4: A Thief In Their Midst

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"Time for work!"

Adawale boomed as he unlocked the cells. Anna rubbed her sleepless eyes. Her neck was sore from being curled in the fetal position on the wooden floor, and her hands were ruff from yesterday's hard work. She felt a presence of a fever growing inside of her, and her lungs heaved with revolt of the air: she had begun to catch Brig Fever.

With another little cough, she stood up quickly and walked out of the cell to join the others. Her sharp eyes watched Adawalè as he put the keys to the cells in his left belt pocket.

There it is: left pocket. Not too deep, that's good news.

The prisoners reached the deck in time to see the last hints of a pink sunrise lingering in the sky. Anna bit her lower lip. She was confident of her ability to steal the keys, and the plan to lower the rowboats and escape, but what then? More slavery? Starvation at sea?

"Prisoners, here!"
Motioned Adawale with his pistol.

The prisoners curiously gathered around a heap of pirate clothes. Most of the Jackdaw crew was watching.

Adawalé announced,
"We will have none of those horrid red British uniforms on board the Jackdaw. Grab whatever fits and change. You have three minute!"

Anna's eyes bulged. The British quickly began to pick clothes out of the pile.

Anna coughed nervously and looked to the quartermaster and then to the Kenway watching from a distance. The pirate captain's hip rested against the railing of his ship and his arms were comfortably crossed. He noticed her fear and smirked with a playfully suggestive eyebrow.

Anna tightly shut her lips together and nervously walked up the the pile. Some of the men had begun to change.

"Oi! Here comes the girl, boys!" Teased the pirate Joel.

The crew began catcalling.

"Save the best for last!"
Sang one.

"Can I get a private view of the goods, darling?" Teased another.

The pirates continued to snicker.

Anna looked at Adawalé through a grinding jaw.
He nodded at the pile,

"You too, I'm afraid." He confessed in a rather soft tone.

Anna quickly grabbed the smallest shirt and trousers left in the pile. She looked around. Every hungry pirate eye was looking at her, including Kenway and Fonte.
With a sigh, she undid the strings on the top of her dress and pulled the dirty, off-white Caribbean shirt over it before sliding the dress off underneath. The pirates whistled as the only thing covering her legs was her underwear.

Anna, blushing in complete humiliated, slid on some tan, Capri slacks. By then, she noticed she was the last one to change.

"To your stations!" Barked Adawale.

Anna sighed sadly when he inferred she would be missing breakfast.
Her stomach growled.

Fonte had eventually demanded that she give him her half-rationed bread the night before because his own roll wasn't enough to fill his greedy stomach. Not that she minded; the talk of the British offering her as a play toy had ruined her appetite.

"Give me all she's capable of, lads!" Cried Captain Kenway from the helm.

The ship creaked to a sleepy half sail, all she could give after the main rope snapped.
Jim, Guilbeau, and Anna began the next step of the rope making process: gathering and treating the strips into rope, then braiding two strands together to complete it.
Before long, their escape plan would be in motion.

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