Midas

by Matt Conradie

Midas

The galleons many sails caught wind and pushed the ship with haste in the direction of the open sea. The seas surrounding the ship were dismal and still as death itself yet on the shores a few hundred meters away a crowd roared with enthusiasm. The ship had a deep blue flag with the initials F.W. on it. The ship itself was also buzzing with excitement. The Valkyrie was taking her maiden voyage its crew was in bliss because of the honour of working on such a prestigious ship.

It was not a government sanctioned ship and was financed by a nobleman with gold as ample as King Midas himself. The Nobleman who had paid for the building of the ship had also undergone its captaincy His name was Francis White. The ships railings were lined with silver and in the ships many finishings were imbued gold. The ship had fifteen sails more than the usual galleon. There were twenty-four cannons to a side were also more than the average galleon. Inside the hull of the ship were heavy oak reinforcements.

The wind had a desperate wailing, which was deafened by the singsong voices of the shipmates. On the deck barrels were being rolled, ropes were being hauled and knots tightened while sell-swords were swinging blades violently at each other to sharpen their swordsman skills. Their captain stood smiling at a dream come true. To his right was a woman she had long black hair that waved freely in the wind. She was no refined lady. She wore a sailor uniform and a three-point hat with a cutlass on her left hip and a hand canon on the right. Francis looked at her and smiled she may not have been refined but she was beautiful. She had fine jaw line and jade coloured eyes. Franciss right hand was keenly locked with her left and the two glowed with joy.

The ship was scarcely rocking with a wave less sea under it. Francis could barely wait to show her the world he had seen. The world he had set out to conquer. The ships many cannons were merely a defensive measure against pirates and hostile war ships.

Francis was nearing his forties and had seen many parts of the world his younger bride had never had the pleasure of seeing. He had financially conquered the world and was setting out to show, and promise, his bride it all. He knew in his heart that she wanted him and not his gold but he could not help himself and was handing her everything. On ship were many of his friends. Veteran shipmates and elite soldiers alike were all close to his heart they knew him as a friend and he could trust them with his very life.

As night dawned on them they passed mead around the dining hall and feasted on a well-rationed meal. They sang jolly songs and playfully mocked one other as equals as they usually did on dry land. This went on well into the night until a distant whistling brought the dining hall to a sudden silence. Many cautiously searched for the source of the sound. Then a faint yet distinct thud sent the men into a calculated frenzy. Francis cried a throat tearing command. It was a simple command: Battle stations. The ship rocked suddenly as a volley of heavy lead cannonballs made contact with its sturdy hull. On deck men were shrieking frantic orders getting ready to return a volley as a second volley hit parts of the ship. Captain Francis and his bride were on deck soon after the second volley hit. Tears of anger filled the womans eyes. Francis didnt see this and it was for the better. If he had he would have shed tears of rage as well. Around them men were injured or dead soon though, the sails were flung open and the ship was maneuvered out of the way of the next cannon fire volley.

As soon as the ship was mobile Francis was steering it in the direction of the ship that seemed to be hoisting a black flag nearly in tatters. The enemy ship turned to pass The Valkyrie and exchange fire. But with a mere hundred meters between the two ships the one swung out firing a deadly volley into the opposing ship. Soon the pirates were swimming for their lives or sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

The Valkyries crew cheered as the pirate ships sank. The wind was blowing wildly now and an eerie mist moved over the ocean. In the distance all around them thunder roared. The mast was ripped apart and several bodies along with it. Burning wood splinters rained down on Francis. It seared his skin leaving thousands of tiny marks across his chest if he had acted he could have saved himself from scars and pain but he wasnt thinking of himself he could not let the ship sail freely among so many wolves. He bellowed a cry FIRE!! and his precious ship sent another volley into a pirate ship If it had been opposing ships larger than mere frigate a single volley could not possibly sink one but these ships had speed and numbers and although they could not take a volley from the Galleon they were determined to sink the behemoth among ships.

Francis turned and ordered somehow telling his men to release a volley as well as give orders on the control of the sails. The sails folded when turning and then unwrapped into walls of white pushing the ship out of enemy fire. By now the enemy ships had to be thinning three frigates had been sent to Davie Joe already. Then as if in slow motion a smaller ship Appeared amongst the mist. It was heading straight for The Valkyrie and was set aflame packed with explosives. It seemed to barely touch the ship before exploding into a mass of fire and debris. The Valkyrie rocked, its nose flying out of the water then tipped back in lower. Francis could see the ship slowly starting to dive He ordered his men to the lifeboats and grabbed his wife by the hand. He pulled her towards his chambers and from there lead her to a lifeboat he had prepared for her safety The back of the ship ejected the pair in their lifeboat and soon a tiny sail was raised from their boat.

Francis was rowing assisted by the wind blowing them away from the conflict with great speed. In the distance he could hear muskets clearing of lead and smoke and his men his friends, shrieking as they were cut down by gunfire. Just as the calm of safety embraced the pair a final thud echoed from afar. A cannon ball, fired with great precision, hit their large canoe. Wood splintered and a woman shrieked. Blood blinded Francis. He could only see a silhouette of a woman floating amongst the wooden remainder of their raft. He gave in to hatred and ignored logic and fear. Cursing and shrieking and crying bled from his lips. He waited for the ships to come. If he was more than a man he would sink them all torture all their crews. But he, a mere man searched only for an end to the woe that was forced onto him. From the fog came the shadow of a fleet ten ships strong. The flagship was approaching the last survivor of The Valkyrie. A man looked overboard and saw Francis, a once proud and noble man decreased to nothing but hatred and agony.

Francis saw from the icy waters the eyes of one of his many business partners. He started laughing hysterically as the man drew a hand canon. Franciss mind left him as he grasped the truth that his wife and friends were killed so that a partner could inherit more assets. He felt, in that moment, like Midas with all his gold he lost all that he loved even thought he had all the gold in the world. Francis smiled as his chest was filled with lead.

And much like Midas, Francis lost all his gold to be with the ones who he had loved most once again.

-Thank you for reading please leave comments (Positive or Negative, both will help me to learn)

-Please note that my first language is not English so don't look too aggresively at the grammar.

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