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Lady Abigail invited the Spanish captain to sit at her right. A young widow, she had the liberty of being a single, rich woman, a liberty well-earned by her brief marriage to that doddering old man, a marriage arranged for her by her dearest father. She had enjoyed these elaborate parties at Penwrick Castle, with visiting dignitaries and merchants, nobles and military, but she couldn’t imagine spending her whole life spent sitting here in this hall, smiling and laughing courteously, feeding them roasted pork and chicken, watching them get drunk on her best ale. She was developing quite an aversion to these men, most of whom were no doubt hoping to eventually share her bed, and more importantly her fortune, and sooner or later she would be forced to marry again. Society would demand it. Women, as everyone knows, are incapable of living alone, maintaining their own estate, defending their possessions. And there was always the threat that the neighboring Count would want to expand his territory. Who would she be able to rally to her defense? She could not bear to be that oaf's wife.
Still, she touched the Captain’s knee flirtatiously as he boasted about his ship, how fast it was, how agile, how much cargo was aboard even now, realizing her advantage. She had come to a decision. She was leaving. She would be in control of her life. Most of the crew were here at the castle; they would all be passed out soon enough. Tonight, she would take the most loyal, competent men in her employ, and row out to the ship sitting in the harbor. She was certain that with her charm, wits and revolver, she would be able to convince the remaining Spaniards that the ship was now hers. And whoever couldn’t be convinced would simply be shot and dumped overboard.
Abigail daintily stepped over the dead man at her feet. It was a shame, but even drunk, Captain Burton should have known better than to assume she would spend her time with him. She had enjoyed their interlude last time she was in port, but no man had a right to her. She left the reeking body in the alley.
Ah, but she did love St. Mary’s, a town after her own heart. It left you alone, on your own for better or worse. You had to earn respect here, but it was given to men and women alike. She sold her cargo to the merchant’s at this port whenever possible and always felt rejuvenated after a brief stay, ready to head back out to sea. The sun was setting, staining the sky with oranges and reds, but the lights outlining the Phantom, glowed menacingly. Abigail slowly removed her goggles, ignoring the waves’ spray, and looked proudly at her ship.
Pirate Flash Fiction post based on image source, by Carol of Carol's Notebook created for ...and a bottle o'rum event.
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