A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part Five: Blog Thirty-Two)
By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series
“I’ll take me kip now,” ‘Wheel Turner’ says with a glance up at the sky where the much closer Eau-de-vie blocks the milky white of the much farther away Cachaça.
Oli sees Aarini gulp. “Steady lass,” Oli says reassuringly. “We see this once a year.”
“I saw what they did to Barthadrow’s crew on the Nagua—before we took it–and the Queen of Pirates gave it to the Captain,” Aarini says shivering as she stares up into the sky now the colour of brandy. “The only thing left was the blood stains mixed with bits of skin and slivers of bone. Is that what happened to the ‘Ship Builder’s’ finger? He had to fight off the Cannibals when Eau-de-vie covered Cachaça?”
“Best forget that,” Oli hears ‘Wheel Turner’ say in a stern tone. “Captain and Navigator don’t like talk of what happened to the ‘Ship Builder’s’ finger. Besides, I don’t need nightmares before a potential battle.”
“Ah! The girls Zala has chosen have arrived,” Oli says with a sigh, glad to change the subject. “Off to bed for you Zala,” Oli says to the girl she is sure will be a captain someday.”
“Aye, aye, First Mate,” Zala replies.
As ‘Wheel Turner’ and Zala leave Oli turns to the waiting girls. The younger ones already look woozy from the rum.
“Four of you older and bigger girls get on the spokes of the capstan and help Cook Nippie and Janet get that anchor aboard,” she shouts out. “Ye others get pulling the ropes to raise the sails and be prepared to pull on the sheets. Except you Kitkun,” she says to a tall, lean girl who is deep into her child bearing years.
Her nickname is Raven, both because of the meaning of her name and her and keen eyesight. “We need you in the Crows ‘Nest.”
Kitkun once told her she came from a giant Island off the shore of an even larger island. Where her people made totems poles and warred with the tribes from the other island. She had also told Oli her parents gave her the name Kitkun because ravens circled over her mother as she gave birth to her.
“You’ve got the eyes of the raven lass,” Oli reminds Kitkun.
“Aye, aye, First Mate” Kitkun replies as she clambers up the rope ladder of the main mast.
Oli plucks the strings of her mandolin and sings: “Have you heard the tale of Whimpering Isaac?”
“We have,” the girls sing back, “but tell us again First Mate Olanis.”
Oli swings her mandolin behind her and climbs the steps to the fo’c’sle. On the bowsprit sits The Navigator, Master Jo Ann, and beside her huddled in a canvas sheet is the ‘Harlot’.
“He was the first pirate to survive the Cannibals. Well most of him.” She sings. She pauses, entranced as the ‘Harlot’ glances her way; with a stare so familiar. Oh, she thinks, I know whose eyes the ‘Harlot’s reflect. That look of devotion, and of determination, of desperation, and fear of never seeing her lover again. The ‘Harlot’ might lose her nickname if this is true. I think she’s smitten with Humphrey. That pained face the ‘Harlot’ wears as the growing wind whips her hair into her face, is the spitting image of the one she so often sees, on ‘The Shipbuilder’s’.
Dan Watt is the author of BARD an epic fantasy story
Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis: firstname.lastname@example.org
With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne or Joannegosling22@gmail.com;
Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor;
Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier: http://fireandsteel.ca/
Alex Watt for background pictures
Daiana Duca for background pictures
Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures