Excerpt: The Angry Whore of the Sea

I am pleased to share with you guys a preview of my new book The Angry Whore of the Sea (January 10, 2019), a pirate tale about survival, honor and bravery. Oh, and sharks. 

This is chapter 1. Enjoy!!!

“Welcome to The Angry Whore of the Sea. A cruel scallywag wit’ a steamin’ temper ‘n a fierce bite. Careful not to upset her or she’ll toss ye in th’ water without warnin’. She’s big ‘n curvy ‘n clumsier than shit so gather ‘round.”

Twenty passengers gathered shoulder to shoulder; there were less women than men and only a few children.

Henry Bing was in charge here. Captain Henry Bing.

“Ya paid a pretty penny to be here, but ‘tis be no vacation.” Captain Bing pulled a cutlass out of his waistband and from left to right, he pointed its edge at the passengers. “Ye be me new crew ‘n ye do as I command. Follow what I say and everything’ll be smooth as this Bitch’s bottom.” But The Angry Whore’s bottom was not smooth, it was rugged and old and falling apart; rotted from the keel to the top of the mast that once donned the Jolly Roger.

The old warship was first launched by the Royal Navy eighty years before, but captured soon after by pirates; the vessel was familiar with the stench and stomps of pirates. Now, with the Royal Army’s recapture of the ship two years prior, the likes of regular folk, who walked with patience and smelled of soap, graced the main deck. They were on their way to new homes and jobs at Blue Bay. With The Angry Whore, it took three days to get to Blue Bay; a pricey trip, given the onboard theatrics.

A proven sailor and stage actor, Henry Bing gave his new passengers everything they paid for. Only in his twenties but his voice sounded twice that with the harshness of the pirate accent. The accessories on his face concealed his youth; a decorated brown tricorne on his head that started at his brow and a thick false beard that swallowed his mouth. A wide leather belt kept the oversized frock coat from swinging and it secured the cutlass.

“Let us begin,” he roared. The cutlass returned to his side and he sauntered across the main deck as he continued to shout.

Seven crewmen moved to their stations to work the sails with what little wind they had, and The Whore blew away from Jamaica. Half of the crewmen had no clue what they were doing, the others were amateur at best. They dressed the pirate part, though less colorful than the captain, with rags on their heads, coats on their backs, eye patches, and phony face jewelry. The swords and pistols they wore on their waists were fakes too.

The Whore differed from the other ships in the sea, not because of its massive size, but the design; a horse stable placed in the middle of the main deck around the mast, and the helm being on top of the forecastle deck up front. Staggs was the most experienced crewman on board, hired by the Royal Navy like Captain Bing. He had the helm.

By the time they were in open sea, the passengers were bored with the captain. His exaggerated pirate methods and speech had most people yawning and exploring The Whore on their own.

Clint and his wife stayed on the main deck; they were of the bored bunch. Most of the twenty passengers were recruits of the Royal Army. Of the thirteen soldiers (with their five horses) who were in Jamaica to trade supplies and enlist men, Clint was one of them. The Royal Army had given him a chance to bring purpose back to his life and glue to his family. So, he brought his wife Essie and ten-year-old son Cole.

Essie was miles better looking than the six other women on The Whore, even with the black ring around her right eye. The husband and wife might have looked happy together from afar, but they ignored each other. Essie worried about their son Cole though, who’d run off when they boarded, to explore the ship. She had always coddled the boy, one of the many reasons she and her husband fought.

With those hazel eyes of hers, Essie adored the wavy waters on the forecastle deck steps as she hung over the side, watching them crash into The Whore’s hip. A few feet away, Clint tried to keep his balance. Neither of them had ever been on a boat before. Essie managed fine, but Clint felt sick, and his long legs quavered while he clenched the railing. He’d avoided throwing up when they first set sail, but he couldn’t fight the rising vomit any longer. It pushed out of his mouth as he bent over the edge. Essie smirked her pretty little head off but kept her eyes on the ocean. She’d stopped loving Clint years ago, but remained with him for the sake of their son. She looked at Blue Bay as her best chance at happiness.

After another session of vomiting, Clint turned and slid to his butt. He tugged Essie’s dress and pulled her down next to him, wanting her shoulder for his head.

The view of the main deck paled in comparison to the water. Her husband’s hard head brought an ache to her shoulder, but she fought through the pain, rolled her eyes and looked at the sky. Shouts and stomps broke that concentration of the clouds which brought her vision to the main deck where Captain Bing stood with the few passengers who enjoyed his antics. Except for the colonel and his men, most of the passengers were on the main deck now.

Bing stopped before the other set of steps up the forecastle deck. “A three day journey ahead ‘o us ‘n ye scumbags gunna earn ye stay.” He looked at each passenger with his piercing eyes. “I be needin’ janitors, I be needin’ cooks, I be needin’ sailors… I be needin’ mead…” He looked at Staggs, who looked at another Crewmember. “…MEAD!” Bing roared.

A young crewmate rushed the wine to him seconds later.

Bing snatched the drink with one hand and removed his cutlass with the other, pointing it at the passengers. The beard got most of the wine when he raised it over his face. Maybe a few drops fell in his mouth, but when he tossed the cup over his shoulder and into the water, he shook his legs and slurred his words.

“Twenty to one it was. Me against th’ Royal Navy’s best. One after th’ other, I sliced through each ‘o them like cake. Takin’ arms ‘n legs ‘n lives.” Bing slashed the air with his cutlass. “I was invincible that day. We were invincible; Th’ Whore ‘n I.” The words were less slurred with an added bite and growl. “I’ve never seen defeat. ‘N I see ye all looking at me, wantin’ me gold, wantin’ me Whore. But it’ll be th’ last thing ye ever want. So keep them filthy eyes to yourself ‘n do your jobs. I’m th’ only pirate in these waters ye fear. I’m th—”

A gun shot lit up the sky and interrupted the speech as it shattered the captain’s face. The tricorne flew into the sea. The beard broke off into little pieces of hair that swam into the puddles of blood that covered the main deck.

copyright 2019, M. Sydnor Jr.

Get the full story here

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s