A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part Six: Blog Thirty-Six)
By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series
Its sunset and she knows the bugs will smell their sweat once they move past the wind that always touches the shore. The red rimmed eyes of the ‘Harlot’ are heartbreaking. The poor girl holds her bow with knocked arrow pointing at the ground as she furtively tries to glance everywhere at once for signs of her lover. There are two known dangers on the island. One is the Cannibals whose ship they didn’t see anywhere; the other is the Horse People who live here.
The sound of a hoof striking a rock is unmistakable. With only the two moons to give light and the faint mist that blankets everything it’s hard to decide if what she sees is a tree, a plant, or something on two or four legs.
There are two more distinct strikes of the hoof and an impatient cough.
She sees the Captain raise an arm. Zala also raises her arm to make sure everyone sees. “I am Captain Alejandra of the Nagua we come to negotiate the release of any survivors of the Surprise. The ship stuck on the rocks near your shore.”
“You are not welcome here,” says a cocky baritone voice. “Drop weapons and clothes and–,” there’s a loud oomph sound from the speaker. An angry feminine voice says something in a different language.
“Keep all clothes on and everything,” says the voice in a much higher tone. There’s silence then, “Put hands above head.”
“I think his wife just gave him a toe or knuckle reminder of who his eyes should stay on,” whispers ‘Wheel Turner’ with a snicker.
As she sheathes her rapier and raises her arms above her head Master Jo Anne has to chew on her lower lip to not laugh out loud.
“I bet I can reach my throwing knife and implant it into his throat before he could let off an arrow,” she hears ‘Dizzying Blade’ tell the ‘Harlot’.
“Where do we go?” the Captain asks.
There’s some inaudible conversation between the female and male voice. “Forward ten paces,” the male voice demands. There’s a pause. “Twenty of yours.”
As she walks with the Captain and the others through the mist, passing glimpses of tree trunks and bushes, Master Jo Anne realizes they are entering an opening with a giant tree before them. There’s the sound of the hoof against a rock again. To her right about ten paces away she sees the shadowy image of a well-endowed massive horse body with a torso of an equally large man. Beside him, perhaps three-quarters the size, is a buxomly female. The male is holding a spear and the female a longbow with a knocked arrow.
The tree’s trunk is clothed in thick vines that grow vertically up its trunk. As she gets closer she sees Captain Peg leg with a leaf wrapped around his left hand. Humphrey and some others from the Surprise are tied and gagged with vines against other trees. The ‘Harlot’ cries out and dashes to Humphrey. Master Jo Anne tears up as she watches the ‘Harlot’ caressing her lover’s cheek but smart enough to know not to try to cut the vines.
Master Jo Anne follows the others to the other side of the tree.
The Horse People couple are closer now, along with others. The male who spoke to them, is as tall as a Shire horse. At least nineteen hands tall at the horse’s shoulder and another seven hands to the crown of his head. In the mist his skin is dark and glistening. Long, auburn curls fall around his broad shoulders. His irises are green or grey. She can see the muscles in his cheeks twitch confidently as he smiles through thick lips that show off his shiny white buck teeth.
She hears a hiss and turns her attention to the female, who is now glowering at her with wide hazel eyes. The girl’s dark brown hair flows around her bare chest and farther down until it leads Master Jo Anne’s eyes to the arrow aimed at her own chest.
“Navigator,” she hears the Captain whisper.
Quickly she turns her attention back to the tree. A lush young woman is tied there. The woman is wearing a similar mix match of clothing that everyone on the Nague wears: a vest from here, capris from there, a laced shirt from somewhere else. The girl’s irises are a peculiar mauve with specks of red. The girl glances back at Master Jo Anne inquisitively. In the mist the freckles on her long narrow nose and full cheeks are only visible intermittently. The vine gag shows her long, thick canines. She must be one of the Cannibals. Because the girl has what looks like curly slate grey hair in the mist, tied back in a bun, her long pointy ears are clearly visible. They twitch causing Master Jo Anne to involuntarily step back.
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