Monday, October 4, 2010

History: Pirate Fiction

Here's a piece I wrote for a Very Short Story challenge over at Twitter. Interested in very short stories which are sometimes no more than one tweet (140 characters) and never longer than ten? Look up the hash tag - #vss – and read some amazing very short fiction.

Her hair, freed by the acrid wind, slapped her cheeks like rope. The sting would have been painful if she had time for pain.

But the great gun had belched up hell and another canister needed loading. She plunged the swab into the barrel and the cannon hissed.

Protesting against the cold water on its hot metal skin. Then her mates stepped up with shot and powder. Slow match fizzled.

The roar woke the dead and made the living deaf as across the roiling gray water the canister hit home. Men fell and rigging tore.

The prize would soon surrender. There could be no doubt. Anticipation crackled among the pirates like static among the clouds.

“It’s boarding now!” The bosun cried in the stunning silence without cannon fire. “The last one across I’ll whip meself!”

Her bare feet gripped the gunnels and her free hand gripped the lines. The ship nudged the prize. A cry went up.

“For booty!” shouted a mate and in a moment the pirates hit the deck of the prize, slashing and hacking.

Blood now beneath her feet, and still the reek of smoke that burned her eyes. Soon there would be plunder and rum. Enough.

Header picture via my friend Mike Burleson's wonderful New Wars.


Charles L. Wallace said...

Huzzah again, my friend, and here's one from Carl Sandburg:

"Papa loved Mama,
Mama loved men....
Mama's in the graveyard;
Papa's in the pen."

Pauline said...

Ahoy, Charles! I didn't even think to put the VSS on this platform until a friend of mine, herself a published author, mentioned that I should. Duh.

Mr. Sandburg does come off rather well, doesn't he?

Timmy! said...

Ahoy, Pauline! I love this story more each time I read it. Well done, indeed, Pirate Queen.

Pauline said...

Ahoy, Timmy and thankee indeed.