The Harpooned Whale

'The Harpooned Whale' is set on the high seas and follows the adventures of Erin, a steely young woman with a violent streak, and Scarlet who is thrown into her world.


5. Chapter Five: Erin


      It was five hours since we had left Lyttle Haven and the orange Suns were at their pinnacles in the sky. Their heat beat down on us, making even the bowels of the ship unbearably hot and stuffy. Normally Alderman would have taken care of that, but he was too busy making sure that the sails had wind in them. There hadn't been a trace of even a breeze since early morning. The Harpooned Whale sloshed through the waves in a calming rhythm.

      “No stopping,” I called out. “You have a break when I say.”

      I was lying on a crate with my eyes closed. I was wearing shorts and the Suns were warming my bare skin. I would have rolled my shirt up, but I still had a bandage on my side. Instead I was wearing a sleeveless shirt.

      “How does she do that?” I heard Ryall whisper.

      “That means you Ryall,” I growled.

      He hurried to scrub the deck.

      Opening my eyes I gazed up at the cloudless, bright blue sky, before sitting up. The crew were all shirtless and glistening with sweat. Scarlet looked like he was going to pass out. My lips twitched in amusement.

      “Alright lads, ten minutes.”

      Relieved, they all dropped their mops and brushes. Most of them disappeared below deck, hoping to escape from the heat, but some of them stayed where they were, lighting cigarettes.

      Scarlet staggered over to me and sank down onto the wooden deck. He was panting hard. Drew handed him a jug of water which Scarlet drained with enthusiasm. Then, with a smile, Scarlet turned to me. “Why are we going to the Western Sea?”

      My father had told the crew that we were sailing to an island called Yatee in the Western Sea, but he hadn't said why.

      “We've got a job,” I said, standing up and stretching. “That's all you need to know for now.”

      My bare feet made no noise on the deck as I crossed it. I climbed up the rope ladder to the crow's nest. Nigel was sat there, smoking idly. His eyes widened when I suddenly appeared and he got to his feet.

      “Anything?” I asked, peering out at the never-ending, sparkling blue sea.

      Nigel handed me his spyglass. “Nothin', ma'am,”

      Using the spyglass I examined the surroundings. “Hmm,”

      “Somethin' wrong?”

      It was quiet, almost too quiet. My instincts were warning me that something was coming. But I didn't know what. 

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