As the ship ran into the cyclone, everyone expected death. No sane person would run to their death, these people were no different. If it wasn't for the fact that Jackson was the one asking, they would never have done this. Watching their leader smile at their impending death filled them with hope.
His smile may have held strong but it was merely a facade. His instincts told him diving into the storm was the answer, but Jerald felt otherwise. With a flash of anger, Jerald turned the helm. Through the raging storm, he shouted, "what are you doing kid! Are you trying to kill us!". His smile wavered at his mentor's lack of trust, but he stole the helm back. " captain, please trust me". Jerald's eyes twitched. "Greater sailors than you have been killed by that monster. There's a reason we called Mors venit! Now, give me back that wheel!". Without hesitation, Jackson yelled, " no, please just trust me!". The two wrestled for the wheel until Jerald blurted out in frustration, "I'm not about to let some damn orphan kill me!".
After realizing what he said, Jerald took a step back. " kid, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it-". Jackson had tears in his eyes, but he forced a smile. "It's fine". Jerald tried to apologize, but his words were trapped in his mouth. While Jackson steered the ship further into the storm, Jerald took a jagged breath. " kid, I'm sorry. When our crew made it this far, they got swallowed by it. Jackson... My boy, that monster took them. We tried running away... But it caught up to us. Somehow, the ship was glued to the water, but the crew... They flew into the air. That monster swallowed them whole".
Jackson cleared his throat, " Jerald, if we can't outrun it, then let's meet it head-on". Jackson dropped his smile, but his eyes were filled with confidence. " do you trust me?". That second of silence was truly unbearable, it seemingly lasted an eternity. By the end of it, Jerald whispered, " I trust you". With the acceptance of his former captain, Jackson picked his smile back up. He turned his attention to his crew. With his loudest voice, he yelled, " Everyone! Hold on to whatever you can!".
Everyone aboard clung to the railing. Some shut their eyes, while others watched Jackson in awe. No one knew what was going through Jackson's mind, but they trusted him. Even though they hated him for lying, they knew, he was their only chance at survival.
While they braced for impact, Jackson screamed, "Jerald, hold the wheel!". Without hesitating, he grabbed the helm. As the wind got louder, Jerald yelled, " where are you going!". It was too late, he had already disappeared into the fog. Racing against the clock, Jackson jumped below deck. In a frantic dash, he hurried past his brother and found the wheel holding the anchor above the currents. With all his might, he turned the wheel, this task was meant for a strong team of men, but he took in on by himself. There wasn't much time left. As he pushed with all his might, he cried to himself, "this can't be the end, this can't be the end!".
Jason peeked his head over the corner, " I thought I saw you, aren't you supposed to be steering the ship?". A spark of hope lit in Jackson's eyes. "Jason! Perfect timing, come help me with this!". Jason let out a laugh, " Jacks, the anchor is at least a ton". Jackson's hope was replaced by an unamused annoyance. " Did I ask?". At the sight of his twitching smile, Jason rushed to help his brother. Even with their combined strength, it wasn't enough. Through their pulling, Jason screamed, "this isn't going to work! Everyone over twelve come help us!". Five children came to Jason's call.
The children were barely able to help, but it was enough to slowly nudge the anchor loss. Before letting go, Jason screamed, " keep doing what you're doing, I'll be back!". He ran back above deck, with two minutes remaining, he screamed, " Everyone! Go below deck!". Everyone scurried like rats to safety, except Jackson. He ran to the helm of the ship. When Jerald saw the boy, with everything ahead of him, stop and give him a broken smile, he knew. He stammered, "Jackson, No. You can't". He didn't say a word, but the determination in his smile was enough said. Again, they fought over the wheel. They fight until a minute remains, Jerald stops the fight. Both their hands are on the wheel. Jerald whispers, " Jackson, you're like a son to me. Please, I can't lose you too". For a moment, the two watch each other's eyes. Suddenly, without warning, someone hits the back of Jackson's head.