The Pirate Captain, Chronicles of a Legend
By: Kerry Lynne
Amazon Summery: “I am Nathanael J. E. Blackthorne, the pirate captain. Please, reserve your accolades regarding me fame and conquests for another time.
During the year of our lord 1753, I was sailing the West Indies, minding the oars in me own boat, pursuing me sole purpose in life: to disrupt the unholy alliance of two corrupt men, to destroy their lives as they destroyed mine. I mistakenly kidnap Catherine Mackenzie—wrong person, easy mistake, you understand—and me life went arsey-turvey. Having lost hearth and heart to the Jacobite War, and wanted for war crimes, Cate has the grit and savvy to have survived years destitute and alone in the cesspool known as London. When arrest seems imminent, Cate, through whose eyes this story is told, buys passage on the first ship away. Now, Cate desires but one thing: a place to belong.
Alas, if it were only that simple.
This is a story of scarred and blinded people.
It’s the story of trust, or rather, the lack of.
It’s the story of loss of faith and the disbelief that Providence might ever smile again.
Chapter 1: Journey
“On deck there, Sail ho!”
“Larboard abeam, sir, ‘about three points.”
Ezekiel Pryce looked to the tops. It was Damerell up there, what sung out. An extra ration of rum and the
best pistol on the prize would be his, if he be correct. Heaven help the blundering bastard if he weren’t, and
the Cap’n not obliged to raise a finger.
The Cap’n stood peering through his glass.
“What be in yer mind, sir? Be it them, are ye thinkin’?” Pryce asked, coming up alongside.
“The bearing is fitting,” the Cap’n said, intent on the speck of white against the east Caribbean blue.
“Nary a ship from England what don’t come from that-a-ways.”
The skipper lowered the glass. A cat on the prowl, he was, and no prey was safe. “Then they’re fair game,
are they not? The last two proved to be a hare’s chase, but fat prizes, indeed. If nothing else, the lads need
the practice. We’ll burn the rust out o’the guns, eh?”
“Bearing sou’west,” Damerell called from his roost.
The Cap’n raised his glass, looked to the compass, and then said to the helmsman, “Make it so, Mr.
“Prepare to bring her about. Full cover!” The Cap’n was in high spirits. “Fly every rag she’ll bear. “
The ship beneath Pryce’s feet quivered. Aye! She knew. She smelled the prey. She’d throw her shoulder
to the wind, take every bit of canvas and beg for more.
“It makes for a fair night, Master Pryce, “the Cap’n said, looking skyward. “Light every lamp, so we”ll glow
like a damned fireship. We’ll allow them the night to think about the hell what is about to be visited upon
them. She might try to duck and run under the cover of dark, so double the lookouts, and we’ll rig the
grates for the first slaggardly lout caught napping.”
Clear skies, a steady glass and fair course: no creature of the sea could ask for more. Only a dirty night
could save the hapless prey.
“D’ye think she’ll turn and fight, sir?”
“How often does the rabbit bite the fox, Mr. Pryce? If they opt for blood, then it shall be theirs what runs
“The last ones we stripped to nature’s own and burned to the waterline.”
“Aye, well, ‘tis the price of resistance, is it not? Pass the word to the Master Gunner to pray have his
guns ready by. . .make it eight bells of the morning watch.”
“Hands to yer stations,” Pryce bellowed over the break of the quarterdeck. ”Clear the braces and stand
by to come about!”
Staring at the line where sky and water met, the Cap’n went uncommon guiet, a rare sight indeed when
“I’ve the feeling on this one, Pryce. The Devil burn me, I don’t know why, but this one… this one is
Welcome aboard the “Ciara Morganse”
Chapter 2: Purgatory, or Just Hell?
Cate Mackenzie in the Ciara Moganse’s Great Cabin with the Captain!
Looking up from pouring, he was disconcerted to find her still standing. “Well, don’t just stand there gaping. Sit!”
She came up against something hard and cold, and realized she had been inching backwards. It was a cannon, one of a
pair, “Merdering Mary” roughly carved in its carriage.
“Jump and I swear I’ll cheer whilst you drown,” he said.
“Come the bloody hell away from the damned window!”
Another glance showed she was indeed not much more than an arm’s length from a gallery of windows. Running ceiling-
high, they angled out at the top, with a broad sill at their base.
“I didn’t mean . . . I mean, I wasn’t ---“ she began.
“Seems once a day would be enough, but mark me, I shan’t raise a finger to preserve you from Jones’ locker. Most of the
men believe ‘tis the hand of God on a drowning soul. To save one is to deny God, so “twill be no matter to watch you go.”
By the sound of his voice coming out of the shadows, he was pacing.
“Then why did you pull me out?” Cast considered how much easier things would have been if they had allowed her to
“Because you are valuable,” he said coldly. “At least for now. But pressing the point could prove unwise. Value can be
ever so relative, don’t you think?”
She had the impression the inquiry wasn’t meant to be answered.
“Pray, would you not oblige me to shout like you’re a fc’stleman. Sit there if you like. Oh, hell, I don’t really give a damn,”
he grumbled with an irritated swipe.
Minding the coat, Cate reflexively sat on the nearest thing: a chest beside her. Gripping the wood beneath her, the urge to
cough built like a rumbling bubble in her chest. She gulped several times, breathing quickly in and out, hoping to squelch
“Be warned: puke on me deck and you’ll regret it. And take those rags off before you catch your death,” he said.
Squinting at him, she searched for any sign of lustfulness, but found none. Turning her back she started to shed the shift,
now so torn, nearly falling off on its own accord.
His path around the table brought him into the full light. She sucked her breath in sharply at seeing him fully for the first
time. Her first impression was of black eyes and a leonine head of black hair and beard. The back of her neck pricked as
the name “Blackbeard” sprung to mind. She stoutly reminded herself that infamous personage was long since dead. He
was of average height and slimly built, his hair bound by a faded blue headscarf. The remainder of his features being so
buried in beard, it was blessedly difficult to tell much more about him, other than he was probably not much more than her
score and a half in years.
In spite of the bucket boots he wore, he moved like a great dark cat as he brought the drink around, barely making a
footfall, a predator, lithe and lethal. She drew her legs up underneath herself and tucked in the coattail more snugly
around her, then shakily took the proffered glass, murmuring, “Thank you.”
Cate took a drink. Her throat constricted, requiring her to swallow several times before it was allowed to pass.
“Rum!” She shuddered. “But, it’s fine. I’m grateful for anything, if it will allow me to warm up.”
A fortuitous fit of coughing helped make her point.
He eyed her with suspicion, then took a drink, closing his eyes to anxiously await its effects. She eyed him, trying to judge
his level of drunkenness. Drink could bring a man to do many things not done when sober. His step was solid, but his
speech seemed thickened, almost slurred, although that could have been resultant of its graveled quality.
In spite of its noxiousness, she took another sip. If nothing else, the liquor helped erase the nasty taste in her mouth left
by seawater and vomiting.
He flopped into the ornate captain’s chair across the table from her.
“Rather foolhard to jump, don’t you think?” he asked, gesturing toward the Constancy, visible through the stern windows.
“There was an island,” Cate said with far less conviction than intended.
He made a caustic noise. “That would have been a bloody long swim. I’d be hard pressed to find two hands what would
be willing to row it, let alone swim it. You do know there are sharks in these water?” he asked conversationally.
Her stomach took a sickening lurch. “No, I hadn’t thought of that.”
His mouth hovered at the bottle’s rim as he cut her a sidelong. “Can’t imagine why anyone would do something so half-
The implication that she was either mad or lying wasn’t lost, nor was it appreciate. Cate flexed her hands aching from
being clenched for so long.
“I’d been told under no circumstances should I be taken by pirates.”
He smiled at that, a dazzling display of white and gold teeth splitting the ebony mat of beard, “I’ve been told the same
thing. Nasty rumor, luv.”
He rose to cruise the room once more. His path weaving through the light, he popped in and out of sight like a sword-
“The warnings were very convincing, “ she said evenly. “The Sarah Morgan and Captain Nathanael Blackthorne were
enough to scare anyone.”
“Ah, then you know of me, Spent the best part of me life propagating that image.” Though his face was lost in the gloom at
that moment, the smile in his voice couldn’t be missed.
“Then may I assume that you are . . .?” Cate tensed. On deck, she had heard him called “Captain.” For formality’s sake,
however, it was best to be sure. Amid the swirl of unknowns, a solid bit of information seemed essential. Liquid slopping
on her hand broke her stare; she was shaking harder than she had thought.
“Oh, I beg your leave. Wretchedly uncommon to be introducing meself on me own ship.”
He drew up and struck a formal pose. Doffing the battered leather tricon, he swept a surprisingly elegant bow.
“Captain Nathanael Blackthorne. Your servant, mum.”
Argh! What do we have here? It seems these pirates have left some treasure for some fearless soul to find!
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This post is part of the Talk Like A Pirate Event.
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