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Template:In the cargo hold[]

The cool scent of the salty sea filled my nostrils as it had done for many days. I'm sure all the crew had become desensitized to the smell, but I was always especially fond of it. I was suddenly startled out of my trance when the Captain began to speak beside me. “We're only a day out from port,” He said. “Would you go do a light maintenance round in the hold before the more thorough cleaning when we arrive?” I responded with a simple “Of course.” That was the only response I could give. As I walked down the few flights of stairs necessary to reach the cargo hold, I passed by many other crew members going about their usual duties. I had been working with most of them for quite a while, but there were still a few new faces around the ship. When I reached the heavy steel door blocking the hold with a water-tight seal, it took a considerable amount of effort to get it open. I'm a strong guy, but those doors bested my strength nine times out of ten. I entered the sizable metal room containing several large to medium-sized crates stacked in a seemingly precarious but organized fashion. I noticed the broom was not in its usual place, near the entrance, but on the far side of the room, leaning against the wall. I sighed a breath at the fact I had to walk further than usual, but it was a minor inconvenience. Walking towards the other side of the hold, I noticed that the atmosphere had become eerily quiet. Usually the sounds of waves crashing against the ship could be heard, but now only the soft hum of the engines from far below the hull was the only noise I could hear. Suddenly, as I reached out to grasp the broom, I noticed something off in the corner of my eye. As I turned to try and see what it was that I had glimpsed from my peripheral vision, I was suddenly paralyzed with inexplicable fear. What I saw between the teetering crates was what appeared to be an enormously tall man in a dusty brown trench coat. The figure suddenly turned as quick as a frightened mouse. Beads of sweat began to form on my face as I stood motionless, too terrified to move. I kept my wide-open eyes transfixed on the being as it lumbered closer to me. I could feel my heartbeat growing stronger with every step it took. Eventually the thing stopped about three or so feet away from me, although since it towered over me, it felt like the thing was much closer. it’s glasslike eyes were staring directly into mine as if in a devilish staring contest. After what felt like ten minutes, I was able to mutter a question. “A-” “Are you a stowaway?” I asked sheepishly. To my surprise, the thing began to chuckle uproariously in a deep, friendly voice. “Ho ho! No, my boy, I am but a mere passenger on this fine vessel!” he said, waving his half-sleeved hands around in the air and making gestures. ”Who are you?” I asked, and he responded, “I, my dear boy, am Mr. Trenchfoot.” His reply caused me to look down at his feet in curiosity. Upon inspection, I noticed his feet were three times the size of an average man's. Mr. Trenchfoot had asked how long he had been aboard our ship. I responded to him that I wasn't exactly sure, but it couldn't have been more than thirty-four days because that is when we last were unloaded and loaded again at port. He was quite the charming fellow. His voice seemed familiar and kind. We had a lengthy discussion down there; he had asked me about current events (which I knew nothing of), where I had come from, if I had family back home, and so forth. It must've been about an hour and a half before I checked my watch and realized just how long I had been down there. Suddenly, from behind me, the door swung open. I turned my head towards the door to see it was Eliza, one of the new kids aboard with whom I had become minorly acquainted. I barely had time to register who it was before I noticed a dark shadow fly over me. Mr. Trenchfoot had suddenly jumped over me with the silence of a pouncing fox. Eliza must have been looking at her clipboard when she entered, for she did not notice her swift demise leaping towards her. She barely managed to speak, “The ca-” before Mr. Trenchfoots gaping, sharp-toothed maw had reached her throat, and his now unsheathed long, black claws pierced her abdomen. She let out a faint whimper before her life force had dissipated. Mr. Trenchfoot was not deterred by her passing away, and he continued to maul her like a starving bear. I broke from my trance and sprinted as fast as my legs would carry me towards the door. I leapt over Eliza's unrecognisable carcass, which seemed to stir Mr. Trenchfoots attention. I grabbed the door and slammed it shut as fast as possible, sealing it tight. Once I had looked up from my tired hands, I noticed Mr. Trenchfoot looking right at me through the glass porthole in the door. He tilted his head like a confused hound dog. I didn't spend another thought on the matter before I began leaping up the stairs three at a time towards the emergency flare kit. Once I had acquired the only thing close to a weapon on the ship, I ran to the captain, reporting the events that had just taken place. The captain and several other crew members accompanied me back down to the cargo hold, some more hesitant than others. Once we had reached the door, two men were tasked to open the door. I was the first one to venture back inside, seeing as I was the one clutching the loaded flare gun in my sweaty palms. After a thorough investigation of the hold, we spotted none of Eliza's remains nor any giant creatures. All we were able to locate were a few small blood stains and a large brown coat lying vacant on the floor.

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