The rules are simple. Five (or so) bloggers are given a story starter/premise to frame their tale around. Each participant then has 1,000 words in which to elucidate his or her tale.
This week, I am attempting to do just that. I am pretty proud of the result, but you can be the judge of my success. I would appreciate it if you would leave a comment if you enjoyed it, though. I put quite a lot of effort into this and went through several drafts to cut it to a mere 1,000 words - which it is exactly.
The other bloggers participating this week include:
The Wizard at Down for Repairs - an amazing and gripping tale about a Warrior Woman
Key at Key Issues
Tammi at Tammi's World
Leslie at Leslie's Omnibus
Check them out! It is really fascinating to see how 5 different people interpret the same words.
I must admit that the story flew off my rapidly typing fingers the minute I read Christina's starter. So, without further ado...Christina's intro and my own first attempt at fiction.
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It is dawn. The first thin fingers of the morning sun are reaching across the distant waves toward the shore. She has emerged from the darkness to stand alone in quiet testament to the ability to survive and endure all the night holds.
Instinctively she knows the worst has yet to come.
Last night, her husband, Juan Dominguez, a man she had thought long dead, found her in the Port of Barbados.
She and Nate, her toddler son, had fled from the abusive man two years prior. Ariadne had escaped into the night, bleeding, bruised, and broken of spirit, and set sail with her crew from St. Kitts on her birthright, The Jaded Jezebel.
Not many women inherited a ship and crew in 1667, but then, not many women in that time had fathers who plundered the high seas. Her father had taught her to shoot, sail, and give as good as she got, until she married the bastard. She had loved Juan in the beginning, seeking a new and different life, forgiving and excusing the abuse for far too long. But in time, this had changed.
Again Ariadne was bruised and bleeding, and again, Juan hadn’t touched her face. When beating and raping her had lost its appeal last night, he had thrown her overboard, believing her dead. Divine intervention had pushed her nearly unconscious body back to land while the seawater had washed the blood from her body and clothing.
In dawn’s early light she had walked several miles from the beach to the awakening Bridgetown, rage keeping her upright. She walked gingerly, aware of at least two injured ribs. Her only hope lie in entreating Captain Jacob Spry to her aid. Spry owed her, but as heroes go he was untrustworthy. She gave a silent prayer of thanks when she saw The Crone in port.
She found the attractively scruffy man inspecting supplies in the hold. “Jake,” she said by way of introduction.
He whipped his head around, startled by her tattered and bruised appearance. He smiled his characteristically lazy and lascivious smile. “Hello, Darlin’. To what do I owe this early morning visit?” He waggled his eyebrows suggestively and leered at the way her thin blouse had dried to her curves and her shredded skirt clung to her hips. Few things stood in the way of Jake’s libido.
“Jake, I don’t have time for your wretched pecker’s prose. Stop waggling those eyebrows – I’m no doxie.” She paused. “I need help.”
“That’s what I’m sayin’, Darlin’, I’ve got what you need right here,” he said patting his groin.
“Take me seriously or I’ll run you through with your own damn cutlass for expediency. When can you sail?”
He noted her agitated state. “Alright, alright. Why’s your corset in a knot? What the hell did you do last night; you look like you’ve been brawling.”
“Juan.” She tried holding back the tears. The pain was wrenching. “Juan isn’t dead. He…found us last night.” The mere thought started the tears. “He took Nate. He has my baby…”
Crying females had never been Jake Spry’s forte. And this indomitable woman’s crying was stomping all over the heart he swore he didn’t have. She winced when he reached out to hold her until the wracking sobs became quiet sniffles. “That’s better. Tell me what happened.”
Taking a deep breath, she explained about Juan’s trickery in getting aboard. She explained about having only a skeleton crew on hand, and about how Juan had brought her son to her, knife at his throat and fear dulling his usually bright eyes. He had directed her to send the men to retrieve a fictitious cargo. While the men were onshore, his crew of thugs boarded then slaughtered her crew upon their return. They had set sail in the dark, skidding quietly out of port.
Free to indulge his sickness, he locked their son in a cabin and strong-armed her into her own, locking the door behind them.
“And then?” he asked gruffly.
“Let’s just say he hasn’t changed much.”
“Obviously he beat the piss out of you.” He paused, “Did he…?”
She changed the subject. “How soon can we set sail?”
“I’m not sure that’s necessary. The Jezebel is in port. Or was, an hour ago.” He squinted through the porthole. “See. She’s just there.”
She looked to Jake with pure rage blazing. “Here’s what we do….”
Many hours later under a moonless sky, Ariadne, Jake, and a select group of men boarded The Jezebel by force. Not long after, Ariadne was standing, booted legs spread, with her knife to Juan’s throat.
“Where is my son?” She gritted out, barely controlling her anger. She pressed the knife deeper into his windpipe and a small trickle of blood appeared. “I’ll do it, Juan. Tell me. Where is Nate?”
How had the bitch survived? He felt the knife dig deeper and another trickle of blood slid down his sweaty neck. He’d never seen her so crazed. The fire in her eyes scared him for the first time in his life, and his bladder leaked.
She looked down and noted his personal embarrassment. “That’s another thing that hasn’t changed,” she laughed derisively. “You still don’t have any control over that thing. Now tell me.” She said with a coldly harsh voice as she slid her knife to his scrotum. It dug in and he lost complete control of his bladder. “You’re gonna owe me a new knife.” She turned the blade up, twisting viciously.
Jake stood quietly behind, letting her have this moment. She was not a woman to cross, not if you treasured your family jewels. “I’ll look.” The words didn’t startle Ariadne. They registered, but she never flinched, her desire for revenge so acute. Moments later, Jake returned, confirming that Nate was safe.
Ariadne brought her knife to Juan’s heart. Suspended in the moment, thoughts flew through her mind’s eye. After an eternity, she settled on the picture of her son’s impish grin. Tears started to fall. “I…I can’t do it.” She stepped back defeated, not dropping her weapon. “I can’t kill my son’s father.”
Jake fired two shots, one from each pistol he held. The acrid smell of gunpowder exploded and two roses bloomed: one on his forehead, one in his chest.
“I’m not so sentimental.”