|Shevata, lead character of the Gastar Series|
This except from the upcoming third Gastar novella features pirates!
The ship rocked slightly as the sailors pushed it quietly away from the docks with poles. The rising tide would take them out further to sea at sunrise, within the hour. Four men sat around the mast, looking down at a chest sitting in a cabin with the door open to them. “See that?” Said Tyrus. “Half of that is mine. The rest of you divide it up to the last man. I don’t care if you have to throw each other overboard.” A small torch made him look formidable with his long beard, wide hat, and wide sword at his belt. “If any of you make a wrong move, I’ll show you your guts.”
The other three men, appearing younger without beards, mumbled amongst themselves and nodded. “It will get us back home. That’s all we ask.” Muttered one of them. The old man smiled.
“Robbie, you’ll never get rich as a pirate always wanting to go home to his Mommy. What will you do, send a letter telling the King of Gastar we withheld most of the fortune for traded goods?”
The young man turned pale. “No.”
Tyrus sneered, “There’s a reason people call we pirates ‘scum.’ Do you know why?” Robbie shook his head. Tyrus laughed. “Because we are. “ He motioned to the other two men. “Out with him.” The others grabbed Robin by each arm, dragged him across the deck, with him screaming with terror and silenced when thrown overboard. “That wasn’t so hard was it?” Tyrus said to the others. “Now, let’s set sail and see how many more we need to lighten our load to add to our pockets.” As he turned a dark shape appearing to be a man pushed him down on his back, rolled him over face down and put his knee into the small of this back, and jerked his head backwards. Other shapes did the same with the rest of the crew. As they held them, the ship became still and quiet. A cold wind swept across the deck. Silently, a tall shape walked toward them; the torchlight revealed the shape of a tall, statuesque woman, dressed in a black tunic, boots, and leggings, like a man. Her raven-black hair tumbled down her back and her eyes sparkled like the stars in the sky. The only color was her bright red lips, perfect in shape, glistening as if she weren’t real. With one hand, she picked up the chest; inspecting its contents, then put it on the dock like it was an empty box. She walked closer to Tyrus, kneeling with her face close to his.
“’Pirate?’” She said in a low rumbling voice. “Thieves all look the same to me.” She ran her fingertips down his neck, drawing amusement from his terror. “Always so afraid, you ‘pirates’ when caught stealing, yet you think you’re clever.” Her smile revealed perfect white teeth, glistening in the dim light with her other features, fine as a doll. She stood up and looked at the dark shapes. “Now.” She commanded.
Robbie swam in the cold water as fast as he could back to the docks. At the point he was certain to drown, he felt someone grab him and drag him to the dock and he climbed upon it and caught his breath. A cloak was thrown around him and he heard a young girl ask him if he was all right. Though he shivered, he felt his strength returned to him. He looked back toward the ship as the sun rose, and thought of Tyrus and his betrayal of him and how many other young sailors he would murder on his voyage. As he watched the ship, he gasped in surprised.
The ship suddenly became ablaze in a huge ball of fire.