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(*I don't exactly have a title for this story yet i just wanted to submit the first chapter to see what kind of comments i got and changes i could make to it.*)
The night was dark and cold, and the ocean beneath the great ship was uneasy. A perfect night to express the way everyone felt aboard the ship. All lights were diminished on board other than the small lantern lit in the cabin below that shone dimly through the square windows at the rear of the ship. It was a insignificant light when it was seen glinting far away amidst the black clouds gathering in the night sky.
All men on board were silent. It was usually quiet on board at night, but only two or three of the crew were even asleep. All the rest were keeping to themselves—an unusual state for the once jolly band of sea men. Everyone, of course, still tried to retain a ordinary disposition when among the others, trying to not to show the fear of the coming events. Everyone on board knew it was bound to happen—it had to. There had been too much disagreements between the captain and two of his crew. Cain and Simon Blackarrow had been at odds with the captain for weeks now. Everyone knew it couldn’t hold up much longer.
Cain was a proud man. He stood not more than five and a half feet, though the ship’s men knew this meant nothing for Cain when it came to fighting. Cain was the most skillful man alive that anyone on board had ever known. Whether it be his proficiency in maneuvering during combat or his expertise in throwing knives. Cain always carried no less than seven knives concealed in the most unlikely places, ready to be drawn and thrown in the blink of an eye. He had glossy white hair that leveled down to his ears. His eyebrows were of the same straight, white hair and curved unusually upwards. And to go with it: yet another sleek-white, pointed beard.
Simon on the other hand was not much different, other than his features. He had a fetching head of brown, rather curly hair that fell to the middle of his neck. He never did much with it, so it generally hung messily over his face. Other than that, he merely gave a it shake once in a while to get it out of his eyes. He was a good six feet, and other than that I can say he was very similar to Cain. He was extremely agile in battle, and the greatest man alive to handle a crossbow. Simon could pin targets from such distance that others had to squint to see the target itself. He could draw, crank, and fire his black arrows so rapidly many a time it took the men to realize what he had just done after the arrow had hit its target.
And at this time, knowing that two of his crew’s best men were against him, the captain direly feared every passing day. Every time he gave orders to either Simon or Cain, he commanded them with a shaky voice. Of course both men obeyed because he was, after all, the captain, but they gave a noticeable smirk every time they went off to do their bidding. Everyone else on board caught this as well, and held a frightened appearance knowing that at any moment of the night or day it would happen—fighting would break out. There would be mutiny, no doubt. And if it was to happen, who’s side would they be on?
At the moment, on that dreary yet foreboding night, when the ship was at its quietist, Only Simon and one of the crew members were conversing below deck. It was the first time on board the ship that someone had spoke of the uprising that everyone felt.
“Alright, Simon,” the ship member spoke putting his elbows on the wooden table and leaning towards Simon. “Don’t try an’ hide nothin’ from me—you know somethin’s gonna happen. Mutiny. And you’re part o’ it right? You an’ Cain ‘ave been plannin this fer a while, aven’t ya?”
Simon bent toward Jim, the sea man, and whispered so no one awake up on deck could hear. “Apparently, Jim, nothing can be kept from your keen senses. You’re right. A-and I’m still not sure if what we’re doing is right, but me and Cain have sworn to do it with our own blood. Signed the parchment, we did—there’s no turning back. Can’t show you the document, sorry. We also swore not to reveal that to anyone. Um—Jim—pardon me for asking…w-when it does happen. The—the—you know,”
“Yeah, I knows,”
“Good. Um—who’s side you gonna be on?”
Jim was silent, and an stale air hung over them. Simon for the first time noticed the smell of rum coming from the shipmate. “S-Simon,” Jim finally broke out. “I believe you an’ Cain are th’ greatest fightin’ men alive, and if I had to choose someone to fight for me (you or the cap’n)—I would no doubt pick ya….” He fell silent for another few seconds and the rocking and creaking of the great ship echoed strangely. “B-but until it happens, Simon…I just don’ know….”
“I understand you, Jim, and I want to tell you here and now that I’m proud of you. I know that no other mate on board would have the guts to say any more than you did,” Simon got up from his chair, slinging his beautiful crossbow across his back. “…I just hope you choose soon….” And with that he left the cabin closing the wooden door with a soft clack. Meanwhile still back inside Jim gazed at the wooden table before him with eyes a mix of a problematic situation, fear and anxiety all conjured in one emotion.
The night sky’s clouds had swelled to a storm, and at the present rain beat the worn deck of the ship as Simon sat in a corner alongside the cabin door and below the steering, pondering on the discussion he just had with Jim. He permitted the rain to soak him along with everything else, as Simon loved feeling rain on his body. Thick, wet strands of his dark brown hair hung over his face, as he gazed solemnly out to the suddenly angry waves tossing the ship this way and that.
The noise of the storm along with the throbbing in Simon’s mind of the mutiny soon to take place was almost loud enough to drown out the foxy voice hissing at him from above. Eventually when Simon heard the voice, he knew not where it was coming from for the storm disoriented everything. He craned his neck so his head was revealed from the shadows and glanced to different sections of the ship, starboard side.
“Simon,” The voice came again, except this time it wasn’t exactly a whisper. Without knowing how it happened, Cain abruptly fell by Simon’s side hanging upside down, his legs wrapped around the railing by the steering. “Simon,” he repeated his friends name.
“Cain,” Simon said with somewhat of a surprise in his voice from the sudden drop-in. “What is it? What did you want? It’s not something about you-know-what is it?” Cain never replied any of his questions directly but answered them with merely another of his evil smirks:
“We’re ready, Simon.”
* * *
“Cain!” Simon’s eyes grew wide with terror. “Mate, surely you are only jesting—so soon?” He rose from his sitting position and stood up. Cain dropped from his own upside down position and landed gracefully and silently on his feet. “Simon this is as best the time as it will ever get—and besides, we’re ready?” A small smile played across Cain’s lips.
“Cain,” Simon sighed heavily but with anxiety. “Ready with what? What weapons do we have other than our own? And besides—we don’t even know if the rest of the men are with us or not!”
“O, some of them are with us. Let’s see I count six in all…that is of course if you’ve got master Jim along. You have, haven’t you?” Cain glanced at the cabin door. Simon knew this was all getting much too out of hand. It wouldn’t result well, not that he ever thought it would. Simon didn’t know what to say, knowing what Jim had said earlier about not knowing until it happened. Well he would have to choose now. “And what about the rest of the men that are with the captain? How are we going to deal with them?” Simon asked a random question back.
“Ah, that has already been taken care of. I’ve got John and Grim up on the poop deck with their own guns. Smithy and Harley are stationed just around the sides of the captains own cabin, where I’ve reassured none of the men siding with him are going to be posted as well. Kilburn’s got his own little hidin’ spot—that captains cupboards!” Cain let out a chuckle. “Though the old idiot said he’d rather fight with his trusted sword. And that leaves Jim down there in the cabin,” he motioned to the cabin door, “…hope he’s got his own fighting tool.”
Simon only made scenes in his head of the own ships men dying before him, the ones he had known for so long. “Cain, a-are you sure we’re doing the right thing?” He stammered.
Cain was silent for a second. “…What are you talking about? Of course we are! We need a new captain for this godforsaken ship. Goodness knows how many times I could have killed him then and there!” Cain hissed in the rain and lingered away. “Get your crossbow, Simon, we have some duty to be done.”
Cain was searching for something on deck, Simon knew not what. He, meanwhile, loaded one of his deadly barbed arrows in the crossbow and cranked it. When Simon’s crossbow was loaded it was the most feared thing on board—an anonymous vote some months ago. Now the crew would really have to experience its virulence.
Cain eventually found what he was looking for, and drew a good hand-sized cannonball from a crate. He motioned for Simon to come alongside him. When he did, Cain then made hand motions, signaling to their loyal followers stationed at the different posts (“Kilburn, you’ll just have to wait for the sound of commotion, I guess….”).
When all had signaled back, Cain tossed the cannonball to Simon and pointed at the captain’s cabin windows. “Ah, Simon you’ve always been stronger than I am,” he nodded proudly at his mate. “I think that you should give the old cannonball a chuck at the captains cabin, break some windows, and start the mutiny!” Cain spoke the last words with a shaking anger in his voice. Then he noticed the look of concern on his friend’s face.
“Go on, Simon, you know that we may be causing mutiny but inside you know they are the true traitors. Now without further ado,” Cain looked almost hungrily at the cannonball in Simon’s palm “…We have some traitors’ blood to reap this night!”
Nathan D. Gage