From The Editors — The Discovery Issue
When we initially stumbled upon the wreckage of the lost ship S.S. Queen’s Hart during our semi-annual young men’s seafaring expedition, we were baffled. A strapping sea-tuff in our company suggested we explore the ruins so that we might catch and catalog some of the aquatic life found there. A sound proposition, to be sure. What lay there was a veritable king’s gambit of biodiversity; fish of all sizes and stripes were found.
Most interesting to us, however, were the ship’s logs. What had happened to the crew? Did they love? Did they dream? To what did they aspire? What had befallen them, these men, once sailors, now crew of the most famous wrecked ship in all of history?
We discovered the answer to none of these questions.
What we found instead was a harrowing firsthand account of the captain’s decent into madness. Perhaps he was imbibing the salty sea-water. Perhaps he had had a few too many nips of rum before retiring to his captain’s quarters. Or perhaps— most damned of all—the lonely touch of the sea, harsh mistress she is, had driven him to sanity’s edge. God rest his soul, if only there were a God, if only Heaven were not the province of land-loving cowards.
The captain’s name was Captain J.T.T. Bartleby “The Captain” Brittlebane.
Once upon a time, our mothers used to lull us to sleep with rhymes of the S.S. Queen’s Hart. If only our mothers knew what lay in the captain’s log. Curse you, mothers! Curse you, O false God, designer of nothing, master of deception! The log was bone-chilling. The captain’s personality had been cleft in twain, and then in twain again, until it was no longer recognizable. A thousand Brittlebanes, each fighting for air inside of one skull, each one more demented than the last.
And yet we are cruel young men. For his harrowing sickness struck us as, dare we say?, worthy of derision. O! my earthbound soul! The hollow laughter of a liar God who never was! Vile creatures we are, we found these written assays funny! We laughed all the way to shore! Dumb hands slapping deaf knees! We tell you, dear reader, the sight was disgusting, the whole crew giggling and salivating, like a Christmas hen before the final feed. The captain’s log was a veritable joke book, filled to the brim with folly!
Fie, God who wasn’t there! Tear from our hearts this aberration! All fifteen of our crew, strong young men, were lost to the sea that forsaken day, cackling as they were tossed to the tempest. May their souls perhaps find rest there, so far from Heaven.
We humbly publish the ship’s log in the matte volume you now hold. We would have preferred glossy, but we were short on cash. Heave-ho, my boys.
Drew, Simon, and Jay