Part 239

Part the Two Hundred Thirty Ninth: Attacked From the Air

The tension Hope felt as she and Turley awaited Osei’s response mounted with every passing second.

She wasn’t sure if he didn’t reply right away because he was upset with having a slave trader on this voyage, or if he was just watching Turley stew in his own guilt.  And while she was certain Osei could be focused on the tasks at hand above all else without personal feelings getting in the way, what he claimed he did to Maria Isabel de Cordova left her little doubt that if allowed to be swayed by his pain, there would certainly be blood spilled before they ever got in sight of land…

Hope got so anxious, she started to make entreaties for intervention from above under her breath-

-and nearly fell on the deck when she felt something hit her behind her left knee.

“My word!” she gasped as she straightened herself and looked around.

Her eyes widened as she saw the projectile.  It was longer than her foot, and had blue scales along its back, a deep dark hue that was almost indigo.  Its wings were also blue, but as light as the sky around the sun, with a span nearly as long as its body.  Its eyes were as round as the head of a ten-penny nail and nearly as dark as its back.

“Where did that come from?” she asked.

Turley gave a slightly relieved laugh as he looked at the creature.  “Ever see a flying fish before?” he asked.

“I can’t say that I have, I-  Do you mean, this is actually a fish that flies?”

“Aye,” said Mullins.  “They take to the air quite naturally, as well as to the fire pit and stew pot.  Quite a good taste to them.”

“But flight?  Seriously, is this some…”

Hope watched amazed as she saw three more such fish off to port take to the air, closing on her ship with considerable speed.  One banked down back into the water as the other two found themselves prisoners of the deck.

“Did these sailors have nets?” Turley asked.  “If there are fish in flight around us, we’d best assume that there are more under the waterline that we can catch for a meal.”

Jack and Edward joined de Rojo in retrieving one from the cabin, and with the help of Mullins and Goddard cast for the flying fish.

“So where are you, then?” Turley asked as he scanned the horizon.

“Whom, sir?” Hope asked.

“These fish fly when their lives are at stake.  There must be a shark, maybe more than one, in these waters that are putting them on the run.”

“Don’t you mean to flight, sir?” Osei asked.

The cry from de Rojo as he started to draw a net full of flying fish on deck drew everyone else’s attention as they gave thanks for the bounty before them.

Hope’s eyes were pulled back to the horizon as the dolphin that chased the school into her nets surfaced.  She watched the creature of good omen jump between swells, moving towards and away from the Swallow.

She beamed as she smiled, feeling things were finally looking up…

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All content Copyright © 2010 James Ryan

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