BDB Presents Poe: Descent into the Maelstrom

 

John: *Beer bottle hanging lazily on my lip, drawn into this shit @Blaylock_BDB is laying down about some “maelstrom”*

Qhuinn: *Snickering internally as @John_MatthewBDB takes in the urban legend @Blaylock_BDB is spewing*

Blay: *Leaning into @John_MatthewBDB*  I’m telling you boys, my ancestors have passed down this story for generations. @Qhuinn_BDB

Blay: @John_MatthewBDB everyone avoids this endless place, with its inky hue and deplorably desolate panorama. @Qhuinn_BDB

John: *Scowling skeptically, looking to @Qhuinn_BDB to verify this shit @Blaylock_BDB is saying*

Qhuinn: *Glancing sideways @John_MatthewBDB, tilting my head @Blaylock_BDB*  It’s true. The maelstrom’s said to age a man in minutes.

Qhuinn: *Lowering my voice for dramatic effect* @John_MatthewBDB If you don’t get sucked into Dhund first. *winking @Blaylock_BDB*

John: *Swallowing the rest of my beer in one take, standing up, shrugging into my leather jacket* @Blaylock_BDB @Qhuinn_BDB

Qhuinn: Where do you think you’re going, @John_MatthewBDB?

John: *Signing, getting straight to the point* @Qhuinn_BDB @Blaylock_BDB To find this “maelstrom”.

Blay: *Shaking my head* @John_MatthewBDB You’d never find it.

Qhuinn: *Grabbing @John_MatthewBDB by the sleeve of his jacket, pulling him to the booth* Sit your ass down, I’ll order another round.

John: *Looking between @Blaylock_BDB and @Qhuinn_BDB, signing* You pansy asses scared?

Qhuinn: *Fuck*  @John_MatthewBDB @Blaylock_BDB  *muttering as I get up* Asshole, I’ll get you another round.

Blay: I’m hitting the restroom. You okay here by yourself for a minute @John_MatthewBDB? *Seeing @Qhuinn_BDB, watching him at the bar*

John: *Pissed off, signing* I don’t need to be fucking babysat.

John: *My head feeling heavy as a bowling ball as I watch @Blaylock_BDB walk away, @Qhuinn_BDB staring me down from the bar*

John: *Head swimming, unable to hold it up, passing out right at the table.*

Blay: *The three of us, @Qhuinn_BDB and @John_MatthewBDB and myself, cross over to the islands and soon nearly load the smack with fine fish.*

Blay: *The fish are more plenty today than we have known. We weigh and start for home so as to make the worst of the Strom at slack water.*

Qhuinn: *We set out with a fresh wind on our starboard quarter, and for some time spank along at a great rate, never dreaming of danger*

Qhuinn: *For indeed, we saw not the slightest reason to apprehend it. All at once we are taken aback by a breeze from over the mountains.*

Qhuinn: *This is most unusual–something that has never happened to us before–and I begin to feel a little uneasy, without exactly knowing why.*

Qhuinn: *We put the boat on the wind, but making no headway at all for the eddies, and I am upon the point of proposing to return to the anchorage*

Qhuinn: *When, looking astern, we see the whole horizon covered with a singular copper-colored cloud that rises with the most amazing velocity.*

Qhuinn: *In the meantime the breeze that had headed us off falls away, and we are dead becalmed, drifting about in every direction.*

Qhuinn: *This state of things, however, does not last long enough to give us time to think about it. In less than a minute the storm is upon us.*

Qhuinn:*In less than two minutes, the sky is entirely overcast.*

Qhuinn: *And what with this and the driving spray, it becomes suddenly so dark that we can not see each other in the smack.*

John: *Hurricane blowing with such force, it escapes description. The oldest seaman aboard never experienced anything like it*

John:   *We have let our sails go by the run before it cleverly took us; but, at the first puff, both our masts go by the board*

John *As if they have been sawed off–the mainmast taking with it one of the trainees, who hadn’t made it through the change*

Blay: *Our boat is the lightest feather of a thing that ever sat upon water. It has a complete flush deck, with a small hatch near the bow.*

Blay: *It has always been our custom to batten down the hatch when about to cross the Strom, by way of precaution against the chopping seas.*

Blay: *But for this circumstance we lay entirely buried for some moments. How @Qhuinn_BDB escapes destruction, I cannot say.*

Qhuinn: *For some moments we are completely deluged, as I say, and all this time I hold my breath, clinging to a cask lashed to the deck.*

Blay: *For my part, as soon as I let the foresail run, throwing myself flat on the deck, my feet against the narrow gunwale of the bow.*

Qhuinn: *When I can stand it no longer I raise myself upon my knees, still keeping hold with my hands, and thus get my head clear.*

Blay: *Mere instinct prompting my hands to grasp a ring-bolt near the foot of the foremast, which is undoubtedly the very best thing I can do*

Qhuinn: *Our little boat gives herself a shake, just as a dog does in coming out of the water, thus ridding herself in some measure, of the seas.*

Qhuinn: *I am now trying to get the better of the stupor that has come over me, and to collect my senses so as to see what is to be done*

Qhuinn: *When I suddenly feel somebody grasp my arm.*

Qhuinn: *It is @Blaylock_BDB, and my heart leaps for joy, for I had been sure that he was overboard.*

Qhuinn: *But the next moment all this joy is turned into horror, for he puts his mouth close to my ear, and screams out the word ‘maelstrom!’*

Qhuinn: *No one ever can know what my feelings are at this moment. I shake from head to foot as if I am having the most violent fit of the ague.*

Qhuinn: *I know what he means by that one word well enough–I know what he wishes to make me understand.*

Qhuinn: *With the wind that now drives us on, we are bound for the whirl of the maelstrom, and nothing can save us!*

John: *In crossing the Strom channel, you always go a long way above the whirl, even in the calmest weather*

John: *Waiting and watching carefully for the slack – but now we’re driving right upon the pool itself! And in a hurricane!* itself, and in such a hurricane as this!

John: *Thinking we shall get there just about the slack – there is some hope in that – cursing myself in the next moment*

John: *Fuck*

John: *So great a fool to dream of hope at all. We are doomed.*

John: *The first fury of the tempest has spent itself, or perhaps we do not feel it so much, as we scud before it*

John: *But all events the seas which at first were kept down by the wind, lying flat and frothing, now getting up to the mountains*

John: *A singular change, too, coming over the sky.  In every direction it’s still black as pitch*

John: *But nearly overhead, bursting out all at once is a circular rift of clear sky – as clear as I’ve ever seen*

Blay: *Making two attempts to speak to @John_MatthewBDB, attempting to get him to hear me, but he cannot.*

John: *Deep, bright blue. The moon blazing through with a lustre that I never before have known her to wear*

John: *Lighting up everything with the greatest distinctness, but, oh @Scribe_Virgin, what a scene it is to light up!*

Blay: *In some manner which I cannot understand the din increases so that I cannot make @John_MatthewBDB hear a single word.*

Blay: *Screaming at @John_MatthewBDB at the top of my voice.*

Blay: *Hearing no response, only seeing @John_MatthewBDB hold up one of his fingers, as to say listen.*

Blay: *At first I could not make out what he means, but soon a hideous thought
flashes upon me.*

Qhuinn: *I drag my watch from its fob. It is not going.*

Qhuinn: *Glancing at its face by the moonlight, then shouting my denial as I fling it far away into the ocean.*

Qhuinn: *It has run down at seven o’clock! We are behind the time of the slack, and the whirl of the maelstrom is in full fury!*

John: *When a boat is well built, properly trimmed, and not deep laden…the waves in a strong gale always seem to slip from beneath her*

John: *This is what is called riding.  So far we have ridden the swells cleverly*

John: *Until now*

John: *A gigantic wave taking us right under the counter, bearing us with it as it rises up—up— as if into the sky*

John: *Jaw gaping wide, not believing what is happening before my very eyes, that a wave can rise so high*

John: *Coming down with a sweep, a slide and a plunge, feeling sick and dizzy, as if falling from some lofty mountain-top in a dream*

John: *Throwing around a quick glance, seeing our exact position in an instant.  The maelstrom whirlpool about a quarter mile dead ahead*

John: *The whirl like a mill-race, if I hadn’t been looking for it, I wouldn’t have recognized it at all*

John: *Involuntarily closing my eyes in horror. Lids clenched together as if in a spasm*

John: *Feeling the waves subside, enveloped in foam.  The boat making a sharp half turn, shooting off in a new direction like a thunderbolt*

John: *The roaring noise of the water drowned out in a kind of shrill shriek.  The sound you might imagine given out by a thousand steam vessels*

John: *Now in the belt of surf that always surrounds the whirl, another moment will plunge us into the abyss*

John: *We can only see into the abyss indistinctly, on the account of the amazing velocity with which we bore along*

John: *The boat not seeming to sink into the water at all, but skimming like an air-bubble on the surface of the surge*

John: *The ocean standing like a huge, writhing wall between us and the horizon*

Blay: *It appears strange, but being in the very jaws of the gulf, feeling more composed than when we were only approaching it.*

Blay: *Having made up my mind to hope no more, getting rid of a great deal of that terror which unmanned me at first.*

Blay: *I suppose it is despair that has my nerves strung out.*

Qhuinn: *It may look like boasting–but what I tell you is truth –I begin to reflect how magnificent a thing it is to die in such a manner*

Qhuinn: *How foolish to think of so paltry a consideration as my own individual life, in view of so wonderful a manifestation of nature’s power*

Qhuinn: *I do believe I blush with shame when this idea crosses my mind. After a little while I become possessed with the keenest curiosity about the whirl itself.*

Qhuinn: *I positively feel a wish to explore its depths, even at the sacrifice I am going to make. *

Qhuinn: *My principal grief is that I shall never be able to tell @Blaylock_BDB all that I truly feel for him…the regret of having forsaken him.*

Qhuinn: *These, no doubt, are singular fancies to occupy a male’s mind in such extremity*

Qhuinn: *Or perhaps it is the revolutions of the boat around the pool that may have rendered me a little light-headed.*

John: *Needing to restore my self-possession, with the cessation of wind, which cannot reach us in this present situation*

John: *The belt of surf considerably lower than the bed of the ocean, and the latter towering above us, like a high, black, mountainous ridge*

John: *At sea, there is a confusion of the mind, occasioned by the wind and spray together*

John: *They blind, deafen, strangle you, take away all power of action or reflection*

John: *But now, in great measure, rid of these annoyances – just as death-condemned felons in prison are allowed petty indulgences*

John: *Forbidden them while their doom is uncertain*

Blay: *How often we have made the circuit of the belt it is impossible to say.*

Blay: *We career round and round for perhaps an hour, flying rather than floating, getting gradually more and more into the middle of the surge.*

Blay: *Nearing and nearing to its horrible inner edge.*

Qhuinn: *It appears that the ring-bolt is giving way, deciding I must change positions with @Blaylock_BDB to save him.*

Blay: *Never letting go of the ring-bolt. @Qhuinn_BDB is at the stern, holding on to a large empty water-cask which has been securely lashed.*

Blay: *It is the only thing on deck that has not been swept overboard when the gale first took us.*

Blay: *As we approach the brink of the pit @Qhuinn_BDB lets go, making for the ring-bolt, from which, in the agony of his terror, he forces my hands.*

Blay: *It is not large enough to afford us both a secure grasp, I never felt deeper grief than when I see him attempt this act.*

Blay: *Knowing @Qhuinn_BDB is a madman as he does it, a raving maniac through sheer fright. I do not care to contest the point with him.*

Blay: *It makes no difference whether either of us hold on at all, so I let @Qhuinn_BDB have the bolt and go astern to the cask.*

Blay: *The smack swaying to and fro, with the immense sweeps and swelters of the whirl, scarcely securing myself in my new position.*

Blay: *We give a wild lurch to starboard, and rush headlong into the abyss, muttering a hurried prayer.* Dear sweet, @Scribe_Virgin.

Blay: *Thinking all is over.*

Qhuinn: *Relief that @Blaylock_BDB is now safely secured is fleeting as I feel the sickening sweep of the descent.*

Qhuinn: *Instinctively, I tighten my hold upon the ring-bolt, closing my eyes. For some seconds I dare not open them–expecting instant destruction*

Qhuinn: *Wonder that I am not already in my death-struggles with the water.*

Qhuinn: *But moment after moment elapses. I still live.*

John: *Too much confused to observe anything accurately.  The burst of terrific grandeur all I can behold*

Qhuinn: *The sense of falling ceases; and the motion of the vessel seems much as it had been before while in the belt of foam*

Qhuinn: *I take courage and look once again upon the scene.*

Qhuinn: *Never shall I forget the sensations of awe, horror, and admiration with which I gaze about me.*

Qhuinn: *The boat appears to be hanging, by magic, midway down, upon the interior surface of a funnel vast in circumference, prodigious in depth*

Qhuinn: *Whose perfectly smooth sides might have been mistaken for ebony, but for the bewildering rapidity with which they spin around*

Qhuinn: *The gleaming and ghastly radiance they shoot forth, as the rays of the full moon, from that circular rift amid the clouds*

Qhuinn: *Streaming in a flood of golden glory along the black walls, and far away down into the inmost recesses of the abyss.*

John: *Recovering a little, my eyes dropping instinctively downward, able to obtain an unobstructed view*

John: *The boat at an even keel – the deck lying in a plane parallel with the water- but the latter sloping at an angle more than 45 degrees*

John: *We seem to be lying upon our beam-ends.  Observing that I have no more difficulty in maintaining my footing in this situation*

John: *Owing this to the speed at which we are revolving*

Blay: *The rays of the moon seem to search the very bottom of the profound water, but still I can make out nothing distinctly.*

Blay: *The thick mhis has enveloped everything, and over which there hangs a magnificent rainbow.*

Blay: *Like the narrow and tottering bridge which they say is the only pathway between the Fade and Duhnd.*

Blay: *The mhis, or spray, no doubt occasioned by the clashing of the great walls of the funnel, as we all meet together at the bottom.*

Blay: *The yell that goes up to the Fade out of the mhis, I dare not attempt to describe.*

Qhuinn: *Our first slide into the abyss itself, from the belt of foam above, has carried us to a great distance down the slope*

Qhuinn: *But our farther descent is by no means proportionate.*

Qhuinn: *Round and round we sweep–not with any uniform movement–but in dizzying swings and jerks, that send us sometimes only a few hundred feet*

Qhuinn: *Sometimes nearly the complete circuit of the whirl. Our progress downward, at each revolution, is slow, but very perceptible.*

John: *Looking on the wide waste of liquid ebony in which @Blaylock_BDB, @Qhuinn_BDB and I find ourselves*

John: *Perceiving that our boat is not the only object in the embrace of the whirl*

John: *Above and below us are visible fragment of vessels, large masses of building timber and trunks of trees, among smaller articles*

John: *Unnatural curiosity taking the place of my terror, growing as we draw nearer and nearer the dreadful doom*

John: *Watching with strange interest, numerous things that float in our company:  @Xhex_BDB’s cilices, daggers, Glocks,  my father’s diary*
John: *A haunting wisp of red hair*

Blay: *I must be delirious, I find it amusing the speculation upon the relative velocities of the several descents toward the foam below.*

Blay: *This fir tree will certainly be the next thing that takes the awful plunge and disappears.*

Blay: *Disappointed to find that the wreck of the Lesser’s ship overtakes the tree by going down first.*

Blay: *Making several guesses as to what would go next, being deceived in my thoughts.*

Blay: *My invariable miscalculations set me upon a train of reflection that makes my limbs again tremble, and my heart beat heavily once more.*

Qhuinn: *It is not a new terror that thus affects me, but the dawn of a more exciting hope.*

Qhuinn: *The great variety of buoyant matter that strews the coast, having been absorbed and then thrown forth by the maelstrom.*

Qhuinn: *By far the greater number of the articles were shattered in the most extraordinary way*

Qhuinn: *So chafed and roughened as to have the appearance of being stuck full of splinters…yet there are some which are not disfigured at all.*

Qhuinn: *I cannot account for the difference except by supposing that the roughened fragments are the only ones which have been completely absorbed*

Qhuinn: *That the others had entered the whirl at so late a period of the tide, or, from some reason, had descended so slowly after entering*

Qhuinn: *That they did not reach the bottom before the turn of the flood came, or of the ebb, as the case might be.*

John: *Conceiving that it’s possible we might be whirled right up, to be level with the ocean*

John: *Without undergoing the fate of those who have been drawn into the maelstrom earlier or absorbed more rapidly*

John: *Making three important observations*

John: *First, as a general rule, the larger the bodies, the more rapid their descent*

John: *Second, between two masses of equal extent, one spherical and the other any other shape, the sphere descends faster*

John: *Third, between two masses of equal size, the one cylindrical, the the other of any other shape, the cylinder is absorbed more slowly*

Blay: *I have been taught in training the words cylinder and sphere.*

Blay: *They explain how what I observed was, in fact, the natural consequences of the forms of the floating fragments.*

Blay: *How it happens that a cylinder, swimming in a vortex, offers more resistance to its suction.*

Blay: *And that it is drawn in with greater difficulty than an equally bulky body, of any form whatever.*

Qhuinn: *There is one startling circumstance which goes a great way in enforcing these observations*

Qhuinn: *At every revolution, we pass something like a barrel, or else the broken yard or the mast of a vessel*

Qhuinn: *While many of these things, which had been on our level when I first opened my eyes upon the wonders of the whirlpool*

Qhuinn:  *Are now high up above us, and seem to have moved but little from their original station.*

John: *No longer hesitating what to do.  Resolving to lash myself securely to the water cask I am holding, cut it loose from the counter*

John: *Throw myself with the cask into the water*

John: *Willing @Blaylock_BDB and @Qhuinn_BDB to understand what I’m about to do*

John: *Both of them shaking their heads to my horror – it is impossible to force them*

John: *Resigning us all to our own fate, emergency admitting no delay*

John: *With a bitter struggle, fastening myself to the cask by means of the lashings that secure it to the counter*

John: *Precipitating myself with it into the sea, without another moment’s hesitation*

John: *The result precisely what I hoped it might be*

John: *What seems like an hour after quitting the smack, having descend to a vast distance beneath me*

John: *The maelstrom making wild gyrations in rapid succession, taking my dearest friends @Qhuinn_BDB and @Blaylock_BDB with it*

John: *Finally the maelstrom, plunges headlong, once and forever, into the chaos of the foam below*

John: *A great change taking place in the character of the whirlpool.  The slope of the vast funnel becoming less and less steep*

John: *The gyrations of the whirl growing gradually, less and less violent.  The froth and rainbow disappearing, the bottom slowly uprising*

John: *Sky clearing, wind calming down. Full moon setting radiantly in the west above the spot where the maelstrom had been*

John: *Waves still mountainous from the effects of the hurricane, sloshing around violently*

John: *Exhausted from fatigue*

John: *A boat picking me up… the fisherman two of my old mates-*

Blay: *Nudging @John_MatthewBDB in the shoulder.* Wake up sleeping beauty.

Qhuinn: *Sliding the new beer across the table as @John_MatthewBDB raises his head* Bottoms up pansy ass.

John: *Head feeling as if in a whirlpool. Mouthing* What. The. Hell? #BDB #PoeHalloween #DescentIntoTheMaelstrom

 

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