Ambrose looked past his bare and sunburned feet straight down into the sea. The mast to which he clung was nearly horizontal at the extreme end of each roll that threatened to send the boat to the bottom. As the vessel heeled back upright he was carried up over the deck and then off the port side, riding an inverted pendulum. His hands were riddled with splinters, one of which had gone clear through the meat between his thumb and forefinger. The muscles of his forearms were so cramped that he did not think he could un-hook his arms from around the pine.
Not that he would want to. The creature was still on deck, arranging pieces of the slaughtered crew into perverse constructions, knitting the flesh together with gobs of caustic saliva that sputtered and smoked in the howling wind. Legs and arms ringed clusters of merged ribcages and jawbones, forming grisly anemones that muttered and moaned long past the point when the sailors should have died. Had the Captain not been disemboweled and made part of that horrible work he would no doubt have steered clear of the heavy weather.
And Ambrose would not then have been at the top of the mast, debating whether history would blame him for activating the distress beacon.