A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part Six: Blog Thirty-Five)
By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series
The Surprise rests against an outcropping of rocks with minimal damage to her port side. Master Jo Anne agrees with the Captain and ‘Ship Builder’ that the ship can be salvaged with enough help. From the hold she hears the ‘Ship Builder’ call up that the crew’s personal chests are locked. A short time later she hears him shout up that the barrels in the cargo hold are all tied and untouched.
Once on deck she hears him say in his deep, solemn voice, “The Cannibals just wanted meat it seems.”
She notices that there’s no other sign of death but for the chipped beams from obvious sword and knife fighting. She thought there would be blood. It was so long ago but she remembers now that when the Cannibals killed and ate all of Barthadrow’s men on the Nagua, there were few signs except for a few pieces of flesh and a tooth here and there.
As they head towards the island she realizes the pinnace is loaded with a motley crew. The Captain and Zala sit on the front seat facing towards the rocky beach they head towards. On the middle seat are ‘Wheel Turner’ and the ‘Ship Builder’. She wonders if his finger makes rowing harder. With her, seated at the very back, is ‘Dizzying Blade’ with the ‘Harlot’ between them. Watching ‘Dizzying Blade’ slide a flint stone along the blade of one of her throwing knives is very intimidating. The ‘Harlot’ is sitting forward with an intent stare.
In the centre of the pinnace is the metal fire pit for the ‘Ship Protector’, two sacks, and a barrel of sustenance very dear to the Captain. One of the sacks is full of biscuits and dried fish. The other contains a few of the bows and arrows the Captain asked to be made. The arrow heads are coated in a resin Nippi made from a plant called Bell Iron. The husk of the plant is thick and hairy like a coconut but bell shaped. Inside is an inedible and viscous liquid that smells horrible but hardens the tips to the strength of iron. She remembers looking inside an open fruit and seeing fibers that hold the large seed inside. The fibres are soft like silver but extremely strong. The ‘Harlot’ made some jewellery from the fibres.
A light drizzle makes everything glisten. But the wind is a zephyr and warm. As always the water has a stench from the rotting vegetation left by low tide.
Partially hidden amongst some giant Aloe Vera growing near the shore is another pinnace.
“We’ll land between those two boulders,” she hears the Captain call in a soft voice.
‘Dizzying Blade’ puts away her sharpening stone. Zala takes out a bow and a quiver with six arrows from the one sack. She tosses the ‘Harlot’ another bow and quiver. Everyone else but the rowers draws out whatever type of rapier or sword they have.
Once the pinnace slides into the pebbled shore the Captain and Zala leap out first. ‘Dizzying Blade’, herself, and the ‘Harlot’ leap into the shallow water next. As they all head towards shore ‘Wheel Turner’ and the ‘Ship Builder’ pull the pinnace farther onto shore and spike its rope into the ground. They won’t be coming with them.
Dan Watt is the author of the epic dark fantasy fiction book BARD
Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis: firstname.lastname@example.org (Kitchener-Waterloo)
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