I'm sure we'll still be here when you get back
Werekat, I think I might have figured out what seems off with your writing lately... there's something about the word flow that just isn't right. I think you've picked words that are almost correct, or perhaps technically correct, but where another would improve the flow and readability more. I'll have to go through it again (when I'm actually awake) to really tell. But I will!
I did like the last two you posted though
Oh! I almost forgot... I wrote up some backstory for another potential character today...
or I am never getting on another ship ever again
This is not going well. Leith thought as she clung to the ships rigging and attempted to stay out of the way of the sailors frantically trying to keep the ship afloat. Followed closely by This is really not going well and I wish I’d taken the long route and walked. Leith clung to the bow strung across her back as the ship lurched again and she was drenched in salt water as the ocean attempted to drown the vessel. She wished there was some was some way she could maintain hold of both her father’s bow and the quiver of arrows at her waist, but she needed one hand to keep hold of the ship and – while an archer was next-to-useless without arrows, her father would be devastated if she lost his precious bow. It was the first bow he’d gone adventuring with and once he had outgrown it, he had kept it in the hopes that one day a child of his might take it up again. And her she was, having taken up her father’s bow she was now desperately trying not to bring up her lunch.
And I was so proud of myself for not being seasick, she thought idly, ducking down to press herself against the wooden hull, hoping for some meagre protection. A deckhand screamed at her but the wind stole his words and the spray of rain and sea water mixed obscured her vision. She realised he must have been saying “look out!” when he hammered into her, sending them both flying across the deck and slamming into the railing hard. Leith gasped as the breath was forced from her body, both by the ship beneath her and the weight of the sailor atop her.
Water rushed in at them, sweeping across like a desperately hungry beast, devouring all in its path. Struggling to get her breath back, only a small part of Leith’s mind realised that the water was coming from a different direction. It wasn’t until someone else screamed and a piece of wood slammed into her forehead, bringing bright blood to mix with the water streaming down her face that she realised what had happened. And that the sailor was now yelling into her face.
“The mast is gone! The ship is doomed!” His breath smelled of salt-pork, that horrendous meat that was the staple of a diet at sea. Ship! Sinking! Leith’s mind screamed at her as finally her reactions caught up to the rest of her. She struggled up to her knees and opened her mouth to respond, only to fall back as a wave of water slammed them both into each other and the ship. This time to the accompaniment of cracking and breaking timbers. Oh dear…
The sailor had risen to his knees and was slamming one foot into the deck, right where the cracks had appeared.
“What are you doing?!” Leith screamed at him, finally finding her voice. He glanced up at her then turned his eyes upwards, towards the looming hull, then resumed his stamping without a word. Leith paled. She could see now, what the sailor must have seen all along. The mast was gone. The ship was heeled over onto its side – starboard or port Leith couldn’t remember which was which. Instead of sky above them, or sails, she saw only the other side of the ship. And it was getting closer. Her mouth opened in a silent scream, only to start gagging again as a mixture of sea, rain and blood poured in. The sailor was in her face.
“Close your mouth if you don’t want to drown!” He roared. “Take this!” And he thrust into her hands a piece of decking, ripped from the crippled ship.
“What about you?” Leith babbled, taking the decking on instinct.
“It won’t take both of us!” He yelled back, straining to be heard above the crashing of the waves and the breaking of the ship. “I’ll find another. GO!” and with that, he shoved Leith into the raging sea. She closed her mouth just in time and squeezed her eyes shut for good measure as the ocean swallowed her whole.
Too terrified to open her eyes, Leith kicked hard, in the direction she desperately hoped was up. The rain hammering on her face told her she’d reached the surface and she opened her eyes, raising one hand to wipe water from her face so she could see.
“Hell!” Instantly she dropped her hand back to the plank, clinging like a vine to a tree, praying she wouldn’t lose this fragile raft. The motion of the waves left her dizzy and it was only in the back of her mind she realised the ship was no longer visible. Whether it had sunk or was just hidden by the curtain of still-falling rain she didn’t know. But she thought of the sailor and how by his quick actions he had undoubtedly saved her life. She offered a quick – and silent – prayer to Ehlonna that he would survive.
“No!” The cry was ripped from her throat as she felt the bow slip sideways off her shoulder. Desperately, this was the one thing she could not lose, Leith let go with one hand and grabbed at the bow. Her aim was sure and she hastily looped the bowstring over her neck, swinging the weapon so it hung between her and her fragile life raft.
There was nothing left to do now but wait. Wait for the storm to abate and see if she was still alive at the end of it. She tried closing her eyes but that just made her feel sick. Despite her best efforts to keep her mouth shut, seawater continued to flood her and make her gag. She was so busy concentrating on that that she almost didn’t notice the change in the sound of the water. It was still crashing, but the tone had changed. Raised in a landlocked village, it took Leith a while to realise it was the sound of water slamming and crashing into rocks. Little heading the danger of being dashed against them, she strained her legs and kicked towards the slight hint of safety.
The sight of a small sandy beach offered more in the way of hope and Leith somehow angled herself towards it, washing up finally on a gravelly beach. Not willing to trust her legs, Leith crawled forwards and finally collapsed on the wet sand, lying awkwardly on top of both her bow and the plank that had saved her life.
“Next time father,” she paused to cough up water, “someone else can take the priest back to the mainland.”