Day 20 of 100 Word Prompts: Coin
The Captain’s quarters looked extravagant compared to every other part of the ship that Flint had seen. There were tapestries mounted to the walls depicting battles at sea between ships that he didn’t recognize. He found Captain Lee sitting behind an ornately carved desk, which stood on four eagle talons in front of the window looking out the rear of the ship.
“Ah, Flint!” Lee said, looking up and setting his quill back in the inkwell. “I trust the trip is going better for you now?”
“As good as can be expected, Captain,” Flint replied.
“Come sit down, Flint,” Captain said, waving him over.
“Yes, sir,” Flint replied, walking hunched through the room to the chairs on his side of the desk. “Leonel said you wanted to see me.”
“Yes, I did. I wanted to talk to you about what to expect going forward. When I brought you aboard, you had paid a few coin for the start of the journey,” Captain Lee said, clasping his hands together. “We had discussed you pulling some of the weight around here in exchange for the rest of the journey.”
“Yes, sir. I can work. Leonel just had me checking the ropes in the cargo hold to make sure that they hold through the coming storm,” Flint said.
“A coming storm?” Captain Lee said, standing up, “No one said there was a storm coming.”
“I couldn’t see what he was talking about, Captain. He just said that he’s been out here a long time and knows when we’re going to have one,” Flint replied, shaking his head.
“Leonel is rarely wrong in such matters, Flint. You’d do well to remember that. If he is forecasting a difficult day ahead of us, we had better prepare,” Captain Lee replied. “I’ll be right back.”
“Yes, Captain,” Flint replied as Captain Lee left the room.
Flint could hear the commotion out on the deck as the Captain shouted orders to the men crewing the various stations. He waited as patiently as he could, given that he didn’t like holding still unless he was eating. He looked around the room from his chair, looking out for anything to snack on that the Captain may not miss. The tapestries swaying with the ship almost made the ships seem like they were real.
Flint rose from his seat, crouching not to hit the ceiling as he walked over to look at the one hanging on the portside wall. Two ships pointing in opposite directions looked as though they had just fired. One ship had two masts and red sails, while the other had three masts with white sails. Even with as little experience as Flint had with boats, he knew that the red-sailed ship was outgunned.
“The Cursed Sun and the Orcadia,” Captain Lee said, giving Flint a start. Flint’s head hit the ceiling. “Calm down, big guy, you’re okay. I had that made in Thait. Some of the finest elven craftsmen down there.”
“It’s beautiful,” Flint said.
“This is the moment that I won the battle,” Captain Lee said, reaching out and touching the tapestry at the base of the Cursed Sun. “I caught them here. They had come upon us fast, but we had more cannons than they did-it doesn’t hurt that we were out there specifically looking for them.”
“You were the captain of this one?” Flint asked, pointing to the Orcadia.
“This is the fight where I became Captain for the first time. Though we won the battle, Captain Balo fell in the fight. Took a cannonball head-on. I wouldn’t recommend it,” Captain Lee said, shaking his head. “He was a great Captain, but an ass on a personal level. He understood his crew better than any captain I’ve ever served under. Truly a loss for the world.”
“What about that one?” Flint asked, pointing to the tapestry on the other side of the room.
“That was Captain Balo’s tapestry. I searched for any family he may have had, but ultimately was unable to locate anyone to give it to. I didn’t have the heart to throw it out, so it remained here,” Captain Lee said. His gaze grew distant for a moment, and then he snapped his attention to Flint. “Enough rambling about the past, it’s the future we should concern ourselves with, after all. About your duties on board the ship. I can’t put you in any officer’s position as they are all filled, but I know you are a talented fighter. You can work with my first mate, and he’ll have you do occasional security sweeps of the ship to ensure we haven’t picked up any stowaways. All you have to do is report back to him if you see anything suspicious, such as a bed or food missing. Can you handle that?”
“That’s all you want me for?” Flint asked.
“Honestly, if I were looking to pay you, I would have you work the rotation with the rest of the men, but as a favor to our friend Thulthram, I agreed to take you for a few coin and let you work off the rest. I don’t have much need of a goliath on my crew at the moment, sorry,” Captain Lee said.
“You’re a cargo ship,” Flint said, scratching his head, “I can lift cargo. I’m stronger than most men. I can do so much more than search the ship.”
“I believe you, Flint. If you’re truly interested in becoming a sea-faring fellow at the end of the journey, we can talk about it then. Until that point, I have my crew and their duties assigned. You’ll learn quickly that when the Captain tells you what you are going to be doing, you do it,” Captain Lee said.
Flint nodded. “Sorry, Captain. I wasn’t trying to argue,” Flint said, looking to the floor.
“Go find Leonel, and he’ll put you to work, okay?” Captain Lee asked.
“Yes, Captain,” Flint replied, turning for the door.
“Remember, Flint. If you see anything out of place, you need to report it. Some things can hide on a ship that would give regular folk nightmares. Some things even look like ordinary objects. They eat people as they get close until there’s no one left aboard. Whole ships have gone missing likely because of unwanted passengers,” Captain Lee said.
Flint looked over his shoulder and nodded, “Yes, Captain.”