Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 129

This week's picture prompt appears to be by artist Marcos Garcia, a Spanish artist known for painting royal family. He shared this picture on a site called Foati, where he has a page. I believe it is a photo he took in Marbella, in Peurto Banus. (I don't think it is a painting as it doesn't seem to be in his style at all, but I can't be sure!)

Pirate stories aren't my forte but this one sparked off more easily than expected. 
The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

Last Man Standing

It wasn’t his job to care about the prisoner, but he couldn’t help it. She’d been found in the water off the coast and they’d hauled her in, jeering about their luck and stowing her away for later use.

She shivered as Johns cleaned, and he considered bringing her a blanket, something to put round her narrow, frail shoulders. He heard whispering as he pushed the broom past her cell, and glanced up. She was rocking and muttering. He couldn’t make out what. It sounded like gibberish. He assumed it was some kind of prayer. I mean, who wouldn’t be praying in her situation, locked in the hold awaiting the return of a gang of pirates to wreak havoc on your body as many times as you could stand and then some. He knew he would be. As the youngest of the crew, he’d had to tolerate some of that attention himself. And even though he hated to admit it, he was grateful she was here.

In that moment he decided he’d provide her with a blanket, it was the least he could do, even if it did result in getting a swipe from McLaughlin. He was a bad-tempered Quartermaster even on good days, so Johns didn’t care.

When he took her the grey, scratchy rag that served as blankets on the Prentiss, she glanced up at him, her stark jade eyes catching him off guard as they regarded him with contempt rather than fear. He wondered if she would be as easy to break as they suspected.

‘Here lady, a bit of comfort, the least I can offer in this hell-hole of a scallywag’s ship.’ He grinned at her, but her expression didn’t change. She snatched the material and drew it round her, unspeaking. He withdrew, locking her in, a sick feeling settling into his stomach.


As dusk fell that evening, a keening sound was heard off starboard causing the crew to rush to the side of the ship to try and ascertain its origins, but nothing could be seen in the dimming light. Lasting only a few minutes, they lost interest, instead going to fill their bellies in the Captain’s cabin and prep for their night of debauchery.

Johns kept himself busy on deck, not wanting to be present. If he saw no evil and heard no evil, he couldn’t speak of any evil. But they were loud as they went below deck and the sounds carried on the still ocean air. The screams grew loud and he hummed to himself to block them out, until he was forced to sing to smother the shouts that followed. Then there was silence. He assumed they’d broken her. She might look feisty, but it wasn’t enough to ward off the likes of them.

He waited for them to return, moving with his bucket along to the bow of the ship, but there were no footfalls on the stairs, and the silence continued, growing eerie.

He stopped mopping and listened. Maybe they were worn out and had gone to sleep it off. But there was no shuffling, or mutterings, or general movement of bodies. The earlier foreboding increased.
Then he heard shuffling coming up the ladder in the middle of the main deck. In the nightlight, the white skin of the woman gleamed as she surfaced from below. But was it a woman?

The creature Johns witnessed arriving on deck might have the bedraggled blonde hair and striking green eyes of the woman below, but the similarity ended there. Blood dripped from its mouth and teeth – teeth that belonged to a shark they were so jagged and plentiful – and its eyes shone out like lights in the night, its skin all aglow. Its hands and feet were now webbed as it dragged itself to the side of the ship.

Johns shivered as it loosed a keening causing him to cover his ears and move behind a barrel to hide, while watching it lean over the side. A matching sound replied far out to seas, and he was relieved when the creature jumped overboard to return to its companions, rather than invite them here. He considered going below to see the destruction it had wrought, but decided to wait until morning, instead heading to the helm, where he would now need to navigate the ship alone.

But to where? The world was now his oyster. His mind raced at the possibilities once he’d dumped the bodies. 


  1. Thats was a quite a tale. A shocker if I'm honest. Well written and well done.

  2. here is my rather late attempt at this weeks prompt. Supernatural Sunrise Hope you like it.

    1. I liked this, it flowed so well. I wonder if it is true.