I think this is an uber piece, the characters might remind you a little bit of some people we know, but its not really them, but if you think it is them then they belong to RenPic and/or Universal, this is just for fun, no money is being made.
Theres no sex but there is a loving relationship between two women, so if this gets your knickers in a twist or you know you shouldnt be reading it then Im sorry for you but youd better try something else.
This is my first attempt so be gentle with me but I would like feedback, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and on to the story.
The Little Ship
The little ship had a lot of time now to remember her past adventures. She was old and no longer travelled far. She remembered all the captains she had had; some were tall and some were short, some had long straggly beards and some had smooth oiled hair, some were rogues and some were heroes, but all of them had loved her, she was afterall a fabulous ship. She loved to sail, she loved it when her belly was full and she sailed low through the waves and no wind was strong enough to push her off course, she loved it when her belly was empty and she rode high on the waves racing up and down with the wind.
This day, the little ship remembered the time she pulled into port with a belly full of pig iron. She had worked hard carrying that load and could feel every joint in her planks straining to hold fast. Her captain then was a hard man who liked to make sure she always carried a full load and then a little bit more. His hard hands would rub along her rails and tell her she could take just a little bit more. He was rough and dirty but he always made sure her brasses were polished and her decks were washed, he did it with a harsh voice and the use of the cat but still he cared for her.
As the sailors unloaded her the little ship wondered what cargo she would be carrying next, though she hated the feel of carrying the sad people who were kept locked in her belly, she knew they were the lightest load she could carry and was hoping for a chance to take the strain from her planking. The captain was standing by the hold shouting at his scurvy crew to move their scrawny bodies or he would have their hides, when the little ship heard a woman call to him from the dockside.
The captain allowed the woman to come aboard, she had a proposition to make. When she talked it made the little ship feel like how she felt when she carried molasses. Her voice was low and she spoke in little more than a whisper, but the little ship could tell there was strength behind that voice. The woman wanted to buy the little ship, but the captain laughed. He stopped laughing when the woman signalled to someone on the shore. Four women came on board, carrying two chests; they put them on the decking between the woman and the captain. The woman looked the captain straight in the eye and kicked one of the lids off a chest. It was full of gold and jewels; she kicked the lid off the other to show the same. The captain was a greedy man and he knew the value of what he saw before him, enough to buy another, bigger, ship. He agreed to the sale and so the little ship had a new captain.
The woman brought her own crew and the little ship could see that they were strong and knew how to care for each other, and so the little ship set sail again and left port.
The little ship watched her new captain, she was tall and strong and obviously knew how to handle a ship, but there was something more. The captain would stand at the prow and the little ship could feel the strength in the hands that held her rails, the little ship could also feel sadness. The captain would stand all day long staring out to the far horizon, and the little ship wondered what could be making her so sad.
They were into their second day of sailing and the little ship was moving fast, her belly was empty and the crew had all her sails set to catch the wind. They had sailed through the night, the crew taking shifts, the captain had not moved from her position, not for sleep nor food. The curly haired one, who normally held the wheel of the little ship, approached the captain. She stood beside her and held onto the little ships rails. The little ship could feel that the curly haired one wanted to hold the captain and give her some comfort, but by the tightness with which she held on to the railing she knew she darent. The curly haired one turned to the captain and said,
you need to eat and get some rest.
The captain appeared not to have heard her. Curly hair tried again,
Well get there in time, but you need to be strong when we do, you need to eat and rest.'
The little ship felt the captains grip tighten and saw the captains jaw muscles working, but still she said nothing and did not move. Curly hair turned to face the captain,
You know how much trouble Ill be in if she finds out I let you behave like this, please come down to your room and have some soup and get some sleep, you cant get us there faster by staring at the horizon.
Though the captain said nothing, the little ship was sure she heard her say,
are you sure about that?
Just then a pod of dolphins came racing by to play in the little ships bow waves. The curly haired one watched them for awhile and then said,
Shed love to see this.
Tears filled her eyes and she placed a hand on the captains forearm. The little ship felt as if the captains hands would tear the rail from her deck, but still the captain remained silent. Curly hair looked at the captain,
Please, for her, come and rest, she needs you strong.
At that the captain bowed her head a little and then took one last look at the horizon before looking into curly hairs eyes,
Keep to this pace and course.
And with that she went to her cabin.
The little ship watched her captain in her cabin. The stew on the table grew cold as the captain held her head in her hands and clenched her jaw. The little ship could feel the captains sadness and though she didnt know to who or where they were racing she wanted to help her captain. So she tightened her trim just a little bit more than the crew ever could and she pulled as hard as she dared on her planking to make herself as sleek as possible in the water and the little ship could feel herself gaining speed.
The little ship was curious by nature and wanted to find out why her captain was so sad, so she began to listen to the crew. She heard the crew talking about their queen and she could tell that they loved and respected her. She heard that the queen was gentle and brave and led them wisely. The crew spoke with sadness as if remembering someone lost and the little ship knew this queen was the one her captain was racing towards, but she didnt know yet why the captain was so sad if they were going to where the queen was, so she continued to listen. The little ship heard that the queen had been taken by a trader in slaves and many of the queens people had died trying to stop it happening. The little ship heard that her captain, who the crew called the queens protector, had been away and had returned to find her queen gone. The ship began to understand the captains sadness, she had carried people in her hold who she knew did not want to be taken to where they were going and began to understand that those people had been taken from the ones who loved them and wanted them back. The little ship decided that if she had to tear herself apart she would get her captain to her queen.
The captain returned to her position at the prow before dawn, her bed too cold without her queen beside her. The little ship ached for her captain and ached from the pull in her mast and joints, but she would not, could not, release the strain.
The little ship heard some of the crew talking with the curly haired one. They were worried; they had set out before on this mission in another ship carrying gold to pay off the trader. The captain had sailed that ship at full trim and the mast had broke. They had managed to limp into port, where they had used all the gold to buy the little ship. Now the crew were worried that the captain was sailing this ship too hard and what would they do now they had no gold. The little ship swore she would not break, her previous captain had told her that she had the heart of a lion and though she didnt know what a lion was she knew he had meant that she was brave and strong. She would not let this captain down, she would hold steady and true. Curly hair told the crew to hold fast and be prepared, they were doing this for their queen.
When the sun was high above the mainsail one of the sailors shouted out,
The little ship could feel the tension ripple through her captains hands as she held onto the rail and looked ahead. The captain ordered the sails dropped and the anchor lowered and the little ship slowed to a halt with the land just on the horizon.
The crew gathered on the deck and the captain stood in front of them on the bridge.
Tonight I row to my queen and Ill either return with her or die with her in my arms. I know this trader and he is well defended, I cant ask any of you to come with me. I leave at dusk, wait here until first light, if Im not back by then I wont be coming back.
With that the captain turned and went into her quarters. The little ship waited.
As dusk approached the captain came out of her room; she was dressed in black leather trousers and a black waistcoat. A long sword attached to her back and knives tucked into her boots. She turned to the row boats and asked the women there to help her lower one, they lowered them all and the captain lowered her head in acknowledgement before joining them.
The little ship watched the boats row away towards the darkest part of the darkness closing around her and waited and hoped.
As the sun began to rise above the island the little ship could make out shapes escaping from its shadow. The shapes resolved into boats and the little ship held herself ready, hoping her captain was returning. As the boats came closer the little ship could see that there were fewer rowers and she could just make out the captains back. The little ship felt sorrow, her captains head was bowed, the queen must be lost.
The captains boat pulled alongside the little ship and curly hair and another climbed the netting to the deck. They tied ropes to one of the cargo nets and lowered it down to the boat. The little ship saw then that her captain cradled someone in her arms. Gently she placed the still body into the net and climbed up alongside it as it was raised aboard. The little ship knew this was the queen and was filled with pain, she could only hope that the uncovered face meant hope was still alive.
The captain lifted the queen and carried her to her room with the curly haired one following. Silently and gently she laid her on the bed and removed the blanket. The little ship could just make out a slow and shallow movement of the queens chest and knew she still clung to life. The curly haired one fetched some cloth and a bowl of water. The captain removed a knife from her boot and cut the tattered clothing from the queen and began to wash her body. The little ship could see that the queens belly and ribs were bruised yellow and purple and her wrists and ankles were torn and bloodied. The little ship watched as her captain and the curly haired one gently turned the queen over onto her front, her back was flayed worse than the little ship and ever seen her previous captain do. The captain gently cleaned each bloody stripe and sprinkled herbs in each open wound before the curly haired one covered them with strips of clean linen. The captain was looking at a wound on the queens head that was still bleeding,
I cant stitch this, it needs to be left open so the pressure doesnt build up.
She cleaned the wound and put the herbs in it before loosely tying a wad of linen over it. The captain knelt by the side of her queen and stroked her face. The curly haired one placed her hand on the captains shoulder and said, Youre hurt let me take care of you. The captain told curly hair it was nothing and to leave but the little ship knew that curly hair was stubborn. She said,
Oh no, Im not facing my queens wrath when she wakes up and finds you all bloody by her side, and you should know better. Shell tear the hide off you and me if she finds out I let you kneel there in a pool of blood.
The captain turned to curly hair and raised an eyebrow before standing and removing her waistcoat. The little ship noticed then that the darkness of the captains leather trousers was darker on one side and the captain had a gash just below her ribs. Still holding her queens hand the captain allowed the curly haired one to clean and stitch the wound before finding her a clean shirt to put on.
Okay, get out of those trousers and wash down, Ill check on the crew and then bring you and the queen some soup. Try to get some sleep, you look like hell.
The little ship watched for awhile as the captain removed her bloodied clothing and quickly washed before climbing into bed beside her queen. She gently pulled her close and held her saying,
your safe now, Ive got you, sleep while I hold you.
The captain placed a kiss on top of her queens head and closed her eyes.
The little ship left them sleeping and hoped with every barnacle that the queen would wake up.
The little ship looked around and saw that many of the crew were injured, some were being cleaned and stitched and some were just being held close as they took their last breath. And though the crew had obviously fought a hard battle and had lost many they loved, the little ship didnt hear any complaints, only concern and hope for their queen and her protector.
Curly hair, and those of the crew who could, turned the little ship around and set sail.
Around mid evening curly hair knocked softly on the captains door before entering. She stood for awhile smiling at the sight of her queen clinging to her protector, then her eyes met the eyes of the captain.
The captain nodded towards the table. The little ship watched curly hair set down the bowl and kneel beside the bed, she stroked her queens hair and looked to the captain for news.
She had a fever but its broken now, her breathing is deeper and I think shes sleeping.
Okay, well Ill leave the soup, though I know it will just go cold, Ill bring more in a little while,
and with that curly hair left to pass on the news to the crew.
The little ship continued to watch her captain and her queen. The captain stroked her queens face and softly whispered,
Im right here, when you wake up its my face youll see. I was so lost without you, youre my heart I will not live without you, I go where you go.
The little ship watched tears fall from the captains eyes before they closed. The little ship watched the pair anxiously.
The captain opened her eyes and the little ship noticed that they held every shade of blue the little ship had ever seen in the sea or sky.
I knew youd come for me.
The little ship looked at the queen; her eyes were looking deep into the captains and were full of faith and love. The little ship saw her captains eyes fill with tears and for the first time saw a smile spread across her face,
Of course, I guess youre stuck with me.
The queen raised her hand and wiped away a tear,
in this life and the next, where you go I go.
For a long time the little ship watched as they looked deep into each others eyes, reaffirming their love and bond for each other. The queen raised her head a little and said,
hey, is that soup I can smell?
The little ship heard her captain laugh a little,
I should have known the smell of food would wake you up.
The queen slapped the captains stomach,
Well dont just lie there laughing, go fetch.
The captain lifted herself up gently and started to walk toward the table.
Hold it, get back here, youre injured, let me take a look at you.
The captain turned to face her queen,
its okay, its...'
No no dont you give me any of that its just a scratch, youre bleeding. You havent been looking after yourself have you, when was the last time you ate?
Just then the little ship heard a knock at the door and curly hair walked in, the captain looked at her with both eyebrows raised.
You, what have you been doing letting her get away with not eating and look at her bleeding,
the queen shouted at curly hair. The little ship watched as the curly haired one looked first at the queen and then at the captain, opening and closing her mouth like a fish thrown up on deck. The captain shrugged her shoulders. Curly hair said,
I see youre feeling better we were all worried about you.
But you couldnt spare a little worry to look after my protector?
Curly hair looked again at the captain who looked shamefaced down at the floor.
I see you arent going to be any help, I give in. Ill tell everyone the news, please, both of you, eat something.
Curly hair shook her head and walked out. The queen looked at the captain,
Everyone? Theyre here? You know what that means when they hear the news?
The captain looked at her queen and a smile grew on her face again,
Yes, quick bring that soup over here then get back in bed and lets hide until its over,
the queen laughed.
The little ship was very happy, she had been sailing gently northwards for 3 days now and the queen had been getting stronger and stronger. The little ship knew the queen was bored of being in bed and she heard her telling the captain she was okay and it was time she went outside. The captain picked up the queen and was about to carry her out of the door,
What are you doing? Im strong enough to walk you know.
The captain repositioned the queen so she could reach the door handle,
At least when we get out there will you let me stand while I talk to my people?
The captain shook her head, no, and opened the door.
I am their queen.
and Im your protector, let anyone who doesnt like it challenge me.
The captain growled,
Dont you like being in my arms anymore?
The captain asked as she looked into the queens eyes. The queen looked long into the captains eyes and then rested her head against her protectors shoulder.
Hmmm, does this answer your question?
The queen asked as she softly kissed the captains neck.
The captain carried her queen out onto the deck and to the little ships prow; curly hair brought out some cushions for the queen to sit on.
The little ship sailed gladly on for the next two days, watching her captain and her queen as they sat together on the deck or lay together in their bed.
Soon land was sighted and the little ship knew her voyage would be over. She felt the captains strong grip on her wheel and understood a little of how the queen must feel in those hands safe.
The captain brought the little ship into port and the crew gathered their belongings and left for the shore. The little ship felt sad knowing her captain and queen would soon be leaving, but happy that she had worked so hard. The little ship wondered what would happen to her now. As if hearing her thoughts the little ships captain turned to her queen,
What shall we do with the ship? We dont need one.
The queen thought for awhile and then said,
I know someone who would like her.
With that the pair began to walk down from the bridge, hand in hand.
Before they walked off the little ship, the captain turned and stroked the little ships mast. The queen turned and placed her arm around her protectors waist and the captain pulled her close with an arm around her shoulders. The captain spoke to her ship,
You served me well little ship, youll never know how much it meant to me that you raced so fast to my queen. Thank you.
The queen looked into the eyes of her protector and then reached out and stroked the mast of the little ship and the little ship knew.
The little ship was happy with the choice the queen had made. Her new captain, though he wore a funny hat, looked after the little ship well. He gave her new sails and polished her decks and took her out on small journeys. The little ship didnt have to carry heavy pig iron or people in chains anymore.
She was looked after by his grandson now and didnt sail too much anymore. Sometimes the queen and her protector would come and visit and they would sit together on a cushioned bench that had been placed in her bow and the little ship would sail out to where the dolphins would come and play in her wake, and on each of her visits the little ships old captain would never forget to say thank you.
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