The noise was horrendous. The clamor of officers’ cries to keep fighting, the anguished screams of the bleeding dismembered, the shouted pleas of those drowning, the endless cacophony of the British cannons, and the resulting bursts of explosions—all combined to overwhelm Jacques. He clamped calloused palms over his ears. He closed his eyes. Jacques tried to shut out all the horror, strived to will away the awful sounds.
Mon mort! It was his time to die, was his sudden realization, his unbidden, most unwanted revelation. Jacques tried to be resolute in the face of this ultimate confrontation—his own personal ending. Still, he just couldn’t summon up the necessary strength. Jacques couldn’t halt the visceral fear flooding into his gut, or stop it from turning his insides to ice water.
Eh bien, he thought. So there was no palliative for this final malady of life, no cure for his terror of death, but death itself.
Jacques finally opened unwilling eyes upon the still-dreadful panorama. He let his hands drop to his sides in a silent gesture of abject surrender. The tumult assaulted him once more. Trying to ignore it all, with knees trembling, Jacques prepared to spring, to vault the railing and fling himself overboard into the consuming ocean.
It would be to his own probable death he knew, for he couldn’t swim, not a blessèd stroke.
Then, an eerie light manifested in the sea, deep beneath him. He stared down through murky waters at the expanding boil of green radiance. A submerged glow ascended there, a viridian bubble of lurid effervescence, one that grew in size and sickly brightness even as it rose, neared the sea’s turbulent surface.
“Pour l’amour de Dieu!” he cried. Making the sign of the cross, Jacques took a fearful step back. Yet, still he stared down into the rising mystery.
Now he could make out the form of an occupant in the bubble, the ephemeral shape of a beautiful, but exotic-looking woman. She floated in the center of that emerald sphere. She turned her head, looked up at him with wine-dark eyes. They sparkled with the promise of all sorts of exciting things. The woman smiled. Pallid pink lips parted to reveal whitest teeth, razor-sharp…
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About the Author
Rob Shelsky is an avid and eclectic writer, and averages about 4,000 words a day. He has several novels to his credit and two anthologies, with two romances out now, a Regency romance, Verity, along with the sequel, Faith, and soon to come, a time-travel romance. Rob has written science fiction articles for such magazines as The Internet Review of Science Fiction, numerous articles for AlienSkin Magazine, Neometropolis, Midnight Street (UK), Doorways, and other publications. Rob has had short stories published with Jim Baen’s Universe, Aberrant Dreams, AlienSkin, Gateway SF, Fifth Dimension, Continuum SF, Sonar4, Uncial Press, Planetary Stories, Pulp Spirit Magazine, Sex & Murder, and many more. He has a novella coming out in early 2010 with Aberrant Dreams Magazine’s first hardcover edition anthology, The Awakening. Rob’s novella, Avenger Of The People, will appear there alongside the works of such sci-fi greats as Alastair Reynolds, Ian Watson, Jana Oliver, Robert Madle, and just so many others. There is even an introduction by Jack McDevitt. Rob has a short story, Green Waters, now out with Sonar4’s Phase Shift anthology, and a paranormal story, Light On The Moor, coming out with Smashwords and Amazon.com. Now, Rob Shelsky is not only a writer, but a contributing editor for Currate.com travel articles, as well as being a reviewer for Novelspot. He is also a resident science fiction columnist for AlienSkin Magazine. Although widely traveled and continuing to travel, Rob now lives in North Carolina. He enjoys contemplating ideas for new stories while watching the sunsets over the mountains and sipping a glass of red wine, preferably a decent Merlot. Oh and check out this site for my Smashword books: Ebookswelove.com