In theory, I post the current twittertale so far each Friday (immediately before posting that day’s awesomeness). Today, I actually remembered.
The Captain’s Daughter
I curled my toes around the narrow foot-rope, and dug my nails into the knot tying up the sail. No good; I bite my nails too much.
On the up side, my teeth are good. I leaned into the wind and pulled at the knot with my teeth. Spitting fibers, I pulled the rope free.
Da’s first mate, Hank, met me on deck. He said, “You’re disgusting, Gail. Biting at ropes like a dog.”
“At least I don’t look like one.”
Da called me to his cabin. “Sir?” I said.
He said, “In here, call me Da.”
“You’re old enough now to think of your future.”
My heart sank. I bit my nails, wondering if he’d marry me off. He cleared his throat: “I want you to be captain after me.”
He said, “The men know you – and I won’t live forever.”
I said, “You WILL live forever, Da – I order it.”
He grinned: “Whatever you say.”
We neared a familiar port. I held the lead line – mainly so I could sit apart from the rest and wonder if they’d really obey me one day.
The cord ran through my hands and stopped. I stared for a second before realising the harbour floor had shifted. “Avast! Turn about!”
My friend Jim was on the wheel, and he pulled hard. The ship wailed as it turned too hard, but we made it safely. Jim, at least, obeyed me.
I still wanted to think, so I stayed on board while the rest went to spend their gold or line their pockets with other people’s purses.
Da came back with a red-faced and slouching boy who wouldn’t meet my eye. He introduced my brother, Al. Al said, “I’m gonna be captain.”
“No you ain’t!” I said. He threw a punch and I threw it back, giving him a nice bloody nose with his own fist. Da sent me to the hold.
Da came to me: “I didn’t know about Al until now – and Hank said the men’d be ashamed to let a woman lead them. He knows the crew, Gail.”
I shook my head at him, too furious to speak. Da said, “It’ll be better this way – you’ll see. We’ll find a place for you.”
Da left, and I fumed. The ship was mine, and no long-lost landlubber kid was going to take it from me. I was NOT going to be married off!