In Time: Extra Strength
As promised, here is the next installment immediately following Let There Be Pirates. As I mentioned yesterday, your thoughts on the storyline are very important to me. What works? What doesn’t work? I realize my pirates don’t sound like pirates, but for the purposes of NaNo, I’m okay with that for now. Any suggestions you have are welcome.
Heavy footsteps on the stairs interrupted and the captain pulled back sharply. He moved towards the stairs to meet the man behind the footsteps. The pirate was large and burly, his face covered in filth and had empty black spaces between his lips where teeth should be.
“Land-ho, Captain Dedlock,” he said. “The crew is lowering the anchor now.”
“Aye, mate. Thank you, Skulley.” Skulley disappeared up the stairs as loudly as he had come down them. “Well, lass, it appears our travel together is near an end. Perchance we will meet again under better circumstances.” He tipped his non-existent hat to Viola in a mock bow. “I must see to the safe landing of the ship.”
The airship touched down gently on the ground. Captain Dedlock pulled out his telescope and put it up to his eye before ordering Skulley to bring Viola to the deck.
“Lee will be here soon. I see the dust rising in the distance. We made good time.”
“Too little time, Captain,” Viola said. “We could have joined forces and taken him down. Whatever hold he has over you can be broken. I still have the magnet, not him.” Her green eyes pleaded with his brown ones. “It’s not too late. You could still take off.”
He wrapped his arm tightly around her. “Yet, you are more dangerous than he. How do I know you wouldn’t turn against us once we set sail again?”
“I am not a threat. I am fully in control of my vampyric nature at this moment, as I have been this entire time.” The captain tried to cut in but she spoke swiftly. “Unprotected, I am dangerous, but as long as the thirst isn’t there or I wear my bracelet, I am no danger to anyone.”
“What bracelet?” He looked through his telescope again. The distance between his ship and the approaching one closed quicker than he thought.
“It’s a small piece of cloth my protector gave me before she died. It is in my pocket, but I was unable to secure it to my wrist before you tied me up. Untie me and I will put it on.”
“Oi, lass. I can’t do that.” He pointed down the starboard. “You see that cloud of dust? That, M’lady, is your new chariot. It is indeed too late to take off now, lest I risk the wrath of Lee on my ship. The Painted Mary may be swift, but she is ill-prepared for battle.”
Viola’s jaw dropped in disbelief. “Ill-prepared? Did you not just wreak havoc on a train? Peppering bullets fast enough to kill everyone on board?”
“That was all man-power. Most of them deserted me once the job was finished. Nay, I am responsible for my crew and I cannot risk their deaths. I’m sorry. Don’t worry, though. I have it on good confidence that you will survive. Apparently, Father Lee has more work for you.”
Defiance creased the corner of Viola’s eyes. Rage burbled up from her belly. Fire danced in her eyes. “I don’t want to work for Father Lee. I want to destroy him!” A hiss much like that of an angry cat erupted from Viola’s throat. Her body tensed against the rope but she could not break free of it. “Loosen my knots so that I may unleash my fury when he arrives! I beg of you, please!”
Captain Dedlock put his spyglass in a pouch on his belt and turned to face her.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” a large voice boomed from behind them. The Painted Mary trembled under heavy footfalls. Viola’s eyes held awe as she took in the man in front of her. His massive girth was as wide as Captain Dedlock and Viola together, standing side by side. His black hair hung in thick dreads past his shoulder. A gold hoop hung between the nostrils of his thick nose. Bushy eyebrows as dark as his hair buried one black eye beneath it, while the other was a large round circle edged in gold and the beveled glass of a telescope made his pupil seem much larger than it really was. A scar ran the length of his face from the eyeglass and she could see hints of metal within it, as if the skin refused to stretch across completely. A black linen shirt stretched across burly arms, one of which ended in a metal hand, and a large belly hung over blood red breeches. Two steel cylinders took up the length of his back. Flames shot from the bottom of them and steam hissed into the air above them. She trembled despite herself.
It’s been awhile since I participated as an In-Mon. For you newbies, that’s Inspiration Monday. This one fits the prompt “Extra Strength.”
And tell me, since I welcome and appreciate feedback, could you envision this strange pirate in your head?
Thanks for stopping in! Big props to my cover artist for coming up with the idea of Obediah.
Also, I gotta plug it here. In just ONE WEEK, my novella, TIL DEATH DO US PART, will be released. Check out the sidebar to reserve your copy, and if you want a paperback, signed or unsigned, just use the Contact Me form above. You’ll notice two other books on my sidebar. Both contain short stories written by me. You need to add them the new shelf you’ve reserved for me on your bookshelf. 😉