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PART 1 (First Draft)
The mist was thick, clinging to the Resilience like a spectral shroud. It was almost as if the ship herself was wading through the afterlife. The moonlight filtered through the ocean mist, illuminating the deck in ghostly pale hues. The crew was below deck, revelling in rum and Spookfest tales, unaware that above them, reality was about to mirror fiction.
“Quartermaster!” the night watchman’s voice echoed through the mist. “Quartermaster, come quick! There’s–”
He stopped as soon as I got there and saw her. Fanny. One of our regular passengers lay half ashore, and half draped over the gangplank.
“Alert the Constable,” I ordered.
As if summoned by the urgency, or perhaps the promise of a good drink, the local constable arrived. Clearly sceptical about setting foot on a ship full of rambunctious literary pirates, he took a deep gulp from the flask I offered him. Ah, the persuasive powers of pirate rum.
“Looks like yer passenger died on the ship, Sir,” the tipsy constable slurred an hour later. “This makes it a maritime matter, I reckon. And you pirates always solve your own problems anyways.”
No sooner had the words left his mouth than a chill ran down our spines. Out of the ghostly fog descending upon the scene, a vintage typewriter appeared, floating towards us as if carried by invisible hands. Then Ernesto himself materialized with an air of smug superiority.
“A murder among writers is best solved by a ghost writer,” he rasped, staring intently at the body. “You can consider this my latest work. I shall write another bestseller to unearth the truth behind this dreadful night. You should watch and learn, Leto.”
© 2023 Linnea Lucifer
Would you like to unleash your own storytelling skills this season? Your story or poem must be related to pirates, of course, and no more than 5,000 words long. We will share our favourites on the website and, who knows, your story could become the stuff of legend aboard the Resilience. Or maybe get a spot in our next Libertalia Tales series.
Send your tale to email@example.com before the end of the month and watch this space…