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To The King

By Karen Eastland Published 3 years ago 11 min read
Image by lance87 from Pixabay

Shaken and harrowed I cupped mine hands cross mine eyes to blot and shimmer a sun setting fastly. Seated on earth, elucidating upon thoughts muddied by wave and foam, my understandings entreat me to right myself on feet bare and bloodied.

A warm ooze leaches down one leg where I looked to spy a wound inflicted by a backsword’s curved blade. Soft yellow was its leather wrap, and it did have silver upon its handle, and I did see its etchings as it sliced into my flesh. Subtle ground Phlox was hitherto engraved along its blood gutters.

Dark red doth mine own blood seep in soft white sand crusting under its bevvied lot. To fearful was I to make haste and return to a vessel surely seized by the hand of Davy Jones and his locker.

Purveying a land cartographically similar to rival only Morden himself, a fine Sir of land devising. With a well deserved limp, for I did fight well, make way did I to open fields, fast as a man’s legs could carry.

‘Hark!’ did I utter, when once I did break through brush and thorn to discover a winding path.

Doth it lead me further into a hell of mine own making? I did wonder, but whence I did see thine own blood trailed thy twisted steps, I trod further.

Some while after, I know not the time, I did fall upon a domicile, broken and falling.

Home to none? I asked thyself, then the spatter, a trail worthy of following, made of thou blood, ghosting my every step.

Tearing from tattered dittos, I did pull the tail from my waist coat and make mine self a tourniquet. Twice did I crook and wring thy blood, as it bladdered my attempts to stem the flow, but at last did I tighten it well.

With one last twitch on the knot, a small, yet silent whimper escaped with my breath and quickly I did lift mine hand to cover my mouth. Unsure if those assailants did survive, if those blaggard’s, who ran through mine companions, would seek and follow thine trail.

Deceived by a body in ruins, I did hold firm to ease the flow. With mine feet, tender and blood soaked, did I rake cross still white sands to bury that which I could not hide, the interminable directions to my demise.

With the sun near setting, a bloody path beyond, and a domicile ahead, my resoluteness did resolve.

‘To the battered domicile,’ I uttered in whispers, fearing mine fatality would follow mine trail.

Standing, and with a final rake cross white sands dressed in red, I did tread toward wild oak boards, draped about its foundations, tensioning its pull-on quivering spring grasses, and foul scented leaves. Dappled sun light reflected from dilapidated shingles limply held by an unkind century. Oregon uprights and wooded beams held tight to its cover. A shallow dip at its entrance had me teeter, and whilst I did redress myself, I am certain, no sure, the soft wind held murmurs in its gusts.

Eerie whistling drafts echoed through unpredictable sills, and slithers and skirting strips swung and fell from their nests. Soft wood dowels loosed their grip, and standing erect were clay fired bricks which did hold all together.

Before risking life and limb upon entering said domicile, I did purvey once more with quiver and horror, and could not inform that which induced my rattled mind and pounding heart to enter. But in reaching for the tumble hitched cross wood slots, memories slipped through thoughts as worms in a sodden garden, and before I could acknowledge such imagery, it was as if they had been stolen from the air, plucked like petals off a rose.

I understood I had no such hold over things my mind did endeavour to trick and deceive. Recognise did I, my mind’s eye might never reveal what truth lies within the nightmare my life did undertake upon the vessel carrying bullion, not for the seas, but that which became the seas bounty.

Those strange whispers carried on stranger winds saw that I did make the decision to not enter. After a small pool of blood gathered at my feet, I did make my way south trusting that should mine own blood deceive me, that it should also deceive those blaggard’s and pirates tracing each drop.

The further I travelled, the more I did recognise the sounds of roaring waves crashing upon shores of the sea of Atlas. I was well pleased unto my very soul.

Still shattered and wounded from events not of my making or control, I did stagger through a strange and ghoulish expanse of more brush and bush. With the sun set where my trail did begin, the guiding light of nights first star reached out to me, and the final rays of sun’s warmth retreated beyond the horizon.

As luck would have it, a full and clear moon rose. Its beauty was entrancing. It seemed unto me to be so near, that I could identify Galileo's ellipticity and the deep crevices of its craters.

It shines a path to Atlas’s shores, where to my surprise, did its cove hide the galley, full and inviolate, where a desperate man in need of sustenance, soon forgot about his bound and bleeding leg. I did reach its moor, drenched in Poseidon’s foam.

The aching throb increased when salt water drenched the tourniquet, and the sense of something rounding mine legs, still waist deep, in remarkably warm waters, reminded me of memories of tales told by seafarers far and wide.

‘Blood be their sustenance,’ they would tell, ‘and fearful should be the man cut and dipped in Poseidon’s domain, for they shall belong ta Davy’s locker.’

With the strength of will, I reached for the torn and battered deck, and extracted mine legs from Atlas’s water located in Poseidon’s domain.

Mine breeches did sag and were not for a feminine gaze, but at last I did break through obstacles to my liberty. Standing upon a deck smashed against rock, floating amidst debris. A clear moons glow illuminated glass like beads edging the sea of Atlas.

“Ah,” I uttered, “a bounty in their own right… though not worthy of the life I had yet to live… should I make it through the night.”

I hauled my fading spirits into the galley of my conveyance, and refrained from illuminating my presence, to a hostile location hell bent on my discovery by those pirates I knew were seeking my history. Still some measure from the water’s edge, I lay within the Galley's confines, a sense of relief, false as it could have been, if I was an imbecilic fool.

I remained alert until the morning hour, seeking those voices I did hear in soft winds, certain mine foe sought me, followed my bloody path until it did wash away with a high tidal flow.

The moon sat as gate keeper over the long night. I saw its glow against the black night sky, and with my exhaustion overwhelming my sensibilities, I fear I did sleep, for I awoke with a start. Something had pounded its clenched fists upon my salvation, drawing my attention to a half-cut slab of fired dough, untainted by salted waters, I took a starving man’s bite when the pounding of clenched fists did startle me and shake my fortress galley once more.

It was a cool morn, and the seas of Atlas were quite frigid. I peered through the galley’s porthole and saw, but up against my sanctuary, true salvation, the skiff. Small as it might have been, was truly a miracle, but as I turned to open the galley doors, mine eyes did fall upon something that caused my body to tremble, thine skiffs oars were lain, as if set to trap, on the beauteous shores of glass and crystal stones.

“Did they come upon me in my sleep weary state and lie in wait for me to surrender mine bounteous food, my being?” I uttered. “No. I shall not fall so readily into fates arms.”

Skuttling quietly in the small galley, I searched for, and did find, thy scullery maids cleaver, and more, pausing for moments to reflect how they did defile and torture the lass and how those blaggard’s threw her from the bow when they had, had their fill. Mine eyes met hers just as the rudder came forward and dragged her to the deep... after they did murder all others. I did survive in part because my wafery ensured my appearance was likened unto driftwood.

“But do they know of mine sanctuary,” I whispered. “Is it they who promised my salvation but gifting the skiff, only to murder me in my rush to gather those oars?”

I heard naught but the strum of my heart pounding my ears until they finally quieted. Hours did I play the possum, listening, waiting for a sign, but heard, saw, nothing. You could not imagine my sempiternity.

I planned, as only a man in my station could do, for what I must do to survive and make my way back to my kinsmen to tell of my tale, not to boast of my abilities to outwit those pirates that did murder my companions all, but if for none other than to reveal how it was I could survive, a geologist, alone and left for dead.

The day was gathering, and I had yet to see another. I needed the oars to ride a high tide from that cove back to the Sea of Atlas and prayed to find Poseidon to be even-tempered and grant me passage.

With one last look, I crawled along the floor, through the rising ocean’s waters, to push open the galley’s door. Inch by wriggling inch did I push until wide open, I saw the untarnished skiff had become caught and bound around twined mesh snagged to the galley.

“It’s now or never,” I said unto myself, because of course there was none but me, and thankful to Nanny and her insistent, yet lampooned idea that all her children should learn to swim.

I kicked off towards shore and must have looked like an African Crocodile, I am certain of it. Mine eyes were all that were visible above the ocean’s waves. As I made shore, I remained on my belly, slithering like the uncharmed serpents of India, and upon hearing not a sound except gulls in the sky, I reached for, and took both oars in my hands. I pulled them back with me and without incident, swam back to the skiff.

Having not one difficulty in gathering the things I required, and the salt water seemingly healing my leg, set about to strip the galley of its edible content. With the last barrel of Rum in my arms, a noise from the shoreline startled me, startled the birds. While they flew away, I rolled into the skiff, and having unmoored it from the wreckage first, I lay flat on my back and pushed off from the galley with an oar.

So clever was my escape, I out thought my attackers, knowing should they seek escape themselves, they would not harm the skiff. I drifted out to sea to the sounds of pirates calls and Minié balls splashing the waters around me, until eventually even I was too far for those old pirates reach.

With enough food for days, I finally sat upright and began to row. I knew I would eventually meet one of his majesties ships of I followed the way the sun set.

As you can see, dear ladies, I did not die, but was in fact rescued by a ship three days after leaving those glass covered shores.

“Here,” I said, reaching into my breeches pocket to retrieve a handful of beads, “These are for you my dear friends. Go one, take them. There are many more where they came from, and I am certain you can read all about my adventures in this month’s journal, Geology and Me. I am the main event.”

I stood, straightened my top and tails, picked up my silver cane, made from bullion stashed in the scullery maid’s utensils, to which this humble geologist has become the wealthiest in the land, below the King that is. The silver cane had inlaid jewels and gems gathered from that shore. I was to find they were not glass, as I did presume, but a pirate’s treasure; diamonds; emeralds and rubies, whose confines smashed against the galley, and Poseidon carried the rest to shore.

When at my lowest, with thoughts of meeting Death in the realms of the tweens, the god’s looked down upon me and took pity. Instead of enduring an eternity moulding and casting ore in levels of hells unbeknown to anyone who still lives, they showered me with gems. Sent unto me the King’s ship, with the king on board. Ladies of stature throw themselves at my feet and where once mine life sought only to examine life within small unappreciated rocks, I now serve his majesty, and have bought both he and I great wealth when I took him to that shore to which I thought I would die.

With guns and cannons, his men prepared our way. Each were given a gem as they gathered our wealth. I am now the envy of England. I have the Kings ear, and became a man my father would have been proud of, cartographer to the King.


About the Creator

Karen Eastland

In addition to my creative pursuits, I'm also a dedicated advocate for education and literacy. Through my writing, I seek to inspire others to follow their passions, to make a positive impact on their world.

The #AdventuresofMillieandSandra

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