Latest Post: Tempest’s Eye
Abel Balat grasped the bulwark as the deck of the Santa Del Rey heaved towards him. Steadying himself, his curses were lost to the winds.
‘Land ahoy!’ came the shout again, muffled now as the tempest neared them. The warrior sheltered his eyes against the slant of the weather, yet still he could see naught. The sleet was heavy now, and the darkest of the clouds were upon them, driven by raging squalls.
Abel nearly lost his footing then as the ship pitched; the spray was cold against his face, brine stinging his eyes. He looked about, and ignoring the crew hurrying here and there, he lurched towards that oaf Canalas.
The fool was gripping the captain’s collar, as if he could force him to his will. All hands lost at sea. Abel felt a grim satisfaction at the thought.
The captain had wrestled free of the knight’s grip, and was shouting. ‘Damn you, Canalas! This is my tub and I tell you we will head for land.’ He stood for a moment, daring the knight to contradict him, and then stormed away shouting commands.
Canalas turned towards the warrior as he approached, and Abel saw the fear in his eyes before he could hide it. ‘What in the hells do you want, Balat?’
‘Do you think it wise to second guess the most experienced seaman aboard?’
‘I don’t pay you for your mouth, soldier. Get back with you.’
‘The captain is right; the ship won’t withstand this storm. I at least have been at sea enough to know that.’
‘This mission cannot fail. Must not!’ Seger Canalas attempted to thump his chest with his free hand, while clinging to the mast with the other. It was a pitiful sight. ‘That is where my experience lies, and I tell you, we don’t want to make land here.’
‘What are you scared of?’
‘Get back. I shall not say it thrice. Do not test me Balat, I swear…’
In the icy wind, sleet lashing his face, the warrior realised he didn’t care either way. Whatever you fear, Canalas, it cannot be worse than the pain I clutch. So be it.
Abel Balat looked upon the man a moment longer, and then faced the storm, arms outstretched. Come for us then. Perhaps this is the day.
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Books set in the world of Eald Cearo
© 2012 Lee Donoghue