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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Heroics

Hey guys!
I just wanted to post up another couple of scenes from my Exile sidequell, Hero.
If you haven't read Exile yet go here for the UK or here for US to get it on your kindle!

If you haven't read the first part of this story, here it is.

The pirate stepped back, shaking his fist, flexing his fingers. Charlie imagined that the man’s fist must be hurting after so many punches to a man’s face. Sure; Charlie’s cheekbone and nose were broken, he had a bloody split lip, a cut over his eyebrow, a black eye, his teeth were rattling, there was a high pitched ringing in his head that wasn’t necessarily the first sign of a concussion - though Charlie wasn’t prepared to rule it out completely - but poor pirate and his hand.
Charlie spat the blood from his mouth out. He tried to get it on the floor but a mixture of pain and exhaustion had it land on his shoulder. “Captain Charles Crowe. Identification code two-two-three-five-seven-jay.” He mumbled, head lolling forward.
“Yeah, yeah. Know that already.” The pirate sighed, squeezing his hand back into a fist and releasing with a final shake. “Funny thing; we never asked.”
‘We’ again. Charlie thought. Who is ‘we’? It was true, however; they hadn’t asked. So far they hadn’t asked a thing. It was like they didn’t care. Or perhaps they just wanted to weaken him, weaken his resolve before they asked.
Maybe they just enjoyed hurting him?
“I’m sure you must be wondering why we haven’t just killed you.” The pirate rumbled, dropping down into the chair opposite. In a manner of speaking, yes, that was exactly what Charlie was wondering. “You’d think I’d be happy to just tell you. You’re not leaving this place. You’re going to die here.”
He sighed and reached into his breast pocket, pulling out a cigarette. He had to know that Charlie hated the smell of cigarette smoke. You weren’t allowed to smoke in the Navy - too many important things you might accidentally burn - so whenever he visited home and his mother was smoking… He had to know. It was so subtle… or accidental.
That Bastard.
He lit the cigarette up and took in a long drag. He breathed the smoke out and blew it into Charlie’s face. “Still; I’m impressed. Would’a expected one of you Navy boys to crack by now. The other- your crew mates. They’re all just as quiet as you. Pretty impressive.”
Charlie ignored the smoke, he didn’t even cough. Admittedly it was less resilience and more exhaustion. “‘Course your crew mates are all dead. Died when we boarded. On’y reason we di’n’t kill you was, ‘cos you weren’t shootin’ at us.” He was trying to rattle Charlie. Trying to make him emotional, reactionary, but that sort of thing didn’t work on charlie.
Not anymore.
Not in a long time.

~|~

“I don’t understand.” Charlie said, his eyes red and puffy. Tears streamed relentlessly down his cheeks. “We saw him the day before yesterday! He was fine! You must have the wrong person!”
“I’m sorry, Charles.” His mother sighed, placing a hand on his knee. “But Dylan didn’t make it home.”
“You’re wrong!” He shouted again. “He’s joining the Navy! He’s going to become an Admiral! He’s going to stop the pirates!”
Charlie’s mother winced at his son’s outburst. “I’m sorry, Charles, but Dylan is gone.”
Charlie choked on his tears, gasping for breath as he cried deep sobs, turning into his mother and burying his face into the woman’s dress. “Why?” He moaned.
She sighed, wrapping her arms around her only son. “Because... Because sometimes bad things happen when they shouldn’t. To good people who don’t deserve it.”
He cried for hours, holding his mother, heaving deep breaths into her dress, soaking through it until he could cry no more. The whole time she rubbed the back of his head, stroking him gently in a calming motion.
After what felt like an eternity, his throat sore, he asked, “What happened?”
She sighed. “Oh, child...” She squeezed him tight. “It was the pirates. They-” She was cut off by a buzzing from outside his room, the front door. Charlie’s mother looked towards the door with concern and squeezed her son tight before releasing him. She got up and left the boy alone in the room to cry, to blame himself, to wonder what would have happened if Dylan had stayed at the sleepover.
For a moment he fell onto the bed and began to curl up, weeping into his sheets. His friend was gone. Killed by the very pirates he had wanted to stop. Yes, he was fifteen, he shouldn’t cry, but his friend was dead. Snuffed out at a mere twelve years old.
Who could blame him?
He didn’t remain there long however. A scream from below pierced his ears and he leapt from his bed. He forced his way out of his room and thundered down the stairs to find his mother on her knees, weeping, sobbing as a man in a uniform knelt beside her, trying to comfort her.
Charlie looked down at the man, a naval officer. His grim expression, his mothers wailing it could only mean one thing...
“Dad’s dead.” He said. His friend was bad enough... but his dad as well? It was too much. It was too much to be able to feel, too much to want to feel. It was just... just too much, and it broke him. A numbness consumed him, burying deep inside and taking root.
Charlie sat down on the third step from the bottom and closed his mouth, remaining quiet. A calm logic settling over him and taking up residence where his emotions had once sat.

Thanks for reading! More coming soon.

Tubage-I can - like - see everything...
- James

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