A tale written by Billy Grimm, Edited by NightTerrorsYT. We have decided to work together to bring you amazing content!
Jonah, on his knees with his hands shackled, looked up into the eyes of the rugged old admiral of The Dutchess, Captain William Black, his withered neck adorned by a golden locket hung on a chain.
"Mister Henning, what brings a ragged sea rat like yourself to board my beautiful vessel?"
A devilish grin crosses the bearded face of young Capitan Jonah as he replies, "Well... it is a beautiful ship,” Which brought the thought: was I just sightseeing? Maybe below deck starting a mutiny among your crew... Was I preparing The Duchess for a sudden stop, so that I could make a daring escape? But why would I do that without what I came for?... Which brings the real question, what have I come to procure?
Quizzically, the gaze of Black searched Jonah's person before being launched backwards as the ship lurched to a hard stop. Henning, rolling forth and jerking the locket from the Admiral's neck.
"Here's your answer."
Henning jolted to the hull of the ship. He was followed by the thundering of several pairs of boots worn by the guards of 'The Seven Seas Trading Co.’ He hopped onto the railing of the ship, his hand finding a rope dangling from the mast of the ship, pushing his long, rose gold hair back.
"See ya lads!"
Leaping towards the crew, Henning began the rapid climb towards the fog filled night sky. The crew running towards the ratlines before stopping in their tracks, met by the remaining half of the crew.
"The Duchess is all yours boys!" Exclaimed Jonah through the black sky before leaping from atop the mast, his flowing stained shirt bellowing in the wind as he dove down into the icy waters.
Sitting in the claw footed chair he had appropriated from a regal family in Spain, Captain Henning rolled the stolen locket betwixt his fingers. It's cold metal body becoming warm from contact and friction. This was it. The final piece needed to complete the map that would lead Jonah and his crew to destiny's threshold. Opening the golden trinket he saw within a folded piece of hide, upon which were the markings to fill out the absent area of the map. A smile comes to his lips.
"Mr. McKinney!" Called Henning, not a moment later he was joined by his first mate.
A portly older man with a long grey beard down to his silver belt buckle. Although, the hair on his face was not lacking the same could not be said for the barren waste called his scalp.
"Aye Cap'n? " Sounded off McKinney, as if by second nature. "Set The Wench due south-east. We sail for the Black Cove tonight, we must be there by dawn's light."
"Cap'n Henning... Black Cove?" Questioned McKinney, the stories his seafaring father had spoken of the horrors that lie within Black Cove racing through his troubled mind. "Tales of mermaids, harpies, sirens, many men take rest there Cap'n... None by choice, and none be waking up"
" And I'll see them all put to the blade of a hatchet for whatever tis lies beyond those damned rocks!" Demanded Jonah, standing to his feet and shoving the chair back into the wall of his quarters, his piercing gaze locked upon his first mate.
"The crew may mutiny” McKinney fired back.
"I'll man this bloody ship on my own if I must! Now go, every second that you stand trying to talk me out if this is another second closer to dawn!"
" Aye." replied McKinney as he turned to leave the room, stopping at the door. "I'd sail with ya to hell and back Cap'n... Just like I would've with your uncle when he was Capitan."
As he continued out the door Jonah remembered as a child, the salty coast air while he waited for the return of his guardian, his uncle. He would smile and run from the peak down to the hidden lagoon, a place for local crews to make port free from worry about the Royal Navies. He would race up the docks and to the boarding ramp, there he would see a familiar man every time, his uncle, Jack Henning. Once a sailor in the Royal Navy, Jack carried himself high, had a strong stature, and always wore the same long black coat every time he would return.
"Haha! There's my boy!" Jack would say as he knelt down to embrace his nephew, then the strapping Irish sea Capitan would carry young Jonah all the way back to their cottage atop a cliff.
The cottage was not very big, made of stone and a roof of clay, off the back Jack had fashioned a widow's walk for his wife.
Jonah looked around his cabin, his memories had always gave him comfort in times of uncertainty. Looking to the nail in the wall where hung a long black coat that his aunt had made for his uncle. Walking over, Jonah took the jacket and put it on, pulling it forward on his broad shoulders before grabbing his dingey, tri-corner hat and placing it at a rakish angle on his head and adjusting his hatchet in the sheath on his belt.
Shutting his cabin door, Captain Henning stepped out on the deck. The rain drizzling down, falling upon his dirty skin and beading up on the rim of his hat.
"Move it dogs! I want full sails! Crowe, be onwatch for the royal navy!" He called out in a demanding tone.
"Aye sir!" Came a reply from the crow's nest.
Walking to the helm, Jonah was greeted by his wheel-man, David, a heavily pierced and stone cut African navigator. "Captain, McKinney told me where we are heading. Sir, are you sure of what we'll find there?"
"No I'm not, but I'll see any man that doubts my direction walk the plank!"
"This crew trusts you with their lives... That's not a trust easily earned, or returned." Replied David before returning his attention to the wheel, wiping the rain from his brow.
The Bloated Wench was a fast ship, she cut through the sea like a blade through flesh at such a speed that death himself could not keep up. Her sails were pearl white, all except the jolly roger, a flag as black as the hearts of the forsaken crew that manned the ship and portrayed a skeleton dancing with a pint in each hand and a knife between its teeth. On the front of the ship was a black marble adornment of a skeleton embracing a harlot, its fingers pressing into the flesh on her thigh and the other arm around the small of her back, her arms wrapped around it, hands clasped behind its neck. Even with the agility and sturdy build of the ship, no one in the crew believed that The Bloated Wench could handle the trek to the heart of Black Cove.
The rain picked up, now pounding to the deck, running across the boards of the ship and the feet of the men. The Wench tossed and yawled in the storm, crashing up and down with the treacherous waves. Henning walked to the hull of the ship, his hand resting on the head of his hatchet. "We're coming for your treasure, water nymph." He said to himself as the rain hammered down upon him and the crew.
© 2020 Katie Gillispie