Tweet of the Day: HANS HOLBEIN IN LONDON
Aboard the Missile Boat HRM Dubrovnik of the coast of Croatia, Adriatic Sea, 2 May, 01:13 hrs GMT +1
The captain of the missile boat watched the inky black horizon through his binoculars. Somewhere in the distance was the Italy, cloaked in volcanic darkness. Civilians took to anything that floated to escape the horror that befell their nation. Day after day, the crew of the Dubrovnik picked up handful of survivors, a desperate family packed into the hold of a fisherman’s boat one day, an entire village crammed into a rusting hulk the next. Each group overwhelmed the crew with tales of unimaginable horrors. Of men dragged in the middle of the night by hooded men, giants that trampled everything underfoot and the choking ash that filled the streets. Like someone unleashed the Devil from his cage and he returned the favor by dragging all of Hell with him to the surface.
“Captain, multiple craft inbound,” said the radar operator.
“More refugees. How many?” said the captain in a tired voice.
“Seven, no eight. On an intercept course. Wait, they turned away?” said the operator.
“Torpedo in the water!” shouted the sonarman.
” Hard to port! All ahead flank!” said the captain.
The ship heeled to port. The captain counted the minutes.
“Brace for impact!” shouted the sonarman.
The captain reached for the nearest piece of equipment when the wheel house windows shattered. The shock wave slammed him against a bulkhead. The explosion lifted the ship of the surface. For a second the captain felt weightless then the ship hit the water. The torpedo warhead obliterated the ship’s bow. Water poured though. The captain flayed against the current. Somehow he managed to swim in the right direction and broke the surface. He took lungfuls of air with each breath. Meters away, his beloved ship sunk bow first into the sea.
It became the tomb for twenty-nine men and women of the Croatian Navy.
The horror of the refugees now belonged to him.