Re-reading this, there are so many things this story COULD be a metaphor for. It was mildly self-revelatory and written when I was in a pretty stormy mood. You can take whatever you want out of it.
The moment we caught the monster, sunlight broke over pink-tinged waves and ignited the low-hanging clouds into plumes of suspended fire.
Thick rigging rope quickly tore my hands raw, turning red with each hand-over-hand pull and heave and synchronized breath. Above us, Captain Wethers clung to the railing that lined the deck, leaning over the edge and staring into the water with wide, wild eyes. Every so often he’d shout back to us, encouragement or a threat to fling us overboard, let us tangle with the beast in its element, if we didn’t wrench it out of the water faster. A spear dangled in one of his hands, scratching circles in the railing’s filigree. Once we made it back to shore, someone – most likely me, I thought irritably – would be hunched over it for hours, carefully waxing and sealing the scrapes until they were invisible.
If we made it back to shore, I corrected myself.
The odds still dangled somewhere beyond our favor.