The Prince of Pirates

Authored by Skyriter1
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"My life was easier in 1717, but that damn storm took everything I ever held dear. The world became foreign, hostile and cruel. It had no place for a man thrown through time." After losing his mother at birth, Samuel Bellamy is set on a path in his life that no one could predict. Filled with loss, blame, and a beloved to return to, Samuel must face the test of time in order to return home.
A Promise
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Chapter 1 of The Prince of Pirates
Written by Skyriter1
A Promise
          My life was easier in 1717, but that damn storm took everything I ever held dear. The world became foreign, hostile and cruel. It had no place for a man thrown through time.
          I was born in Hittisleigh, a small run down town in Devonshire, England. 1689 was known for its cold beginning, and one January night was colder than the rest. Winds were wild outside as my mother screamed in pain, my father at her side. My two older brothers sat in the other room, waiting to be called upon to meet me. When I was finally delivered, my mother wept as she held me. Her name was Elizabeth, my father called Stephen. A single look at my frail body wrapped in wool and my parents chose the name that would one day be placed on my tombstone. From then on, I was named Samuel Bellamy.
          At first it seemed like life would continue in a positive way, but not long after my birth, my mother became ill. Her body could no longer produce milk for me, her arms becoming too weak to carry me. Eventually, her heart gave out and she passed in her sleep. After that, my father turned to whiskey and rum to subdue his emotions. My eldest brother Eric, no older than ten at the time, had to take on a lot more responsibilities than any child should be asked of. My father was in no shape to raise me, so Eric did it instead.
          He would milk the neighbor's Jersey cow and pour it into a leather pouch, putting a slit in the bottom and cover it with linen to create a barrier for my tiny lips to wrap around. He dressed me in his old clothes, too large for my infant body but still better than shivering through the nights with nothing. My other brother, Adam, was merely two years older than myself but still helped out as best he could. He would talk to the cow about how big I was getting, how helpful the cow was being after mommy had gone to a better place. He even held me a couple times while I drank, telling me that he would protect me from anything evil. At least, that were the stories told to me.
          My first memory was the summer of 1693 after Eric met a pretty girl named Amanda who was 15, a year older than him, a few towns over. He and our father were talking about marriage, and of course our father disapproved. He had a bottle of whiskey in his left hand, his right holding Eric’s shoulder either for support or to keep him from walking away. With a swig of his drink, our father looked straight into Eric’s eyes while the eldest stared right back.
          “You’re out of your goddamn mind if you think I’ll let you marry.” His breath must have smelt like liquor when he spoke, for when he did, Eric’s face convulsed in visible disgust. He brushed his father’s hand off his shoulder before responding, a thing we rarely did while our father was drunk.
          After clearing his throat, he once again met his father’s gaze. “It’s my life, you can’t control it.” A flash of movement happened and our father’s hands were gripping Eric’s collar hard, tightening it around his neck in an uncomfortable way. I felt the urge to intervene, but I knew I would merely get hurt in the process. With fear in my body, I just watched the fight take its course.
          Through clenched teeth, our father gave his reply; “I helped bring you into this world, don’t make me take you back out.” He watched Eric very closely, expecting a very specific response from his eldest son.
          “But-” Another flash and Eric was pinned up against the room wall, his pain shown through his expressions as our father held him there firmly.
          The limited control our father had over his drunken anger finally stopped, and his voice became a thunder directed toward Eric’s face a mere inches away from his. “Do I make myself clear boy?”
          “Yes sir.” Eric’s mumble was barely audible, but it was enough for our father to restrain himself and back away, releasing Eric from the wall. Eric felt his father’s grasp disappear from the collar of his shirt, and corrected the shirt’s position on his body before walking away. He strode with granite features masking his face, a brisk movement in his steps as he went to his room. From then on, our eldest brother rarely spoke to our father. When he did, it was always a “Yes sir,” or a “Right away, sir.” It was like the flame within Eric had been snuffed out, but in reality the fight had ignited an inferno.
          A month after the fight, I had awoken in the middle of the night to the sounds of glass smashing and wood splintering. Wiping my eyes from sleep, I descended the steps of our home to find Adam at the base, staring at our father in disbelief. He had thrown bottles of whiskey around the room, shattering them against the walls and floor. The table that used to sit next to a window was now mere planks of scattered wood throughout the entire house. In the middle of the entire mess sat our father on his knees, a single bottle of rum in his hands, still intact. Beside him laid a perfect piece of parchment, somehow unharmed by the destruction our father had caused. Taking a few steps closer, I noticed it was a letter. A letter addressed to me. Adam must have noticed too, for her crossed towards it through the sea of broken glass lying upon the floor. While wincing in pain, he leaned over and picked up the letter, adamant about not disturbing our father. Once back beside me, he placed the letter in my hands and went to his room, biting back screams of pain with every step he took. For a second I just stared at the letter, wondering what it had said.
          Then my legs began to work again, and I walked towards my room in a sluggish manner. Once on my bed, I scanned the parchment for anything I could make out. Eric, like he did with my other brother when Adam was four, was teaching me how to read. Sadly, I had only learned the alphabet and a few basic words. On the page I saw my name, Samuel Bellamy, written at the top. I could also make out a few scattered words like had to go and goodbye. Frustrated with how little I knew, I decided to hide the letter until I could read better. I removed a board in my bedroom floor that was loose from age. Inside, a small space could be reached. I folded the letter with timidness before placing it within the floor, then replaced the board back to its original position. I told myself I would return to the letter when I could, but for now its mysteries were left alone.
          I could no longer feel the beckoning of sleep. Instead, I dressed myself and went down to Adam’s room. He was sitting on his bed wrapping his foot in linen, the glass that was once piercing his skin now on the floor speckled with blood. “I can’t sleep,” I told him as he looked up at me, noticing the awareness in my face. He nodded once and got dressed, then we both left our home through his window. We traveled down the street to the river, oil lamp posts flickering as they illuminated the cobble streets. The moon and stars shone above us, a cloudless night filled with a soft mid-summer breeze. The calm warmth lowered my alertness, and soon we were lying next to the river, looking at the moon through the ripples of water made by the fish under the surface.
          “I want to see the world Samuel,” Adam said as he turned to me, a look of excitement and the hint of an inferno that was found in Eric. “I want to sail the ocean and be a captain. That’s my dream.”
          I looked at him, trying to think of a good response for my older brother. “Will you take me?” I smiled as he laughed at me, his eyes closing and his feet kicking the ground lightly.
          “Yeah, you can come along. I’m captain though.” he said with a small grin.
          “Promise?” I looked at him, the seriousness and hope in my face clear for him to see. He sat up, looked me in the eyes, and swore an oath to me that our dream would one day come true. 
          “I promise, Sam.”
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Chapter 2 of The Prince of Pirates
Written by Skyriter1
Swords and Ink
          Our swords clashed, debris flying past our faces as we fought. Strike and blow was matched perfectly with block and deflection, our skill equal to our cunning strategy and wits. After some time however, my swings began to slow, and he noticed my hesitation. With a smile and certainty that he would win, Adam struck my arm past my defences.
          “Ow!” I hollered, the stick in my hand falling to the ground. With a laugh, Adam tossed his stick next to mine.
          “Swords usually do hurt when you get hit by them, sorry to break it to you Sam.” He patted my shoulder as he said this, a sly grin creeping up his lips. I couldn’t help but laugh and shoved him playfully away. A building across the street had its door swing open, and an elderly man emerged from the darkness. We knew how adults felt about kids playing with dangerous swords meant for adults, so we did what we always did. Adam began walking in the direction of the docks, then broke out into a run. “Come on!” I shook my head and the legs below me began to run as well, catching up with my brother as best as I could.
          He was seven now, I was five, and we felt like the world was ours to explore. We would run around town, finding new plants and befriending stray animals. We always bumped into Scotch, an old wolfhound we named when we caught him in our garden. He had difficulty walking, but his spirit was as strong as the blazing sun high in the sky. Scotch would bark as we ran past, limping for a moment to keep up, but soon lost interest and went back to shuffling through town. We would reach the docks at full speed, ducking and weaving through the bustling crowd of merchants trading their goods and storing them in crates to be placed on trading ships that would sail across the sea. That was another thing we couldn’t keep away from; the water.
          We were obsessed with sailor’s stories of the ocean, talk of sea spirits stealing men's souls, or heavy storms bashing against the hull with the captain bellowing orders over the deafening winds. Adam and I would sit on the crates wide-eyed while the sailors sang sea shanties, passing goods up a line in time with the music. Our foots would tap and heads bounce with the words, their meaning lost to us but the song piercing our hearts with an even stronger urge to sail the seas. We’d be there for hours at a time, asking questions about knots and sails and even swabbing the deck. Each sailor would either chuckle, pat our heads, or tell us to scram. Once every sailor gave a response, we would run to the next ship that was docked and ask all the questions over again. Our rush to the docks was always quick because we were anxious to get there, but after sunset we would have to walk back. That was when we took it slow, because we didn’t enjoy what was always waiting for us once we arrived home.
          The house had become even more decrepit, rain and wind taking its toll on the exterior of the building. The door would always creak when opened, it was something we couldn’t hide. The one noise that signalled our arrival into hell on earth. The insides were even worse, bottles both empty and broken littering the floor. A stack of misshapen logs sat by the fireplace, dark red embers still pulsing with heat from the dying fire. In the middle of it all, snoring in his frail wooden chair, was our father. A half full bottle of whiskey hung from his fingertips, the glass grazing the ground with soft scratches. A wave of shame washed over us as we stared at him, our hope of the ocean darkened by the kind of father we had. Instead of a man that pushed his sons to be great, we had a father that merely pushed his sons away. We walked to Adam’s room and closed the door quietly behind us.
          “I wonder if we’ll ever meet a sea spirit,” I muttered, looking out the window towards the last rays of light dipping below the horizon. “Maybe they aren’t all bad.”
          Adam looked at me for a second and then laughed. “Yeah, I’m sure they’ll serve you up a nice cup of tea and chat about their day.” His remarks were always done in a way that made many of the adults laugh, as well as most of the children. He knew how to make people chuckle and take a look at the positive instead of how dreary everything in the world was. He began to remove his boots, the dirt on them falling through cracks in the boarded floor.
          “Can you teach me to read and write?” Adam paused and looked at me when I made the request. “Eric left while he was teaching me, so I don’t really know much.”
          Adam’s face went from puzzled to his usually sly smile. “And why do you want to learn reading and writing? Planning on writing love letters?” He laughed before turning dead serious and staring into my eyes. “Are you going to read poetry to poor old Scotch?” His laughter came back in ten folds, the sound bouncing off the walls in his room. My mind had travelled back to the letter under my bedroom floor, its mysteries still locked away in writing that I could not decypher. However, I didn’t want Adam to know the letter was the purpose for me wanting to learn to read and write. Instead, I felt he might have forgotten about the parchment entirely, and wanted it to stay that way.
          “Of course not! I just thought your First Mate should be able to read a map or write down directions if I need to,” Adam’s laughter slowed as I continued with my excuses. “Maybe make a list of any goods that we take on our ship. You never know how important that might be.” My mind was racing with more possible reasons why I might need to read and write, but it always came back to understanding the letter tucked away within my room.
          My brother began to nod slowly, then a little faster as the idea sunk in. “Okay,” he said as he stood up and walked to the door. “I’ll teach you reading and writing, but I get to tell the girl you marry that I taught you all my good lines.” He opened the door and walked out to the fireplace, leaned down to grab some charcoal that was dense enough to write with, then returned to me in his room. “For now, we start with charcoal. I don’t trust you with ink yet.”
          From then on we spent every night in his room, learning new letters and words each time. When we ran low on candlelight, we used the moon’s light to see the parchment. If there were clouds covering the moon we’d just talk through the night, quizzing each other on spelling. If any words came up that we didn’t know how to spell, we would ask a sailor the next day at the docks. Adam and I became even closer through our world of words, while our father continued to drift further away from us, sleeping drunk on whiskey and rum in the adjacent room.
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Inferno
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Chapter 3 of The Prince of Pirates
Written by Skyriter1
Inferno
          At the ages of ten and twelve, our features became more defined. Every time we began walking down to the docks, an elderly woman would be sitting outside her door watching the sun climb through the sky. Adam would approach her and ask her opinion on how we looked. He did this because the woman knew our mother. She would smile and talk about how our hair was black as coal, just like our mother’s when she walked in the sunlight. Adam kept his hair short, but I grew mine out and let it hang down my shoulders. The woman continued, and spoke about other townsfolk believing we carried storms within us whenever they looked into our eyes, a swirl of grey and deep blue staring back at them. It was a trait our mother had, scaring men and women alike because she was strong like an ocean storm. She went on, commenting on how big and handsome we had become. Truthfully, it was harder at night for us to sleep because we had outgrown our beds, so Adam and I slept on the floors of our rooms, laying scraps of linen and wool to keep comfortable and warm. 
          Then she mentioned clothing, and that was when the concern could be heard in her voice. We were wearing Eric’s old clothing, scraps of ratty things he had never taken with him. There were gashes in the pants and stains caused by unknown substances on the shirts. Adam and I hid it as best we could, but our lack of wealth was evident.
          In his fragmented memories of our mother, Adam said she had been kind and caring, things our father no longer was. She would hold him whenever he had a nightmare, and hushed him back to sleep with her melodic singing voice. He described her as an island surrounded by a sea of dangerous waters, the only piece of heaven in a world of deadly sinners. Without her, the world was a darker place and we used stories about the ocean to keep us afloat.
          Hittisleigh had a small library filled with sea maps and chartered paths for merchant ships that had sunk long ago. When not at the docks, our heads were buried in books about famous sailors, ancient treasures lost to the ocean, and the lost city of Atlantis somewhere deep below the water’s surface, the city condemned to remain there for eternity. Books were read and then reread, each word almost memorized before moving to the next on the bank of pages within the leather bindings. Our imaginations got lost in those stories, hardening us into explorers of the sea.
          Adam and I never payed much attention to the time or even the days, so much so that we were soon 15 and 17 years of age. We spent so much of our days at the docks, merchants began to ask us for services. We’d earn some loose coins here and there helping the older gentlemen by stacking crates, or aid the women by convincing passersby to stop and take a look at the linen they had to offer. Adam was definitely the social one between the two of us. Young ladies that were walking always stopped to ask him directions or questions about the goods. Sometimes they just stopped to hear him talk and giggle at all his jokes. Then there was one girl that stood out among all the rest. 
          Adam noticed her while lifting a crate of goods for one of the merchants, his expression turning from focus to utter bafflement. She wore a pale yellow dress, it’s waist tight around hers before launching out like the curve of the sun overhead. Small curls of copper hair poking out from under a small pale yellow hat, the bridge of her nose was littered with freckles, and her eyes shone like emeralds. It was the first time I saw Adam speechless while gawking at a girl. She stared right back at him while approaching, until finally they were a few feet away from each other with nothing between them except the crate in Adam’s arms. For a moment they just looked at each other, her an elegant young lady and Adam covered in sweat and dirt from all the work he’d done. Then, as if in a silent agreement, they both sighed quietly. It was as if they were two stones surrounded by a flowing river of people. The first to speak was the girl.
          “My name is Evelyn,” her mouth moved slowly, the words dripping from her lips like the sweetest honey. “Evelyn Mcnaugt.”
          It was obvious Adam was smitten because of how he stammered over his words. “Bellamy. Uhh, Adam Bellamy. That’s my name.” His usual sly grin had been replaced with beat red cheeks and a smile travelling from ear to ear. I looked in astonishment as she looked at him, her eyes trailing for a second to his forearms, the muscles flexing as he held the crate of goods. Adam’s grin had found it’s way onto Evelyn’s lips, the same glint of mischief in her eyes.
          “It suits you, Adam.”
          Once the initial shock had worn off, Adam wouldn’t stop talking with Evelyn. They walked against the crowd towards one of the ships, then climbed a plank up to the deck where they were greeted by an older gentleman. Adam and this man shook hands, then disappeared from my vision. With work to get done, I got back to the task at hand of moving and organizing crates.

          The skip in his step was so loud, it could be heard from across the country. “Evelyn is stunning,” he said as we walked home that night, obviously still in a trance from this red haired damsel.
          “Sea spirit stole your soul, huh?” I asked him, my steps faster than his only because of his distracted mind. Adam was staring back at the docks, clearly missing his new found love. We were at the base of our property when I turned completely to face my brother as he reached me slowly.
          His voice was wistful and cheery, but a seriousness still riddled its base. “I’m gonna marry that girl,” he quietly spoke at first, then louder for anyone who was willing to listen. “I’m gonna marry her!” Unfortunately, the one person that did listen did not enjoy the news.
          Before we even took a step closer to our house, the door had slammed open and our father came stumbling towards us. His drunken anger and confusion was easily seen, but that didn’t stop our father from speaking his mind. “Love is fruitless boy, stay away from it,” his crackled speech was weak and gargled, a clear attempt at showing who was in charge but with no success. Adam’s joy turned sour, a surge of rage for everything him and I have put up with finally bursting out. He ran up to our father and pushed him back towards the house.
          “My life is my own, you can not control it!” His screams echoed through the town, some figures beginning to emerge into the moonlight.
          “Then leave like Eric did, I don’t want you here,” our father shouted back, then turned to the house and slithered once more into the dark interior of hell. The damage had been done, and Adam began to walk towards the docks once more. His steps were quickened by anger, frustration booming off of him like thunder through the clouds. My mind raced for ways to get him to calm down, but Adam was a cannon waiting for someone to fire at. He didn’t speak a word, just kept walking like his life depended on it. In a way, it had.
          We noticed the smoke once it blocked the light of the moon, a faint glow of orange cresting over the peaks of houses. The smell halted us in our tracks, but the screaming sent us sprinting towards the light. When we came around a corner, the sounds grew a thousandfold. The heat was almost unbearable, and the home was engulfed in flames. A dozen people stood outside the home, wondering if anyone was inside. My brother didn’t hesitate. He darted across the cobble street and passed the onlookers, then was lost in the flames as he entered the front door. I watched in fear for my brother to come back out safely for what felt like years, and then I saw him.
          He was carrying a little girl, no more than eight years old, out of the house with his shirt wrapped around her to stop the flames from licking her young skin. My instincts kicked in as well, and began to order the bystanders to fetch water and cloth, do anything to help save lives and stop the blaze. Adam emerged once more, this time with the elderly woman we always talked to on our way to the docks. He had her on his back, her coughs a racket but nonetheless thankful to be alive. Before I could protest, Adam was running back into the home with flames lunging at his clothes and face. I waited for his silhouette once more, but then the sea of fire started to intensify. It was as if the old lady and little girl were supposed to be its fuel, and was furious that Adam had stolen them away. So the flames took a new sacrifice, and began to break the supports of the house. Ash shot into the sky as beams of wood came crashing down. I stared and waited and hoped, but I never saw my brother again. The fire consumed him, and wouldn’t give him back. He was lost in an inferno, the orange fire climbing high into the sky.

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Chapter 4 of The Prince of Pirates
Written by Skyriter1
Archer
         The morning after Adam’s funeral was the last time I saw my father. I hadn’t slept the night before, my mind racing over everything that had happened. I paced my room with heavy weighted thoughts. Why did he have to save those people? Why did our father have to push him away? Why didn’t I go in instead? My steps grew heavier, my pace faster. Then I heard a creak beneath my foot, a loose board that hadn’t been moved in over ten years. My heart stopped for a moment, then I gingerly knelt down and removed the board. Finally exposed once more to light, the letter was a dark yellow, aged in its secret place. A thick layer of dust covered it, a cloud soaring into the room as I blew it away. On it, the ink had faded but was still legible. I took a deep breath, and began to read what my brother meant for me so long ago.
“Dear Samuel,
I’m sorry for leaving you and Adam with our father.
He’s cruel and wrathful and I had to go.
If you ever get the chance, come to America.
I’ll be waiting little brother.
You still have family.
Eric”
          I must have read the letter over a dozen times before it finally sunk in. Eric betrayed Adam and I, leaving us with our monster of a father. If he was still around, he could have saved Adam. He could have stopped him from going into that fire, but he wasn’t man enough to stay by our side. If I ever saw Eric again, I’d kill him myself.
          I stuffed the letter and my best clothing into a sack, then slung it over my shoulder. As I descended the stairs, my father sat in his beat up chair surrounded by hills of bottles. Every drink he ever had was a sad attempt at fixing his problems. I didn’t care if he saw me leave, so i kicked around any empty whiskey and rum that laid in my way. The clinking of glass stirred my father, and he looked up to see his youngest son leaving him.
          “First your mom, then Adam,” he chuckled to himself as if a bad joke had been said. “And now I’ve lost my two other sons to the sea.” His ramblings trailed off as he finished the bottle in his hand, then threw it across the room with the sound of shattering glass soon to follow.
          I looked at him for what seemed like ages. Memories of him drinking was the only thing I had. There was nothing to miss when it came to Stephen Bellamy. All he ever was was the town drunk, the widowed husband that lost a hero son. To me he was a poor example of a man and an even poorer excuse for a father. Taking one final look at the only home I ever knew, I decided it was time for me to move on. Utterly defeated, my father’s gaze went to his hands and he began to weep. I stepped out the front door and turned towards the docks, the creaking of hell begging me to return but to no avail. I had already begun the movements, no thoughts going into the process. I blocked out everything else, from the passing of concerned faces to the feeble barks from Scotch. Hittisleigh was no longer my home, and I needed to find my place in a world growing forever dark.
          I reached the water around midday, the time when the docks were bustling the most with sailors. I spoke with the usual people, most of them giving their condolences about Adam. My responses always came out rigid and cold. I was intent on leaving this life behind. After a few conversations with some merchants on the dock, I learned what I was looking for. A Royal Navy ship was anchored at the end of the pier, its sails a pearlescent white in the rays of sunlight. The rigging climbed its masts like a web made from hemp and cotton, the rope taunt in the breeze. I approached cautiously, looking for the man in charge. Through the thrall of sailors and merchants, one figure stood out amongst all the rest.
          Even as the man stood with his back towards me, his dominance could be seen in the respectful gazes his crew aimed towards him. His coat was a blood red, heat resonating off of him with a passion. The light reflected from his black boots, a glare so strong it almost rivaled the sun. However, what stood out most was the length of silver hair on his head tied back into a ponytail with a red ribbon, dark crimson like his coat. By some divine intervention he must have realized someone behind him was staring. He turned briskly and looked directly into my eyes.
          “They call me Captain Charles Archer,” his voice emerged similar to the sound of waves breaking upon the shore. “May I be of service?” The intelligence in his eyes caused me to hesitate briefly, but then I regained some sense of composure.
          “I’m looking to join the Royal Navy,” my words were scrappy and weak in comparison to the Captain’s, their ferocity quickly lost. He eyed me up and down, taking slow paces around where I stood. He muttered incoherently to himself, then a jettison of orders were launched to one of his crew.
          “Mr. Turner!” His beckoning blasted through the the crowd, then a moment of silence rushed through everyone. After a second, a lean young man appeared aboard the ship. “Mop and bucket, if you’d be so kind!” In an instant, Mr. Turner was gone to fetch a mop and bucket. The chorus of merchant sales began once again with Captain Archer and I facing one another. “Come with me,” the captain told me, his commands compelling my body to follow him. The ship loomed above us, its power evident to anyone that laid their eyes upon it. We ascended the plan bridge that lead to the ship’s deck. “This is The Britannia.
          The name fit. It was a strong representation of English leadership, the dark stained oak planks under our feet glistening in the sunlight. Bodies flew past us, their jobs ingrained into every action they did. Some men worked on the rigging, others checked the sailed for any tears or breaks. Other men were bringing crates onto the ship, most likely rations or stocks of weapons.
          “What name have you been given boy?” Captain Archer’s question snapped me out of the trance I was in. It was directed in a way that showed a mixture of curiosity and impatience as if he wanted an immediate response.
          “Bellamy, sir,” I spoke quickly, a sense of excitement finally washing over me from talking to a Royal Navy captain. “Samuel Bellamy.”
          He gave a single nod and turned towards his crew. A moment passed, then Mr. Turner appeared once more. This time he held a mop with a brittle handle, and a bucket filled with murky water. He stood at attention, waiting for Captain Archer’s next orders. “Bellamy, you will swab the deck. If the wood doesn’t shine, swab harder.” The captain spoke with intent, making sure he could be understood and seen as the one in charge. It certainly worked, for the second the mop entered my grip I was using it.
          Mr. Turner had taken my pack to place it in the crew quarters. “The name is James Edward Turner, but I go by James,” he said nonchalantly, as if he didn’t quite belong in the Royal Navy. It turned out he was the youngest son of a rich farming family a few towns away. They sent him to serve because he was always given his every whim. I guess having slaves made you lazy.
          About an hour after I was brought onto the Britannia, she began to sail away from the docks. The wind was stronger in the open water, my long black hair obscuring my vision. Captain Archer must have seen this because within seconds of it happening he was standing next to me with a thin strip of black satin in his hand.
          “Here,” he said while outstretching the fabric towards me. “Black seems like your colour.” His stern demeanour was loosely veiling a different emotion. It almost sounded like humour in his voice. I thanked him and took the satin strip, then tied my hair back the same way he did. With the tight bow in my hair, I could clearly watch the land shrink in the distance.
          The sails unfurled as the ship adjusted course until we aimed directly towards the endless ocean. I placed my one hand over my heart and closed my eyes. I was fulfilling my dream. I was fulfilling Adam’s. A small grin crept crept up my lips and I knew Adam wasn’t completely gone. He was still with me in spirit, watching my voyage across the sea.
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Chapter 5 of The Prince of Pirates
Written by Skyriter1
Knives Are Dangerous
          The dagger flew from my hand as it was thrown, the shining edge plunging its way into the chest of a french sailor. It was our second day of battle on the seas, our prey finally too damaged to escape. The boom of cannon fire stretched over the water, the splintering of wood showering the enemy. Steel clashed iron during hand to hand combat, our crew boarding the french vessel. The air filled with the stench of gunpowder, pistols fired back and forth as the battle raged on. Captain Archer’s coat must have been a warning to those that opposed him, its crimson colour matching the blood that dripped from his sword. A pistol hung at his side, its metal shining as if thirsting for bloodshed of its own.
          Close by, I saw James brawling with a french man. The french man had unarmed him and was now slashing wildly at James’ torso and raised arms. I shook my head and turned for a moment towards their scuffle. With a twirl of my wrist, I launched a dagger forward. In less than a second, the dagger sprouted from the french man’s neck, his body becoming limp and falling to the ground lifeless.
          James looked at me with both frustration and obvious relief. “I had that bastard, you know.” The sweat from his brow trickled down his temple as he began to laugh half heartedly, then plucked the dagger from the corpse and went back to screaming and killing.
          “Stop fighting,” the captain’s loud voice could be heard in any battle, over any clashing of metal and even cannon fire. Some of the french sailors halted their quarrels, standing in fear and waiting for his next order. “Surrender, or death.”
          One sailor was stupid enough to try and swing at the captain from behind. My body acted without thought and, next thing I knew, one of my daggers had disappeared from my sash and reappeared in the sailor’s hand. A moment of agony crossed his face as he dropped the sword and gripped onto his wrist tightly, then the captain took his hungry pistol from his side, planted the barrel on the bridge of the sailor’s nose, and pulled the trigger. Crack deafened the world, and the body slumped to the deck in a heap of blood and gore.
          The next few minutes were filled with the french sailors surrendering their weapons and tossing the dead into the ocean. The waves crashed against the hull and became red with the blood of corpses. We rounded up any french survivors that were well enough and placed them below deck in the brig. The rest were either too wounded or too stubborn to surrender, and so they were gutted and thrown into the water below. Once the bodies had been cleared, I obtained my trusty mop and began cleaning the deck. Blood stained the dark oak, and it was then that I realized the wood got its deep colour from battles sending blood into the planks. Now that we carried prisoners of England, our next stop would be shore. If shore was involved, that meant taverns, which meant drinking. Those were the days a sailor looked forward to the most, second only to the days of sea water spraying in the wind.
           I had earned my place in Captain Archer’s crew, a crucial piece to his strategy. My accuracy was like nothing he’d ever seen, the storms in my eyes reflective of the dark past they’d witnessed. When it came to getting the job done, he knew I was the one to count on. Three years had passed since I began my voyage as a Royal Navy sailor, and I was prepared to sail for another seven if that was what the captain asked of me. I did not enjoy the killing of men, but it was a necessary evil while I was a part of the crew.
           The French were our allies one year and enemy the next, always changing back and forth like the tide crashing against the shore. Spanish ships rarely appeared, but if they did we would be ordered to eliminate the threat. Once, we even had to face a Scottish vessel. Needless to say, their skills in combat was much better than battling upon the ocean. It was as if we worked without rhyme or reason, other than that we had orders to follow. The one sailor that had disobeyed Captain Archer was met with a bullet to the skull and thrown into the depth below without even a second of hesitation. So, we remained compliant, our love for the sea the only thing that kept us sane. On difficult days that wasn’t enough for some sailors, and they had to remain distant from the captain in fear of being shot.
          One battle after another, blood staining the deck evermore. I would be here, a piece of an ever-growing puzzle in an expansion of the sea that never ceased. There was talk of a Spanish treasure that had been lost off the coast of America. Captain Archer would mumble to us the rumours, asking for our inputs and opinions on how accurate the stories might be. James and I remained skeptical, but in the security of our cabins we spoke of nothing but living like kings.
          James knew what wealth felt like, but I was a stranger to the concept. He spoke of laying in bed every day with a woman each night. I felt that one woman would be enough for me, but James knew how to live in such a way so maybe I was mistaken. We talked about land, the ocean, legends of mermaids and spirits attacking men in the water and dragging them to The Locker. Some nights I’d lay awake and watch the stars, their glow sending me back to that night with my brother. That night we made a promise to each other, our love for the ocean would never die, even after he left me to follow the dream on my own.
          The world continued, the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, and I was a stationary piece in the plan that no one knew. Sadly, the plan had something disastrous in store me. The Britannia would continue to sail the ocean blue, and would live to another bloody battle at sea.
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Chapter 6: Provincetown (Part1)
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Chapter 6 of The Prince of Pirates
Written by Skyriter1
Chapter 6: Provincetown (Part1)
          The port was trickling with few people as the merchant ship lowered its sails. Life flowed off the deck beside me, goods being dropped off at the port. It was an important place in my stops of adventure, a settlement positioned on the crest of Cape Cod Bay. I say this because of what happened there, and how it changed my life forever.
          The bag on my shoulder contained my only belongings; a few pieces of clothing, a pouch full of shillings and other forms of currency from docks The Britannia had stopped at, and Eric’s letter to me. My coat flapped in the afternoon winds as I took a step onto the docks of Provincetown. I had retired from the Royal Navy, my 25th year on this earth sparking a need to see the world for what it really was. I was now a mere commoner, my service over.
          I asked one of the shop owners about a place to drink and look for rest, and was given directions to the town's tavern, so I made my trek there. Cobble streets marked my path, carriages and carts moving alongside me. The sun fell lower in the sky, most shops closing up as the vendors went home to eat with their families.
         The town was very different compared to Hittisleigh in England. Provincetown was cleaner, for starters. Even the few stray dogs I had seen around were healthier than Scotch during his life. Flickering flames illuminated the streets and buildings in an orange glow, the wick and embers kept safe in their glass lamps high upon black poles of metal. The evening sun dipped lower as time passed, Provincetown shifting from a pearl-white spectacle into dark alleys and shifty characters roaming around.
          I noticed the tavern from a few buildings away, its familiar music dancing through the air and drunken sailors flowing in and out the door. Outside, clearly reached his limit of drinks, sat an elderly man mumbling about his past glory. He rambled about cannon fire and sword fights, strange tales of vanishing ships and undead crew. I laughed and left him to his stories, and entered the tavern doors.
          The ballads of music intensified, engulfing me as I entered. Sailors and young men filled the building, looking to relax and have a good time. A corner of the crowd caught my attention: men throwing daggers at a board and betting on their accuracy. Naturally, I was drawn to that corner. Gambling was my one and only vice, and it beckoned me like a moth to flame. It wasn’t long until the crowd of people within the tavern watched in awe at my talents and skill. One after another, men would step up and challenge me. Not long after, they’d leave the tavern with empty pockets and a sour expression on their faces.
          One poor soul couldn’t even hold the dagger properly, his feeble hands shaking in anticipation. His voice was hoarse and high, a shrill pierce through the tavern’s joyful ruckus. “Good evening sir,” his shaken voice matched the twitching of his hands. As they shook more, his speech broke with it. “I go by Mr. Williams, but my friends call me Palgrave.” He outstretched his hand in an attempt to greet me. “What do they call you?”
          I smirked, took his hand and shook it. Then my hand snatched the dagger from his clumsy grasp and whipped it towards the target, the tempered steel making a soft whistle as it flew through the air and penetrated the wooden board. “Samuel Bellamy.” My voice came out strong and hearty, easily heard throughout the tavern. There were glances of admiration and also fear. The tales of my service in the English Navy must have fluttered to America based on the way these sailors looked at me.
          “Well Mr. Bellamy, I have a proposition for you,” Palgrave began to ramble on about looking for a crew without a purpose to aid him in finding adventure. I continued to throw daggers while giving him only a portion of my attention. “You see, I’ve reached the age where want to actually live my life. I want to find a treasure lost to most and become renowned for-.”
          I scoffed, my attention now fully on him as the final dagger left my hand and pierced the board right next to the others. “You speak of piracy. Are you sure that’s the life you want?” I looked into his eyes, curious to see what I could find out about his determination. “It’s bloody, and reckless, and probably damn well get you killed.” He took a gulp of air, then sent his head into a feverish nod. Suddenly, through the crowds of sailors and wenches, a door had swung open to reveal the kitchen and a young woman working within. She was washing the dishes, her bronze hair tied back with the occasional curl falling around her face. Freckles dotted her nose and cheeks, and her eyes were a deep blue like the ocean waves at night. The door closed and all other sounds around me were cut out.
          I began walking towards that door, an urge I had never felt before pushing me to see that girl again. A hand grabbed my shoulder and yanked me back to reality and where I was. The burly hand belonged to the large man that had sat close to the door of the tavern. Scrawling ink traveled along his biceps like waves crashing against a shore. His eyes pierced my thoughts in a way I had not seen in a long time. “Commoners aren’t allowed behind the bar, ‘les you want to start something?” His voice reminded me of thunder before a harsh storm.
          “I’m looking for the name of that stunning beauty in the kitchen,” I returned, my voice easily weaker in comparison to his. “Do you know her?”
          His laugh boomed over the crowd, at which point they had dulled their noise and music to watch this event unfold in front of them. “Know her?” His eyes bore into me, and the grin on his face was replaced by a gnarl of teeth. “She’s my daughter.” His size grew as it dawned in my mind how much of a fool I had made of myself. What kind of man would want his daughter to know a sailor that throws daggers and gambles? “Now I think it’s best you leave my tavern, and keep a safe distance away from her. Understand, boy?” His large arms unfolded from in front of his chest and an index finger was firmly shoved at my chest, pushing me hard enough to make me take a step backwards.
          “Yes sir, I understand,” I returned to the table where I had placed my coat and hat, adorned them, and then walked back to the gentleman at the door. “Good evening, and goodnight.” I bowed my head as I passed, not sure what else I could do in the situation. If I fought the man, I certainly wouldn’t get to meet the beautiful girl I saw. So I merely walked away, not resorting to violence. The door swung shut behind me and the music went back to its booming ways, my presence not missed. 
           Outside, the elderly man was fast asleep on the ground. His stories had been replaced with snoring and a soft whistling from his nose. I tilted my head up, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath. After letting it all out, I opened my eyes and looked up at the night sky. After ten years of sailing, I knew each constellation off by heart. Turning slightly to the right, I saw the dragon rearing its head up in the sky. I could spot Orion and the two bears within the stars, each there for a purpose. They mesmerized me every night, especially tonight. I was so wrapped up in my own thoughts, I didn’t hear her walk up to me.
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