1 - Ship in the night

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The cold night air sent chills over her bare legs as Nora stood by the window. It was a late summer night, the sun slightly rising over the horizon. A rainstorm had passed by earlier in the day, coating everything in a thin layer of droplets. As rays of sun started to appear, everything glistened in all the colours of the rainbow. A beautiful sight to behold from the window in the kitchen. Her white nightgown moved slowly as a gust of wind passed through it, causing Nora to wrap her arms around herself to keep warm. She should be asleep already, as both her body and her mind ached from a days hard work. But she just couldn't help herself from looking out at the sea. It was perfectly still, the only movements from a few fish playing in the water down by the bay. The sun played over the shores, reflecting off the windows in every house in the small village. As the servant of the Governor, Nora had the luxury of living at his estate, which meant that she had the best view in the whole town. The Governors large mansion was placed upon a hill, overlooking both the town and the bay. In late nights like this, when the town had gone dark an the sun was slowly rising, the view from the kitchen window was simply marvellous. And because of that, Nora found herself staring hopelessly at the sea, lost in its beauty, as time went by and the sun slowly became more and more visible.

Knowing that she was supposed to be up in a few hours to serve the Governor breakfast, Nora took one last look at the sea. Just as she was about to turn away from the window and head to her chambers, something caught her eye. A ship. A big, majestic ship with the sails rustling in the wind. Nora wrinkled her nose as she stared at the ship slowly making its way thought the waves to the harbour. It was too early for the merchandise ships to arrive, with the normal route they usually took, the earliest ones were never there until at least after breakfast. Besides, this ship was too big for a merchandise ship. Too big and too armoured. Watching as the ship got closer and closer to the docks, Nora counted to 24 canons, all out of their portholes and ready to fire. Fear grasped her very being as her eyes travled over the sails and up to the very top of the ship. And there, in contrast to the otherwise white sails, was a flag. But not any flag. The Jolly Roger. Nora gasped loudly as she stared. It's was not a merchandise ship, it was a pirate ship. And a big one at that.

Not wasting another second, Nora turned and ran. She ran as quickly as she could to the hall way and rang the big bell. The bell that meant danger. That meant pirates. After ringing the bell, the continued to run, screaming as loudly as she could, waking the house up. As the bell could be heard all through the town, she hoped that the guards down at the dock had been alarmed and that they were ready to protect the town. A small voice in her head wondered if the town guards had the numbers and the strength to fight of a ship as big as that. Especially since a big ship often meant a big crew. And a big crew of pirates was something every wise man and woman feared. Still running down the halls of the big mansion, waking everybody up, a roaring bang was heard. Canons. The ship had start to fire. Nora clenched her fists, thankful for the fact that the Governors mansion was one of the estates that was hardest to reach from the harbour, as the town lay between the two. What she feared however, was that the pirates would most certainly come, as the Governor had the most to plunder and was at the same time a good prisoner to trade for supplies.

Reaching the Governors chambers, she banged on the door, hoping that he had already woken from the loud bangs of the canons. The town has started to wake up in the chaos, and the screams could be heard all The way to where Nora was standing. Not letting fear paralyse her however, Nora banged on the doors again.

"Sir! Sir! Wake up! We are under attack!",  Nora shouted loudly, banging her fists as hard as she could against the door. But no one answered, and Nora couldn't wait any longer. She had to hide. The screams were coming closer and she knew it was just a matter of time before the pirates breached the front doors of the mansion. By then, she needed to be hidden somewhere good, since it was safer to hide than to run. Making her way down the halls again, she hoped to reach her chambers, where she could hide in the closets. But before she could get anywhere close, the front doors were shattered and the loud cheers told Nora that the pirates had made it to the mansion. Opening the closest door, Nora found herself in the bedroom of the Governors daughter, Guinevere. She was however not there, but had left a few days earlier to visit the capital. Therefore the room was empty and a good place to hide. Hearing the commotion outside the door, Nora threw herself of the hard wooden floor and crawled under the bed. Daring not even to breathe as loud footsteps were heard outside, she lay perfectly still, praying for no one to notice her. Screams, canon fire and the roaring voices of men echoed around her, making every bone in her body quiver in fear. Soon the noise came closer. A loud crash was heard as they broke down what Nora presumed was the door to the Governor, as it was the closest one to where she was, and the sound was too deafening to be from any other door. Some yelling was heard and a fight appeared to have broken out. But soon one single gunshot ended the fight. Nora desperately hoped that it was the Governor that had fired the shot, but the rumbling sound of unfamiliar laughter made her think that the Governor was now dead. Biting down on her hand to stop herself from screaming, she prayed that they would just walk passed her room. That the pirates wouldn't enter, that they wouldn't look under the bed. But no higher power heard her prayers, as her door soon was kicked inwards, hitting the wall behind it with a deafening bang. Heavy footsteps was heard, but Nora couldn't see anything, as the luxurious sheets of the bed hung all the way to the floor.

"Seems to be empty, aye", a light but masculine voice said. Another pair of footsteps was heard, these ones louder.

"Nah, she's just hiding, the little bitch. I know she's supposed to be here. The captain had good intel." The voice who answered were darker, more frightening. Nora clamped her hand over her mouth to stop any noise from coming out. She guessed that they were talking about Guinevere. But the intel they had was wrong, she wasn't here at all. A loud bang was heard, making Nora jump slightly.

"Not in the closets", the darker voice said, walking slowly across the floor, causing it to creak slightly. As the footsteps grew closer, Nora could feel herself panic. The loud footsteps didn't stop until Nora could see their shadow next to the bed. Not even daring to breathe she cried silent tears, hoping for a miracle. The room was silent for a few minutes,  but then the footsteps were heard again, this time walking away from the bed and towards the door.

"Maybe she got up and ran, eh?" The lighter voice said, opening the door.

"Perhaps." More silence filled the room, and it was hard to know if the men had left or not. The time went by though without a single sound being made. Nora started to believe that she had actually made it. She hadn't been discovered. Taking a big sigh of relief, she relaxed her tense muscles, feeling her heart slightly slowing down a bit. But then, suddenly a strong hand gripped her ankle, and she was roughly dragged out from under the bed. She screamed loudly, squirming and kicking to get herself loose. But another hand grabbed her, this time by the arm and she was suddenly face to face with a man. A pirate.

"Hello, love", the man said, revealing that he was the one who'd had the loudest footsteps and the darkest voice.

"Fancy seeing you here." 

The Governors daughterWhere stories live. Discover now