Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Bloody Jenny - A Trio of Mutineers

Jenny slid her cutlass free and used the clam shell shaped bronze hand guard to deflect the wooden cudgel. Her husband had been no slouch with a sword and made sure that his wife could best him.

The soft gong was repeated three more times as she blocked each of the next blows. "You don't want to do this." She wasn't panting or sweating. Not yet.

Cooper growled. "You're right. I want to strangle you and then..."

He didn't have the opportunity to finish the thought, since he exhaled sharply when the handguard caught him on the chin. The clonk of metal on bone and the clacking sound were both louder than the breaking of teeth. No stranger to pain, he spit blood and brown bits at her.

The point of her sword waved between them. A weapon meant more for slicing and chopping, the point would still do a good enough job on its own. "You won't get the chance to do that. You can tell me who's with you on this, or I'll see to it that you last a few days before I hang you." The blade slashed out and parted his belt.

The clatter of guns on the quarterdeck made him open the bloody, jagged maw in surprise.

"Out with it now."

"Why tell, when I can show?" The words were harder to understand now, but the meaning became clear as two of his mates stepped into the flickering lamp light.

"Guerrero and Masters? I admit to being surprised and disappointed. I saw your hands on voting day."

Guerrero, the short Portugese sailor grinned, white teeth showing against sun browned skin. "You saw a lot, woman." He held a brace of tomahawks.

Masters stepped forward, sword in hand. It was a little fancier than Jenny's cutlass and meant for thrusting. "Let's just finish this."

"No stomach for mutiny?" Jenny was glad to see none of them went for the guns. They would make too much noise and awaken any crew loyal to her. "I hope you were promised much. You'll not collect anything other than steel in your belly, if you come at me."

The three men moved to try and encircle her, but on this part of the ship there was precious little room. Her back to a guard rail, the main deck was a few feet below and behind her. Cooper came around the wheel and Masters and Guerrero tried to flank her.

"We'll be paid handsomely, the new captain promised us that." Guerrero threw one of his axes.

Jenny ducked, blocking the thrown weapon with her cutlass. A sharp pain in her back told her Masters was close enough for his sword to provide the necessary reach. She spun, knocking the hanger aside and planted a boot on the rail. With a grunt of effort, she pushed herself into the air and landed with a sizable thud on the wooden plank below.

The pirates followed using the steps to each side of the quarterdeck.

She used the time to scan the main deck and saw no sailors used it as a bed on this fine night. Unusual, since it was so much better smelling above deck than below. This conspiracy seemed larger with each passing moment. She reached into her boot and pulled a dagger free. It would give her something else to parry with. Her back to the main mast, she waited for them to come.

Guerrero hadn't taken the opportunity to collect his thrown weapon. "We'll take turns with her when she's done. It was selfish of the good captain to keep her all to him..." He groaned as the thrown dagger found its lodging in his guts.

"You'll not talk about my husband, dog." Angry at the threat and the slander, she'd given up the blocking weapon, but all of the fight was out of the little man. It pooled around him, staining the wood.

Cooper recovered his pistols, though he had to hitch up his trousers with one gun hand. He could shoot and switch hands easily enough. "I'll shoot you in the knee and throw you to the sharks."

"Shoot then." She waited and watched as Masters went around the mast. When no shot came, she nodded. "I still have some loyal men on board or lead would have already flown." She began circling the mast as best she could, keeping both men in the corner of her eyes. The lighting down here was no better than it was from her wheel. That could play to her advantage. Shouting wouldn't bring men fast enough. Coming down here had cut her off from ringing the ship's bell. The safest way to go would be up.

She sheathed her cutlass and leapt for the nearest rope. With a swing and a grunt, she moved up and into the rigging. Finding her amongst the sails would be easy in daylight. Now they would have to worry about balance, keeping an eye out for their target, and potential obstructions. That is, if they kept up pursuit.

Art Source: Cutlass by Historyfanatic on Pyracy
Story and Characters (c)/by Scott Roche

#Pirates, #ScottRoche, #History, #1800s


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