Pirate Peril

Sequel to Winter Crisis. I wrote this around 6 months ago, before I knew about this website, but enjoy all the same! Sorry for the current absence of a cover, I'll have one soon, as it is handrawn. And I'll also find the blurb to add.
We join Lydia on her second adventure, as she sets out on the deep when chaos hits home. Can she survive the raging waters?


11. Calmness And Collecting

Dawn came and so did the same unease Lydia had found in her all the days she had been on that pirate ship. Early that morning, after she had recovered from her dream, which she awoke from with beads of sweat trickling down her face, she had crept out of her boat to find what she needed to prevent the unpreventable. As she tip-toed past water barrels and salted steaks, a sound hit her ear. She listened, “When, then?” Asked a voice she recalled as belonging to ‘Jason’. “Maybe I can arrange for it tonight after all.” Lydia also recognized this voice as belonging to the second man talking last night. “But the other children won’t come of age for another day.” A third voice said. “Well that’s your fault in’it! You’re the one who gone an’ chucked that kid ove’board!” The second man yelled. Jeez, Lydia thought, that is serious! Pressing her eye to the hole near her foot, she scanned the scene below. Three men, ‘Jason’ wearing a dirty-brown top, torn trousers and boots, the second man (or what Lydia called ‘Tough Guy’ from that moment on) was in a clingy shirt that was beginning to rip at the sleeves, and the third man had a baggy top, partially concealed by a leather jacket that you could’ve sworn he didn’t buy himself. “Alright!” Jason bellowed, leaving alarmed looks on the faces of his colleagues. “As suggested, we will have Lilly light the match.” The skinny pirate rolled his eyes. He obviously thought that Lilly wasn’t ready. “Fine then, I will see you both tonight.” Announced the skinny pirate before rising from the table and leaving the room.

Lydia retreated into the shadows as she thought. “If they’re having conflicts within their group then they might not be ready for the burning!” But the teenage northaan knew this was false hope. It always would be. Deciding against spending any longer wallowing in self-pity and fooling herself with false pretence, Lydia took flight, flitting past barrels and cans and bowls and baskets until she finally arrived to the boat’s cistern. It hissed softly and soon disguised the sounds her presence was creating. So, it was an utterly unexpected when the sound of distant footsteps came to her. In dread, she frantically browsed the room for a sharp object. The panic continued to eat away at her as she snatched up an object; willing it to be one that wasn’t blunt. Lydia drew back the object and swung with all her strength (which was very little then). Water came flooding out of the crack in the wooden planks and Lydia collected it with a half of a broken barrel, then she slipped behind a woven basket. “I don’t know how he expects us to collect fuel for that fire when there’s not a gas station around.” Lydia heard the skinny pirate say from her hiding place. “He meant get stuff. Wood. ‘Ere.” Tough Guy dumped some barrels, that seemed as though they had been in a war and lost, into the skinny pirate’s arms.

Just then, Lydia felt the weight of the basket disappear and at first she imagined that she had succeeded in putting it in a comfortable position, but then she realized tough guy had picked it up. She froze. “What’s that?” The skinny pirate enquired. “Just another barrel.” Grunted tough guy. With that, they walked away. He had dismissed her as just another barrel! She beat her fist against the wall, and then bit her lip at the sound it made. There was no time to do that, though, there wasn’t even time to thank God for the miracle that just took place (even though Lydia hadn’t prayed for nearly four years), she had to move on-fast. Pushing herself to her feet, her heart still pounding, the growing teenage girl sprinted back the way she had come, not ten minutes before.

Later that day, Lydia discovered that it was particularly hard to lug a bucket full of water and one meter of rope around with you when you’re trying hard not to get noticed, especially when you’re trying not get noticed on a pirate ship. It was around midday, when everyone had left the deck and were gathered elsewhere, that Lydia found the chance to retrieve the final ingredient to her potion. It was hook. The only problem was the fact that the one place she could find a hook was the captain’s office. Despite the age of the rest of the ship, this section had cameras, and guards: lots of them. Nonetheless, nothing could stop this girl from getting what she wanted, and she wanted that hook.

It was a case of sneaking, which Lydia was very good at, staying quiet, which Lydia was also excellent at, and being unseen, which seemed impossible to Lydia, it was then that she remembered when she first met Heather, in addition to the events that took place after that, and so she pried open the door to the office… Looking around, she saw one camera, and a very sleepy guard. So the pirates didn’t know as much about their boss’s security as they though they did, huh? She put one foot forward, and the floor moaned. Just to make sure, she shot a glance at the drowsy guard. Fortunately he was still asleep. Evading the cameras and avoiding creaky planks was Lydia’s job at that moment in time. Until, she saw the unblemished hook. She extended a hand towards the flawless silver, so as to take the last requirement for her plan straight from the enemy’s hands. The tip of her finger made contact with the cold metal. Lydia realized her contact with the hook had triggered the alarms. Even though noise was pulsing all around her, she remained calm and collected, if a little put-off. Senselessly, Lydia made a grab for the hook. But despite her attempts, it failed, therefore, her goal was on the floor-literally. She crouched to pick it up, without failing to notice the electronic creak the camera made as it focused it’s eyes on her. That was it, she was found, there was no way she could’ve given up that night’s mission then, it would’ve meant giving up freedom. She grabbed the hook and launched herself towards the splintered wood in the corner of the office, then lunge head-first into the wall. The wood infront of her gave way and she was in free fall.

It felt like a million years before Lydia’s body found solid ground (or as solid as ground can be when you’re on a boat). With a wave of relief, she remembered that there was only one stage left to the operation, besides; nothing could be harder than what she had just done, right? It would soon occur to her that she had left the other elements of her plan in the boat she chose to reside in, and that she would have to go and get them-now.

Meanwhile, up on the deck, no one noticed a young girl dodging fearful pirates and a livid captain through the havoc, so that meant they didn’t see her tearing away the cover of her recent residence and carting a water bucket and a length of rope down below deck. They didn’t even spot her stealing a toffee apple with a jar of honey along the way! However, even after that, there was no time to rest… There was work to be done. Plans to be devised and areas to be memorised. Time to be kept and walls to be built. But most importantly, there was saving to be done.

Dank floors and ransacked chests couldn’t stop Lydia now, nor could soldiers with rifles or pirates with swords, Lydia needed to be brave, and that she could handle. She couldn’t let her greatest fears take over, as inside, her greatest was that she’d lose her only family.

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