This story was written for Pensitivity 101’s Three Things Challenge #350
Today’s three Prompt’s are: Hope, Sincere, Nerve
The Incense Mutiny
It was called a cat o’ nine tails. Nine fiendish whips crackling against exposed flesh with every lash.
A nerve pulsed in Grolar’s forehead for every time it drew a scream from its victim. Those screams were from his best friend Lazar. Grolar was damned if he was going to let him suffer more than he had to. Captain Fauchard enjoyed that whip too much and it was time to end the fun.
Grolar flexed his strong, sweating muscles and crawled along the beams of the warehouse ceiling. There was Lazar stretched half-naked across a rum barrel. His back already bleeding from the vicious blows.
“Oh, Lazar. Does that sting —I hope it does.” Fauchard laughed and lashed him again.
“Argh!” Lazar screamed out.
Grolar knew he couldn’t take much more as he closed the gap.
“I didn’t steal the incense barrels. You will pay for torturing me!” Lazar’s voice was close to a roar as the whips tore into his flesh again.
“If you didn’t take them. Who did …” Fauchard paused to wipe the sweat dripping into his beard. “I suppose Grolar could have. Are you covering for him?”
Grolar grinned from above. He knew where the barrels were, but he hadn’t taken them. A noise directed him to the wooden double doors.
“Captain, my sincere apologies. We could not find Grolar. He doesn’t know you have her,” said a redcoat wearing sailor.
“Oh, damn. Did you abduct Beth?” asked Lazar.
Fauchard cracked him with the whip to silence him. “She will force Grolar to give me what he stole unless you admit to taking it. Lazar. Corporal Johns, you may go.”
“Fauchard, you do realise, Grolar will kill you now!” Lazar said.
Grolar was boiling with rage. “Damn, right I will.” he breathed. He watched Fauchard throw open a chest and extract Beth from within. She screamed and fought but took a vicious slap for her trouble. Beth was wearing a long lace pinafore dress and was bound by the wrists. She was Grolar’s strumpet; he’d had a few whenever the ship made port. Beth was the best, he planned to ask her to be his wife this time.
Fauchard manhandled the crying woman and forced her face down over a desk. “Now, I’ll make you scream and see if your hero comes running.”
“He’s not here. Grolar went to the merchants in town! Let me go!” Beth managed between terrified sobs.
Fauchard tore the back of her dress wide open.
Beth struggled but he was too strong. “No!”
“Damn it, Fauchard! Let her go!” Yelled Lazar struggling with his bonds despite his shredded back.
Fauchard ignored him as he threw her long golden tresses over her shoulder and kissed her spine between the shoulders. “You are pretty. Shame to have to change that.”
“Let me go!”
Fauchard swung the cat o’ nine tails high in an arch. A metallic clang brought the lashes to a stop.
Grolar had caught the weapon about the bracer on his strong wrist. “You shouldn’t have done that, Captain.”
“Ahh, Quartermaster Grolar – the stingray spike in my backside.” Fauchard hauled on his whip but couldn’t even move the strong man’s arm.
“Ha! I’m about to be the shark’s teeth in your chest. And the narwhal tusk spearing through your spine!”
Fauchard’s colour drained. “Johns, ger your sappers in —”
Grolar hauled on the whip dragging Fauchard straight into a meaty punch in the mouth. “I believe you hit Lazar forty times, and my lady a good few too. We’ll say you owe them fifty — time to play!”
“Ha! Well met, friend.” Lazar remarked. “Told you, you’d pay, Fauchard!”
Fauchard took a knee in the chest and fell to the floor. “How dare you steal my cargo and mutiny against m-ahh!”
Grolar kicked him and hurled the whip into a stack of crates. Hauling the captain to his feet and looked him straight in his cold eyes. “Johns stole the damned incense you, fool!”
“What! He co—” Fauchard swung a fist.
Grolar caught it and cracked him with a headbutt. Lifting him over his head he hurled him into a large chest, breaking the lid.
The door swung open revealing Johns and two sappers. “Captain, you —Grolar, you piece of blubber!” Johns drew his blunderbuss and aimed. It was then the door slammed shut blasting the gun into his face.
Beth stood behind with it with a smug smile.
Grolar winked at her. “Help, Lazar my lady.” He dashed into the crates and vanished.
John’s Sapper entered with their cutlasses drawn. “Quartermaster Grolar, you will surrender or you will die!” yelled one.
“Bad options!” Grolar roared as he seized them from behind and bludgeoned their heads together. He kicked one into a stack of barrels and hurled the other upside down against the wall. It was then the blunderbuss crashed against his skull. Light flashed before his eyes and he slumped to the floor.
Johns stood over him looking triumphant. “Gotcha, friend. Pity you were a good man aboard the ship.”
“He was and still is the most honest man we have,” Lazar said free of his bonds but still bleeding from his lash wounds.
“What would you know, thief.” Johns unleashed a cannon blast from his gunpowder rich blunderbuss. Lead shot exploded from the flared muzzle.
Grolar saw Lazar dive and rose behind Johns. A tap on the shoulder was the predecessor to a nose bending haymaker which pitched Johns to the floor. Grolar whirled on one of the sappers and kicked him back over the barrels.
Johns was suffering a nosebleed as he rose to his feet. He charged, driving his shoulder into the quartermaster’s stomach.
Grolar flexed his abs and rotated with the forced. In control, he drove Johns headfirst through the side of a crate. Wood and cast-iron cannonballs scattered everywhere. “Takes a thieving git to know a light-fingered tit,” he breathed as he dropped to a knee and undone the man’s pouch.
The unmistakable click and crack of a flintlock hammer being drawn back halted his progress.
“Forget about me, Grolar?” Fauchard said.
Grolar turned and rose slowly with his hands raised. “Of, course not. I still owe you forty-seven punches in the mouth.”
Fauchard laughed. “Try me and I’ll blow your balls off!”
“Unlike you, Grolar has cannonballs. Your puny pistol shot will bounce right off!” yelled Beth.
Grolar threw back his head guffawing with laughter.
“Ha! Seems you’ve been a lucky girl. Time to test your theory.” Fauchard aimed for his enemies chest.
“Wait!” Grolar raised the pouch. “Before you got whip happy and attacked my friends, I was working on finding the stolen incense. I followed Johns to another warehouse along the dock. Your incense, among other things, was stored there. This is Johns’ pouch. It contains a key to that warehouse. Go there and see for yourself.” Grolar hurled the pouch.
Fauchard caught it. He revealed a large iron key and several gold coins more than he’d paid the man. “Corporal Johns, get out of the crate and tell me the truth!”
“I’m sorry his brain is a little unoccupied just now.” Grolar saw a sapper rise and draw his sword in the corner of his eye. He scooped up a cannonball and hurled it. The ball thunked off the sapper’s skull and laid him out again.
“I heard of a new sport in the Americas where you hurl a ball at pins. I reckon you should try it.” Fauchard remarked looking impressed.
“Told you he was good with his cannonballs,” Beth remarked.
“Huh! You and Lazar get a reprieve, Grolar. If I find you crossed me, I’ll kill you both and make the wench mine. Lock Johns in the brig and don’t leave the ship until I return!”
“Yes, Captain!” Grolar clapped Lazar on the shoulder and saluted Fauchard.
The captain left the building and vanished into the docks.
“Is the incense there?” Beth asked.
“You bet it is,” Grolar said.
“What’s out move,” Lazar asked.
“You need medical attention, friend. Neither of us is returning to the ship. No more serving for that maniacal pirate. We leave the city and strike out for a new future.” Grolar smiled at Beth. “Will you join us, milady. Be my bride?”
“Yes, I will!” Beth beamed and hugged him.
“A permanent cannonball polisher hey, Grolar. Didn’t know you had it in you.” Lazar said.
Grolar kissed Beth and grinned. “Come on, let’s get gone from this stinking city. On the way, I hope to encounter a pub and find us a mug of mead.”
Have a great day!