Burn the Graveyard

Talon scrambled out of the darkened hold. “This isn’t going to work.”

“Nope.” Matt spun more of the fuse from the spool he carried.

“We’re doomed to stay down here forever.”

“Pretty much.”

“Except when they catch us, they’re going to throw us down there.” Talon peered over the rail to the endless abyss.

“That’s what I reckon.”

“I wonder what it’s like, starving to death in a fall that never ends?”

Matt grunted, “Get to the next ship. We need to get this done before they throw Alathea over.”

“How do you know it’s not too late?”

“I don’t.” Matt wrinkled his nose and shook a fist to the darkness above. “Stupid sky with no sun!”

“You’re talking to the sky. The sky under the world. Beyond the edge of creation. Like, the anti-sky. Or the under-sky. Or something stupid like that. And you’re talking to it.”

“Are you going to get to the next boat on your own, or am I going to throw you?”

They moved from ship to ship, connected each one with a line of fuse. Matt took care to leave enough leeway so the shuddering vessels wouldn’t snap the line. On each boat, they gathered material around the fuse – sails, or old barrels, or discarded rags. Something that would keep a fire burning a little longer, until the deck-planking caught.

“Well, you think that’s enough?”

Talon poked the empty spool. “If not, we’re not going to get another chance.”

Matt nodded. “All right, then. Get to the other end. I’ll wait ten minutes and take care of my side.”

“I thought you couldn’t tell time without the sun?”

Matt glared at him.

Talon dashed off, flitting from one ship to the next.

Matt counted the time, his eyes on a boat far in the distant fog of the Graveyard. Boats kept clattering against each other. This entire time, they had seen no one. They were all there for Alathea’s trial.

And her useless god wouldn’t save her, of course.

She’d say some water-soaked thing like, “He already saved me.”

Matt spat.

Time’s up. He lit his end of the fuse and ran.

The sparks caught sail they had draped nearby. Soon the entire deck was aflame. The sparks followed the fuse to the next boat. And to the next.

Soon an entire line of boats burned. They shuddered into nearby ships, spreading the flames. The inferno grew.

Matt chuckled as he sped on his way. “Well, the Graveyard’s not going to make it past tonight, one way or another.”

So continues The Graveyard at the Bottom of the World.

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