A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part Seven: Blog Forty-Seven)
By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series
Amelie feels a hand gently pushing her shoulder. She grabs the wrist of the hand. Unlike “Dizzying Blade” she isn’t inclined to stab anyone who awakes her. “Get up Amelie,” “One Eye” is whispering in her ear.
“Dixopus is here now?” she asks groggily. She can see light through her eyelids.
“No, but a Dolphin Tail just threw some stones up onto deck.”
“A warning?” she asks.
“It’s night now lass, and the mist is dense,” continues in a whisper. ““Storm Caller” isn’t here to look, so Janet is, and she thinks she sees a pinnace heading our way starboard side.”
“Why would the Captain be returning that way?” she asks.
“With men aboard,” “One Eye” says with a hiss.
“Barthadrow!” Amelie exclaims. She makes a spitting sound, as does “One Eye”. She gets dressed as quickly as she can in the light from the lantern “One Eye” is holding. “Are you going to wake the others?” she asks glancing at the other occupied hammocks below deck?”
“Not yet. Too much chaos will let the enemy we know we know they are coming. We’ll wake only those who know how to use a bow and arrow for now. Especially Nippi, for distance she’s strongest after “Wheel Turner”. I’ll wake Canneta and Areso. If any girls get wounded I want them attended to immediately.”
Amelie walks with stealth past all the hammocks. She only gently nudges awake the girls who can use a bow and arrow. She realizes there are not many with the strength or knowledge to shoot the needed distance.
Up on deck she glances at the few gathered and let’s out a long sigh.
Amelie notices that “One Eye” keeps the lantern hooded and at hip level with just enough light for the others to see each other. “We want the pinnace to get as close as possible,” “One Eye says with a stern voice uncommon for her. “All the men aboard are to be killed silently. We want that pinnace intact.” With a glimmer in her unpatched eye “One Eye” says with great want, “And we want to capture the ship she came from.” She sees “One Eye” glance her way. “Amelie.”
“Aim for the chest, and if you hit the neck all the better,” she whispers with urgency to the others. She has killed before but most of the girls on deck have never had to fight. “You do this to protect yourself.” She knows the pirate code is generally about self-preservation. “And your sisters. Each of you shall set five arrows within hand reach. Shoot until you have no more arrows left. And if you shoot with a killer shot into the same man more than once—good.” Accuracy and thoroughness wins ranged battles “Dizzying Blade” had explained to her and Arsema numerous time until it became a mantra.
“Nippi,” she says to “Unibrow”, “you will be shooting the flaming arrows. Janet will give you direction.” Turning to the other girls she says, “Wait for the arrow’s light to guide you to a target.”
Amelie stands silently as she watches with racked nerves as “Unibrow” crouches low before ascending the steps to the fo’c’sle where Janet is peering over the railing. They can’t afford to use a telescope. The glass of the lens might reflect off the light of the stars and two moons. All the lessons the Captain, “Dizzying Blade”, “Wheel Turner”, and “One Eye” taught her are coming to use in this one desperate moment.
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;
Andraya Watt as Assistant-Master-at-Arms, Amelie
With Thanks To:
Fire & Steel for the Medieval Rapier: http://fireandsteel.ca/
Alex Watt for background pictures
Daiana Duca for background pictures
Krissy Karmaschek for background pictures