What can I say? It has been a busy week. 😦 I’ll have to tweet it instead. To make up for it I’ll post an excerpt of something below the cut.
But first, there’s a very big Blog Hop going on to celebrate Rainbow Books Reviews opening for business. If you like LGBT literature you’ll love this!
Just click – here – for a list of all participants and hop from blog to blog for a chance to win prizes [including a copy of Alike As Two Bees if you like you might like such a thing. My post is – here – just comment and I’ll do the ‘drawing a bit of paper out of a pirate hat’ thing on Monday]
There are some terrific authors and some very generous publishers – Amber Allure, Bold Strokes Books, Dreamspinner Press, Less Than Three Press, Riptide Publishing, Silver Publishing, Torquere Press and
Untreed Reads – so it’s well worth having a bash.
But far more important than prizes are the blog posts on the theme “What writing GLBT means to me”. Some of them are moving, some funny, but all are worth reading.
Right – one erstatz-Six Sentence Sunday coming up ~
Just for the giggles, lets do some pirates. Kit Penrose, disgraced navy man, is acting as valet and bodyguard to an elderly civil servant on a trip to the Caribbean. Mid Atlantic they awake to a nasty surprise.
Kit tumbled out of his hammock and grabbed for his clothes without further thought. He fastened his breeches, pulled his shirt on over his head and crammed his bare feet into his shoes without bothering with stockings.
“Kit?” Sit George was blinking up at him. “What are you doing? Are you feeling ill?”
“No sir,” Kit said, “I just want to see what’s happening on deck. Perhaps it might be a good idea to get up and get dressed? Just in case.”
He left Sir George sitting on the edge of his bunk with his shirt half buttoned and ran up into the misty morning light.
Uttley was talking to Vargas, his face pale. Captain Dorling pounced on Kit and grabbed his arm.
“Sails,” he said. “They came up by night. No lights. Oh dear God, look at them. What shall we do?”
No need now for a telescope. Both ships were close enough for Kit to see the bow wave glint white in the morning sunshine and the flecks of sooty black where the colours should be.
Vargas, no fool, took the decision that needed to be made. “All hands,” he ordered. “Make sail.” In case they didn’t grasp the urgency of the situation he bellowed, “Pirates!”
There was no question of standing to fight. Outgunned and outnumbered, the only thing the Hypatia could do was run. So run they did, the crew hurling themselves in all directions in response to the master’s shrieked orders.
Kit joined them, kicking off his shoes to scamper up the rigging. The wind tossed his hair across his face and plastered his shirt to his back as he raced Forrest to the top. A quick glance back made his breath catch. The two ships were coming apace, a brigantine much larger than Hypatia and the other, closer, sloop rigged with a huge spread of white sails. The black flags were more apparent now and Kit’s heart raced as edged along the foot rope.
“Have a care, Mr Penrose, sir,” Forrest said as he too reached the yard. “Go back down, sir, do!”
“I know what I’m about, thank you, Forrest,” Kit said and when he leaned to reach the reeflines with as much agility as any of them the man grinned and left him to it.
The sails filled with a crack and the Hypatia met the next wave head on. Kit looked back at the pursuing sails, calculating distances and speeds. As he watched, the tan sails of the brigantine were obscured by a puff of white smoke. A relieved curse ripped from Forrest’s lips as a spout went up well astern.
“That’s it,” he said. “Them devils’ll not catch us now.”
They both whooped their approval and Forrest shook a fist. Hypatia had the wind properly now, turning, fleeing as her sails filled.
“You’ve no fancy to be a pirate then, Forrest?” Kit said with a laugh.
“Me, sir? No fear, sir,” Forrest said. “There’s only one way that can end and I’ve no desire to be turned off—God a’mercy!”
A gun had boomed again, this time from the sloop. Forrest and Kit stared in horror at the wreckage of blood, flesh and splinters that had exploded from where the Master had been standing at the tiller. Hypatia shuddered and lurched, shaking Kit loose. For a sickening moment his legs swung free over the chaotic deck, then he hooked a toe into the foot rope and clung to the yard to get his breath back. Below he could see Captain Dorling wringing his hands while Uttley hung over the stern, either retching or trying to see the damage.
Forrest cursed again. “He’s going to strike,” he muttered. “The Captain’s going to strike.”
Kit envied Forrest the ease with which he swung hand over hand down the shroud. He followed, muscles protesting at the effort, jumped the last six feet, and ran aft.
The sloop and brigantine were approaching fast.
“Black flag,” Dorling shouted as Kit reached him, “so we have a chance. Strike the flag, strike it, I say. It’s La Griffe—once he flies the red flag there’s no mercy. Get the colours down, damn you.”
There was a shout from one of the hands as the tattered rag of black flapping from the brigantine’s main mast dipped and began to lower. On deck Kit could see a flash of red and gold but Dorling was already scrambling to lower the ensign himself.
Back to Cynfal etc next week. What do you fancy? Banter, battle or a little bit of UST?