Entry 8 1670, p.1
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       Entry 8: 1670, p.1

           D S S Atkinson
 
Entry 8: 1670
1670

  D S S Atkinson

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  Text copyright © 2016 D S S Atkinson

  This is a work of fiction

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  Entry 8: 1670

  1.

  ‘Tis not until you’re alone in the dark that you begin to notice the sounds of your surroundings. I cannot recall the last time I was not awoken by the ocean waves washing against the woodwork of my prison cell, and as my eyes open, and I turn to look across the rotting floorboards beneath me, tis not water that flows across the deck, but blood. Every time I look at my reflection I can see only my captain, his stone visage gazes back at me in apathy until it slowly fades away, leaving the depressive sight of my own lonely face lost on the rippled surface.

  They say when the last waves have settled upon the dead Caribbean Sea, you can hear the murmuring whispers of fallen pirate captains echoing upon the ocean’s endless surface, that to hear these words, is to fall victim to the curse of the captain’s call. My captain did not speak as he was mercilessly butchered, though he was most certainly murdered on the word of a man who knew only lies.

  Everything I once knew and loved is gone, torn away from me in such a flash of destruction I scarcely have the words to recollect it, nor do I fear the time. I wait upon the sound of my cell door to unlock for the final time, doubtless my life is next to the noose. If these festering walls that bind me are to be the last place I can call home then it is my duty to document the final ventures of my captain before our story is lost. Let this be the final entry into the log of Captain Rike.

  It seems our days were numbered the very moment we left the waters of Stoley’s Rest, a port most north east of New Venezuela. ‘Twas due to both a blind hunger for wealth and the sheer lust for adventure that lead us to our fall, Roselyn’s crew, her captain, my friends and family, we all are finished, dead or worse.

  ‘Twas our last day resting in the port of Point Gallinas, I recall it clear as day as I sat in the tavern waiting on Captain Rike to return from town with details surrounding the Grand Martona. The tavern was renowned for violence, the smell of stale mead and vomit lingered upon every inhale of breath, near every window was boarded up and the few that remained intact were stained with the blood and ale of pirates from decades past. Despite the foul aroma of the place and the lack of parading wenches the entertainment was most lively, a company of finely skilled musicians would often grace the stage keeping us in good spirits.

  I rested at one of the tavern’s many derelict tables with our boatswain, Sollertis, a small man in stature, yet certainly not of intellect. He was the smartest, most insane looking man I have ever met, recognisable most distinctly by his greying matted hair and poorly shaved stubble. The man was responsible for Roselyn’s successes upon the high seas. With us was also a man named Christian Williams, quite possibly our most skilled carpenter and a close friend of mine, he always wore a distinct pair of ridiculously oversized glasses that made him look most amusing.

  Upon this day we had been observing two males becoming incredibly rowdy at the bar, and the dear maid, who was of some age, though certainly a beauty still to be had was unable to understand nor care to be in agreement with their demands.

  “Weiber und bier!” The larger of the two males slammed his first down upon the woodwork yelling at the maid. At this point we stood to our feet, needlessly, for crashing through a door came Damien Rones returning from the pit. Drunker than on any occasion I had ever seen him, he was staggering, and although he was a giant I still feared the alcohol would fell him. As he entered the larger of the two men again slammed his fist down upon the bar screaming in a drunken rage.

  “WEIBER UND BIER!” The yelling caused the music in the tavern to cease and immediately caught our quartermaster’s attention as he stood on the spot swaying. Rones had a truly mean streak within him during moments of confrontation. He towered amongst any company with whom he stood and was as wide as he was tall. His black hair fell thick and long down his back, so too did his beard fall thickly off of his chin, all that was visible of his face was rugged and battle scarred. His shadowy eyes were made all the more fearsome by heavy bags that seemed to sink his face into an expression of psychotic darkness. He was indeed a horror to look upon.

  Gaining his balance he lurched over to the strangers, and pushing the larger of them with a heavy right hand struck the man in the face with a mighty blow causing the sound of splintering bone to resonate throughout the room. Those that surrounded the male released a low mumble of shock for the strike caused the man to collapse to the ground on the spot.

  As he fell I made a dash for the second male in the case he might react to strike our crewmate, yet everyone in the hall turned to statues. He hastily pulled a pistol from his breeches pointing it directly at the face of Damien Rones. Without hesitation the quartermaster locked focus on the male who stood feet shorter.

  “Fire then you worthless piece o’ shite!” Yelling with a grizzly irritation the foreigner’s hesitation was hastily quelled. In an abrupt outburst the giant grasped the stranger’s hand that held the pistol, dragging the man towards him as if he was a puppet Davey pushed the barrel against his own forehead and forced the man’s finger into the trigger.

  Click. I flinched in horror as the sound of the empty pistol trigger rang out. The quartermaster’s face turned to a look of disgust, pushing the gun aside he head butted the coward into another band of men who pushed him to the floor. Seemingly through a sheer desire to fight every man in the entire bar erupted, as all hell ensued the musicians casually proceeded to play their instruments, as though it was just another day at Stoley’s.

  “Davey you mindless moron!” Sollertis rushed over to the undaunted madman, “your brains could have been all over the floor!” Grabbing the giant’s great brown coat he attempted in vain to turn him about.

  “Ah ‘tis true, I did not think o’ this. A pint o’ mead please, mi darlin’!” Smiling at the maid he stumbled and slouched over the bar, his enormous frame causing the woodwork and glasses atop to shake. I had never met a man who apparently had such little regard for his own life, I knew not whether it was due to some deep depression or that he simply had no fear of death, either way ‘twas not the first nor last time I had witnessed Davey display such lunacy.

  In the chaos I noticed our captain enter the tavern, he paused for a brief moment to look for his crew and quickly noticed Davey sprawled out over the bar. Ignoring the madness which occurred around us he made his way through the brawling crowds to reveal the plans of our voyage, his deep husky voice yelled out over the bellowing mob.

  “She’s passin’ through the vicinity o’ the Isle o’ cows within the comin’ days, lads, headin’ to Jamaica. Gather up a load o’ goods for we be leavin’ soon as the moon arise, Sollertis, round up the crew and let ‘em know what’ll be occurin’,” the captain looked over at Davey and shook his head, “and try to get that big bastard back on board wi’out ‘im killin’ anyone. Sailor, you’re with me, let us get aboard Roselyn and let ‘em know what’ll occur.” The captain had spoken, Sollertis nodded at Rike and turned about towards Davey, he released a great sigh before turning his head to look at the destruction the quartermaster had caused. Many a table laid legless, smashed glass lined the place and blood poured as though it was water across the liquor laced floor whilst the poor bar maid yelled out to no avail. Rike took one glance over the place and shook his head again as we made our way out towards the po
rt.

  The captain explained the Martona was an enormous Spanish galleon that was, until most recently, part of a Spanish trade fleet. ‘Twas said the captain had taken a turn into betrayal, rumour was that he plundered and sunk five trade boats and another, smaller galleon, which his vessel was escorting, robbing the loot onboard. For some time we had heard whispers about corruption amongst the Spanish elite.

  For many years the Spaniards had shipped silver ingots from Peru across the Caribbean and beyond, there were whispers the source of wealth had dried up long ago, others said invested elites were taking advantage of secret trade deals and that the routes were ever changing yet as vibrant as ever. Whatever the case, ‘twas causing disruption amongst their ranks.

  It was known the captain was heading to Jamaica for a final stop, though for reasons Captain Rike did not inform me of. His last known destination was said to be headed towards coasts south of San Domingo. Rike had strong reason to believe the Martona was to make a short stop at a port along the southern regions of San Domingo before making its way to the Jamaican coasts, without a doubt heading towards Port Royal. We were to rest at sea between the Isle of Cows and the most south eastern coasts
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