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The Ship

The Ship

Apr 12, 2021

Rebels were seizing the ship.

I had to find my daughter.

Most of my crewmates escaped; the rest remained to fight. Buying time with their blood for friends to flee. I’d known all of them for years.

One raft remained.

I had to find my daughter.

The knell of swords and bellows of pain echoed from the deck above. My breath quickened as I frantically ransacked the level, bursting into cabin after cabin. A surge of panic had me trembling. I stumbled on the slick floor.

Where was she?

She was brave and she was clever. She’d pinpoint a safe place. A safe someone.

The Captain’s cabin was on the other end of the ship. He’d been showing her the ropes. She’d been so curious.

I took off in a sprint.

My feet pounded on timeworn wood. I grabbed corners to swing into adjacent halls.

Thuds from above. Our crew was falling. I was running out of time.

Even as I ran, I couldn’t help but wonder which thuds belonged to crewmates I adored. Wonder whose blood leaked from the planks above.

The rebels were merciless. I couldn’t blame them. They’d been smothered for long enough. But if they lay a finger on my daughter… I’d never rest until I slaughtered every last one.

How did they even find us?

I whipped into a massive empty corridor. The Captain’s door hung ajar at the end.

A shout from above. A clamour of countless heavy steps. Rebels were clambering onboard.

Dusky doors and worn walls sailed past as I shot down the hall.

She was fine. The Captain would never let anyone hurt her.

My heart battered against my ribs, the fear a fanged beast. I was almost there.

She was popular. She was fearless. She was fine, I just had to get her off this ship.

I exploded into the room, the door slamming into the wall behind.

My daughter stood behind the Captain who was seated at his desk. She was whole, safe, courageous. I nearly collapsed in relief.

I was so preoccupied that I didn’t see the blade.

Not until it gleamed in the dim candlelight. As it rested against the Captain’s throat.

My daughter’s steady fingers on the hilt.

He was blanched, his lips pallid beneath the thick beard. He opened his mouth to yell.

She sliced the blade with more force than I thought possible.

His head rolled across the floor, spraying crimson on a handsome rug.

The body slumped to the floorboards with a dull thump. I stared at her, a scream lodged in my throat. It didn’t make any sense. I only heard blood pounding in my ears.

No. It was the beat of dozens of footsteps behind me.

My daughter held out her hand, her sweet face speckled with blood. “It’s time, Mother.”

Rebels poured into the room.

She smiled. “Join us.”

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