Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the first chapter of a wonderful story from Belladonna Rose, entitled
Black Rose Chronicles
Background music by Smartsound
The skies grew dark as the ship headed into rough seas. Salt spray grew in intensity
and the sails furled and flapped with every gust. Even for a seasoned crew it was obvious
they were a bit more tense than usual. There seemed to be a strange form of energy in the
wind and on the sea.
The captain manned the wheel as usual with Jack at her side. He noticed that the captain
was having a rough time holding the ship steady. But the waves were growing stronger every
minute. The clouds were growing darker making the midday sky look almost that of midnight.
Nary a soul on board said a word but continued to do their jobs. None would balk at the Captain
because of bad weather. If the Captain stayed strong so would they.
Huge waves washed over the deck and one particular one reached high enough to splash
at Jack and the Captain. Shaking off the water Jack reached to take the wheel.
“My Lady….pray let me take the helm. These waters are rougher than usual. None of which
we have seen in a long time.”
Giving Jack a terse look she shrugged him away. Chin up she watched the horizon that was
slowly disappearing in the darkest clouds she had ever seen. She knew Jack was right. The days
of gentle trade winds had come to pass as had the sun. She felt deep in her gut that this was not
right and they were definitely heading into trouble.
As time passed the crashing waves had gained strength and she was starting to waiver her hold
on the wheel. Again Jack bade her to let him have the wheel. Aching muscles and fatigue won out
and she stepped aside once he got hold of the spokes of the wheel. She remained at his side though.
There was no way she was going to leave the deck. She would never let the crew see how worried
Pulling her compass out of her pocket she held it out. The pointer was going crazy. Spinning
in one direction then the other. This made no sense. She herself plotted this course as she had
done so many times. They all knew this route blindfolded. But this weather was just too strange.
One of the crew yelled down from the crow’s nest but it was hard to hear him over the wailing wind that was blowing. All she could do was look in the direction he was pointing. And there it was. A huge spinning vortex just at the sea horizon. This was something she had only heard about from other sailors and captains. Usually over many pints at local seaport pubs. She never thought she would ever be witness to it herself.
Immediately she grabbed the wheel from Jack and started trying to turn the ship around away from the blue glowing entity. There was no way she was gonna let that thing swallow her ship and crew. The wheel seemed to have a mind of its own though. No matter how hard she and Jack tried the ship was heading straight for the vortex. She called out commands for the crew to man the sails, but they fell on deaf ears. No one could hear her commands. Many, however, jumped to action. Seasoned sailors were good at predicting what the captain would command and this crew was one of the best.
Try as they might the sails were not cooperating with the crew. Just like the wheel. Almost as if the vortex was commanding the ship instead of her. Gripping the wheel harder she tried her best to steer the ship away but there was nothing for it. The Black Rose was no longer under her control and there was nothing she could do about it.
As if by magic or whatever the ship steered straight at the vortex and the all the crew and her captain could do was wait and watch the Black Rose slip away through the swirling blue of the unknown.
Calm winds surrounded them as they passed through the vortex. Sails flapped aimlessly as the crew tried to contain them. The wheel became slack in her hands and slowly steered as if on the calmest of any sea. Looking at Jack she shook her head in disbelief. Jack nodded and stood steady at her side.
Just as quickly as things seemed to calm the ship started for another vortex. This one was different. A huge opening like the other only black as night. Swirling intensely. The winds began to pick up again, but the waves did not. Calm water and wild winds were something none of them had experienced before.
As they got closer the loud wailing of the winds became ear piercing. The crew began collapsing on the deck where they had once stood. Jack as hard as he tried soon joined them. The only one left standing was the captain. And soon the sound overtook her as well. The Black Rose was going through yet another portal only this time with no crew or captain at the helm.
Drenched from head to toe she tried to raise up on her hands. Slowly lifting her head to survey the damage to the ship she realized she was no longer on the ship. Grass. Lush green grass and a fragrance on the air she had never smelled before. No salt in the air except that which came from herself. Looking about the surroundings were strange yet beautiful. Almost in a trance like state she turned looking at all the foliage and lights about her. Some of the plants had a luminous glow about them. Soft chittering of creatures and chirping of birds made it all so tranquil compared to the last thing she remembered. Remember. The crew. Jack. Where were they. Scanning around the area she went to look for them all. Someone had to have survived as well. Walking to the edge she looked out and there was nothing but sheer drop off over the edge.
Slowly she walked the perimeter of the area as close to the edge as she dared. Looking carefully to see if there was land below. She could see specks of land masses below, but they seemed so far away.
Finally making her way back to where she started she sat down to think. But darkness overtook her again from fatigue. As she drifted off into the darkness of sleep she blinked her eyes and saw something coming towards her, but she was too exhausted to stay awake.