Ransomed - chapter 1

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Ransomed - chapter 1

Post by Moshda on Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:59 pm

Hi everyone, this is just something that I wrote up a few days ago. I'd like your opinion on it! I will be posting chapter 2 when I finish it.

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“Cap’n!” someone called from the deck of the ship below. “Cap’n, are ye sure ye wanna go through wit’ this?” Above, standing by the steering wheel of the ship, Captain Ademar squinted off into the distance.
“Aye, I’m sure! The chance has finally come for my revenge, an’ none of you blasted squids can stop me!” the captain growled.
“But Cap’n—supposing something goes amiss?” muttered Leonald, the first mate.
“Then we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it! Set sail towards Port Norbia!”

~~*~~

The solemn clang of the warning bell resounded throughout the port city. Watchmen shouted from the lookout tower, and soon most of the houses’ windows were lit. People were running through the streets crying,
“Raid! The pirates have come! Raid!”
Duke Oswald’s mansion was no less busy. A wild clamor went up from the servants, who were dashing about with lamps and removing any valuable paintings and decorations from the rooms. The Duke stood at the top of the grand marble stairs in his dressing robes; his sparse hair askew on his gleaming pate, his trembling wife tucked under one arm. He shouted orders at the servants, his voice cracking like a whip above all their heads.
“You there—put that vase in the cellar too! It was a gift from the king himself and no wretched pirate is going to take it!”
His daughter, Kirra, emerged from her quarters, her long brown hair tousled, and her robes sagging off one shoulder.
“Papa, what’s all the fuss?” she groaned, rubbing her eyes. “I need my beauty rest and I’m not getting it with all these slaves running about!”
“Oh, my jewel, my precious darling!” her mother wailed, rushing over and pressing Kirra’s face to her heart. “Some dreadful pirates are coming, and Papa is doing his best to preserve our precious things.”
“Pirates,” Kirra whispered fearfully, her eyes growing wide. “Oh, Papa, you won’t let them come in, will you?”
“The guards will keep them away,” the Duke assured, wiping his beading forehead with the cuff of his sleeve.

“Cap’n, the Duke’s place is swarming with soldiers!” Leonald whispered, peering through a spyglass on the deck of Siren Song. Ademar merely grunted in response.
“We’re all good fighters, man, but we can’t fend off a hundred soldiers apiece!” the first mate continued. Ademar held out one hand, and Leonald placed the spyglass on his palm. Ademar held it up to his right eye and stared at the Duke’s mansion for several long moments, then handed the spyglass back to Leonald and swung down onto the deck by a rope hanging from the mast to stand before his gathered crew.
“Alrighty then boys, here’s our plan: it’s goin’ to be a real quick in-and-out operation, ye hear? Don’t steal anything that will slow you down or be hard to carry, and for pity’s sake don’t go killing any more soldiers than you need to, it’ll take too long. Just go in and distract them for a few minutes while I get the girl. Understood?”
There was a resounding chorus of “Aye!” and then they began to run down the ramps and infiltrate the panicking streets of Norbia. As he ran down the streets, sword in hand, Ademar allowed himself a small, evil grin in anticipation of what awaited. His revenge against Duke Oswald would be oh, so sweet… Lady Kirra was the Duke’s pride and joy; surely he’d do anything to get her back! Of course, Ademar wasn’t one to forgive easily, so the price for the Lady’s return would have to be suitably modified.

Ademar’s blood sang as he heard his crew fighting with the soldiers—no, heard them beating against the soldiers, making them beg for mercy before getting hewn down. There was nothing quite as satisfying as a raid superbly executed. And this particular raid was going very well. A troop of the Duke’s personal soldiers came jogging around the corner of the mansion, coming towards him. Thinking quickly, Ademar dove into the nearby shrubbery and waited, holding his breath, until they had passed by. Once he felt it was safe, he crept through the bushes beside the Duke’s mansion until he came to a window. He peered into the surrounded darkness one last time, then stood, wrenched the window open, and swung up over the windowsill, landing on soft red carpet with little sound. Feminine screams came from the left and down the hall, and he turned towards the sounds, reveling in them.

“Lady Kirra, please hide!” the maids-in-waiting pleaded with their mistress.
“That filthy hole is filled with spiders and cockroaches!” Kirra protested, “I’ll hide in my wardrobe.”
“But the cellar is the safest place—”
“No!” Kirra shrieked.
“But one of the guards heard that the pirates are looking for you…”
“Then let them look! They shan’t find me; or rather, they shall,” Kirra replied with a smirk. “Emmaline, come here,” she barked. The servant girl quailed and then stepped forward. Kirra wrapped her arms around the girl’s shoulders and hissed in her ear,
“Everyone says we could be sisters, so tonight you shall be my twin.”
“My Lady!” the girl sobbed.
“Now, now, Emmaline, be a dear and take off that old rag you call a dress…” Kirra whispered, smoothing the servant’s silky brown hair.

Ademar followed the sounds of female cries and at last discovered the door behind which lay the source. He shouldered open the door and was greeted by a cacophony of ear-piercingly loud shrieks. He winced internally at the shrillness and snatched the nearest servant, pressing the blade of his sword against her throat, feeling her stomach swell and deflate with gulps of panicky breath beneath his hand.
“If you don’t want to die, tell me where the Lady Kirra is,” he snarled as fiercely as he could. The servant sobbed and a few tears dripped onto his blade. He shook her and hissed more intensely,
“Tell me!”
The girl looked at luxurious four-poster bed and he released her. She scampered away like a frightened rabbit as he stomped over to the bed. He lifted up the spread and bent down to find himself staring into a pair of wide, tear-filled brown eyes. He reached under the bed and grabbed the girl’s wrist to drag her out, but she pulled back.
“Come here, pretty doll,” he cooed, planting a foot more firmly and catching her wrist with both hands. She scratched him, making his eyes sting with tears. He had to admit, the girl was a fighter, but no match for a grown man accomplished with the sword. He gripped her arm more tightly and yanked with all his strength, and the girl slid out from underneath the bed. He dragged her to her feet and wrapped his strong arms around hers and tried to drag her out of the room, but she dug her heels into the carpet and the servant girls screamed and clutched the skirts of their mistress’s lacy nightgown.
“Enough!” he howled, slashing at them with his sword. They all dodged out of the way before they were injured, and then he struck the side of Kirra’s head with the hilt of his sword, knocking her out. Her shoulders sagged and her head lolled back against his shoulder. He spat at the servants and heaved his prize over his shoulder, amazed by how light the girl seemed. Lady Kirra was reputed to be a bit on the chubby side, but this girl felt as though she had bird’s bones. He didn’t pause to wonder, though, but ran down the hall and dropped out the window he’d come in through.

Half of his crew had already headed back to the ship, and the other half were extricating themselves from the fighting when he emerged from the bushes below the window. He gave the signal whistle and ran back to the Siren Song with his men following behind.

Once they were all back on the ship, he gave the order and the rowers heaved on the oars, sliding Siren Song out of the port and back into open waters. In his captain’s quarters, Ademar examined the girl he’d kidnapped by the light of a lamp, and he was pleased with what he saw. She was slender and pale, with a fine-boned face, round and rosy lips, and small hands. Her lustrous brown hair slid through his fingers like the finest silk, and he remembered her eyes had been bottomless pools of a charming shade of brown. It was little wonder that she was the Duke’s pride—anyone who could lay claim on such a girl would be proud. Ademar smiled when he thought of the gifts the Duke would give him to get his daughter back. Why, he’d be so rich he could sell the Siren Song, buy a comfortable house in the country and live out his days in undisturbed quiet… but first, he had to get the Duke to come begging.

__________________________________________


MOSHDA: obsessive hugger since 2003
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Moshda
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