The first ever book I published was a book called Dark Waters, this was a mammoth epic fantasy that eventually got split into three books. It feels like a life time has past since I published these stories and do you know what I really do miss these characters. So today I am going to introduce you to my debut novel Harvest (Book 1 of the Dark Waters Series).
“Line up the prisoners!” Hastings shouted.
Wey again gave Batty a warning look to comply. The Virgin Queen’s crew huddled together and were pushed into a line across the deck. The youngest was forced to sit by his dead mate and sobbed uncontrollably. Finn and Wey kneeled beside each other, their hands tied tightly behind their backs. Wey spotted Thorin waiting beneath the ship’s netting. Only his glowing eyes visible.
Hastings strode up the deck, his eyes were bloodshot and his nose had started to ooze red liquid again.
“We know you are harbouring criminals on this boat Captain!” He yelled. “If you tell us where they are I will let you and your crew live.” That was a lie and nobody believed it.
Batty thrust his head back and said steadily: “This is a cargo vessel, we are heading for Helena under the contract of the Westwick Brewery. Feel free to search for any stowaways but I assure you I can vouch for every one of my crew’s honesty and integrity. We are all law abiding, tax paying, sea folk Officer.”
Hastings began to laugh, “Search the ship!”
One of his officers remained, manoeuvring himself behind the captured crew. He was smiling insanely.
“I ask you again Captain.”
Wey spotted a figure on the navy ship. She was dressed in a uniform and appeared on deck for just a second, before disappearing below. Wey suppressed a smile. Finn had spotted her too and couldn’t believe the Officers seemed oblivious to her arrival.
“She’ll be safe for the minute,” Wey whispered.
“Captain!” Hastings screeched in a voice that sounded as though his vocal cords were shredding inside his throat.
“This is a cargo vessel, we are heading for Helena…”
A shot was fired. The young lad stopped sobbing as his body joined Mr James. Their blood mingled together, seeping into the deck like wood stain. Finn was sure the other men would cave now. He wanted them to speak up and save themselves. The responsibility had never been theirs and now they would die helping!
“Captain tell me where Mr Wey is!”
Wey’s ears pricked up. They were after him personally. He tried to stop his frown, tried to organise he thoughts. He stared at the navy ship, at the girl he had just handed over to them and he knew he had been betrayed.
“Balor,” he hissed through gritted teeth.
The barrel of a freshly loaded gun pressed against the back of his neck. He was about to speak, when his words were stolen from him.
“I’m Wey!” Finn shouted boldly.
They moved unnaturally fast, hauling Finn up and dragging him over to the main mast. Tying him to it, they slashed his shirt, and viciously flogged him before Wey could react. This was wrong, this was all wrong. Finn ignored the questions being yelled at him: Where are the others? Where is the girl? He ignored the pain and began his mantras.
“Batty,” Wey whispered desperately, “These are not real soldiers.”
Batty was in a catatonic state. He heard Wey’s words and he looked up at the soldiers ransacking his ship. He glanced over at his crew and knew that they were all going to be murdered. One girl had brought about their downfall. He smiled; there were no regrets.
Batty pulled himself up, eight of his crew, eight ordinary sailors, followed. They stared the armed soldiers in the face and, hands tied behind their backs, they attacked.
Wey dragged himself up and cut his hands loose from the cutlass of one of the fallen soldiers. He stabbed the officer flogging Finn, who collapsed to the floor, unable to stand. Wey unbound his hands and he fell free of the mast.
“Why did you do that you stupid bastard?” Wey yelled shaking him conscious.
“Get Adiah. Protect her, please, Wey,” Finn said pushing him away.
“Thorin!” Wey yelled, “Guard that boy with your life,” he said before leaping across to the navy ship.
The soldiers were untrained beasts descending on the sailors. They tore, bit, stabbed and ripped at the sailor’s bodies. The sailors had nothing to lose. They withstood everything and fought back with the weapons of the fallen. They could not win, but they could hold out and as the rain plummeted down on to the blood soaked ship they knew they had another fighting their cause.
The sea picked up quickly, separating the two boats. Uncoordinated soldiers charged at the gap between the ships, many being crushed under the rising waves. A wave hit the navy ship while the wind anchored its unmanned sails and it began to capsize under the storm. Wey stumbled across the deck, attacking the small force that confronted him. He cut through each of them, taking small wounds from each battle. With both ships unmanned they collided, the Virgin Queen began to take on water.
Wey hurried through the enemy ship. Soldiers tried to cling onto the boat as the waves crashed over them. Lightening struck the sky. Wey skidded below deck. He clambered through the mess below, wanting to call out and being concerned about drawing the wrong attention. There were so many places to hide. The ship struck another wave. Lightening flashed again and Wey could smell fire nearby. He hurried, being thrown into walls and barrels.
When the boat overturned she knew she was in trouble. Balor had told her she was to lay low on deck until the search was over. He said to watch the boats and wait until the soldiers started to return, then jump ship and wait for them to find her. It seemed impossible at the time and more so now. She hid from the soldiers, instead of blending in, unnoticed. Now she was lost. Memories swamped her, forcing her to stop and panic. She’d watched half her crew being murdered by him; the ogre, and she was powerless.
Someone was down in the brig with her!
Wey felt the plank of wood hit the back of his head. He stumbled but maintained his consciousness. Pulling himself up he quickly turned to catch the plank.
“If you keep hitting me I’m going to stop saving you,” he growled.
She dropped the wood, unsure of whether seeing Wey was a blessing or not.
“Being a hero,” Wey answered distastefully. “You can swim right?”
This story is available to download from Amazon.