Death of the Black Roger

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
(a historical fantasy)
A mutiny aboard the pirate ship Black Roger turns deadly when their female pirate captain refuses to release her power

Submitted: July 03, 2015

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Submitted: July 03, 2015

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~~ Kalika closed her eyes and leaned against the door she had just closed.  She rolled her eyes as she rolled her shoulders from the tension that had been building all week that had finally reached its boiling point. She looked around her quarters, elegant and flashy.  It held a multicultural feeling from goods accumulated through all the queens of the world. An oversize English canopy stuffed with the finest goose down in all the seven seas was placed in front of a massive window that took up the majority of the main wall, the sea and all her wonder stretched out before her.  Black translucent silks of Japan hung around the bed, displaying grey decayed trees with their small cherry blossoms in a deep red bloom.  Chests of the finest leather adorned the floor, some holding the finest silks and cotton clothing as others housed weaponry that was taken from the most fearsome of all pyrates. The wooden floor of the ship was completely covered with rugs from Japan.  Each held a different scene when looked at individually, but as a whole, it showed a hillside that overlooked a small but sufficient village.  It was the village where she lived for a few hundred years while studying to be a samurai, and brought her comfort now in this trying time.  Her walls were covered in lavish tapestries from all over the globe. Some showed castles that were now in ruin while others showed battles that were long lost. A desk sat along a far wall adorned with shelves filled with maps and ship logs.  She didn’t lock the door behind her as she walked to the bed.  She knew her crew might be a-planning something but they weren’t so stupid enough as to try and step foot inside her quarters.  She threw down her tricorn with a frustrated moan and fell onto the bed.  She laid there on her back for a few moments, feeling a slight cloud of contentment spread over her at the undaunted silence.  It took her centuries to get used to the silence that had become her existence, to understand it and use it to her advantage.  Over those many long years of silence she had forgotten how loud and annoying humans could be.  In solitude it was relatively easy to forget how noisy humans are even when they try their damnest to be silent.  The few years she had captained over her crew were filled with so much noise she had about enough of.  She took a deep breath of air that filled her dead lungs in vain as she finally sat up. She looked out her window and noticed her few moments lost in her musings had turned into hours of lazing about in bed.  The sun that had been getting ready to set had done so and the clear night sky was ablaze in starlight.  Kalika got off the bed and stood in the middle of the floor, accustomed to the constant steady pull of the ship, she quickly noticed the change in the waters that she floated within, the gentle rocking of the ship from the ocean’s waves.  She concentrated her body to the movement of the ship and found that indeed her crew had anchored the Black Roger.  She inhaled another breath of salty air, hand freezing midway from retrieving her hat, when a crew member’s scent penetrated her smell.  Anger, dark and hot, leapt into her as the musty odor defiled her room.  She filled her sense of smell with the stench of the intruder again, trying to determine which of her men had dared to step foot as she grabbed her hat and donned it.  She turned around the quarters, searching with non-human eyes all the dark crevasses that could house an intruder.  Her eyes passed the desk, not searching for what should not be there but searching for things that might have been taken.  She searched the shelves and chests, every crevice until she was certain that all were still in their hiding places.  She sat back down onto the bed, doing quick shallow breaths so the man’s smell would stay in her memory before she stood up, ready to go and face the crew outside her door.  That was when she spotted it.  Lying on the desk amidst the researching clutter of sea charts was a small red square piece of paper.  Her curiosity forced her anger down as it had her making her way to the desk.  The red paper was truly a folded envelope held together with hemp, she delicately pulled at its strings, untying the envelope to find another piece of paper inside with a black spot in its center.  Underneath were the words:
“We ‘ave seen ye unfit ta cap’n dis crew. Mutiny be our crime. Maroon’n be ye tymee.”
 Shock from the unsuspecting mutiny had Kalika rereading the warning.  In all her centuries away from humans she had completely forgotten how unpredictable and rash they could be.  Anger erupted in her like a volcano over flown with lava as she walked out of her quarters to find her crew all in formation standing below her chambers.  Her anger leapt to new degrees at the sight of them, causing the temperature around the boat to sink drastically as the temperature out to sea stayed the same.  Fear swelled from them in seeable fumes as she slowly made her way down the stairs from her top deck to their lower one, yet armed to the teeth they still were.

“Mutiny it be says you?” The bewilderment in her voice left no doubt of the puzzle that humans were still to her. 

“Had yore tongue pruned? Answer me ye ill beseen curs!”

Her eyes became narrow slits as she watched a man step forward .  His hair was long and brown, greasy from not being washed in months and crawling with vermin, a long clean cut marred his left cheek; healed but an angry red, as if it had been infected in the past.  Kalika was drawn to his eyes which held full blown anger, though he was scared his anger was in charge and encouraged him on to lead the mutiny.  She smiled in spite of herself, as if in mockery of this weakling’s determination to over throw her.

“Who be ye ta lead dis mutiny ye bilge?”  She watched as he straightened his stance, as if a signal, the crew standing behind him all aimed their pistols on her.

“I be Benjamin Griffin, tha new cap’n o’ dis ship, be that plain ‘nough?”  His words rang with a deep Irish brogue and held the proud bearings of an over confident man.

“Ye lice riddled rat, how comes it ta ye mind?” Kalika asked of him as she looked out and around the crew also.  They cocked their flintlocks in unison as the fear pressed down on them and looked along with her as she turned her attention back to Benjamin.  The smug look he wore before was replaced with anger and frustration that this woman would dare challenge him and his crew.

“The crew wa’ted ta kheel-haul ye but me thought maroon’n ye would be more ta yer like’n.”  He stated with a smug smile on his face as if he thought he had out smarted her.

“Me should rip out yer heart an’ dance ta its beat!” a smile of lust came to her lips as the thought of doing just that dawned on her.

“Me should ‘ave ye shot wit’ all these pistols ye blasted lice infested whore! I’ll give ye 20 lashes fer tat!”

Kalika smiled as the way out was just presented to her.  Benjamin nodded to a pyrate behind him, signaling him to grab her as he nodded to another man who was sent to fetch rope to tie her around the mainmast.  The man that was sent to get her was a large Scottish brute with a long red beard, as he grabbed her arms and forcefully jerked them behind her back she quickly plunged her hand in and out of his chest, allowing the excitement of what was to come do the rest.  The second man with the rope came and looked at them for a minute, “be ye right matey?” he asked to his shipmate.

“Me don’ rightly know, hurts when me breathe bucko.” The Scot wheezed in large gulps of air, wincing at the same time, before he started a raspy cough as he continued to try and inhale great breaths.  A full force coughing fit over came him, his body quickly over straining the one lung he had left.  The man wiped his mouth and noticed that blood stained it, “Matey! I don’ reckon dis ta happen!”  His sudden fear stricken horror caused everyone on deck to erupt in pandemonium.  Kalika took advantage of this to silently wrap the rope guy’s neck with the rope he was holding.  As he struggled against her she snapped his neck.  She carelessly let go of his hands and let his lifeless body drop to the deck before she stepped over him and slowly made her way toward Benjamin.  A shot rang out and a small irritating pain hit her shoulder, she ignored it and kept walking.

Rain poured from the sky, coming down in sheets to land heavily upon the crew.  Benjamin had just told a man to take the Scot down to the hold when he turned and saw her coming towards him.  He couldn’t help the shudder that ran through his body like a cold hand caressing his back.  Kalika looked around her for something to strike him with as she strode toward him. How dare he to think him could lash me, a voice spat in her head, as she found nothing sufficient to strike him with.

“I told ye me would ‘ave yer heart an’ dance ta tha beat o’ it. Tha heart me no ‘ave as o’ yet, but fer nows this will do.”  She threw the Scot’s lung at his feet and watched his face closely, trying to feel the human emotion of satisfaction.  “Tis yer mate’s left lung, him be dead by nows know ye.”  Her words were a matter of fact, “I no be what ye be a-think’n.  Die like he ye wills…like all me crew.”  She looked away from him and out to the crew that had stopped in their pandemonium to form a half circle around them.

"A dead cunt now ye be, savvy?” His words were as matter-of-fact as hers, “dis crew no be yores all tha longer, right. Tis me crew an’ them flintlocks cocked an’ aimed at ye.” 

Feminine laughter came from Kalika, quickly dissolving the smile on Benjamin’s face that went with the deadly situation he thought she was in. 
“I told ye afore, me no be what ye think I ta be.”  An ominous undertone settled throughout her words, becoming more promising when she gestured out to the crew and another lyrical laugh escaped from behind her lips.

“’Ave enough o’ ye non-talk me ‘as bitch!” Benjamin spewed at her, “Blow ‘er down!” He commanded of his crew.  Moments later he watched in a sick horror that would not allow him to tear his gaze away as he witnessed all the muskets and flintlocks fired simultaneously upon her. The bullets from the pistols were hitting her but would not bring her down.  There were doubloon sized holes covering her whole body, blood leaking from the wounds.  Her hair was plastered to her face and hung wet to her waist, covering most of the larger bullet holes, and yet a smile still hugged her lips and a look of hunger and excitement swam in her eyes.  The crew after shooting her stood in place, each person struck with a paralyzing fear over her still standing.
 

“A good pyrate can reload thrice in one minute,” she paused and looked around at the fear stinking crew, an evil smile tugging her lips up,  “A great pyrate would be reload’d by nows.”  She disappeared in front of their eyes and reappeared behind Benjamin.  Before any of their human eyes could tell their brains where she went she appeared in front of them again, holding the mutinous traitor’s beating heart high up in her hand.  Kalika’s ability to shift quickly through time had made the crew forget their guns in fear.  They all stood there, hearts hammering away, blood pumping fast through their bodies and each shaking with fear, as if in a web of trance.  The wind howled around them, ripping up sails in her anger.  Waves that matched her wrath banged against the ship, sending sea foam spraying over the railings to sting her wounds.  “Me lied ta ye t’night mate.”  She said as she tossed the heart that still beat into the air, up and down again, and watched Benjamin as he started to inspect his chest in confusion to what she was playing with.  “Took it from yer back me dids,” came a chilly female voice that had him looking up sharply.  “Me tolds ye I were t’ dance ta its beats, but af’er tha many shots I am ta take outs me thought be ta eat it.”

“How?” It was the only audible word that was spoken from his mouth.

“Hear me plains ye did.”  Kalika said before she tossed the heart in the air one last time and caught it in her mouth, swallowing it whole.  She turned her attention on the crew after their Captain’s body hit the deck with a dull thud.  Many were trying to reload their guns with shaky hands as others ran to the hold with lighted torches in a desperate attempt to get to the swords.  She calmly walked up to a pyrate that had his pistol almost complete, she swiftly snapped his neck and took his gun.  She jammed the small iron ball into the barrel, cocked it twice and aimed it at a man that had completed his blunderbuss.  The ball went between his eyes and Kalika was there to grab the weapon before his dead hands could drop it.  She spun around and shot a pyrate that ran toward her screaming with a cutlass raised in the air.  She grabbed his sword and used his mangled body as a shield from the shots aimed at her, sticking the blade through his body she cut down the group of men that had stood before them. 
Feeling herself start to loose energy she sank her fangs into the pyrate’s neck, draining the rest of the blood from him.  She pulled her sword free of the dead man and sent the lifeless body colliding into more charging pyrates.  She spun around, missing their shots, and charged and ducked them as she cut down those men. 

During the haste of the battle, a powder monkey that was running from below deck with more gunpowder and shots slipped on the last step that lead to the upper deck.  He watched as his torch fell to the floor and slowly rolled toward the steps.  He tried to desperately make several grabs at it before it could hit the steps where the gunpowder had been spilling from the storage area, but his body soaked from the raging storm kept missing the rolling torch.  He watched in a sick horror as the flame touched the powder, watching as it ignited and followed the trail down the too few wooden steps and all the way back into the storage hold. 

Kalika was in the middle of three men and losing the upper hand when the stern of the ship blew to smithereens, the powder monkey and other members of the crew at that end of the ship along with her.  Kalika used the distraction to cut down the three opponents and used their pistols to shoot the rest of the straggling crew before she took off in the direction of her chamber.  She dashed into her partly aflame room.  A grimace marred her face when her eyes caught sight of the ruined sea charts she was drawing, the loss of all her time bothering her more than the loss of the profit she could have gotten for them. She forced her gaze off them and made her way to a huge leather chest that hid a smaller one inside, opening the first chest she tossed out all the silks and cloths that it held and slowly revealed the wooded chest beneath it all.  She took out a leather sack that covered the treasure and gazed at the sparkling rubies and diamonds, and calculated the wealth seen and the twelve gold bars that they hid; a very large sum from the right buyer.  She stopped ogling the riches and started filling the sack and stood when she was done, barely missing the burning log that fell seconds later onto the chest.  She ran out of the room just before it exploded from a chest of Chinese fireworks and handmade bombs.  The forces propelled her forward several feet to land on a broken railing.  The wood protruded into her side and hit dead organs, holding her off the deck a few inches.  Blood gushed out of the wound, forming a puddle underneath her, and she silently cursed for the energy and strength she was losing with the blood.  Also, it was soaking the leather sack, the diamonds and gold becoming stained.  She concentrated, making her body as light as the air around her before she lifted herself up off the railing.  More blood gushed out, enough to have caused a human female to feint from lack of.  She lowered herself to the ground, picking up the sack she put the strap over her left shoulder and head and tucked the loot under her arm.

Benjamin came awake from his semi-coma state due to the shock of being killed.  He slowly got up and looked around; his memories soon came back as he took in the wreckage all around him.  Along with the memories came a dark anger, a deep anger that only he could understand.  None of the other crew could come close to understanding what it was he spoke so often of.  She had struck him in the face a few months back.  It had never healed, got infected, and then became a red piece of skin that itched and had a terrible agonizing pain that it sent throughout his entire body like rusty grappling hooks clawing his insides into chunks.  The pain would crawl into his brain and force its razor sharpness inside, demanding revenge and destruction at all cost.  Benjamin realized that Captain Grace Badger wasn’t human and that she somehow still held his heart intact, that being the only reason that he wasn’t dead.  He spotted her on the upper deck near the railing and noticed her examine a gaping hole in her side and then the pool of blood at her feet.  Noticing her quarters and the whole stern of the ship was blown and starting to sink he started to run toward her.  Anger steered him forward, had him leaping over objects in his path and dodging items that fell loose from the flames.  He was hit by a loosed gun rolling toward the sinking end of the ship; it clipped his shin and broke the bone.  He jumped on the pain, it urging him forward, demanding he kill her when she was at her weakest.  He half ran half limped toward her as she kneeled on the ground and put her palm in the blood, her back toward him the whole time; to him she seemed to have gone limp from the loss of the blood.  As he got into a better viewing field he noticed that the blood was slowly starting to disappear under her hand.  A flaming piece of the top main mast fell in front of him, effectively blocking his path to her.  He saw through the flames that she finished sucking up the blood; he thought she would be healed by now but wounds still gaped open all over her body still.  Through his wonderment he saw her take off her breeches and transform her legs into a fish’s tail and then take her jacket and shirt off, leaving a thin half shirt on with tiny straps and no sleeves.  She then jumped ship with a blood sodden leather bag.

**********************

  The sea was rough even though Kalika was a good ten feet under.  The cyclone she created in her anger of her ex-crew still raged on overhead.  The salt water stung her wounds, as it helped to clean them.  The push and pull of the waves caused the still gapping wounds to bleed.  The slow reduction of her blood was beginning to take its toll as she swam toward the shore, being pulled by an unseen force from the land.  She couldn’t help but curse the circumstance in which fate played out her hand as she looked back behind her.  The dark water would have obscured any human eyes but she watched in a cold mockery of defeat as the half blown Black Roger sank to her watery grave.  A moment of contemplation settled over her, whether to look back and swim to shore or go retrieve her weapons; the latter won. 

She started the swim back to the ship, fighting the current of the undertow and the upward pulling force of the water as she swam into the pull force from the sinking ship and allowed herself to be dragged down to the bottom along with it.  She tried her best to avoid the more lighter items on ship that were floating back to the surface, but got hit by a few.  Blood leaked from her body to have the rolling waves carry it and its scent away.  Kalika swam along with the current, quickly catching up to the destroyed ship.  She swam to where her quarters once were, parts of a broken door frame, the inner wall still intact, while the other walls were blown to smithereens.  Blown up bits of ship logs and sea charts lay on the partly intact ship’s floor, the secrets of the seas that they held were now the ship’s and her quite watery grave.  She looked around the room in a bit of dismay to cheer up a bit when she spotted the chest in the corner of an intact wall.  She offered up a silent thanks to have it go to no one, it was something that came of its accord to the luck of the chest still being where she had placed it on the ship that was still sinking.  She swam to the chest, thinking of which weapons it held were the most treasured to take to shore with her.  Bubbles burst forth from the chest as she lifted the lid, floating up and over her in their desperate plight to the surface.  The outside of the chest looked normal, like any other chest that once stood in her rooms, but once opened the viewer found to his surprise that it was empty.  Kalika smiled to herself as she looked into the chest and reached her hand in and pushed back what the viewer would think to be the bottom.  The chest did not have a bottom.  In its place was a perfectly proportioned hole in the floor that was cut out and padded, the piece of floor that was cut out was put back in place on wheels to cover the hole.  Kalika loomed over her weapons, searching for things the water hadn’t destroyed.  All of the flintlocks and blunderbusses were rendered useless.  She picked these up and carelessly threw them over her shoulder; they landed on what would have been the floor and sank into the darkness of the sea.  When she reached the muskets they ended in the same fate.  A smile crept across her lips as the dirks and their cousins were uncovered, but she threw them over her shoulder in a dismissal of them being too small.  She came across the cutlasses and hangers and reached a slight dilemma as to which to take, but quickly dismissed both when she laid eyes on her most valued sword in all the seven seas.  Kalika delicately withdrew a thirty inch double edge serrated curved cutlass from the chest, holding the blade before her she marveled at its shark’s teeth like feature.  She had received this weapon of war from a German blacksmith turned pirate as a gift.  The most efficient killing weapon on the high seas he had told her, with the ability to hack, slash, and rip an opponent in two with its razor sharp blade.  The Dussagge he had called it.  Kalika gingerly sat the sword on the floor while she rummaged for a few more weapons within the chest.  She had three cutlasses in their sheaths around her chest and the Dussagge in her hand when she turned to leave for shore, the ship had yet to sink and the surface of the water wasn’t visible even to her eyes now.  She sensed a predator before she saw a shadow in the water behind the broken wall.  A huge shark swam from its hiding place to swim slowly toward her.  It swam in a slow curvy way as if it was fighting the water’s current.  It opened its mouth to flash its multiple rows of serrated teeth, making Kalika think it was smiling at her.  She could tell that the beast was old from the patience in him.  The shark had stopped a few feet in front of her, watching its prey, as it waited for her to make a move toward him.  Kalika brandished her sword at the shark, taunting him to make its move first.  Still he stayed his spot, the only movement him making was the opening and closing of its gills and the swaying of its tail.
 

The sinking ship kept falling through the vast darkness of the ocean.  Bubbles floated from the cracks and holes on the ship to race to the surface.  The pressure from the water would have made a human sick with the sensation of falling as they were sucked to the bottom, pain coming in tenfold as their body was crushed by the tons of water bearing down on them.  Kalika stayed in her place, concentrating her body’s center gravity downward while at the same time fighting the water from floating her bottom heavy body up to the surface.  The fish’s tail she transformed her legs into swayed back and forth, keeping her in place rather than being pulled by the movement of the water.  Blood still trickled out of her slow closing bullet holes and formed small clouds around her before being swept away in the slow rolling waves.  Kalika separated part of herself to concentrate on balancing her body to the water’s pressure while the other half concentrated on the shark.  She was surprised at the strength of the water beast’s patience as blood continued to dribble out of her.  She took the patience radiating off of him into consideration as she studied her prey.  He was a big shark, but she had killed bigger and could become bigger.  She studied it as a pyrate would a laden Spanish galleon, sizing up the worth and value, a pretty penny for the jewelry she could make with its teeth and bones, a nice silver shilling for its meat.  She smiled at him as she watched him dart to the side in hopes of making her run and brandished the Dussagge again, taunting him with his own death.  Kalika looked down at the weapons on her chest and bag of booty, contemplating whether to play with the water beast or simply kill it and be done.  She looked up in time to see the shark lift its head a little and sniff the cloud of blood that floated over its head.  He lowered its head and stared into her eyes, allowing the taste of the blood to change its eyes to red.  Hunger swam in its eyes in as much the same way it does in Kalika’s, urging him toward the food at all cost.  The hunger for this prey’s blood and flesh wrapped sticky fingers around the water beast, pushing him to fill his belly.  The shark’s gills opened and closed in rapid movements, as if getting speed for the attack.  The smell of lust drifted from the shark to engulf Kalika, she felt the excitement of the beast wash over her as it strained against the hunger overcoming him.  She watched in a wary way as the shark’s tail started to move back and forth swiftly as if gathering torque.  The shark, patience becoming thin, slowly started to circle his prey, taking great care in giving it the proper distance of fleeing room as with each completed circle he moved in more.  Kalika stayed her ground, only moving when the water beast went behind her.  She showed the predator the same patience that she had received from him, matching his will with her own. 

A shift of movement, somewhere else in the surrounding mass of water, drew her attention.  The shark before her must have sensed it too, for the beast paused in his circling and stood his ground.  Kalika’s senses screamed at her that somewhere close by danger was afoot.  She took her eyes off the shark and glanced around herself, looking past the skeletal remains of the four walls to her quarters as the sense of impeding danger plagued her still.  As her eyes roamed back to the beast, a movement beneath her caught her attention full.  She watched for a moment, pondering what the dark mass could be as it quickly made its way up toward the hole of the missing floor.  A spot of white in the darkness of the water had her realizing in that instant that it was another shark, her preternatural speed was the only thing that saved her from the massive jaws that came barreling up from the depths of the ocean.  Its teeth chomped through wood that was in its way, sending shivers of timber flying about its head like an explosion.  The first water beast wasted no time in turning on his prey as it stood distracted, and lunged its attack in one power swipe of his tail that sent it propelling forward.  Kalika waited for the last instant as the shark came at her before she used its own moving force to dodge its teeth and roll off its side.  The shark that had broken through the floor was just now righting itself and coming back around for her. She brandished her sword and swiped up as she dropped through the hole below her tail.  The two sharks collided into each other above her.  She took advantage of their momentary paralysis and swam around them to have both of them before her.  A smile played along her lips from the blood that leaked from the second water beast as they both shook off the impact and advanced on her as a pair.  Her smile grew wider as she unsheathed a second sword and initiated the attack.  She slashed and plunged with the two swords as she ducked and weaved around and between the two water beasts.  Blood took a moment to fall from the thin slices the blade had caused to slowly obscuring the two beasts’ view in a cloud of blood.  They let out low geumblings in their state of distress before they burst through the blood clouds and charged her as one.  Kalika braced herself, waiting until the very last moment, before she propelled herself upwards and over the portion of the destroyed wall just as the two sharks crashed through the fragile wood. 

Her instincts reeled as it sensed danger close by again, she acted on it and spun around to see another shark charging at her.  Instinct took over, her preternatural speed saving her again as she moved out of the jaws’ path long before they reached her and made her way back to the ship.  A pain tore through her as she swam down to the ship that had finally found the bottom of her grave, a small flat plateau overlooking a deep dark canyon beneath it.  She shook her tail, noticing that she could not move it and the irritating pain persisted, she looked over her shoulder to see the new arrival latched upon her. In a blink of one of the beast’s eye she was upon the fish, cutlass imbedded deeply into the shark’s head and the dussagge opening its belly in one clean slice.  She pried the deadlock jaws open and slipped out, pushing the dead shark toward the other two as she took the moment to ready herself.  Only one was distracted by the dead shark and went after it as the other one swam toward her, starting out slow in a jumpy pattern before it suddenly took off at her in a blur of grey.  She held her ground and honed in to the shark’s jaws, waiting till they were well within striking distance before she dropped beneath the beast and sliced with her sword as she swam underneath it. In the beast’s last moments of life it did a quick turn and snapped its powerful jaws, latching onto the tip of his prey’s tail.  Kalika broke free of the death hold and started her ascent to the surface, toward shore.  Sense told her the shark would attack before instinct had her moving suddenly aside as the last shark barreled past her, snapping jaws that were intended for her.  For a moment she could envision herself turning into a predator bigger than this one and destroying it in one swipe, but knew it would require more strength than she had.  She faced it head on, cutlass in one hand and the dussagge in the other as she waited for the shark to get well within striking distance before she cut down with both her swords.  The shark feinted in the opposite direction at the last moment, barely missing her blades as it hit her with its tail, battering her away.  She straightened and faced the shark head on again, making a cross in front of her chest with the blades to let the beast know she was ready.  It lunged at her, a powerful swipe of its tail that sent it propelling towards her in a flash of movement.  Like before she held her ground till the last possible second, flipping over the water beast as it charged her with snapping jaws.  Her blood clouded the water in spots, hiding the beast as it stalked its prey, silently swimming around her to attack from behind.  Kalika’s senses screamed danger, moving her out and down before her brain could send out the demand, she turned to see the shark dart out from the blood that had collected behind her.  If she had a heart it would have speed in its beat at the close call that she had gone against.  The shark circled her as the first water beast had, coming ever closer as it completed each full circle.  She continued to hold her ground, allowing her anger to seep from her and make itself known to the beast that thought to make a meal out of her.  She dodged the tail that the shark swiped at her, but realized too late it was a distraction to bring her closer to its powerful jaws.  She spun away from the razor teeth, but not before the shark chomped down, teeth slicing her arm that held the cutlass.  She dropped the sword, barely registering that it slipped from her dead hand and sank to the ocean’s floor before the shark turned on her again.  The pain gave her anger an edge as she waited for it to advance upon her.  She swam up in the last instant then came back down, her good hand forming a fist and punching the shark in its nose as she straightened herself and came around the shark to stop behind it.  She watched as the shark shook its head and turned back to face her, brandishing the dussagge before her she charged the beast at the same time it charged her.  She feinted to the side along with the beast, not allowing it to gain the upper hand, and slashed out with the serrated blade.  She hit the beast in the side with the sword, using its own momentum she held her ground and let the beast continue on, gutting itself on the blade that was imbedded into it.  A rumble erupted from the beast as it used its last strength to try and save itself.  Kalika let loose the sword and again imbedded it in another place on the beast, a smile coming to her lips as it ceased its struggles once and for all. 

Fatigue steadily crept in, slowly consuming her body in a tiredness that ached down to her bones.  Her body felt heavy, energy ebbing out of her along with the blood that seeped from wounds that took too long to heal.  She called upon the residue of magic that still lurked within her battle worn body, forcing herself to remove the sword and embed it under the shark’s bottom jaw.  She used the sword like a hook and began her long ascent to the surface then shore.  Her arms ached from the wounds and the load she hauled up with her, the half-closed bite wound letting go a squirt a blood with each swipe of her tail.  A moment of helplessness settled over her, a feeling she had not felt since she first was created.  Blackness overcame the edge of her vision, threatening to overtake her completely, as her body became weights to her.  She slowly came back to the present, shaking her head to clear it before she noticed that she was starting to sink back to the bottom.  She gathered all of her strength, pushing herself past her limits and setting new ones, as she made a powerful swipe of her tail that sent her propelling upwards.  The only thought that went through her brain was the mantra of making it to the surface, a small fear of predators coming to take her prize budding within her.  She sensed one nearby a few hundred feet later, and turned to see massive tentacles emerging from the darkness of the water below her.  A curse slipped from her lips as she forced herself to swim faster even as the monster’s suction cup filled tentacles wrapped itself around the dead shark.  She could hear the snapping of the thing’s beak as it began to drag her prize and herself down to its mouth.  She struggled against the beast’s tentacle hold, exerting her strength to no avail, the beast’s hold more powerful than herself at the moment. Her fish tail swiftly cut through the water in a desperate attempt to gain some room from the beast, but the more she struggled the more it seemed to her that she was dragged further into the depths of the black water.  She changed tactics, with her hand still firmly holding the shark to her other hand snuck out and lashed at the offending tentacles with her cutlass. A roar erupted from somewhere I the depths of the water beneath her as the other intact tentacles let go of her prize, leaving behind a few severed wriggling ones still suctioned on the dead shark.  Kalika took this as her opportune moment.  Quickly she stabbed the remaining swords into the shark’s body to keep them in place before she swung the bag of jewels and gold from around her body and stuffed it down the gullet of the shark.  Without a moment to loose, for the sea beast’s tentacles were coming back for her in haste, she closed her eyes and concentrated her whole being to become a bigger stronger water beast than ever there was one.  The tentacles refused to surrender the shark to its rightful owner as it started its suctioning cling to the dead beast, wrapping themselves around it a few times before it tried to bring it down to its depth and closer to its beak.  With the last of her remaining strength Kalika opened her massive jaws and chomped down on her prize, dragging it and the other water beast to the shore alongside her.  A smile gleamed in her predator eyes as the beast vainly struggled against her as it tried to wrench the beast out of her powerful grip, she ignored it and continued on to the shoreline of the closest island, almost hoping that it would not let go and she would have a shark and a colossal squid to make money with.  The beast realizing its lost plight reluctantly let loose its hold and sank back to the depths of the sea that it was accustomed to living in, leaving the megalodon and the great white alone to traverse the rest of the sea to the island it was heading to. 

Kalika’s strength waned until there was hardly any left in her to use, the magic and gifts in her receding to the deepest depths of her and out of her reach.  Her shark form faltered and transformed her back to her true form against her will, body yelling out in pain as her muscles shook from all the exertion she was heaping upon herself.  Spots came to the edges of her vision, strength dissolving with each kick of her legs that sent her propelling closer and closer to the beach that she so craved.  The shark quickly became a leaden weight in her hand as she continued to hold on to it, determined no to loose it now after all the trouble she went through to acquire the blasted beast.  The water finally turned shallow as she kept forcing her legs to kick herself closer to her final destination, feet touching the floor of the ocean she could have cried out her relief.  Instead, she shambled one foot in front of the other, waves breaking against her calves as she made it to the shore of the island.  Too exhausted to do anything else she let loose her grip on the sword holding the shark and dropped to her knees.  Darkness overcame her before her eyes could even close.  Her body dropped to the wet sand almost lifelessly to stay there as her body slowly regenerated on its own.


© Copyright 2018 LindyB. All rights reserved.

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