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The Schoolgirl and the Pirate
The twenty-eighth day of July. And the twenty-eighth
night of July.
She is sleeping now, curled up on her side
in the middle of my bed, her dark hair spread wantonly, the
little finger on her right hand slid inside the corner of her
mouth. The sea seems to be sleeping too, as if to quiet her
after her sobs and screams. Or as if quieted by her. Diary,
I may be losing myself to childish romanticism. She must not
find out. Not yet. Not yet.
How far this creature has travelled, and what
hardships she has faced, I remain to discover. She has not been
harshly treated, though. I traced every inch of her dusky skin,
and found only the faded remains of six stripes across her cheeks.
I know those marks, and well recognise the skill with which
they were administered. It seems that the trail must lead back
to an establishment of some strictness and exclusivity. There
is money here. Status. Power.
Perhaps the marks were the reason for her leaving.
But I doubt that. A spur, at the very most. I saw fire and spirit
in her eyes. She would always have broken away, in search of
. . . I am sure she would not know, could not say. Only, away.
In a matter of time, she will both know, and say. She will confess
to me that she needs to be tamed. I will nod, and then proceed
to tame her. She will be tame for me, and for no-one else. She
will then be mine.
Aye, she is mine already, though only I know
that. My belt has licked fire into her bottom and thighs, my
hand and knee made a child of her again. I have diamonds enough
for all the crowned heads of Europe, and my boat creaks beneath
the weight of liberated gold. Yet she is the most precious thing
in my life. And I have known of her for less than a single day.
This is such exquisite madness.
The twenty-ninth day of July.
This morning I sat a long time watching her
sleep, wondering at how she could have passed unnoticed amongst
the crew of the Scarborough. She has a cat's feral femininity.
And yet, as I pictured once again the scrubbed cabin boy I took
from the Scarborough yesterday - his features strong and proud,
his hair pulled into a tight pony-tail, a working solidity to
his demeanour - I did wonder, Diary, if I saw through the disguise
at all. Perhaps it was the boy I saw, the boy I took, the boy
I wanted, more than all the trinkets. I do not know what to
make of this thought, but it intrigues me. That the boy was
a girl, and the girl a boy, might be nothing, or might be everything.
She awoke slowly, with her eyes first, scanning
the cabin, her instinct searching for escape. As I had hoped,
she did not see me in the shadows, but leapt for a cloak, then
for the door.
Which was locked, of course. She turned, looking
for another way, and then saw me. I allowed myself a smile at
'Good morning,' I said. 'Did you sleep well?'
She reacted to this as if insulted to the
core, flashing her brown eyes, lifting her chin defiantly.
'Let me out of here,' she said.
I crossed the cabin towards her, but halted
as she shrank a little back to the wall, wrapping the cloak
more tightly around her nakedness.
'Beyond that door,' I said, keeping my voice
level, 'are thirty-seven men of no redeeming virtue. They have
been away from port for seven weeks. Have not seen so much as
an inch of womanflesh during that time - excepting one rather
unusual cabin boy.' She glared, and I gave her that smile which
reveals the gold tooth. 'They have no consciences individually,
let alone together. But -' I drew the key from my pocket, slotted
it into the lock, turned. 'I might suggest that your chances
against the sharks would be more favourable, but that is your
choice. It will, at least, be amusing to watch,' I lied.
She touched her full lips together once, twice.
'You are an animal,' she said.
I smiled, suddenly aware of the difference
in height between us.
'We are all animals, lass,' I said. 'I, myself,
am an irredeemable mongrel. Those men are little more than vultures.
What, I wonder, are you, hmmm?'
She drew herself up.
'I am a lady,' she said, and there was more
than haughteur in her eyes.
'Some day,' I said. 'But not yet.' I turned
the key in the other direction. The cabin door locked with a
The minx then sprang across the room, throwing
books, china - anything she could find - in my direction. No
more play. As I advanced on her, she took refuge under the bed,
as far from my reach as she could get.
I cleared the remaining books and charts from
my desk. I could hear a pained sobbing, at once anger and frustration
and fear. She struggled as I pulled her out, but calmed surprisingly
as I took the cloak from her shoulders, lifted her across the
desk, and tied her tight, legs wide, bottom high.
'Please,' she whimpered as she heard the belt
slide from my pants. She could have been asking for death itself.
Perhaps she feared violation, but that was not my aim, will
never be. That part of her will be given voluntarily, if at
all. I am a mongrel, not a jackal. Her glorious backside, though,
is already mine to thrash.
Already scattered with weals from yesterday,
her skin responded quickly to the leather, and she howled with
little restraint, her tears soon dripping to the floor. As I
lashed the belt across her thighs, striping them crimson, I
heard her screams and pleas as if from outside the cabin, watching
the men lick their lips, move closer.
I left her sobbing and shaking, while I hunted
through a trunk for more suitable clothing. There are many histories
locked away here. I found a simple light shift, and a belted
grey tunic. She leaned against me as I untied her and helped
her into them, her hands moving in air above her flesh, wanting
to touch, not daring.
I did not clean or wipe her face. The streaks
of sweat and tears were beguiling to me. The salt on her skin
pleased my lips.
Then I grasped her firmly around the neck
with my right hand, unlocked the door, and led her out to a
bright, warm day. The wind blew her sweat-heavy hair across
her face. She did not try to prevent it or move it aside.
There was no need to call the men. They had
heard plenty, and their eyes devoured her greedily.
I tightened my grip on her neck, turned her
around, then lifted her clothing at the back. There were scowls,
rapacious grins, grunts of yearning desire.
'This,' I called out across the ocean, 'belongs
to me. Any man who even thinks about touching my property will
get to see his bowels before the sharks do.'
I lifted my left leg onto a barrel, draped
the girl across it, skirts still hoisted, and hand-spanked yet
more howls and tears from the child. She kicked with abandon,
revealing all her secrets to a band of the scurviest dogs she
could ever have found, not caring any more.
The thirtieth day of July.
She slept in my arms last night. Her sleep
is troubled, but better for the thrashings, I am sure.
Can she know that, I am sure for the first
time in her short life, she has discovered someone stronger,
more determined and stubborn than she could ever be? Perhaps
not yet. But she will. She will.
Can she know that, even amongst sharks and
jackals and vultures, she could not possibly be safer than by
my side? Perhaps she will. But not yet. Not yet.
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