By Stephen Hunt (born 1966).
Illustrations by Bob E. Hobbs (born 1955; HERE).
First appearance: Expanse, Summer 1994.
Short short story (7 pages; 2 illos).
Online at Archive.org (HERE).
"It was clumsy and brutal, but I could honestly think of no other way at that moment."
The Professor was just joshing us, wasn't he, when he said, "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
- Stephen Hunt is still with us and still producing SFF; see Wikipedia (HERE), the ISFDb (HERE), and his website (HERE).
HERE) confirms that the skipper of the Mary Celeste was indeed Benjamin Spooner Briggs (HERE).