeze to death. But it was too late, he was already dead.


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