Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bloody Jenny - Rats Onboard

Jenny's feet moved with confidence along the mainsail's boom. The canvas snapped and fluttered. She stopped and looked back to see if she noticed any pursuit. Movement caught her eye. It was hard to know if a man moved along behind her or if it was just the sheet moving. Thankfully, uncertainty should cut both ways. She held her breath and squatted. After a count to ten, she saw someone move. It was a person, sure a she was sitting here.

Light caught her eye. She looked up and saw some of the faerie fire crawling down the sheet towards her shrouded opponent. As it got closer, she could tell it was Masters.

From the look on his face, clear enough from the flickering blue light, he was uneasy. The man was as superstitious as any one of her men, perhaps more. Fear could play to her favor.

"Husband, don't steal his soul." She shrieked from her place in the darkness.

Master's eyes moved from the light to where her voice originated, and back to the light. He took a step backwards and crouched.

Seizing the moment of doubt, she took three long strides forward and grabbed a rope. Momentum carried her feet first into his face. Bone crunched and he screamed as he lost his footing. Another set of wet snapping sounds came up from below.

She put her feet down on the boom and drew her cutlass. By her count, one foe remained. It was unlike Cooper to climb up, when he had men to send instead. But with Guerrero bleeding and Masters a broken bundle of twigs, he had no choice.

A prick between her shoulder blades told her exactly where. She raised her hands, keeping hold of the cutlass.

"Drop your weapon, captain. It'll make it easier for you to climb down. I don't want you dead, but it's all the same to me if you are."

Cooper was a wizard at moving through the ropes. There would be no easy way to use her size and agility against him without also having the element of surprise. That he hadn't just killed her outright meant he thought she had a greater use. "If I go down, I'm eventually dead whether you want to or not. Why not push your blade home?" She waited, gambling she was right about his need for her. With both compatriots down, perhaps he'd rethink the mutiny? "No? Well, take a moment to listen. If it was more gold or a bigger share you're wanting, you could have had both if you'd proven yourself. You want my cabin, though. You think there's something there for you?"

Cooper chuckled. "We both know there is. Tell me where the map is, and I will make your death easy. Don't? And I'll keep you alive and in your cabin for days."

"The men won't stand for it."

"I can keep you nice and quiet." He pressed the blade harder into her back.

A trickle of blood worked its way down. She hung her head and let her shoulders slump. She knew the rumor of a secret map held by her husband. There, the story went, he left a secret share of the takings for his own use. Most didn't believe it. They knew their captain wouldn't hold any treasure from them. There was no good could come of it. Men like Cooper believed everyone was the same, greedy and self serving. "I see."

Blue white light flickered again, drawing her eyes. This time it wasn't the faerie fire alone. A man's outline stood before her bathed in arcs of lightning. While she couldn't make out the features, it was her own Jeremiah. The stance was unmistakeable. Her mouth hung open.

"Well, what's it to be?" Cooper pulled back the blade.

"I love you." What should have been her last words to her husband, instead of the recriminations she had sent, could finally find a proper set of ears.


Not answering the pirate, she fell to one side, grabbing for a rope as she did.

A peal of thunder, so close it woke every man on the ship, was followed by a barely heard scream.

As Jenny dangled from the rigging, she saw a charred body fall and looked up to see an empty boom. By the time she made her way down to the deck, shaking and face damp with tears, her men stood looking at the bodies in awe of the damage done.

Zaccheus directed them to take care of the corpses. "Put these scoundrels over the side." He walked over to Jenny. "Is everything squared away, Captain?"

"I think so, mister. The ships had a few rats and I've seen them dealt with. Take the helm and stay on course."

Art Source: St. Elmo's Fire Story and Characters (c)/by Scott Roche
#1800s, #action, #BloodyJenny, #fight, #History, #Pirates, #ScottRoche, #swashbuckling,


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