The Kalimar

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A ship is attacked by the pirate vessel, 'The Kalimar'.

Submitted: January 28, 2017

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Submitted: January 28, 2017

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Bullets whizzed past my ears and I could feel the heat from the flintlock they were fired from. I’d heard tales of the ship ‘The Kalimar’ but nothing could prepare me for the fear it instilled. Ragged sails clinging to a rotten mast towering over a disgustingly featured, ruthless crew who gave the nose something to fear on its own.

The clang of grappling hooks hit the side of the ship and dragged our measly vessel closer to our attackers. I could see them readying the cannons from the portholes. One of them smiled at me. He smiled at me; a toothless grin filled with malice and euphoria. He lit the fuse just like the rest of his brethren and stood back from the cannon to avoid the recoil.

The thick metallic cylinder exploded and fired a lead ball that tore into our mast. The helm was destroyed by another and the cabin boy next to me was relieved of his arm in a bloody separation that began at the shoulder.

The dull thud of boots amplified by fifty feet enveloped my ears-they were on board. I raised my sword and struck down the scoundrel in front of me but like a phoenix rising from the ashes, as he fell another took his place. The next one parried my attack and went on the offensive but I blocked and drew my pistol. In one motion I pulled back the hammer and squeezed the trigger and my quarry fell to the floor with a gaping hole in his stomach.

A seething explosion of pain splintered from my back and I dropped to the floor. The blood ran down my back and was in part absorbed by my clothes but the majority showered the deck and filled the cracks underneath my feet. I swung my cutlass blindly and it collided with a leg. I felt the splintering of the bone reverberate through my sword as the man screamed in pain. I stood and as I was about to deliver my final blow, there was an almighty boom and I along with everyone else on board turned to the source. It was a tall, bearded man carrying a blunderbuss. He was well-dressed but it was still obvious that he was as unwashed and as unhygienic as the rest. The greasiness of his hair was matched only by the greasiness of his beard. It extended down to his belt and concealed a small knife only visible from the angle I was standing at.

“I will have order!” He shouted, each word spanning only a syllable. The entire ship fell silent; his own crew daren’t even breathe. “Good. I’m glad we could reach an understanding. We’ve been having a spot of bother of late.” Every ‘t’ in that sentence saw him emit a shower of spittle through his black and yellow teeth. “Her Majesty’s Royal Navy seem to have taken our declination of friendship to heart and now we can’t get within a day’s sail of any respectable port without running afoul of some cannon fire.”

He walked up close to the cook with a look of contempt reflecting back at him. His next words were said barely three inches from the cook’s face who was on the receiving end of the no doubt, disease ridden saliva shower. “That means, unfortunately for you lads, we’ll be needing your supplies. All of them. The food, the drink, the spices, the gun powder and hell we might just take the cook as well.” He smiled encouragingly at his men who smiled back, undoubtedly imagining what decadent meal their new cook would be serving up for them. I wasn’t particularly sorry to realise they would be terribly disappointed.

“All is not lost, however. We find ourselves on our way to Tortuga. It’s the only damn place that’ll have us in these troubled, troubled times. I am willing to accept additions to my crew. I will take you there; where you may leave us or stay. Make your choice now. We’re leaving in ten minutes.”

I opted to stay on the ship and watched as they took all of our supplies. I could almost feel the ship rising higher above the water as it was becoming less and less burdened with our food and drink. When the members of our crew who had decided to join the thieving bastards that were leaving us to die had leapt aboard the now crate laden pirate vessel, they rounded myself and the other remaining crew up and herded us toward the Captain’s cabin where they tied us to what was left of the railings.

A short, fat man with a bristly beard approached his Captain. “Sir, these are the left over men. They know where we’re headed. If they’re picked up by the navy then we might not make it to Tortuga.”

The Captain stared off into the distance and replied fondly with “You know, one of the most admirable qualities about dead men is their innate inability to tell tales; wouldn’t you agree Mr Pine?”

Mr Pine nodded. “Aye, Captain. Right you are.” He lit the fuse of a powder keg and hastily left with the Captain. We watched them sail off into the distance as the flame ate away at the fuse with a long, continuous fizzle.


© Copyright 2017 Josh Gardiner. All rights reserved.

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