Waves cascade over the ship as it fights time. It seems as though the wood ages before her eyes, and the ropes mildew and unravel. The sailors' clothes tatter, their strength ebbs as their spines twist and gnarl.
She cannot speak as the iron corrodes and gaping holes open to let in water. The ship is sluggish, but she can see a rocky pass ahead.
She closes her eyes and thinks of clocks turning widdershins, but they will only turn sunwise in her mind. She blinks back salt. Tears or sea water.
The ship rocks, but the pass is closer. The hull is down in the water, the bow almost lower than the deck. She can hear iron creaking, rusting, falling away.
The pass is just there, she can see the rocks poking through the water. Never before has she been so happy to see ship-wreckers.
The ship inches between them and passes though.
She breathes. Her eyes are open again, but she can't recall closing them. Before her the ship is intact. It looks new. Nothing is amiss, the ropes are not frayed, the iron not rusted.
She looks at the sailors in amazement. They glance back, unperturbed and relaxed. She looks behind her. The pass is as before, but beyond it there is only calm ocean.
She sits down again. It must have been her imagination. In her pocket, her compass spins crazily and her watch has stopped.
Theme Thursday, where interpretations run amok.