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Drama Coming of Age Adventure

I stare at my crew.

Of course, they whisper. My life is full of their endless whispers; it’s a goddamn constant presence on this ship. 

I roll my eyes.

“Smithson.”

“Yes, Captain?”

“Please relate to my crew that if I find them discussing the matter of my sex again, I will personally rip their balls from their bodies, freeze them, and use them as ice cubes to chill my next bottle of rum. Got it?”

Smithson grins. He’s always been one to stand by my side. A good lad, of course.

One of the only good ones. I scowl as I watch him skip away to chat with the rest of the crew on the ship.

My crew. My ship. I need to remember that. I won them fair and square, after all. That’s what happens when the previous captain is a maniacal gambler. And a horrible one at that.

I watch as Smithson walks through the ship, chatting casually with my crew down below. I smile as I watch their terrified faces glance up to me, one by one. Upon meeting my steely gaze they quickly turn away, busying themselves with the tasks of keeping the ship prepared for arriving at our final destination. Sweat beads upon their foreheads.

They’re not all bad, I should say. A few supported my win, and I'm grateful for them. But the majority sneered and laughed and despised me from my very introduction.

They stopped doing it to my face after––what I like to call––the First Incident. When one of them grabbed my breast, felt me up, and then laughed in my face. I still remember his hot, pungent breath as he stood over me.

He wasn’t laughing so much when he woke up to me in his bed, where I’d tied him down, gagged him, and threatened to use my dagger to saw off that same hand if he ever touched me again. He quickly agreed to my request, and I released him. None of my crew touched me after that.

He stays out of my way now. He cleans the floors. And always keeps that hand protected from my sight when I'm around.

Several followed my lead after that. It’s quite crazy how a simple act of power can gain so many followers. I decided that I would prove to the rest of them––all of them––that I was the best of the best. I would show all of them that I am their captain, through and through.

We just need to find the Trinity.

“Captain, there––look!” Smithson gestures out to sea from the deck down below.

I follow his pointed finger with my gaze, narrowing my eyes.

Ah. Yes.

Excitement spreads through my limbs. We’ve found it. The Hidden Land, the island that's only been discovered by a small few. The island home to the treasure I've dedicated my life to discovering.

The crew prepares to board the island as it draws ever nearer.

I give orders as we near the land. I take a handful of men with me; some will stay behind to man the ship (the loyal ones, of course, including Smithson). He helps me aboard the small boat that will take us to the island, before bowing deeply and tending to the ship as my group and I head to shore.

The sand is black here. It matches the color of my boots as I step upon it. I smile.

“Spread out. Look in pairs of two. We’re meeting back here in an hour.”

“What are we lookin’ out for, ‘xactly, Cap’n?” One of the crewmen raises his arms in confusion.

“Honestly, I don’t know yet. Anything that indicates treasure. Symbols, words, markings––look at the rocks, the trees. Look for any paths. Caves. Stay in ear’s distance of the waves. Back in one hour. Understood?”

They all nod––a small few grumbling––and group together. Of course, none remain to pair with me. I roll my eyes and walk away from them, to the west.

I follow along the shoreline for a moment, my footsteps leaving a track for me to find in the black sand. I glance back, just once, toward the ship. It’s still there, indicating that Smithson hasn’t been murdered by a potentially mutinous crowd. Good.

I turn back and narrow my eyes. There, in the distance, the land rises, forming a rocky outcrop to––

A cave. A promising sign.

I approach the outside of the rocky dwelling, keeping my dagger close to my side, and peer around the slabs of stone to glance inside, my muscles tense.

Darkness. The black sand continues through to the back of the cave, which also disappears into blackness.

It’s dark. Too dark.

I step backward into the light and glance back at the shore. And, to my surprise, all my footsteps in the sand have disappeared.

“Shit,” I mumble.

I turn around back to the cave.

And find dark blue eyes staring right into mine.

My head explodes in pain, and everything goes black.

///

I open my eyes slowly.

Everything is blurry. Groggy.

“Here. Drink this.”

I look down. Slowly, a coconut filled with clear liquid comes into focus. With a slender, olive hand clasped around it.

I look up, my head pounding. To my shock, I see a tall, beautiful woman dressed in boating attire. Long blond hair is braided to her waist, and her dark blue eyes are unreadable.

“What…what is it?” I ask, looking back down to the drink suspiciously.

She rolls her eyes. “Water. What else would it be?”

I scoff. “Yeah, right.”

“Your funeral.” She shrugs, taking the coconut away and stepping backward. I look around.

We’re in the cave, a few feet from the entrance. She stands above me in the black sand; I’m sitting against the wall. I look down at myself. My hands and feet aren’t tied, which is quite shocking. Although my head still pounds.

I look back up.

“What do you want with me?”

“We want you to listen to us,” she answers immediately.

I narrow my eyes. “Us?”

As if on cue, two other women enter from the back of the cave, slowly growing into focus as the light from the opening illuminates their figures. There’s an older woman, perhaps in her sixties, with spiky gray hair and high cheekbones. The other woman is short but muscular, with tattoos lining her arms, a buzzed head, and an eyebrow ring.

“Yes. Us.” The older woman gives me a faint smile. Her warm brown eyes twinkle.

“And who are you, exactly?”

The short girl crosses her arms. “We’re the Trinity.”

I snort, but my heart thuds frantically against my chest. I shake my head sharply. “Right. The Trinity is a treasure. I would know; I've been searching for it for years. I've studied all the maps, talked to all the hunters. People aren’t even sure if it’s real, let alone a group of…what are you, exactly?” I ask, eyeing them.

The blonde girl sighs. She looks at the other two. “This one doesn’t seem trustworthy. You sure she’s the one?”

“Captain Valor, isn’t it?” the old woman says kindly.

I stare at her. “I––I­­––how do you know who I am?”

“Your name’s been heard all over these parts. The young girl who beat the old man at his own game and won his ship. Surely you must know your...reputation.”

I do. She’s not wrong; I’ve made a name for myself. I just didn’t know it was a name that people recognized.

Slowly, I rise to my feet, cautious. None of them react as I get up and lean against the wall of the cave. I rub my head. I shoot a glare at the blonde woman. “You really had to hit me so hard?”

She raises her hands in apology. “Sorry. I didn’t realize you were…well, you.”

“And why am I important to you? Why did you want to know who I am?”

“Because we want you to join us, dumbass,” the short girl snorts. Her voice is rough and dry. “Why do you think we’ve been spreading the rumor about the treasure? We knew you’d come find the treasure. We knew you'd find your way here. Few have. But, like Vienna said––your reputation precedes you.”

I stare at her. I open my mouth. Close it. Finally, I find the words. “I’m sorry, but I have no idea what’s going on here. Please––please, enlighten me.”

The older woman––Vienna––steps forward, while the two others step back. She walks toward me, and stops a few feet in front of me, clasping her hands in front. She stares into my eyes, measuring me. “We’re the Trinity. We work around the world to support and empower young girls to enter into the pirate industry, to provide equal opportunities. And a captain like yourself? A, what––nineteen-year-old who defeated a world-renowned gambler at his own game and won his ship? We want you. To work with us."

I gaze at her. At the hope and ferocity in her eyes. I lean against the wall. “You’ve got the wrong girl,” I say quietly, finally looking away. "I'm not...I'm not that."

From the corner of my eye, I see the blonde girl step forward. “No. You are.”

I glare at her. “And what makes you think you know me at all? At––at what I’ve been through to get here? It’s not empowering. It was hard and brutal and, frankly, disgusting. It took everything I had and then some and I’m still not accepted. I lost everything. My dignity, my family. You think I can help young girls? To believe in themselves?” I laugh bitterly. “I don’t even believe in myself.”

Vienna walks closer. I stiffen. She lays her hand gently on my shoulder, looking deeply into my eyes with utmost kindness. “You don’t think we know that, Captain?” she says gently. “We might not have fought the same battles, but we’ve fought battles all the same. We understand. But we’re fighting these battles so the women succeeding us don’t have to. We fight so that they may dance.” She smiles softly. “It’s not easy. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.”

I stare at her for a long while, looking into those gentle, kind brown eyes.

And then, finally, I nod.

"Come on. We have a lot to show you."

November 10, 2020 04:29

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49 comments

Scout Tahoe
04:45 Nov 10, 2020

Ah-ha-ah! I was on your profile and saw this was new and I had to read it. It catches you from the first paragraph about Captain Valor threatening her crew if they touched her. It's very well written and honestly there should be a sequel. The short girl of the Trinity is my favorite. Keep it up... "Put on your shoes, ladies, there's broken glass everywhere."

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Lina Ozz
16:27 Nov 10, 2020

PREACH. Thanks as always for giving my story a read; much appreciated :) I've been so busy but your recent stories are on my to-do list to read; excited to read your work, par usual!! Will get to them today or tomorrow :)

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Scout Tahoe
17:26 Nov 10, 2020

You’re welcome... And don’t feel obligated to read my stories, really. ;)

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Lina Ozz
17:35 Nov 10, 2020

Oh definitely not an obligation AT ALL, love reading your work!!

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Scout Tahoe
17:54 Nov 10, 2020

Aw, thanks.

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Radhika Diksha
07:58 Nov 10, 2020

amusing characters' great storyline and well-written plot. Trinity is the best... Even I have submitted some stories I would be happy if you bombarded my stories with your comments.

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Claire Lewis
14:26 Nov 19, 2020

I didn’t know I needed a pirate/girl power story in my life but OMG I love it!! Captain Valor is an incredible character, so authentic and empowered and everything you could want in a strong female MC. I could totally see this becoming a novel or even a whole series following different women pirates. Nothing but praise from me today, this is incredible!!

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Lina Ozz
18:31 Nov 19, 2020

Thank you so much Claire! I actually never considered that but that could actually be a fun series; maybe I'll get to it one day...thanks again! Much appreciated :)

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Thom Brodkin
04:36 Nov 19, 2020

I just happened across this story and I love your interpretation of the prompt. In my wildest dreams I would never have thought to have the captain be a woman. You, however, made it real and readable and just like one of the others who commented you left me wanting more. I will be checking back from time to time to see if the prompts give you the opportunity. I wrote one this week called “Silence”. It’s much more basic than yours but I’d love to get your opinion if you’re willing to give it.

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Lina Ozz
18:29 Nov 19, 2020

Thank you so much, Thom! I really appreciate the comment and the read. I will absolutely read your story as soon as I'm able :)

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01:57 Nov 17, 2020

I love the way you took this prompt and turned it on its head. Every element of your story worked really well, it makes me want to know more about the world you created. I was hooked from the beginning and wanted to know more about how she won the ship and what she is going to do next. If you ever write follow-ups to this please post them.

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Lina Ozz
18:16 Nov 19, 2020

Thank you so much for the read and for your lovely comment! I really appreciate it :) I will certainly let you know!

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Rayhan Hidayat
07:34 Nov 15, 2020

Pirates and feminism? Reminds me of a certain Key and Peele sketch. I love the interpretation of this prompt—during those times, the idea of equality would certainly be “mythical” and a “treasure” desired by women. Very clever 😉

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Lina Ozz
16:59 Nov 15, 2020

Oh do you possibly have the link to the sketch? I want to see it right away lol. Thanks as always for your comment and read :)

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Rayhan Hidayat
00:02 Nov 16, 2020

Here it is! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwUUDypEDNQ&feature=share

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Lina Ozz
18:12 Nov 19, 2020

"...because that type of language leads to body dysmorphia" HAHAHA how have I not seen this before. This sketch is hilarious. Also I'm so sorry to reply so late! AND THANKS FOR THE BIO SHOUT OUT

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Rayhan Hidayat
18:31 Nov 19, 2020

No worries, I’m guessing it’s the nanowrimo rush haha. And of course! Everyone needs to check out Lina Ozz 😉

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Lina Ozz
18:33 Nov 19, 2020

Omg I haven't even touched Nanowrimo :( Mostly just school/work stuff, it's truly destroying my soul haha. But you're the best!! :D

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21:59 Nov 13, 2020

I'm here! It's taken me 14 years and a day but I'm finally here! Okay, so first - I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS STORY. First, I love the line "The sand is black here. It matches the color of my boots as I step upon it". That line is so vivid, mixing color, texture, motion. It's beautiful imagery. Second, I'm loving the girl-power theme. The fact that the Trinity is actually this amazing group of women that fooled the ENTIRE WORLD into thinking they were some sort of treasure is incredible. I can't wait to see what happens when she joins the Trinity...

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Lina Ozz
01:39 Nov 14, 2020

Ahh thank you so much as always for these incredible edits! I made those changes right away and you're right––flows much better in those sections. You have such an eye for excellent revisioning! Appreciate you!! :)

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01:48 Nov 14, 2020

You are so welcome!

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Bianka Nova
17:42 Nov 12, 2020

Go, girl power! Very well written. And you do have to write a sequel, or maybe a prequel, because the first part with her interactions with the crew was really interesting, but towards the end it lost some of its relevance and the story could easily do without it. :)

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Lina Ozz
17:47 Nov 12, 2020

Thanks for the comment and the read! Could you clarify your latter comment? I'm not quite sure what you mean and want to make sure I understand for any possible edits. I used the beginning interactions to demonstrate the sexism she incessantly experiences from the crew (and in the industry), which circles back around to the end regarding all the struggles she talks about that she's faced (losing her family, her dignity, her confidence).

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Bianka Nova
17:58 Nov 12, 2020

Yes, I understand that. I meant that once they reach the island she's left completely on her own, so it didn't really matter whether some of her crew came with or not. I would've liked to see at least one male pirate join her (Smithson maybe, or someone else she's on good terms with). He may get knocked out by the Trinity too, or something else... This way there is still a connection between the initial scenes at the ship and what happens on the island. Once she was left alone, those two parts became like two different stories to me. But, of...

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Lina Ozz
18:04 Nov 12, 2020

No that definitely makes sense! Thank you for clarifying and I really appreciate you taking the time to leave feedback :) I'll see how I can mess around with it!

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Sam Reeves
08:54 Nov 12, 2020

Loved this! I loved how you got straight in there with the crew always making comments on her sex, it added a great backstory to the captain and how she puts them in their place. I like the twist of the Trinity being women rather than inanimate treasure, and I love how they made themselves as treasure just to lure the captain in. The dialogue is great and really shows characters well. Did I say I love this? Because I frigging loved this story!

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Lina Ozz
02:16 Nov 13, 2020

Thank you so, so much Sam! I really appreciate your wonderful comment; that means a lot to me. Much appreciated :)

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Writer Maniac
06:38 Nov 12, 2020

Woah! I find that there are very few relatable strong independent female characters which are not too cliche, but you absolutely nailed it! I really felt for this young girl who was just trying to make her own place in this male-dominated world, and her confident facade despite having insecurities of her own was wonderful to read! Fabulous story!

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Lina Ozz
02:08 Nov 13, 2020

Thank you so much as always; you're the best!! You always leave such wonderful comments. Any new stories out? I'm struggling with the rest of these prompts!!

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Writer Maniac
02:12 Nov 13, 2020

It's my pleasure :)) I've been trying to write a story, but I'm majorly struggling at this point. I'm probably just gonna yeet the one page I wrote out of the window

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Lina Ozz
02:15 Nov 13, 2020

Hahaha "yeet the one page I wrote out the window" that's an accurate description of every sentence I try to type and then delete it and start over. And over. And over. Sigh. Always a struggle!!

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Writer Maniac
02:21 Nov 13, 2020

However hard it is, we can't help but love doing it!

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Molly Leasure
21:11 Nov 10, 2020

Women empowerment, let's go! The Captain is a QUEEN, literally. Power, strength, (and in my personal opinion) dignity. She doesn't lose her dignity because some disgusting crewmen try to take it from her. I love that the one trait she seems to be lacking in is confidence. It's ironic because everything she does requires some semblance of confidence, and yet...she has no true belief in herself. Also, her age came as a shock to me. She came across as very grown up, and I think that worked well because she had to grow up with everything she wen...

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Lina Ozz
02:51 Nov 12, 2020

Okay I was wondering if I made her too young, but I did want that shock factor, so I may leave ti for now; thank you so much for your comment!! And oh, crap. Maybe Trinity+1. Like a band name. (Joking. But also, now I'm vexed––what WILL they call themselves??? I will be up all night thinking on this!!) Thank you as always for your amazing comments. You da best.

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Molly Leasure
22:22 Nov 13, 2020

Nah, I don't think it's too young, and especially if you want it to be a shock factor! It's works just right! HAHA, I actually kind of like Trinity+1, I can imagine it being written out on the side of a van xD. Sorry I've now spawned the ultimate dilemma in your head, haha! The Trinities? THEN they can have more than three, just groups of threes...?

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Lina Ozz
01:22 Nov 14, 2020

Dammit she's gonna have to do a hell of recruiting. I might as well throw some Greek letters on it and call it a sorority! Lol. Maybe not. But that would have been a hilarious spoof. A pirate sorority. The next time the prompt mentions anything about a pirate I now have my story lol

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Molly Leasure
20:29 Nov 17, 2020

Haha!!! A sorority of pirates. I dig it, honestly. They could be the most badass sorority out there! If you do write that story, I am so there xD!

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Lina Ozz
18:20 Nov 19, 2020

Haha I will definitely let you know!! Maybe one day...

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Philip Clayberg
20:04 Nov 10, 2020

Thank you very much for writing this story. Please tell me that you're at least considering writing a sequel (or two) to it. I don't want it to end here; I want to see it go on.

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Lina Ozz
02:52 Nov 12, 2020

Thank you so much, Philip!! I so appreciate you giving my story a read and your wonderful comment, as always. I'm certainly considering a sequel...I'm just awful at writing them!! But I'll try to challenge myself––that's what this site is for, I think :)

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Philip Clayberg
05:14 Nov 12, 2020

You're very welcome. A challenge can be a good thing. It's like stepping out of your comfort zone (or "box", if you prefer) and seeing what you can do. I remember saying to my ex-girlfriend about 10 or 15 years ago, "I get the feeling that I spend most of my time outside the 'box'." She gave me an amused look and asked, "You mean there's a box?" And I sheepishly grinned and said, "Oh. Oops." Because when you spend most of your time outside the "box", you sometimes forget that there ever *was* a box in the first place. I hope I didn...

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07:44 Nov 10, 2020

Nicely written.

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Lina Ozz
02:53 Nov 12, 2020

Thanks, Michael! :)

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Threese Belivett
05:23 Nov 10, 2020

It's like, there's hidden meaning behind the story.

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Lina Ozz
02:53 Nov 12, 2020

Something like that... ;)

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Lina Ozz
04:30 Nov 10, 2020

Written in honor of some glass ceilings recently shattered.

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06:39 Nov 22, 2020

I Loved this story, this truly made me smile...Well done, You! Cheers, Alex

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Prathamesh Chavan
16:43 Nov 11, 2020

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