Stories From the Crow's Nest (4 of 10)
Legal pirates. I don’t know if I mentioned that before.
When the call went up to move to battle stations, it was quite a sight. The mast started shaking violently when the boys came aloft to unfurl battle sails to maximize our maneuverability. The sailing master ordered me down, gave me a rifle, and some shot.
I was scared. I had the gun loaded and knelt behind the façade of the ship. I peered between the columns, waiting, watching. Ocean, ocean, ocean, ocean, ocean, bow.
As soon as I saw the bowsprit lunge forward, I heard cannons blasting and I couldn’t tell if it was ours or theirs. I stood quickly and fired a shot without even looking. I reloaded again. I peered through the columns again as puffs of smoke jetted out from the sides of their ship. I was on the port side of the ship, only 20 feet or so from the bow. We were heading South, they were heading North. For a second I thought maybe we’d just pass them and unleash a volley of cannonball fire, and that would be that. Instead, they fired a shot that smashed into the bosun’s locker not 15 feet away from me. Before I could even thank the heavens it hadn’t hit me, another one hit three feet to the right of that one. Three feet closer to me. I looked to my left and saw the crew firing shots at the other ship. I looked through the columns again, and I was surprised to see how close the fluyt had drifted towards us. Kneeling, I peeked my head above the façade and aimed at a group of men. I was aiming at one in particular. He wore a sock hat and a gold necklace. That was all I remembered as I dropped him with one shot to his sternum.