Friday, 29 July 2016

Swords, Sails + Scoundrels: Ruin of a Rescue

Y'know...I can never work out how to start my posts. Should I say hi? Or hey? Or just...*silence*

...

Yeah. I have no idea really.

Today marks the fifteenth week since I started this story! Already that far through!

We had some interesting votes on Slayers in Sáliner last week. 2 for 1. 3 for 2. And 2 for 3. And we also got three votes for all three of them put together so...I figured that everyone would be pretty satisfied if I went for all three. So I did. In the order of one, three, then two. And it worked pretty well too, so that's always nice.

And I had plenty fun writing it 'cause...well, hopefully you'll be able to see for yourself!



“You two stay here,” Altin commanded. “I’ll deal with it.” He ducked out of the tent, disappearing as more shouts erupted from the direction of the sea.

Jas grabbed a sword, shoving it into my hands. “Come on.” He flashed a grin. “It sounds like an attack.” His face was alight with eagerness.

Before he could dart out of the tent, it shuddered from a sudden blow, and I barely had time to yelp a warning before the heavy fabric collapsed on top of us.

I sprawled on the ground under the weight, struggling to get loose. Jas was yelping and flailing not far off. The sword in my hand was jammed beneath me, the hilt digging into my stomach. Luckily it had still been sheathed.

Managing to roll over, kicking the fabric away from my legs, I slid the sword from its scabbard. 

Stay calm, I told myself.

Shoving the sword point through a handful of the material, I slashed it down, the sharp blade parting the dense weave gradually.

I shoved through the tear I’d made, scrambling out from under the collapsed tent. A struggling lump that was Jas squirmed forward, his head bursting through the opening. Clambering free he leapt to his feet.

“Come on!” he yelled, charging off.

I spun around, taking in the surrounding rapidly.

Men with swords and cutlasses charged through the gypsy camp, while the gypsies shouted and scattered in every direction. Most of the men were gone hunting, leaving only the younger boys and the women and girls.

Altin was probably the oldest.

A loud wail burst out nearby, and I turned to see Daneela on the ground, eyes wide and terrified. I ran forward, dropping down beside her.

“Daneela.” I gathered her in my arms, dropping the sword to the ground. “Are you alright?”

She buried her head on my shoulder, her wails coming louder.

A tall man loomed over us, sword in hand and I jumped to my feet, grabbing up the sword.

He smiled, leaning forward to pat Daneela’s back.

I swung the sword at him furiously. “Leave us alone,” I shouted.

He parried the awkward slash easily, then flicked the sword from my hand.

Pain shot up my fingers and I clutched Daneela close, backing away. A hand pulled my shoulder, dragging me further back. Altin pushed us behind him.

“Stay back,” he said, voice firm. He raised the sword into a defensive position.

The strange man grinned at him. “You must be Țigan’s son,” he said.

Altin stepped forward, lunging with the tip of the sword. It was easily knocked aside, and the gypsy stumbled forward, right into the man’s wide open arms.

Twisting the sword from his grasp, the man wrapped an arm around Altin, pinning both his arms to his sides. “If we can’t find your dad, maybe the Captain’ll want you instead.”

“Run Louise,” Altin gasped, struggling against the iron grip.

I turned, stumbling away at a half run. Daneela’s mother appeared in front of me, crying with joy as she took her wailing toddler from my arms.

Where was Jas?

Someone needed to save Altin, no matter how annoying and grumpy he was.

The darting figure of Jas shot past and I yelled at him to stop, racing after him. He slowed, turning a wide smile on me.

“It’s great isn’t it,” he shouted.

“Altin’s been caught,” I replied, grabbing his arm before he could run off again.

“Altin?” Jas shrugged. “So? It’d serve him right if he was.”

He shrugged loose and ran toward a bunch of men searching through the food tent.

“Wait,” I yelled, but he didn't hear.

Desperation welled inside me and I clenched my hands into fists. I’d have to do it then.

Spinning on my heel, I raced in the direction of the sea. A ship rested calmly on the grey blue waters a way off shore.

Pirates then.

I picked up a nearby pole, a round tent support, searching for any sign of the pirate who’d taken Altin.

He’d been trying to save me at the time.

I couldn’t let them just take him.

All the men were turning back northward, heading back to the sea.

Dashing forward, I caught sight of Altin struggling in the grip of the pirate. 

“Drop him,” I shouted, charging at the man.

Swinging the pole, I smashed it against the pirate’s head, feeling a crunch as the pole itself broke in half. The man howled, dropping his prisoner.

Altin collapsed into one of the many thorn bushes that lined the beach, yelling loudly as the thorns jabbed into him.

I dodged the pirate’s spinning swipe as he turned, jumping back out of reach. Someone shouted behind me and I ducked, toppling over forwards as a pirate fell over top of me.

Scrambling away on all fours, I barely avoided a grab from the first man. Then a huge hand locked over my mouth, hauling me upwards.

I kicked backward, twisting and struggling to get free but the pirate’s grip was impossibly strong. More hands grabbed my arms, wrapping ropes around my wrists, tying them in front of me.

Altin was dragged from the thorn bushes, bound with his hands behind his back, and tossed into a long rowboat.

I couldn’t breathe. The men shoved me forward, their voices rough as they talked among themselves.

Refusing to walk any further, I dropped my feet from under me, the unexpectedness of the movement catching the pirates by surprise. 

Rolling to the side away from the water, I managed to get a meter before they grabbed me again. The pirate who had taken Altin slung me into the boat on top of the gypsy boy. 

The pirates shoved the boats off the sand, climbing in and picking up oars.

Altin moaned underneath me and I struggled the squirm off him but there wasn’t enough room.

“Stay still,” a pirate growled from above.

I stopped moving, closing my eyes. It couldn’t be happening. Fear twisted in my stomach. 

Water splashed onto my face and I flinched away. Altin groaned into the boards again, his face shoved into the bottom of the boat.

Eventually the boat slowed, the two pirates rowing dropped their oars, one landing on my leg. Shouts and calls came from above, on board the pirate ship.

More hands gripped my shoulders, heaving me up and dumping me on the deck. In another moment, Altin was beside me, sprawled on his face again.

“I thought I told you to run,” he muttered.

“Maybe I should’ve left you to be captured,” I retorted, the words catching in my throat.

“Great rescue,” he replied bitterly.

“Get up.” A pirate dragged Altin to his feet, allowing me to stand by myself.

“What are you going to do to us?” I asked, trying to keep my voice steady.

“You’re going to see the Captain,” the reply was tense. “I don’t think he’s in a very good mood at the moment.”

Fear clenched my gut. What would happen to us?

Glancing toward Altin, I saw the same uncertainty reflected in his eyes. A pirate behind him looked almost as uncomfortable. I pressed my lips together as I noticed the red drips of blood on Altin's arm.

Maybe he was right.

There hadn't been much point in trying to rescue him.

Jas might’ve had the best idea after all.

I fixed my eyes on the deck boards, not wanting to see the pirate captain when he emerged.

A door opened.

“—Two kids. What do you mean you got two kids?” the voice was clearly annoyed, but there was something familiar about it at the same time.

“Captain, it was simply—”

“I sent you to get the gypsy leader Hans Țigan, and you bring me two kids instead? You could have said that he wasn’t there and I would have been happy to wait,” the captain grunted.

Footsteps strode across the deck and a pair of high boots came into view. I refused to look up, glaring at the deck.

“Who’s this?” the captain asked.

“Uh, we think it's Hans’ son.” It was the pirate behind Altin that spoke.

“Well? You, Gypsy Boy. What’s your name?”

Altin clenched his jaw, standing in silence.

“Fine. Have it your way. And this? What made you bring a girl?

I tensed, knowing the pirate would be looking at me now.

“She was trying to rescue the Gypsy Boy,” another pirate explained.

“So you decided to capture her as well. She’s not even a gypsy. If you’ve been antagonising anyone pow—” the captain broke off suddenly.

I suddenly realised where I knew the voice from. Raising my eyes, I found him staring directly into mine.

“Warin?” I said unbelievingly.


҉

1. Warin Wielder narrowed his eyes and ran them over his crew. “Right. So who here is the practical joker?” 

2. “What in the world are you doing here?” Warin asked. 

3. “You know him?” Altin spat the words viciously. “You’re friends?

҉

Mwahahaha we've finally gotten to the bit I've been looking forward to the entire time since I started thinking about this story. 

And now you know who Gypsy Boy is. *grins* Did it come as a surprise to anyone?

I'm going to be away from today until Sunday afternoon so still comment! But I just won't be able to publish and reply to them until Monday.

Really looking forward to hearing how you liked this week's story.

Fair Winds!


Jane Maree

14 comments:

  1. Yes, it was a surprise. I though Jas would be "Gypsy Boy". :) Great job!
    Now Captain Warin Wielder...I have to be honest I saw that one coming but it pleased me greatly. He's a favorite character of mine!
    I vote for option 1.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes *rubs hands together evilly* It was my plan that no one would guess it was Altin all along. :D Warin's return was a little obvious but...doesn't really matter terribly. Cool that you like him though!

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  2. Oooh, I love this chapter so much! So awesome :D

    I'll vote for option one! *Eagerly awaits for next instalment*

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    Replies
    1. Ooh THANKS SO MUCH SARAH! :D So cool.

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  3. EEP Warin is back! I can't decide whether I like him or not ... And I vote for either 1 or 3. I don't know XD.

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    Replies
    1. I hope you'll get to like him, 'cause he's one of my favourites. :)

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  4. I vote for option two. I enjoyed this week's shard...

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    Replies
    1. Yay! It's really cool that everyone's enjoying this. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. *cuddles all the comments*

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting Clare! I think two was one of my favourites as well. :)

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  6. THREEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! It could lead into so many different things :D

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    Replies
    1. Ah huh, it could that. Only problem...I don't know what those things are...Ehh. I'll work it out eventually. ;P

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  7. Samuel likes the story, and chooses 3. Joshua likes the story but doesn't like voting (he usually just copies what Samuel says). I don't like the story but do like commenting xD (only joking).

    I thought Jas was going to be the gypsy boy. He was bashful as if he liked Louise, but then again, also disrespectful to his older brother. And I did guess that the pirates were Wielder's.

    I'm not sure which option to vote, but I guess I'll go 3. So that's 3 votes for 3.

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    Replies
    1. Wow, long comment! :)

      Yeah, Jas wasn't originally in my plans but I wanted Altin being the Gypsy Boy to come as a surprise so I came up with a nicer boy who seemed much more likely. ;P If anyone had bothered to think really really hard about it, they could've worked out that Jas was too young (I mentioned Gypsy Boy's age in my 'about the characters' post a couple of months back) I'm rather pleased that no one guessed though. :D

      Thanks for voting!

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