I have special permission from the founder of Tuesday Tales to not use lake this week which is the actual prompt the others are using. My story is set in 1739 in Jamaica and there is no lake in sight where my folks are so I am using sea water instead. And yeah, I know, they are nothing alike other than they are both liquid.
The setting at the moment is in the hero’s point of view. He’s just learned his crew may sign on with another captain.
Don’t forget to check out the other tales here. You know, the ones who followed the rules.
“You think I don’t know that? We’re still waiting on the papers. If we ship out now, that bounty on my head and yours, as my crew, will put us straight in the sights of every other crew at sea. They won’t care if we were once friends or allies, all they’ll be concerned with will be the reward for all our heads.”
“And the biggest one is on you. We understand but the crew sent me to tell you we may join another ship for one voyage while you deal with the situation with your privateering letters. We can rejoin you once that’s sorted.”
“You join another crew and that Captain will want your oath of loyalty. How will you take that oath and still plan to return to my crew as soon as it’s safe?” I could scarce believe his words. That my own men would desert me in this way was as unfathomable as the sea. So much for loyalty. And what about their oaths to me. Did they mean so little?
Samuel laughed a raspy sound. “We’d honor our promise to that captain for that voyage and then come back to our oath to you.”
“Seems like treachery to me.” I grabbed the hilt of the knife I had tucked in my waistband, half convinced I should gut him where he stood but then I realized I was being an idiot. Who could truly expect loyalty from people who pillaged the earth for a living?
“Not treachery, Captain. We can’t sit idle for what may be months. We need to be on the seas and on the hunt. You know how it is. I bet you even want to get back out there.”
I had to admit he was right. The wait had been interminable. Especially since I was stuck here with my sainted brother who insisted I behave like the gentleman I was raised to be. Some days I didn’t think I would make it until midnight without screaming my frustrations to the sky. I loved the ocean as if sea water was in my veins instead of blood. Being on land for a significant time made it hard for me to breathe.
“You’re right, Samuel. I want to be back on a ship in the worst way but I can’t right new unless I want to meet the bad end of a noose.”
“Don’t be mad at me and the boys for going, will you?”
Waving my hand in dismissal, I said, “I won’t. Let’s go into the bar and I’ll buy you a drink to toast to your new venture.”
“That’s mighty magnanimous of you, Captain.” Samuel removed his cap and tucked it under his arm.
“I didn’t know you knew such big words.”
“Former British Navy. I thought you knew.”
“Nope. A man’s past never mattered to me. Just what he could do today.”