Story Time: To the Edge of the Map

To the Edge of the Map

Gwen Cosmos

    The ship rocked gently back and forth in the harbor as laborers loaded cargo into the hold. The air was hot and humid, causing her to sweat buckets under her dark clothing. She was catching eyes as she walked by, but she didn’t care. The sooner her business was finished, the quicker she could get off this pathetic island.

She made it up the gangplank and lightly stepped on board. Some crewmembers, who had been busy doing chores, paused in their work and watched as she made her way, head held high, to the captain’s quarters.

As she reached the door, work resumed. Suddenly, she heard heavy footsteps coming towards her and spun around just in time to catch the first mate’s wrist. He frowned at her and yanked his hand away from her grasp.

She smiled in return, though it did not reach her eyes.

“What’s yer business with the captain?” His breath smelled of rum and whatever the cook had made for breakfast; she could just make out a hint of onion.

“Does your captain allow drunk sailors to interfere with her business?”

His frown deepened. “I’m first mate; it’s my job.”

She laughed and reached for the door handle. “If you must know, I have an appointment.” She opened the door and slipped inside, slamming it in his face.

She took a deep breath and instantly regretted it. She yanked her collar away from her neck; it was even hotter and smellier in here than it had been outside. She fanned her face and made her way to the first door on the right. It was closed, so she knocked.

“Come in,” a light feminine voice called through the door. Without hesitation, the dark-clothed woman entered the captain’s quarters. An elaborate but dirty rug covered the wooden floor, and a large bed with ripped hangings made its home against the wall. It was unmade and covered with loose parchment; in fact, there was hardly any surface that wasn’t overtaken with paper or books. They were piled on the floor, on the end tables, and in the bottom of her open wardrobe, but the biggest pile covered her desk.

Gingerly, she took a step around a pile towards the desk as she took in her surroundings. “What a mess,” she muttered to herself as she got close enough to the desk to see over the dominating pile of books. On the other side, busily scribbling on a piece of paper, was a woman wearing only a long shirt and a captain’s hat with a single blue plume: the one and only Captain Jacklynn Rigg

“What do you need?”  Jacklynn said without looking up.

“Better working conditions and for you to put on some pants. Not that I’m picky, but it’s rather distracting, yes?” She smiled as the captain’s head darted up.

“I wasn’t expecting you until tonight.”

“I’m here now; let’s get this over with.”

The captain laughed, “You don’t understand, Madame Claircot. I don’t have it yet.”

Madam Claircot moaned. “How much longer?”

Jacklynn sat back in her seat and crossed her arms. “Come on time, and you wouldn’t have to wait.”

Suddenly, there was a knock. The two women eyed each other as the courier spoke through the wood. “I’m here to deliver a package to Captain Jacklynn Rigg.”

Madam Claircot rushed to the door and opened it. “I’ll take that.”

The courier took a step back. “No offense, Miss, but it must go into the hands of Captain Rigg.”

Light footsteps walked up behind the madame. “I’m here; I’ll take it.” Jacklynn reached out a hand and took the cylinder from him. In its place, she put a gold coin. “Don’t spend it all at once.”

The courier’s eyes widened as the door shut, and the two women walked back towards the desk.

“Is that it?” Madame Claircot asked.

Captain Rigg opened the cylinder and slid out a piece of paper. She unraveled it and smirked while placing it down on the desk.

Madame Claircot grinned. “We’re going to be rich.”

One thought on “Story Time: To the Edge of the Map

  1. Pingback: Story Spotlight: To the Edge of the Map | Pages of Fiction

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s