Note: This is the second part of this new fiction series I’m writing for my website.
By JonChristopher Collins
“LePage, we did nothing. Look at the windows,” Vance says. Seraphina looks to Vance.
“That’s meaningless! You could have shot through the windows,” Thomas says.
“Ridiculous. I’ll show you.” Seraphina says. She walks to the window; a guard steps in front of her. The walls drip with blood, and the steps up to the king and queen’s throne rolls with the blood of the royals.
“You’ll go no farther,” Thomas says.
“As you wish,” Seraphina says, rolling her eyes.
“Shoot them,” Thomas says.
“Mr. LePage, I thought we—”
“I said shoot them. You aren’t here to think.”
Seraphina stomps on the feet of a guard; he loses his grip on her. She draws her pistol, and Vance draws his sword. Seraphina takes aim at Thomas and walks backwards to the shattered window on the left. Vance walks in front of the guards with his sword drawn. They have yet to take aim.
“Now this is an interesting turn of events. If you kill any one of us, you’ll most certainly never see the light of day again after what you’ve done today,” Thomas says.
“We never said anything about killing,” Seraphina says. Aiming at a large chandelier, she fires at the ceiling.
“Excuse me, gentlemen,” Vance says as he jumps over the guards. The chandelier snaps from the ceiling and comes crashing down to the floor. This knocks Thomas off his feet. Reaching Seraphina, Vance wraps an arm around her. Laughing, Vance says, “Well gentlemen, we’ll be seeing you.”
Seraphina leaps out the window. Vance turns to follow but before jumping says, “That’s my wife! Farewell!” He launches himself from the building. “Whooaa!” Vance lands on a cart of apples being pushed down the way, and he tumbles off it. Pushing himself off the ground, he adjusts his hat and runs.
“Vance,” Seraphina shouts from a distance.
He spots her. “I’m coming, love! Go to the ship! Ready the crew!”
Looking around with wide eyes and breathing heavily, Vance proceeds forward. “Ahoy! Can I buy your horse?”
“It’s not for sale,” says a man walking his horse down the path.
“Stop those pirates!” a guard shouts.
“I’ve changed my mind; I don’t care for the royals anyway. Take the horse.”
Vance hops on the horse and heads for the Sea Screamer. “Let’s see if you can’t go faster,” he says. The horse gains speed after a few nudges. “There we go.” The crowded path dwindles as Vance advances to the ship; he maneuvers between merchants and other people. The shadow of Vance and the horse races along with him. Glancing back, Vance sees the guards gaining on him. He stands as the horse continues galloping. He leaps forward off the horse and lands on a carriage up ahead.
The horse pulling the carriage is jolted and runs lose, leaving the carriage stationary. “Terribly sorry,” Vance says to people in the carriage. He tumbles off and sprints forward, his feet pounding the ground. “Go, go,” he shouts to the ship. He’s a few seconds from reaching it.
“You, stop!” a guard says.
“Wonderful,” Vance thinks.
“No thank you! I’ve got a ship to board,” Vance shouts back.
The Sea Screamer is already away from the dock but close enough for Vance to reach. He runs down the dock and springs off it. Flying through the air and yelling, he smacks against the ship’s stern. “Hey, I made it!”
“Captain, good to see you in one piece,” says Abraham O’Brien, pulling Vance up.
“Good to be in one piece, Mr. O’Brien. Can we—”
Shots flying at Vance just miss him. Finally on the ship, Vance turns to face the guards. “So long, gentlemen. Perhaps you’ll launch a proper investigation before attempting to arrest or kill someone. Give our regards to Mr. LePage.”
“What happened, Captain?” Abraham asks.
“It appears there has been a mutiny in the French government. Shots were fired and the king and queen were killed. Let’s get out of here.”
“Why does it smell like mutiny to you?”
Vance takes the wheel and shouts, “Full sail!” He clears his throat, turns to Abraham and says, “The shots came through windows, and then LePage came in declaring that we were under arrest. We would have cooperated and answered questions, but then the backstabber ordered us to be shot. Savvy?”
“Aye, I see now.” Abraham rubs his beard.
“Where’s Seraphina? Seraphina!”
Vance jumps and almost falls back; Seraphina catches him with her arms around his waist. He turns and caresses her face. “Darling, I told you, you mustn’t startle me.”
Seraphina runs her hands through Vance’s black hair and kisses him; the gentle breeze tickles their faces. “It’s a habit,” Seraphina says.
“One I’m in some ways fond of,” Vance says with a grin.
“Kissing or me startling you?” Seraphina asks, tilting her head.
Vance gazes into her eyes. “I never take for granted making it out of those tight situations,” Vance thinks.
Seraphina smiles. “Maybe both?” she asks.
“I share your feelings, Vance.” Seraphina embraces him, and the couple enjoys a moment of peace.
“As sweet as this moment is Captain,” Abraham pauses, “the crew and I are curious where we’re headed.”
Vance raises his brow at Abraham. “Of course, Mr. O’Brien. How inconsiderate of me to share a moment with my wife after nearly being killed.” He smiles, tossing his arms in the air. Seraphina shakes her head and giggles at her husband’s dramatics.
“No, no, Mr. O’Brien, you are right. We need a plan. Listen up all you Sea Screamers, we were almost killed by royal guards; we no longer have the luxury of French loot,” the longwinded Vance strides about his ship, “and we probably won’t have any such opportunities or good relations with the government of France for a long time.”
“Then it’s back to our old plundering!?” a crew member interjects.
Vance spins and meanders around working his way to the disruptive crew member. “That would have been the case years ago but no longer. Savvy?”
“England,” Seraphina says. Everyone turns their attention to her. “We head to England. Being that it’s Vance’s home country, we seek the government’s help and direction. What say you, love?”
Vance smiles and puts his arm around her. “To England,” he says.