« What is that you fear, woman? » The captain was asking questions like a teacher during a lecture. Sharp and direct, already knowing the answers.
« …y–you » her voice was trembling, unsure. Her eyes low, full of promised tears.
« Me? Do you fear me? »
A laughter erupted from the surroundings, as his crew accompanied his moment of amusement. He did even perform a shocked, impressed expression for such a crowded audience. When the sound of laughs faded, only the ocean lapping on the keel remained. It was relaxing and frightening, at the same time.
« And why is it so, may I ask? » On his face, behind the beard and the sickly teeth, a glimpse of curiosity emerged. But his glare was that of a ravenous beast awaiting for the right moment to strike a defenseless prey. « Could it be…because I hold a gun? »
To underline that thought, he pulled back the hammer – an unmistakable sound, a click! followed that gesture – and pointed the weapon to her forehead. She repressed a scream, but could not avoid a little sigh. Closing eyes, her thoughts were probably for a higher power, seeking for salvation. But that was hell, and no God had any power there. Except him.
« Or maybe it is because of my reputation. » Many men nodded, grinned, and some even applauded. It was a triumph of self-congratulation through the condescending bodies of almost-mindless slaves. Too afraid to contradict the man, too weak to stand up against his fame.
« Might be ‘cause she’s naked, cap’n » a voice brayed. More laughter, including the captain’s.
« Bright observation, mister Morrison. That could be a reason, yeah. Rape is a strong deterrent for women, they say. I bet it could drive a poor soul mad, but here we’re discussing fear— » he stopped behind the girl, putting the gun between her blonde hair made stringy by saltiness and humidity. « -and fear is not about being afraid of the immediate future. It’s about not knowing what hides in the days far ahead. If there are days ahead. »