My head felt as if it were to explode with every pulse of the blood in my veins.

I opened my eyes and attempted to evaluate my surroundings. I was in a room, lit only with an oil lamp, casting oddly flitting shadows on the wooden walls. My first impulse of thought was that I had had just a bit too much to drink last night at the tavern at the inn. Confound that bartender, all too eager to ply me with drinks despite my seated protests! Confound that inn!

It had come to my attention that the room in which I was was gently rocking from side to side. I was apparently in much worse a state than I had surmised initially.

My foggy thoughts warned that the swaying effects were more than just my alcohol-addled mind. There was something about the air, too, a salty smell…and the noises, like someone shouting commands…

The door sprung open, attacking my eyes with light. The contre-jour apparition of a man stood in the middle. “You!” he barked. “Get up and get to work!”

My heart plummeted. I had been Shanghaied.

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