Saturday, March 24, 2007

TORA'S FIRE by Neha age 12

“We kindle and char and inflame and ignite, drink up me 'arties, Yo Ho, We burn up the city we're really a fright, drink up me 'arties, Yo Ho, We're rascals, scoundrels, villains and knaves, drink up me 'arites, Yo Ho, We're devils and blacksheep, we're really bad eggs, drink up me 'arites, Yo Ho, Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A pirates life for me.”


"Alice?" his voice called through the smoke and confusion.

"Daddy?!" she screamed back squinting blindly through the suffocating smoke. His daughter panicked as his comforting voice became fainter. "Daddy I see you!" excitedly, she started to walk towards the familiar figure.

"Alice, no!" Her father's cry was too late, out from the smoke a scimitar lashed forward and cut across her smooth flesh. Pain rippled through her as she fell heavily to the deck clutching her face in pain. The man who ambushed Alice laughed in a guttural and low voice.

"You bastard!" Alice heard her father yell as he unsheathed his kitanas and locked them with his arch enemy. She struggled to open an eye but blood started to trickle in and she closed it quickly, afraid of going blind. The sounds of the burning ship crackled around her, adding to the confusion of the sword fight and planning her next move. The young girl scrambled to her feet, opening her left eye and still clutching her face. 'Get off the boat!' she told herself wobbling to the side of the hull. She looked back, worrying about her father. 'There's nothing you can do anyways,' she decided peering over at the choppy water below. Seeing it would be a rough swim, Alice quickly wiped off the dripping blood from her face and tore her breeches, wrapping them around her face to help stop the bleeding. Before jumping she listened for the outcome of the fight... nothing. Shakily releasing her face she jumped off the edge feet first. She closed her eyes as she plummeted downward and broke the water’s surface.

The freezing water felt like daggers, viciously plowing into her. The salt water seeped and simmered into her injuries making it feel like it was melting off her bones. She whimpered and then screamed trying not to touch the wound that would surely leave a nasty scar. Alice felt dizzy as she struggled to tread water. She closed her eyes wishing that this was all over and her father would find them another pretty boat they could plunder on together.

She heard mild voices of men paddling in a lifeboat. She opened her mouth to scream but to her horror not a sound left her. She tried again and again, slowly getting exhausted from being pulled down further into the ocean. Alice went almost completely numb. All of her senses had seemed to completely shut down in her. She was just mildly conscious when she felt herself being lifted out of the murderous water and into a tiny boat. Praying her good eye open she just caught the last glimpse of her father's ship snapping in half and someone jumping out just in the nick of time.

The sweet aroma of cinnamon floated into the fourteen year-old girl's nose. Her eyelids painfully creaked open and she started recollecting her last thoughts.

"Where am I?" she fretted sitting up in the cot she was in. An old looking man with gentle blue eyes was sitting at the side of the bunk closing the tube of cinnamon and pushing it inside a burlap bag. "Who are you? Where am I? What happened to my father?" she exploded wincing when her face moved.

"Calm down young one," the elder croaked stroking her hair like she was his daughter. "It seems like you've been through a lot. I'll explain." The stranger leaned back on the chair and sighed. "First of all, I'm Dr. Greivons." He held out his hand.

"I'm Alice," she shook it firmly. "We are captive on a pirate ship. I'm a kidnapped doctor from London. I’ve been kept here for three months now treating health problems of the pirates on the ship. I get paid a small amount though." He chuckled a little trying to lighten the tension in the room.

"B-but... what happened to my father? His boat..."

"Ah yes," the underpaid doctor remembered. "Captain Slaarvick sent out a few of his men to retrieve survivors from the burning ship last night. You were the only one they brought back."

"No!" Alice refused to believe it. "My father was... is the greatest pirate, he had to have lived!"

"I'm sorry dear.... he was great, Captain Christopher" he shook his head looking at the floor.

"This can't be happening." Alice held her head in her hands shaking in fear.

The door to the room flew open and a nasty looking pirate with crossed eyes scowled, "Which one of you is Alice?" Greivons and Alice kept quiet staring at the idiot that stood before them. The dumb man laughed after a minute or so realizing his own stupidity and then grabbed Alice's elbow and dragged her out of the room.

Alice quickly mouthed 'thank you' to the doctor before she turned to the pirate and yelled, "I can walk on my own I don't need your bloody help you crippled idiot!"

Taken aback, the crippled idiot threatened, "Why you little bilge rat!" He brought his fist in the air and attempted to ram it against her skull.

With a yawn, Alice stepped to the left avoiding the fist and watched it smash into the hard wall of the hallway.

"ARGH!" the pirate screamed clutching his fist and his two fingers that were broken.

"That's what happens when you tilt your wrist on a punch." Alice shook her head sighing. "I see you'll be of no good use to me, I'll see myself to the captain." she nodded to him and kicked him hard in the shin, kneed him in the stomach, and punched him in the face. Then she walked away from her 'escort' and onto the deck of the ship.

Alice observed the ship and shook her head in disgust. "It's filthy and tiny compared to father's ship," she murmured.

"Eh! Prisoner! Where's your escort?" a member of the crew rushed over to her. "You'll find him in the back hall with a broken nose, fingers and cracked shin," she replied pointing.

Frowning, the second escort led her to a furnished looking cabin with a bed, cabinet and some other pieces of useless furniture like a tasseled Asian lamp. A mean and tough looking man sat in the chair at a desk staring Alice down. He had a black beard and moustache and broad shoulders. He was wearing a red overcoat and a feathered tri corner hat. Captain Slaarvick looked at Alice's ripped breeches and cotton shirt that were both soaked with blood.

"Thank you Cave," Slaarvick nodded at the pirate who saw Alice in.

"Yeah thanks 'rock formation'." Alice snorted at his stupid name and leaned back on her heels happy to insult somebody.

"How old are you Alice?" Slaarvick asked when the door closed.

"Fourteen and a third," she replied, "How old are you?" she asked returning the question.

"Erm... forty-two." he replied with some hesitation.

"And what's your favorite color, eh? Avast! Mine be black for my own reasons."

"You think you're smart don't you?" the Captain thundered.

"Yeah, I do. At least I know I'm much smarter than your crew from the looks of it," she retorted.

"I was thinking about being nice to you but neva' mind!" reaching under his desk, he pulled out a human head. Alice screamed in horror recognizing her father's kind face. "You killed him!" she sobbed covering her mouth and ignoring the burn of her tears on her face. "Yeah, after twenty-five years I killed Captain Christopher of the famous Dragun Kitanas!" Slaarvick let out a maniacal laugh looking at Alice whimpering in the corner.

"Now," he said after he settled down, "Where are the Dragun Kitanas?" he rubbed his hands together greedily.

"You’re as stupid as your crew if you think I’m going to tell you!" she managed to mutter wiping away her tears.

"I thought your reply would be that," the Captain nodded. "That's why I'm challenging you to a bet."

"I don't own anything to bet on," she reminded him.

"Oh yes you do, your life. If I win the challenge you tell me where the kitanas are or your done fer. But if you win, your life is your own and let you free on the port of Japan. It's not like I need much from a child like yourself," he scoffed pulling at his overcoat confidently.

"What's the challenge?" Alice asked strongly standing up.

Captain Slaarvick laughed heftily and replied; "You have to fight in a pit with three hungry Sumatran tigers."

To Be Continued...