Everything in this place keeps time with the tattoo of the drum. The groan of the oars, the rattling of chains, the crack of the lash, all of it in the same cadence. I even find my climb to the deck above matching the tempo of the rhythmic pounding.
No one knows where the metronomic sound comes from. I have long grown familiar with the shape of my prison over the decades of my captivity; combed over every inch, memorized the grain of every wooden plank. There is no drum here, no unoccupied space within which it might be concealed. But the beat impels us all the same.