The Devil’s Breath

by Pauline Yates


Tossed onto a reef by a rogue wave, our pirate ship shudders, and a sickening crunch sounds our death knell. Salt burns my lungs when I gulp water, not air, then I’m back on board with my crew, peering through fog that reeks of sulphur.

“What’s that smell?”

“The Devil’s breath,” a crewmate says. “Collecting our plundering souls, he is.”

I clutch my ghostly chest. “He can take it. I never want to drown again.”

“Nay. Caught in a hell loop, I fear.” He points at the ocean. A wave swells, tossing the ship. “Brace yourself. We’re going down again.”

Pauline Yates

Pauline Yates lives in Australia and writes horror and dark speculative fiction. Links to her publications can be found here:




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