My ship was listing to port. I had to hold the rudder to starboard to hold a steady course. Her sails, tattered remnants of the black sailcloth they’d been. Her deck, littered with the bodies or her crew.
She was dying. So was I.
I yanked the wheel, guiding her toward the closest British warship. They would not ask for a surrender. They would keep the cannons aimed, putting more holes in my ship. Each shot bringing her a step closer to the end.
We never stood a chance. Three small ships, three small crews, and our bitty cannons against a host of British warships. We’d been outnumbered, three to one. We’d been outgunned, five to one. We had no chance.
We’d run, our sails filled with the wind, knowing our only chance was flight. We’d failed. Our first ship struck by British cannon fire, her main mast falling, splintered wood striking down members of her crew.
The British called us pirates. If we were pirates, we’d have left one ship to die, and continued to flee. We didn’t. We were free men. We turned, and fought to protect our wounded comrades.
Only my ship was left. Wounded. Dying. I screamed at the British. “I will die a free man! But I won’t go alone!” I turned my ship toward the closest British vessel. She knew what I wanted. And she granted me one last wish. With her dying breath, she speared the side of one of her British killers.
I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 99. I’m experimenting with imagination. Hope you like it. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.