Madd Maxx: The Entries of a Man Under Marque

Madd Maxx: The Entries of a Man Under Marque

A Story by Colton Warr
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He didn't really move or speak, he just looked at me with tears in his eyes and smiled...

"

Madd Maxx: The Entires of a Man Under Marque

A Story by Colton Warr  


Entry 52

June 3, 1707

Just North of Brazil


It was a beautiful day to be at sea. One that almost persuades you to drop anchor wherever you are and drink every drop of rum in the coffins of your ship. These days reminded me of a simpler time. My soul has always belonged to the sea, but there was a time my heart belonged to a woman. A beautiful woman, glowing and shining even more than the sea itself. She came from a christian family and was very christian herself. I, however, was not. My mind began to wander back to the days I would sit with her in church, counting the minutes until food could offer some sort of escape. “Maxwell” she would always say as she tried to reestablish my attention to whatever the pastor was saying. It was at this time that a heavily bearded man came barreling through the door, startling me to the point where I rose up out of my chair. 

“Captain!” 

“What is it?” 

“Ship spotted, sir. Some of the men think she's Spanish.”  

I then collected myself and placed the book I was reading down on my desk, marking the page carefully, for it was one of my favorites. 

“Some of the men think she's Spanish or some of the men know she's Spanish?” 

The heavily bearded man stuttered out a response. 

“Uh, well when we were discussing it we thought that no other country would have ships this far south. Seeing as how theres a mighty war going on further north.” 

“There is a war going on everywhere, no part of the sea is excused from it.” 

The heavily bearded man swallowed hard and continued to listen.

“Now, we only have clearance to attack Spanish vessels. If we were to attack say a French or Dutch vessel…and the Royal Navy were to find out…have you ever felt the rough and rigid feeling of a thick rope wrapped around your neck, lad?” 

“No! No! I don't wanna, cap’n.” He nervously replied. 

“Then please go back out there and give me knowledge, not notion. Tell me if she is Spanish or not!” 

The bearded man went back through the doors he previously stumbled in through. I started to breathe heavy and placed my hand upon the book and closed my eyes. I knew what it was, I just needed to be sure. He returned. 

“She's Spanish, cap’n. I’ve seen the flag myself.” 

“And that is so reassuring.” 

I walked out of the door moving him out of the way. I pulled out my spyglass and scanned over the ship. I felt a slight grin upon my face. 

“She’s a Spanish merchant ship…and she's alone. Run out the guns, lads! Full canvas, give me all sail! Run her down or i’ll throw five of my choosin’ in the brig for three days with no grub!”

I watched my crew of convicts, pirates and ex-sailors spring into action. They knew there was an easy prize to be had. It only took moments for us to catch her. Our ships were almost side by side. I could see the fear of the crew on the opposing ship. They could not hope to defend themselves against rabid dogs, for they were hungry. Once I felt our enemy was about to fire, I gave my order.

“Fire you scalawags! Send them to the depths, but careful not to harm their precious cargo.” I yelled with a laugh. 

Our vessel released a punishing blow of cannon to the enemy. Sending shards of wood flying through the air. Their volley hit us, doing almost no damage. We outgunned our enemy. Another volley shredded their hull. 

“Gents…grab a hook, we have some fish to catch.” I yelled with another laugh.

My men willingly grabbed their hooks and tossed them over to the other ship. When it was close enough, they placed wooden planks to connect the two ships. All of this was taking place in a fog of musket and cannon fire. My men spilled over onto the enemies deck, slicing and piercing their way through any poor soul in their path. I made my way over next, withdrawing my cutlass as I stepped over the dead bodies of their crew. Most of the work had been done by now. 

“Sir, the enemy captain is held up in his quarters, he says he has a meetin’ with you.” A man cracked. 

“Well, it would be dishonorable to miss a meeting with a fellow captain.” I said with a smile. I heard my crew laugh. I walked up to the door and placed my ear on it. I noticed my crew watching me with a question mark of intensity. 

“Bearded man, come here.” I ordered as I pulled away.

“Open this door. Don’t get shot.”

The bearded man then slowly reached for the door and grabbed the handle. He looked up at me and I gave him a nod as I was off to the side. As he opened the door I heard the sound of a pistol go off. I looked down at the bearded man and saw blood starting to spill form his chest. I proceeded to walk through the door as I heard another pistol go off. I heard a shot whistle right by my ear. 

“Ahh, you must of had a good season, two pistols aye mate?” 

I continued to walk into the room. I saw the captain violently trying to reload one of the two pistols. 

“Where are you coming from, Spaniard?” I asked as I approached him. 

“More importantly, where are you headin’?”

He rose back up and cocked the hammer of his pistol. Before he could extend his aim I slashed at him with my cutlass, relieving the man of his right arm. I heard him scream as his blood began to drench the wood. 

“Not to add salt here mate, but this is Spanish made.” I cracked as I showed off my now blood soaked blade. 

“Cap’n, we found something stashed with the plunder, sir.” 

I turned to look at the voice only to see a pleasant surprise, a small group of slaves. 

“Well look here, boys. We seemed to have taken a merchant ship with a hidden gem.” I spoke as I walked over to them. I analyzed the four of them. I took my cutlass and lightly sliced one of the four with it, cutting the man and unleashing a gentle stream of blood. 

“They are strong and built for the field. They will bring us a pretty penny when we land at Port Royal. To the brig, lads.” 

Just as I finished I noticed an absence of screaming, I turned and saw the Captain attempting to charge me with his sword. I dodged his unbalanced attempt and sliced through his back. He dropped to the ground with another scream. I then sheathed my sword and drew my pistol. I pulled back the hammer and aimed it at his head. 

“Wait!” I called to the men pulling the slaves away to the brig. They all turned to watch. 

“You know something else, mate, this pistol is also Spanish made.” With that I pulled the trigger and shot the man dead. 


As my men were loading up our ship with the plunder they found another slave and brought him across the planks. There was something different about this one. 

“Stop!” I yelled before they stepped onto my vessel. I walked up to the slave and looked him up and down. 

“You have blue eyes. You have a mark on your face. It is from a whip. Why there, I wonder? Were you disobedient? You have a brand on the back of your neck from a plantation I once visited. You walk with a limp because you've been shot in the leg, a failed escape…Does anyone know of a man said to have these attributes?” I looked around at my crew. 

“I do. I’ll let you tell my men who you are though.” I stepped back to see if he would answer. He looked up at me and started to breathe heavy. His eyes stared at me with anger. 

“I am Khari.” he said. 

“Khari, descendent of royalty from West Africa. You would have been a king yourself if you hadn't been called to a higher purpose.” I took another step back from the plank. 

“Step down please.” Khari followed the order slowly. Once his feet hit my deck I quickly stepped up to him and stared at his scared face. 

“You are no king on my ship.” After no response from the african, I ordered him to the brig. 

“Finish up, the sooner we hit the sand in Port Royal the sooner we all get paid.” The men finished up and we pulled away from the now sunken ship. 


Entry 53

June 16 1707


We were just a few hours out from Port Royal. I again, found myself reading in my quarters. When I read I was reminded of her. She loved to read and this used to be her favorite book. Even though I was reading, I could hear her voice saying the words in my head. I got to a certain line and I read it over and over again. It was one of her favorites. 

“Maxwell” I could hear her as if she was right next to me. Something about what I was reading gave me the idea of going down and checking on my cargo. So I did. 


I arrived below deck and saw the slaves in a gathering talking amongst each other. 

“I do mean to interrupt here, may I have a word with your king?” I said with a smile. 

The king stepped forward. 

“My liege.” I continued smiling.

“What say you to a few questions? I’m bored and in need of entertainment.”

The king just stared at me in response. 

“Very well, how many plantations have you been to? I would wager three or four.” 

The king continued to stare at me. 

“Another then, I heard you've killed a man, is that true?” 

Again he rejected my question. The others were also staring at me, clinched fists and all. 

“Answer the Captain you worthless-“ I interrupted the man, one of my crew members. 

“Leave us, now.” I ordered my men. At this point it was just me and the group of slaves. I turned again to the king. 

“Is that better?” He was still silent. I didn't grow angry, though. 

“You must be hungry, king?” He shook his head. 

“I have a feast prepared in my quarters and I would like you to accompany me. What say you?” He hesitated before responding. 

“My men, what of their stomachs?” 

“They aren't kings, mate.” 

“They are the kings people.” I could tell he would not back down. I respected that. 

“They will not be coming into my quarters but how about I send down some rations of pork?” The King looked at his fellow men and they all gave him a look of approval and desperation. He then nodded towards me.


I opened my double wooden doors for the king, leading him into my quarters. 

“You want a few men in there, cap’n?” 

“No, that wont be necessary.” 

“But Cap’n, what if he goes for ya?” I paused before responding. 

“Then kill him when he tries to come out.” 

I awaited for him to sit down before I did. I started to place my napkin in my lap and noticed he was frozen. 

“Well you must be hungry, Khari, eat.” The king then dove in as if he was only waiting for permission. Several seconds passed. 

“What was your fathers name?” He stopped eating but didn't answer. I shook it off and kept eating. 

“I’ve worked at three mills.” He finally spoke. I paused in slight disbelief. 

“So the king speaks? Three you say? Tell me of what you saw there. Tell me what happened.” The king again paused before speaking. 

“I saw darkness on a sunny day.” The statement alone sent a chill down my spine. His voice matched that of a kings. 

“Be more specific. Tell me what a man who looked like me did to a man who looked like you.” 

Again a pause. 

“Where I was…mostly sugar mills. Very dangerous. A lot of men dead on the job. Not great food but you become used to it. If you misbehave, you could get the steel trap. One for your face for talking out of line, one for your leg for making a run for it. I wasn't shot, they put the boot on me but did it with reason to hurt me. Didn't help that we only got one nights rest. They was ruthless with the work hours, even more than the whip.” 

“Your face tells of another story.” I implored. 

“My face is from standing in the way of a whip for another man.” 

“So you were protecting someone?” 

“Yes.”

“Was he family?”

“We all are family. There are none left from my own.” We both continued eating as several minutes of silence went by. 

“Would you rather be dead, Khari?” He took a long pause. 

“No, I would rather be free.” 

“I’m not sure freedom is in the cards, mate. I think they have a plantation there. They need men, strong men like you and once they find out you are royalty, you may be shipped off again. There is always a bidder who’s looking for the next investment.” 

Another few seconds passed. 

“What is it that you want, Khari?” 

“A chance.” I looked upon him with despair. We both continued eating in silence. 

“Tis a good book.” 

“What?” He pointed to a book on my desk. I rose up and retrieved it and brought it back to the table. 

“This? This is a good book?” It was the bible. 

“Yes, Jesus is a good man.” 

“And how do you know of Jesus?” 

“The white master at my last mill, he read it a lot and talked to me about it. He was a good man.” 

“You’re calling a slave master, the one with the whip, a good man?” I laughed. 

“He was trying.” I paused to think about what to say.

“I read this book everyday. It reminds me of my wife. It reminds me of a much simpler time. She used to read it everyday. She would read to me and I wouldn't listen. But she kept reading, she kept trying. It wasn't until after I lost her that I started to read it myself. It reminds me of how I've tried and how I've failed. It reminds me that it’s too late to be like him.” 

“I don't think it means to be like him, I think it means try.” I was touched by the kings words. 

“My name is Maxx, and its an honor to dine with you this evening.” 

We were both startled by a knock. I rose up and opened the door. 

“We are here, sir. Port Royal is just there.” Sure enough emerging from the nightly fog was the fort itself. 

“Should we make ready the slaves?” 

“No, let us get some rest for the night. We will sell them in the morning.” I went back inside and told the King of our arrival to Port Royal. 

“I just lost my appetite.” he said as he stood up. 

“Thank you for dinner, captain.” 

I nodded as he left my quarters. I stared at the floor for what had to be minutes. That night I didn't sleep. I tossed and turned as I wrestled with something. 


I was already out of my bed when the sun came up the next day. I was sitting in my chair staring at my desk. I went to grab my bible for my daily morning reading only to notice that it had already been opened. I grabbed it to reveal the page. It was the only one I had marked, her favorite verse. I read it and could hear her voice. On this day, she told me something new. Something I had been missing the whole time. I exited my quarters to see my men loading up the slaves. They were all in shackles, one by one being loaded into the dingy. 

“Bring me the king.” I ordered. My men followed and brought Khari over to me. I took a deep breath. 

“I have an offer for you.” I saw his eyes rise to mine in a small ounce of hope. 

“Luke Chapter 4 verse 18….What say you to skipping out on slavery this go around and joining my crew?” 

Khari stared at me, he didn't really move or speak, he just looked at me with tears in his eyes and smiled.      

© 2015 Colton Warr


Author's Note

Colton Warr
This was a piece I wrote for a summer class I took earlier this season. The class was about the history of the Atlantic world. The three main pillars of the class were religion, slavery, and world expansion. We could write on any topic gone over during the course of the class and were encouraged to include all three pillars. So I chose to base my story around a privateer serving in the War of Spanish Succession who runs across a slave while also reminiscing of his long lost wife who was the light in his life, both emotionally and spiritually. Remember, this is a story, an historical fiction one at that. Please read and provide feedback.

P.S. I did very well on this paper (an A++, yes the professor wrote that) but I would like some feedback from fellow writers, more from the artist standpoint. Hope you guys enjoy. Thank you all so much for all of the support and positivity you guys share. You all are the best.

My Review

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Featured Review

Colton: You are a very talented writer. I took notes, but had to stop at one point due to time constraints; will forward to you soonest. It is beautifully written. From the beginning, your dialougue and descriptions were so very well written I found myself intrigued and could not stop reading. This piece takes a great deal of research and knowledge of the time period. Very well done! It's always important to pull that emotion into the readers mind, to visual the scenary and you excelled. I loved the Captain from the beginning; the solemn heartfelt, but retrained love he revealed. Just brilliant; and the action and content was superb. It was like being in history class, but this time I loved it! The character of the King, the compassion you described with great dialouge made me respect the captain even more. I hope you are proud of this composition. It's a wonderful story and I am so thankful to have been able to read it. Khari character was very well written also; loved the ending. Bravo! Dale

Posted 4 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Confuser: Thank you so much for this kind review! I can't tell you how much your words mean to me! I.. read more
Confuser

4 Years Ago

You're welcome!!!



Reviews

Hello Colton,

You already received a lot praise from your teacher and in this community. I can only add to this. It was nice to read another story of yours. In general it is well written, good job. It still contains a few small typos, for example '... spill form his chest.', but the lingo, descriptions and dialogue are fine. Two small suggestions/remarks:

- the title misleads me, it makes me think of the (cheap albeit funny) movie starring Mel Gibson.
- although our hero obviously has many qualities, I find the fact that he is both the reader type, the sensative type, the religious type, the bossy type and the bold deck fighter a bit too much and if I may say so a bit inconsistent.

Good read, keep writing. Give me a read request if you have something new you want me to have a look at, I'll gladly comply.

Regards,

Sesame

@followsesame on Twitter
www.themagiccave.com

Posted 3 Years Ago


Colton Warr

3 Years Ago

Thank you so very much, my friend! I appreciate you drawing attention to the small typos. It reminds.. read more
I love this! Sea adventures and held my attention all the way throughthrough.

Posted 4 Years Ago


Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

I'm glad you enjoyed this story! I appreciate you giving this a read and review, my friend! Thank yo.. read more
I've never read historical fiction, but I can tell you did your research. My criticism below is just what I would've done rather than what you should do. I'm new here can you tell? :P

I like the depth of the captain's character, although since it's his POV, I would've thought he'd know some of the names of his crew, particularly the bearded man. His death has less impact when his relationship with the Captain is less established and the Captain doesn't even care about him enough to know his name. He's a like a red-shirt. I don't know if you intended to do that or not. Also, by the end of the story I got the impression that the captain was just depressed rather than suicidal, which makes his earlier action of walking into the other captain's quarters and nearly getting shot seem a little too risky. I would've rather got him to send another one of his crew or maybe a slave inside. It would show his experience as a captain and the need to stay alive and honor his wife's memory, which makes the ending more understandable.

I don't know if the silent, forgiving black dude is a stereotype (I doubt it), but on the few instances he spoke, if he was just a tad more bitter about his circumstances or defeated by the circumstances that might've played better. I don't know how a king even could deal with being a slave. That's what my instinct would've been anyways.

You nailed everything else though. I like the voice and style and your character's were great. The mood was very interesting too. I'm for sure going to read more. Ps. if you get a chance, come and read one of mine and let me know what your thoughts are. ;)

Posted 4 Years Ago


Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much for the read and review! I appreciate you stopping by and passing along your tho.. read more
Sesame

3 Years Ago

And bravo for you review as well JMKane.
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A great story. As many other reviewers have already pointed out: setting, characterization, dialog, action scenes... all brilliantly done.

There's one minor nitpick though: I don't know what the intended audience is but I can't shake the feeling that the sentence structure is a bit too simple in parts. You use very short sentences and there is little variety in length. For action sequences and dialog that works perfectly, it's also fine for younger audiences. But being an adult I think a few more complex sentences once in a while would have not have hurt, especially during the quieter parts of the story.

However, since I seem to be the only one who brought that up it might be just me, so - by all means - feel free to ignore my remark. Don't get me wrong, I think the A++ is very well deserved, the issue I pointed out just would have made it an A+++ for me personally :-)

Posted 4 Years Ago


Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you so much for the great review, my friend! I appreciate the kind words and the advice! By al.. read more
Hello Colton, I´m a novice writer and new to writerscafe.
About your story, I´m not surprised at all that your teacher would give you a perfect grade. I found myself completely drawn into the story. The dialogue is great, very realistic to that time. It´s a fast paced story. Obviously looks like you have done your research from that period. The dialogue is what drew me into the whole story, the words used at that time period I thought it was great. And the ending was also in my humble opinion was also great. Eventually the Captain saves the king-slave because of his faith in the bible that his late wife had given him. What I don´t understand is why the Captain only saves the King-slave and not the other crew members. If he is willing to save one, why not the others as the bible tells him.

Posted 4 Years Ago


Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much, Charly! Nice to hear from you! I appreciate your kind words! I'm glad you enjoy.. read more
Charly Priest

4 Years Ago

Well now that you say it about only saving the Kind, does make sense when you take into account that.. read more
Yet another great story. You're use of dialogue is excellent and you did a great job at capturing the essence of the time period. I really enjoyed reading this.

Posted 4 Years Ago


Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much! I appreciate your kind words! Thank you for the positivity! I'm glad you enjoye.. read more
Splendid read! Splendid indeed! Wasn't quite sure where it was going, but you did a masterful job of a crashing good finish.
Well done, my friend..
Yes, the professor was right.

Posted 4 Years Ago


Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much, Rick! I'm glad you enjoyed this story and its ending! I appreciate the kind wor.. read more
Colton your style of writing is very unique!! You capture raw talent and the mood of every character you write!! This story isn't my style, but the way you wrote it made it a little more of my style!! Keep up the great work handsome!!

Posted 4 Years Ago


Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much!! You are just too sweet! I appreciate the kind and encouraging words! I'm glad .. read more
SheJayBen

4 Years Ago

No problem! :)
First, I like the style; something different, but familiar. Very nice tone. The rhythm and pacing are also good, broken up well and appropriately.

You avoided the traps of too much detailed information or repetition. Obviously a lot of thought went into descriptions.

Action flows well, it makes sense and the pacing builds to it.

Regarding dialogue, all of the words spoken are believable and not too formal. It's nice when dialogue is natural. You might want to write "said" instead of "cracked" as an attribution (just an example). It's a minor point, but I'm told that publishers and agents notice these things. Also, if you show an interruption (“Answer the Captain you worthless-"), you don't need to tell the reader there's an interruption.

For publishing revisions, I recommend a used copy of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. The authors explain the mechanics of dialogue and attributions very clearly.

The characters are fully written, illustrated by word and action with detail, but not too much.

The story builds well. It's plausible. Unfortunately, I don't know the Bible in detail, so I wasn't able to grasp the significance of the Biblical reference at the end. Whether you wish to somehow illustrate an explanation is up to you.

A note about typos. If you plan to submit this work or any work, you'll want to clean it up. I'll send you a side note with examples.

I enjoyed reading this work and read it twice. Thank you writing it.

Posted 4 Years Ago


Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Andy, thank you so much for the kind review! Forgive me, I've been on vacation out west for a few we.. read more
Good use of dialogue. It carries the story forward. That can be hard sometimes but you seem to handle it well.
You put the historical details to good use. It helped to locate the story for the reader.
Good job.

Posted 4 Years Ago


Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much, Robert! I appreciate the kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed this story and its di.. read more

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Added on July 22, 2015
Last Updated on July 22, 2015
Tags: War, Slavery, Freedom, Ships, Ocean, Privateer, Captain, Life, Hope, Cannon, Love, Hate, Forgiveness, Redemption, Angel

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Colton Warr
Colton Warr

Richmond, VA



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