Blackbeard’s Last Fight – Howard Pyle, 1894

There was the sound of muffled cursing, crude and revealing, breaking through the heavy night. The sound of muffled cursing, quickly followed by the gentle, crunching thud of meat, muscle and bone slammed into more meat, muscle and bone.

There was a hiss, a sharp intake of breath. The Captain, making it known that she was unimpressed, counting the seconds between the element of surprise and the measurements of failure. Silence was what was called for. They should have known better.

There was the hidden echo of meat, muscle and bone collapsing, the chattering clatter of a table and chairs. A second, cracking thud of leather and iron, of boots against a shattering jaw. The vicious, savage kiss of steel, carved across a windpipe – straining, struggling, yielding.

The gargle was answered by the whispered shriek of a sword drawn slowly, threateningly, from its scabbard. The shadowy, primitive retort of a pistol, smothered by the snapping, cracking canvas overhead, the patter of blood against oak, and the fighting began in earnest.

The great bell clanged out, its brass voice the call of the gods of war.

Just a snippet from a long short story I’m working on…a PIRATE story! It works as a stand-alone flash, right? I smuggled in Trifecta’s prompt CRUDE (marked by the primitive, gross, or elemental or by uncultivated simplicity or vulgarity) and one of the BeKindRewrite prompts, Counting Seconds. Let me know what you think, comments and criticism always welcome!

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17 thoughts on “Pirates!

  1. Chuck says:

    Loved this! Im glad to see that I’m not the only one that went to a dark and violent place with this one. Well I guess yours existed before but you get it! I love that the violence here is not direct, but rather veiled and suggested. Good stuff, totally immersive!


  2. That was amazing. I loved the words you chose and the imagery they created.

  3. Cobboe's World says:

    You really stoked the fires of our imaginations with this array of sound, after sound, after sound and scant visuals to reign in our fears. Cool scene.

  4. KymmInBarcelona says:

    Like a dog worrying a bone, a bone with the meat still clinging to it, the bone and the meat being worried by the dog…
    Effective, is the word I guess I’m searching for. Not sure I will be able to shake the sensation of meat and bone being crushed and thudded and cracked!

  5. Kallan Annie says:

    This was a delicious read–really powerful imagery and rhythm, perfect for reading aloud. I love a writer who can play so beautifully with language.

  6. Draug419 says:

    All of that amazing onomatopoeia… 😀 Brilliant piece. Nice and messy (:

  7. Carrie says:

    I love the imagery but I wasn’t sold on the repetition of the paragraphs. The first three began the exact same way and coupling that with the repetition of certain phrases and i felt like the imagery wasn’t as strong as it could have been. I think you would have made more of an impact mentioning the phrase once, maybe twice, not over and over.

  8. PIRATES! Woohoo! I love the way you primarily used sound over visuals to paint this scene. Unique and very effective.

Comments and criticism always welcome!

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