Prologue

Prologue

A Chapter by ALittleBitOfEverything

There she stood, in the heart of the black storm, rain shot down from the grey heavens onto the main deck, slick as the wet dirt roads ashore. The rope ladders violently threw themselves back and forth, making a noise she'd only ever hear at night outside her bedroom window. Objects, large and small, skittered across the slippery wooden deck, pewter tankards, small wooden boxes and even heavy, round, black iron cannonballs dawdled towards the captain's cabin aboard this forsaken ship.
Her eyes darted frantically around the main deck, towards the quarter deck; streaks of white fractured the black sky, a grumble as low as father's stomach deprived of food for an hour or so roared in the vast open.
Her manly breeches and shirt torn and dirty, hair once wound in a bun under a fitting hat, now it was lost and stray hair around her face in ringlets, in need of a good rinse as it smelled rottenly of rum.
Her bare feet pattered down the deck, the ship wrenching to the side along with a tidal wave, salt water peppering her, she tasted it on her tongue. Clasping thin, small fingers around the mainmast, ropes managing to swing their way against her flesh with such force she was knocked back, hitting the wooden deck rail, she managed to grasp away from the edge of the boat and head for the end of the ship.
She heard rumbles from down below, battering of feet on wood floors, showers of rain on surfaces, yells that echoed through the ship like the thunder that came from the sky.
Shrieking, she drew to her knees on a skid, water splashing up her front. She ducked her head below the wooden stairs leading up to the quarter deck, before the bellows erupted from below the gun deck.
Men emerged from the stairs, yelling to the top of their lungs, dirty and ill mannered, desperate eyes rummaging the surface of the ship, rain water soaking them through.
In the midst of them was a burly man, a scraggly beard upon his face, hollow eye sockets with black eyes, long hair framed his narrow head atop with a black and gold trimmed hat, a silk scar running the length of his cheek, teeth lined with gold and muck.
The captain held a wisp of long, dark, drenched hair between his sausage-like fingers, and the back of her head burned from where he ripped at her skull.
"I know you're hiding, girl!" His snarl could curdle even the ripest of cow's milk; it sent shivers down her arms, drops of water gliding down her forehead like beads of sweat. His yell silenced the others, circling him like a protective guard, being his eyes as they searched high in the sails and some delved deeper into the decks below.
She peeked through the gaps of the stairs, containing her rapid breathing, clouds of white air as she exhaled. Arms shaking and head running, she needed off this pirate ship, prey tell where the life boats were hidden.
"I shall tear this ship apart, panel by rotting panel, if you do not reveal yourself." His words bitter and hoarse, an almost laugh riveting his body. "Spare me the time, or have my crew have their way with you as a righteous reward." The captains voice took on a dark and twisted front, making her want to cry for help which was nowhere to be found.
Another loud roar scattered the sky, a fork of white splitting the black mass above.
"Esther Sybella," His words like snakes among long, dry grass. Esther had to clench her small hands as he breathed her name. "Please, come out, come out." His crew chuckled like gulls at port.
Wet hands with an iron grip clamped around her mouth, a scream at her lips now crushed as a breath hushed her by her ear. Esther's eyes darted to her left where he crouched; confidence burned his dark eyes while dark hair dripping with water shrouded them.
"T-Thomas-"she breathed through his warm fingers, the smell made her want to gag, but  relief made her feel literally weightless as she searched his face.
"Shh-, unless you wish to be spotted," His words dulled to whispers, eyes searching for a way out. She stared at his eyes, dark and great; she longed to stare at them forever, ever since she first saw them.
Thomas Fuller, a part of The Lucia crew, a mere man learning his way to be second in command, his father a well respected Captain. She was once aboard The Lucia, a vessel that was well known for discovering unmarked land, and it was a new journey for Esther to make on her own.
But she had not believed she'd encounter pirates on her first time at sea, especially savage ones, like Captain Jack "Ivory Bones" Goodwin, of the pirate ship, The Black Iris.
Then, half of the crew from The Lucia was slain by Ivory and his crew, Ivory favouring the death of Captain Fuller and having a few of his crew members restrain Thomas to make him watch. They believed Esther was a man, tall and fair, and decided to keep her alive, as some of the lucky others, because Thomas insisted so, yet quickly found out her secret on The Lucia.
Her skin prickled as he slowly brought her face to his, lips parting. "Be quiet, and follow me." He drew his hand away, carefully, and as no words came from her, he moved, placing himself away from her and throwing his long dark cape.
He came from his crouch from under the stairs, putting himself between the stairs and she, something now placed between his slender fingers. It gleamed like silver, yet was dark and smaller than a coin. Esther watched through the slats of the stairs, rain still dropping through them onto her face and head, and while the crew was mainly looking and rifling through one direction, he drew his arm in an arch and his hand came back down empty.
A clatter of a sound numbly hit the bow of the ship, the attention of the dim men rushed to the sound all at once, their shouts of relief and victory cried as they waded to the bow.
"See her?"
"In the nest, perhaps!"
"No, she is a woman, they are useless at climbing!"
Although Esther had to keep quiet, she fought an urge to speak out at these toad-spotted, onion-eyed filthy goats. Thomas in barefoot and tight, dirty breeches, low and out of place short ponytail bent and offered his large hand to Esther.
Her big, doe eyes gleamed up as another burst of white broke the sky, scared as she was, she wanted off this yeast ship. She grasped his hand in fear, their fingers tangling, he yanked her up.
Esther stood in front of him, her breath catching as rain fell on them in sheets. His dark eyes explored her bright, hazel ones, his fingers tightening around her feeble hands, amongst the cold, she could feel his warmth drift over her, reassuring.
"Come on," He breathed and dragged her around the stairs; her feet skidded on wet wood. Up the stairs she had hid behind, careful yet quick they were higher up deck. There, Esther could see the sea beneath The Black Iris, it's savage waters sloshing against the hull, reaching the stern and pouring on deck, a river playing at Esther's and Thomas's feet. Its ice cold sending jolts up her nerves, her teeth began to chatter.
Thomas looked up at the dark mizzenmast, by the look of his expression, appeared unsure of what to do next, his hand still tightly wrapped over hers. Wind blew up her large, dirty white shirt, her skin exposed and made her body arch in surprise.
Thomas skittered a turn, the wet deck making it harder to grip in soaking feet. They thundered down the steps, him taking two at a time, she trying not to tumble under her own feet. Back on the quarter deck, the crew were scattered again, up in the sails and shrouds. Ivory wasn't anywhere to be seen.
Thomas yanked Esther towards her, her wet hair sticking to her face in clumps, smelling dank of rum and salt and a smell she didn't want to acknowledge. He opened wooden doors with glass slits, beyond a faint yellow glow. The doors swung open and a heavy, red curtain fluttered out against the wind, Esther grabbed it back and hurried inside as Thomas pulled her in.
Somehow it was warmer in the cabin, and smelled much better. A long oak table rested in the middle towards the glass end of the boat. A thick rug that looked expensive and stolen was under the table, along with other stolen goods. Like chests engraved in gold, silver objects gleamed from a very attractive courting candle holder with beeswax candles. Above them were tapestries from different ethnic cultures, old and weathered, a damaged map rested on the surface of the table along with a few silver chalices embedded with jewels and gold.
Thomas rushed to the windows, attempting to budge them with force, his grunts resulting effortless.
Esther stood there, watching the flame of the beeswax candle flicker left, and then right, and then left, and then right again. And further down the table was a brass bowl with fruit piled up, a juicy, green apple took the place at the top.
She felt her stomach growl in need for food, she felt the cloth around her bust tighten as she breathed deeply, ignoring the hunger. She moved towards the table, her toes curling in from the cold, her chattering teeth could startle the drowsiest of rats.
Her fingers brushed the edges of the burnt and torn map, stains of rum along the edges. She could see lands and seas, a circle around a bit of land that was drawn in red, which to Esther's dismay was blood.
A large, ugly hand came down hard on the map, along with the stench of rum and stink emanated from it, strings of hair under his brawny fingers, tips stained yellow and brown.
Esther choked on a scream, gaping at Ivory. His long, knotted grey and black beard contained bits in it, hair blending in it, smelling of rotten food. His skin was bad; pores open like pits in the cobblestoned streets at home. Eyes sunken into his skull, the whites had a sheen of yellow, eyes darker than mahogany. His snarl looked deadly, gold teeth reflecting Esther's face in them, the rest of his teeth were brown and a few chipped, his breath making Esther's face contort, his hat dripping water onto the map.
His long coat was big, and buttoned to not see the rest of him, old buttons dirtied. An empty sheath at his side of his weapon's belt.
Ivory drew a dented, long and iron blade, its tip gradually reaching her.
"I've finally got you, Miss Sybella." Esther raked her attention to Thomas who stared, wild eyed at Ivory Bones, his dreadful eyes landing on her. "Thank you, Fuller, for bringing the young woman to me, I knew there was a way you would assist me." His words hissed towards Esther, but hit Thomas, he looked shaken.
"Esther, I-"Thomas started but Ivory cut him off.
"Save your breath, child," He finally shot Thomas a glare of ice. "I'll reward you, later." His venomous eyes landed back on her. She felt it all at once, fear, terror, anticipation, longing and sadness washed over her as Ivory held the iron blade below her throat, she sent her chin up to avoid it touching her skin as if it'd burn her. But it wouldn't, it would kill her without much force.
"Do you know what men are like around women they have not set their lumpish eyes on for almost a year?" His voice was cold and menacing, it made her want to weep, but for the sake of Ivory's gloat, she held back.
Clenching her teeth, she spoke for the first time since she got on deck. "Without a doubt," Her voice wavering and weak, and his blade touched hollow of her collarbone, sliding down like a leech to pull down the over sized filthy shirt, revealing the tight cotton cloth around her chest that concealed her bust. Thomas dipped his head in discomfort while Ivory's grin deepened like a skull.
"So do I, m'lady," Ivory's blade pinched her breast bone, tearing a path with his blade of her shirt. "I've seen my men have their jolly ways with women who happened to be upon my ship," A delighted tone rested on his tongue. "Their greed exceeds them, like gold to their eyes; they will ravage them as if they were cursed beasts. They have done it aplenty before and would be simply fascinating to see them squabble for a little duckling such as you, my pet."
As quick as he drew his sword that Esther did not see it, he used it to slice all down the front of her shirt, the sound of ripping linen brought Thomas's eyes back to her. She felt them as much as she felt the blade as it laced some of her skin; it burned, just like his eyes.
Her slight torso was in sight, wishing she could have kept her stay. Her slender shape pale in the faint glow; the sickly cream cotton cloth that wound her bust made her very much flat chested, damp hair hung around her shoulders, tickling her back and smelling horrid.
She kept her chin up and stared right back at Thomas, who stood all in shadow beyond the table, his expression dark under the shadow of candlelight. While Ivory was not noticing her body, but taking in her face, smiling at what he was revelling inside his tiny little brain.
"You are a sick, vile monster," Esther almost spat, feeling the backs of her eyes burning like hot coals in her hearth at home.
"I stand..." His wrinkles deep in thought. "Oh wait, I agree with that, my child." Then, his laughter boomed, filling the empty space of the cabin, the ship being cast to the left. Misplacing Esther and Thomas, but Ivory still stood firm, sheathing his sword.
He grabbed her upper arm, yanking her back to him, she faced the doors. Outside looked terrible. Its black skies looked haunted, flapping dark sails looked as if they would snap at any given moment, ropes whipping around the deck, snakes poised to attack. And the crew, still hustling around for her, she felt the pits of her stomach fall in disgust, in awful fear.
What would they do to me? Her thoughts quick and terrified. Would they take me below and have their way? Bound my ankles and wrists and strip me bare like a baby? Have me run stark among the deck for their amusement?
She pressed her lips together, feeling the shove of Ivory's bumpy palms towards the doors. She felt a draft, even more so now her shirt laid a mess on the floor. Water had leaked under the doors, tickling her toes.
Ivory side stepped, parting the heavy curtain and opened the door with force she believed it would fly from its hinges. The cold swept over Esther like the sea itself, rain hitting her bare skin it made her wince in shock. She felt her chest rise and fall in heaves, feeling, one by one, pairs of dirty eyes land on her unmarked body.
"Gentleman!" Bellowed Ivory, giving her one, final push on deck, nearly slipping on the slippery and moss like deck. Now, she felt the weight of all the crew, beady and fathomless, greedy and sick eyes roam her flesh as if there were flies crawling around her skin. Esther flew up her arms, shielding her chest, much luck that would give her, as she was trapped like a mouse cornered by feral cats. Their hungry gazes lingering on her, she wanted to be sick on each and every one of them. "I give you, Esther Sybella."


© 2015 ALittleBitOfEverything


My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register




Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

214 Views
Added on April 11, 2015
Last Updated on April 11, 2015


Author

ALittleBitOfEverything
ALittleBitOfEverything

United Kingdom



About
Right, I'm back after months! (return 09/12/2014) and I am no longer a wannabe goth kid weirdo. I no longer listen to bands that make me depressed a little and on my (maybe) last course of college of .. more..

Writing