A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part Eight: Blog Fifty)
By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris, co-authors of the Rita Walker series
Olanis wakes to the tinging sound of a cowbell Nippi keeps in the Galley. It’s the single the Captain and the others have returned. She groans as she pulls off her covers and dresses. The first thing she sees is the Captain with “Storm Caller” heading down below deck. She knows Alejandra will congratulate all the girls who battled last night and check on Gazala. “Dizzying Blade” is already giving Arsema instructions. She saunters over to greet those who returned.
“I want the Cannibal and Janet out of my room,” “Dizzying Blade” is saying in a tone that will tolerate no retorts. “And I want all of my weapons placed back where they were but–,” she says as she rubs her chin in thought, “first get Amelie so she can be congratulated.”
“Aye, Master-at-arms,” Arsema says and dashes off.
“Greetings Master-at-arms,” Olanis says with a tired grin. “And to you Helmswoman, and you Umi.”
“Greetings,” each officer replies in turn.
As a completely exhausted looking Amelie steps up to the group, Olanis sees Arsema head towards “Dizzying Blade’s” room.
“You did a valiant job of defending our ship, Amelie,” “Dizzying Blade” says with pride until her eyes squint with suspicion. “That dagger you have looks very familiar.”
Olanis watches with intrigue as Amelie very humbly holds out the dagger, with both hands palms up.
“You were exceptional, I heard,” “Dizzying Blade” says biting her lower lip. “I have taught you well. Hold onto it for now for soon we will be fighting a much bigger battle.”
Amelie’s eyes sparkle as she nods, flips the dagger so the handle is in her hand and disappears down the hatch, Olanis assumes to her hammock.
Following Arsema out of “Dizzying Blade’s” room is a disheveled Cannibal.
“What happened to your neck?” Olanis asks Melinda. There’s a thin red line in the centre and side of the Cannibal’s neck.
“Janet put her hammock too close to my bed,” Melinda says touching her wound. “I got up to use the pottie and my head hit the rope of her hammock. In a flash she cut me with a tiny blade. I put one hand to keep the wound closed and the other up so she knew I meant no harm. She never apologized but she did give me a cloth to cover the wound. She’s a strange and deadly one.”
“That’s our Janet,” Olanis says with a grin.
“The Horse People have cannibals too,” “Wheel Turner” says. “In some of their tribes they tie captured enemy male warriors between two trees. The women bite off and eat their manly parts to improve fertility, and the men cut out their still beating hearts and devour them to gain their power.”
“That’s horrible,” Melinda says, and from the horrified expression on her face, Olanis believes she means it.
“The Horse People told you this?” “Dizzying Blade” asks. “I heard nothing of it and I was there with you.”
“No. Peg-leg told me,” “Wheel Turner” says knowingly. “He also told me in some tribes the women cut off whichever breast is on the side they aim their bows with.”
“Perhaps,” Olanis says thoughtfully, “he is imposing other stories he’s heard on the Horse People.”
“Maybe,” “Wheel Turner” says with consternation. “But it sure sounded real.” Olanis sees “Wheel Turner” turn towards Melinda. “He’s got a hooked hand where you ate most of his hand now. And he’s called it Melinda in honour of you.”
The Cannibals face goes beat red. “That’s so kind of him,” she says shyly.
“Peg-leg told me something as well,” The “Ship Protector” pipes in. “as he looked at me with a sad ‘look at poor me’ expression and shuffled closer to me.”
“Come to think of it, he tried the same thing with me,” “Wheel Turner” interrupts.
“That’s when I pulled out my dagger and pretended to clean my nails with it,” The “Ship Protector” says. “He told me when some of the Horse Peoples tribes capture enemy tribe women the women are given a choice. They can become wives or be placed in a giant wicker like structure and burnt alive. That their ashes are poured over the ground to make it more futile.”
“Fertile,” Olanis corrects her.
Taylor Norris, RMT, as First Mate ‘One Eye’ Olanis: email@example.com (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