161/366 – Progress Abroad

Day 19 of 100 Word Prompts: Wreck


Flint looked out over the waters of the Bretrinc Sea, expecting to see more than just waves moving across the vast expanse of water reflecting the blue sky. Lazy clouds drifted past as the wind propelled the ship forward. As a mercenary in Baswea, he had never needed to travel through the ocean, and the constant movement made his stomach lurch on occasion the first week.

“You gonna be okay today, Flint?” Leonel asked, joining him near the bow of the ship.

“How long will we be out here?” Flint asked, looking north.

“Until we see land,” Leonel replied. “Probably a month, at least, maybe two if the seas aren’t our friends.”

“How do you know if the seas are your friend?” Flint asked.

“When the waters are calm, and the wind is at our back,” Leonel replied, checking some of the ties for the sails.

“What happens if it’s not our friend?” Flint asked.

“Well, then the ship becomes a wreck at the bottom of the sea,” Leonel said with a wicked smile. “But you shouldn’t have to worry about that. The seas are always the Captain’s friend.”

“I suppose that’s good,” Flint said as the ship rocked beneath him.

“I’d hope so,” Leonel said, looking to the east. “It looks like we may have a storm today. You may want to stay below for that.”

Flint followed Leonel’s gaze but saw only a few specks of cloud drifting lazily.

“I don’t see anything,” Flint said.

“You wouldn’t,” Leonel said. “Knowing the weather is something you pick up after years of being out here.”

“What can I do to help?” Flint asked.

“You could double-check the cargo. Make sure that all the ties are tight, and all the rope is good. Sometimes the rats gnaw on it, and then when we hit a storm, the cargo shifts. The best-case scenario is that the crate holds up. The worse case is that someone tries to catch it and gets pinched,” Leonel replied, slapping his hands together for effect.

“I don’t want to get pinched,” Flint said.

“You don’t have to worry about it now,” Leonel said. “You go check the ropes, and I’ll be down soon enough to check behind you.”

“Okay,” Flint said as he stepped to the top of the stairs leading to the main deck.

“Don’t forget to pull on the ropes. Even a big guy like you shouldn’t be able to break the ropes. If they break, you found a bad one. There’s more rope near the door,” Leonel said.

“Okay,” Flint replied with a nod.

Flint made his way past the various members of the crew he’d met since they left Baswea. Many of them were sheepish around him because of his size, which he expected. He bowed through the door of the cargo hold and lit a torch for light. The ship listed to one side, and he caught himself on the nearest crate.

One by one, Flint checked the ropes on each crate. Pulling as hard as he could, but the ropes didn’t budge. As he rounded a corner in the back, a flash of movement caught his eye.

“Hello?” Flint said, calling out. “Is someone in here?”

The sound of soft feet padding between some of the boxes echoes through the room.

“Wait!” Flint said as he ran to keep up. “I’m not going to hurt you or anything. It’s not safe here. Leonel says that a person can get pinched.”

The padding stopped, and Flint stopped too.

“You promise not to tell anyone that I’m here?” a small voice asked.

“I promise,” Flint said as he looked for the source of the voice.

“Promise you won’t freak out if I come out?” the voice asked.

“As long as you promise you won’t when you see me,” Flint replied, patting his chest.

A small creature, barely two feet tall, stepped out from behind one of the stacked sets of boxes. Its skin was a greenish color, and it had a long nose. One of its long ears was missing a decent piece at the end, while the other flopped down behind the creature’s head. It wore little patchwork armor and had a dagger on its hip that looked as though it could have been a short sword compared to it.

“You’re a goblin,” Flint said, stepping back.

“Yes, yes, I am. And you’re a Goliath. Nice to meet you, I suppose,” it said, flashing sharp needle-like teeth at him.

“I’m Flint,” Flint said.

“My name’s Plonk,” it said.

“Nice to meet you, Plonk,” Flint said.

“Wait, you’re not going to attack me, and start a whole fight over the fact that I’m in here?” Plonk asked.

“Why? Are you doing something wrong?” Flint asked.

“Technically, yes and no,” Plonk replied. “You see, I’m not supposed to be on the ship, so I am doing something wrong by being here, but as you probably already know about my kind, there are usually more of us. I’m alone, and I’m not trying to cause any trouble. I need to get to Teshal-”

“This is heading for Kinia,” Flint interrupted.

“I know that, wasn’t that many ships for an option when we left port. Had to pick one and hope I could get somewhere closer,” Plonk replied.

“Did you try talking to a Captain? They are really nice,” Flint asked.

“I would have, but, you see,” Plonk paused, beckoning Flint closer. When Flint leaned in, Plink looked in either direction as though he might be overheard and whispered, “I’m a Goblin.

“I know, but Goliaths are always seen as dumb meatheads. We’re more useful than that,” Flint replied. “I can breathe at the tops of mountains where humans can’t. Did you know that?”

“You’re okay, Flint. You know that?” Plonk said as the door on the far side of the room squeaked open. “Shhh, Don’t tell anyone I’m here. They’ll kill me if you do!”

“Flint?” Leonel’s voice called.

“I’m in here, uh, checking the ropes,” Flint called back, looking in the direction of his voice. When Flint looked back, the goblin was gone, “like you asked. Nothing going on here. No pinching.”

“That’s good,” Leonel said with a chuckle. “I wouldn’t want any pinching. Captain wants to see you. He thinks he may have a use for you on the ship.”

“Alright,” Flint said, shimmying his way between two boxes. “coming.”

“I’ll finish this up while you’re gone. I’ll see you for dinner, okay?” Leonel asked.

“Okay,” Flint replied with a look back over his shoulder.

“What is it?” Leonel asked.

“Nothing, just looking at the crates. I like it down here,” Flint replied.

“Alright, get moving big guy,” Leonel said. “He’s at the helm.”

“Okay,” Flint replied with a nod before he turned and ducked through the door.

 

 

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