Thursday, August 7, 2014

Terror of the High Seas

Finish That Thought #2-5 (Judge's Comments)
Prompt: [She] whisper[s], "I forgive you," as [her] hand slip[s] out of mine.
Special Challenge: Invent two words and use them in your story.

Wes whispered, "I forgive you," as his hand slipped out of mine.

“Forgive me for what, boy?” I grunted with a tousle to his sun-bleached curls. “It’s just the ship’s doctor, ain’t it? Just a routine physical, ain’t it?”

The doe-like eyes of the cabin boy blinked pleadingly at me as the doctor dragged him into the captain’s quarters for his examination, but I disregarded the entreaty with a spit of tobacco and stomped off.

“Mr. Perkins, I do hope you intend to clean that up.”

I whirled to face the captain himself, decked up in his usual black attire, and snapped to attention. He regarded me through his mask with a steady eye and a thin scowl spread across his lips. Even as first mate I was still privy to Captain Roberts’ lectures and reprimands. His ship was his lover and anyone caught disfiguring her or disgracing her got it in sevenfold.

“Oh yes, Cap’n,” I stammered, tugging my snugget off my head. “Just going now for a mop now, Cap’n. Old habits die hard ye know, Cap’n.”

“Yes, well see that this habit dies quickly, Mr. Perkins, or you will have to find yourself other employment. We may be pirates, but we are not animals. Do I make myself clear?”

“Perfectly, sir, perfectly,” I bobbed.

“Oh, and Perkins,” the captain gestured to the knitted accessory in my hands “try to keep in touch with the seasons. This is summer.”

“As you wish, Cap’n.” I hastily tucked the bugger into a trouser pocket and scurried away for a mop.

In truth, I was plum lucky to get away with a reprimand and didn’t want the man changing his mind on me before I could remedy my evil. Got caught spitting once before, I did, and had to stand at attention for a full half hour as crew members lobbed slimy projectiles any time they passed my way. No way was I going to have a repeat. 

Captain Roberts had himself a legend he did. Terror of the High Seas, The Black Plague, and The Dread Pirate were just some of the titles he’d inherited over the years. Giants quaked in their boots just by looking at him. His name made grown men weep. Lucky was I to be one of the few men to see the great terror and live. But that was only because I was crew. Expendiary crew.

I hurried my pursuit of a mop, all the while praying that the sun wouldn’t bake the tobacco into the deck. No telling what punishment I’d get for staining his lady. Death likely. One thing was certain, Captain Roberts may be the greatest criminal alive, but he’d always be my idea of a gentleman

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