Home > Fiction > The Seahawk: Chapter One

The Seahawk: Chapter One

Karin Dickinson

April 13, 2011


The Seahawk:

Chapter One

          Captain Marlowe sat at her desk and gazed listlessly at a map. The needle on her compass danced back and forth around “West,” and she nodded approvingly. The new crew members seemed to be learning quickly.

          She tensed at a knock on the cabin door, and her hand automatically went to the hilt of her sword.

          “Deci?” a soft voice called from outside.

          “Oh, it’s just you. Come in, Hermia,” she responded and let her hand drop from her cutlass.

          The door swung open and briefly flooded the cabin with dazzling sunlight, illuminating Hermia’s long, golden hair. Hermia closed the door quickly and walked the short distance to Captain December Marlowe’s desk.

          “We’re almost to port. It should be no more than half an hour at this point,” Hermia reported.

          “Good. I’m glad to hear it. We could use some time on land, and actually, you and I have an appointment with an important someone once we dock.”

          “Sheesh! Dare I ask who this important someone is?”


          “Why not?”

          “Because you’ll probably just get mad at me and not want to come.”

          Hermia rolled her eyes and laughed at her longtime friend. “Ok. Forget I asked.”

          “Done and done!” Captain Marlowe smirked. “But down to business. The orders are the usual for the crew while we’re on shore: no fights, no pregnancies, keep a low profile, and be back on board by noon tomorrow. Sound good?”

          “Fantastic. I’ll relate the instructions to them as soon as we land.” Hermia turned to leave, but December put her hand up.

          “One more thing, First Mate.”

          Hermia raised an eyebrow.

          “You know the newest girl? What’s her name? Lizzy? Bizzy? Something?”

          “No, I guess I don’t. We have a Bizzy?”

          “Ok, the redheaded one.”

          “Oh, Bernadette. What about her?”

          “I have reason to believe she’s planning to murder me in my sleep, so let’s make sure she doesn’t get back on board tomorrow.”

          “Any particular reason why you think she’s plotting your demise?”

          “No. Not really. She just looks…shifty. So I hope she’ll like Paradise Isle, because that’s where she’s staying.”

          “Deci, you’ve really got to work on being less paranoid. But, ok. If you don’t want her on your ship anymore, we’ll leave her behind. If that’s all, I’ll go see to the docking.”

          Captain Marlowe nodded with a sheepish smile, and Hermia slipped out the cabin door. She watched the crew work through the windows, lines being drawn taught and loosened, sails flapping in the wind.

          At any given time, the Seahawk had roughly fifteen souls aboard, all women, save for the ship’s cook, a eunuch named Jasper. She was a larger ship, equipped with just enough weaponry to allow for success in battle and the plundering that usually followed. As a ship full of seemingly-innocent women, they had escaped the authorities for years, but December knew they were still at risk every time they docked.

          She rose from her desk and snuck to the doorway of her cabin to watch Hermia dispatch the crew. The small woman was usually soft-spoken, except when she found herself giving orders.

          “Should you wish to make this island your new home, please, by all means, start a bar fight! Find yourself in the arms of a lover at an inopportune time of the month! Get arrested! Or just plain abandon ship! But should you wish to continue to serve aboard the Seahawk, keep a low profile, make merry quietly, and be back on this deck no later than noon tomorrow! Is that clear?” she bellowed.

          “Aye!” the crew called back.

          “Then please have yourselves a good time, and we’ll see you tomorrow should you wish to return to your duties.”

          The women of the Seahawk filed down the gangplank to the dock and quickly disappeared among houses, inns and market stalls.

          “Jasper, a word before you leave, please?”

          “Aye, Ma’am?” He looked down at the First Mate apprehensively, twisting his long mustache between his fingers.

          “I know you’re on your way to the market and you have your own schedule, too, but when we board tomorrow, would you kindly see to it that Miss Bernadette does not board with us?”

          He nodded knowingly and lowered his voice, “Blood or no blood?”

          “None if you can help it, dear Jasper,” Hermia smiled as she spoke.

          “Yes, Ma’am.”

          “Alright, Jasper. You may go now.”

          He nodded again and quickly descended the gangplank to the dock.

          “That went well, don’t you think?” Hermia turned and faced her captain. “I knew you were standing there the whole time, by the way.”

          “I know. And I knew you knew.”

          “Are you going to tell me where we’re going yet?”


          “Why not?”

          “You’re scary when you’re angry, throwing those temple curses this way and that, calling on the war gods and the generally wrathful gods to smite people, places and things. It’s unnerving.”

          “Ugh! Can we just go wherever it is we’re headed now so I’ll know why I’m going to be so angry?”

          December grinned and laughed as she said, “Oh, thank goodness! I thought you would never ask!” She dashed past Hermia, down the plank and to the dock.

          Hermia shook her head and followed her captain into town.

          “I could just divine it, you know,” Hermia said when she caught up.

          “Yeah, but that would take too much time.”

          “It would not!”

          “Patience, Hermia, patience. Besides, I don’t even know if this is really going to pan out.”

          They walked along a well-worn dirt road away from the main drag of the little village. Hermia scowled at her friend, and December grinned back from time to time. At length, they arrived in front of a dilapidated, weather damaged inn. December began to make her way up the path to the door, but Hermia stayed glued at the vine-covered archway.

          “What’s the matter?”

          “You must be joking. You’re joking, right?” Hermia’s voice suddenly became shrill.

          December walked the back down the path to face her friend. “Ok, I said you were going to be mad, and you clearly are, but just know that I have a plan this time.”

          “I’m going to kill her,” Hermia whispered.

          “No, that ruins the plan.”

          Hermia grabbed the dagger she’d stored between her breasts and shrieked, “I’m going to—uff!”

          December tackled her into the bushes and wrestled the knife out of Hermia’s hand.

          “Deci, give me my knife! Give it back now,” she growled.

          “No! Not if you’re just going to rush in there and kill the damned priestess!”

          “She deserves to die! Give me back my weapon!”

          “She’s surrounded by dozens of guards! You’re just going to get us killed! Just…. Ow! Stop biting me!”

          “Naw! I ron’t! I rill kill her!”

          “Ow! Ow! Ow! Stop it!” December wrenched her arm from Hermia’s mouth and delicately placed the dagger between the First Mate’s teeth. “See? I gave it back! There’s no need to bite me!”

          “Shank oo, Deshi. Shorry.”

          “If I let you back up, do you promise not to go on a killing spree?”


          “Remember, the crew’s supposed to keep a low profile, and that includes you and me, too.”

          Hermia glared and nodded.

          “This really is for the best. I really do have a plan,” December huffed as she released her seething companion.

          Hermia spat the knife into her hand and begrudgingly slid it back into its sheath. “This is a really bad idea.”

          “Yeah, maybe.”

          “As your First Mate and your resident prophetess of the High Order, I’m telling you this is a bad idea.”

          “Duly noted,” December brushed dirt from her clothes as she spoke. “However, as Captain December Marlowe of the Seahawk, I’m just going to tell you that I really, really do have a plan. A sneaky and underhanded plan, no less.”

          “Ok,” Hermia sighed. “Shall we?”

          “We shall! After you!” December grinned gleefully and followed Hermia into the old inn.

Categories: Fiction
  1. November 10, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I suppose this means I’m committing to working on this more regularly. 😛

  2. Lauren Scheier
    November 14, 2011 at 9:20 am


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