"Wake of the Red Mistress" excerpt
Teel James Glenn was our guest in the chatroom Sunday, July 10. This is an excerpt from his latest book, "Wake of the Red Mistress". Who doesn't like pirate stories?
We join the tale as the pirates have swarmed the ship and Shinara and her young charges are below decks locked into their room:
Abruptly a blood-curdling scream came from the corridor and all their eyes fixed on the barred portal. It sounded like Fergon’s deep voice, but with a tone of agony they could never have imagined him making.
“Keep reading, girls,” Shinara ordered. She worked to keep her voice firm and fight the panic that welled up from within her.
The sound of many bodies moving around in the corridor with many curse words and oaths promised violence. Abruptly a pounding erupted on the thick wooden door.
The girls all screamed and huddled together as a boarding ax smashed into the planks of the door.
“Trust in the Goddess,” Shinara said with all the calm she could force, “and we will be delivered.”
As she spoke the door splintered and a bearded head thrust through the gap.
“Women!” The pirated proclaimed with a sinister laugh.
The younger sisters screamed and clung to each other as the head withdrew and a second, even gruffer, scarred face filled the gap.
“They’re sisters of Yulina!” the cutthroat called to the others. His leering smile exposed a near toothless mouth. “And some choice ones!” He pushed a hairy arm in the hole in the door and grabbed the bar off the inside.
Sister Shinara stepped before the girls with her back to them clutching her scriptures to her bosom and faced the entering corsairs. She stared the intruders down as they streamed through the door. Goddess protect these of your flock who stand before you. Guide me to do right.
She tried to speak words of protest to the attackers but her words were lost in the cries of triumph and oaths that promised evil.
Rough hands seized Shinara and tore her gown to expose her naked bosom. She struggled against the vice grip of a brigand as others grabbed the screaming girls.
“Leave them alone,” she cried in vain.
The pirate holding Shinara ran a hand around her waist to roughly grab her naked breast and squeeze it. She yelled out in pain, turning her head to look him in the face.
He had fetid breath and his body odor made her gag but her revulsion was not for herself, but for the younger girls. “Do what you will with me, but leave them alone.”
“Oh, as you command, m’highness,” the pirate holding her said. “Shall I bring your worship’s private yacht around as well?” This brought laughter from the dozen brigands who swarmed into the cabin behind him. It sounded loud enough that it almost drowned out the screams of the terrified, young sisters as the other corsairs began to remove their clothing.
“Quiet,” a female voice cut through all the noise. It was not loud, but had the quality of command that made even the screaming girls choke their cries to low sobs. “What is going on here?”
“The Red Mistress,” Yuza whispered. Here eyes widened and for the moment She forgot her distress in the presence of the piratical legend she had heard so much about.
The speaker was a woman, but such as none of the sisters had ever seen. She stood barely five feet tall though her presence filled the room. Her hair hung long and curly and fiery red, barely held back with a striped blue rag to reveal a pale face with green, cat like eyes.
She wore crimson fighting leathers and a loose shirt, a brace of throwing knives on a bandolier across her ample breasts. In her hand she held a bloody cutlass.
When the pirate holding Shinara did not respond quickly enough, the petite hellion sprang forward and slapped him across the face over Shinara’s shoulder.
“I said what is going on?” The female pirate barked.
The struck brigand released the sister. For a moment anger flared in his eyes, but he quickly contained it and stepped back with a shrugging gesture. “We were just getting these holy rollers, ready to throw over the side, Aurzia,” he said contritely. “They put up a fight.”
“He lies," Shinara said. She pulled together the torn edges of her gown and stepped to comfort the youngest of the sisters. “We would not fight; we of the Order of Yulina do not take up arms.”
The tall blonde locked eyes with the redheaded pirate and showed none of the fear she felt, her beliefs and her responsibility for the younger girls being her bulwark against her own terror.
The piratess appraised the sister with a feral grin and smiling eyes. She licked her full lips and nodded. “It doesn’t really matter, little sister,” Aurzia said, “My men have strict orders, no molesting women!” She took a step forward, her cutlass flicked out and the pirate that had spoken yelped. He grabbed the bloody spot where the ear had just been severed and fell to his knees cursing.
“Let them say their last prayers and then finish them quick,” the Red Mistress said with a final longing look at Shinara before she turned to leave. “I want all the bodies in the water before we put a prize crew on this scow.”
Yuza screamed and fainted.