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Author Topic: a para from a story  (Read 9227 times)
horrorcrafter
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« on: August 19, 2005, 03:31:12 PM »

Once the final socket was cut to perfection, we gathered for a fine meal on the shore.  Kurt had prepared all of our favorites to mark the halfway point of the construction.  There was oily tabouli and Italian antipasti; rich Turkish babaghanoush and simple-looking white beans cooked to fine French perfection; and there were delights from the Orient to make a stoic drool.  We feasted and laughed over stupid jokes and old songs, watching waves, meteors, and gulls for a full day and then we slept well.

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horrorcrafter
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2005, 05:40:47 PM »

hey, how come I cant post the rest of this story?  I keep getting a "access is forbidden" sign when I try to add the rest of this chapter.  Whats going on here?
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Ed
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2005, 09:11:06 PM »

I don't know scratch  You don't have any restrictions on the forum that I know of, except a word limit in posts, but I'm pretty sure that's about 20,000 words.  Is the extract very long?

I'll take a look at the settings and see if I can spot anything wrong on your account.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
Ed
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2005, 09:33:53 PM »

I've just checked through the forum permissions for all member groups, and the only thing I can spot is that the maximum character length of individual posts is set at 40,000.  You must have tried to post a long excerpt.

What was the length, in words?
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
horrorcrafter
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2005, 10:53:07 AM »

it was huge.  I'll have to fiddle around a bit and send it in chunks.  thanks for your effort.
Yours,
Horrorcrafter
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SharonBell
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2005, 11:15:55 AM »

Smaller postings will make it easier for us to read, too. Looking forward to seeing it.  hiding
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"Be good and you'll be lonesome." Mark Twain

www.sharonbuchbinder.com
horrorcrafter
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2005, 02:53:31 PM »

nope, sorry, folks, its not going to work out here.  I still keep getting a sign that says "access is forbidden" whenever I try to post any of my story, even just the first paragraph.  I think my neighbor is doing something to my internet access.  She'll soon be sorry.
Horrorcrafter
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2005, 03:02:51 PM »

That's very odd scratch  I can't understand how you can post like this, but not be able to post excerpts from a story.  Perhaps it's the format of the text?  Are you using MS Word, or something more unusual?  Try saving the document in .rtf format and then copying and pasting from there - just trying to narrow down the problem. 

Very strange undecided
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
horrorcrafter
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2005, 03:37:13 PM »

I'm afraid I don't understand the computer language you use or what the hell rtf is or whatever it was.  I just e-mailed the whole first chapter to you at your e-mail address. I know how to do that.  I sent it to blunted (at) cafedoom.com
Hope it finds you happy and well-blunted.
Praising the harvest without seeds, I am,
Horrorcrafter

No probs_ Blunt afro

 The Legend, chapter 1    Horror/historical.
  Reviews welcome

These Americans were going to be bastards, we could
already tell that from how they acted and thought.
Pompous, loud-mouthed, obnoxious, and cruel, after just a
few months of arriving.  They had a strange new way of
thinking, that their perceptions were all that really
mattered… they could do and say what they liked if they
thought they were right.  But what would really cook them,
sooner or later, was that each of them actually thought
themselves important.  We had been camping along the
rugged Virginia coast for some years when these settlers
came and began to despoil the scenery for some nervous
reason.  We visited these strangers early on, a pale breed
cloaked in black and white, tried to teach them some
respect for their wide New World, but those we didn't kill
didn't change.  So, we just moved on and made new plans.

We would take to the sea.  Our race thrived at sea.  My crew
had skills and power which these newcomers would not
even understand, let alone match on the sea.  Twelve of us
could build and we also had one with great ability in
engineering and creative design.  He was Kaspar, the
great pirate, and he designed a bold new plan for a small,
fast ship.  At his suggestion, we moved to the northern
coast where we knew we would find great forests of White
Oak close upon the shoreline.  But we would need more
than slabs of White Oak.

We set to work finding deposits of heavy metals.  Kaspar
had the brilliant idea, which we didn't understand at first, to
set a large bar of lead or iron underneath the ballast keel of
the new ship.  He said it would bite into the deep water
better and we took his word for it.  We found a vein of iron
ore in a hill near a wooded bay, and we got to work.  It took
days to extract enough of the iron for his keel, but when we
had collected about four tons of the stuff, Kaspar directed
us to build a forge.  It was beautiful to watch it melt, a sheer
joy to see it spill out bright red and molten, a festival in the
moonless night, into the wet sand mold we had formed to
receive it.

When the keel had set we split up into four parties to find
and fell the best dead timber we could.  Kaspar told us to
take only those White Oak trees which had died and dried,
but whose wood was still sound.  This meant many weeks
of searching.  My little party included Jemmy who could lay
a cannon better than anyone on Earth; Hunchback whose
face could not change; Hans the cooper; and myself.  I am
the leader, but my only skill is in reading and predicting the
simple thoughts of those humans.  We set off on a
North-North-west course on our search for the finest
timber.

The forests we explored were magnificent.  As we
crunched across deep beds of crispy dead leaves under
the forest canopy, we saw fisher and puma who did not
fear us.  Much like us, they kept the wildlife strong and
balanced in this area.  Over soft and gentle hills robed in fir
and hemlock, and across wide flats of tulip and maple, we
found our way at last to an old, mature Oak Forest.  The
smells there were rich and inviting, and we set up a little
camp alongside an icy bubbling stream.  Over the next four
days we found four perfect White Oak trees, dead, dry, and
sound as rock.  It was no simple task to cut them into
manageable boards, but we leapt into the job knowing
what pleasure awaited us.

We built our ship from white oak and black magic.  One by
one, we dragged forty-five long boards, four inches thick,
back to our main camp along the bay.  We had laid down a
floor where a little dell above the beach stood sheltered
from wind and tide.  The dell was bordered with a
shadowed forest, level and firm, with a natural lane through
the gloomy hemlocks and black pine.  When Kaspar finally
announced that we had enough strong timber, he laid
down the lines of the keel on the floor.  He set each of us,
all thirteen, to build a single frame of a specific wineglass
shape, which would form the ribs of our great beast.

Those old tools we had carried with us for so long soon
became close friends again.  We fashioned several new
foreplanes from rock maple and fitted them with three-inch
plane irons sharpened on whetstone. With these
hand-planes and four old sawblades; great iron
spokeshaves; and the bit and brace, we set up thirteen
small work areas and got started.  Together, we first built
the long, slender keel itself, of white oak and black locust
beams tapering to three feet thick, and then we each began
the construction of our assigned station.  We had to stop
several times to smelt small batches of copper to make
screws and other fasteners.  The little pinewoods saw a
bustle of focused energy all through the hot summer
months.  Kurt had to cook for us, build his frame for the
second station, and also do all the sharpening of the tools
because nobody could do it as well as he.  Fortunately for
him, the second station had a small frame.  Mine was the
only frame smaller.

My frame was the first, the graceful, thin blade of the bow
itself, the station to slice through the water before any other,
and I put all of the love of the lynx for the black forests into
the rock hard oak.  Each square inch of that frame spoke of
her caring and respect for the smaller mammals, of
wonder and dazzlement on the sun-speckled forest floor
and it spoke of the quick-killing bite to the base of the neck
as well.  That frame took me over a month to create, even
though it was only five feet tall and four wide.  But it had to
be perfect in every way.  Each frame was built in like
manner.

Reynard was practically finished the huge seventh frame by
the time I finished mine, but we each worked at our own
pace and in our own method.  Reynard was dark and
shaggy like Fritz and Raven but he was a master of
carpentry, and the tools were like toys in his great black
hands.  He would laugh at Fritz and Hans' jokes and talk
and sing while working but his hands would never lose the
staccato beat of the chisel or the slow rhythm of the plane.
Conrad and I had a hell of a time trying to copy his fluid
style with the tools, and we fell far behind his pace soon
enough.  But as midsummer approached, most of us had
finished the frames and were mentally preparing ourselves
for the lofting.

The rabbet had to be cut in the keel before the lofting could
begin, so Raven made a sweet rabbet plane from white
beech which just shaved those long grooves smooth like
glass.  Raven would guide the rabbet plane with amazing
accuracy, his black brow furrowed in concentration, as he
transformed the long drawn curve along each side of the
keel into a stable ledge which would hold the planks'
edges firmly.  When that shelf was done, the frames'
sockets had to be slowly chiseled from the keel.  Here
there was absolutely no room for any error whatsoever, and
a single slip of the blade could cause abysmal failure.  We
left the job to Raven and Reynard, and the rest of us
relaxed and prepared a small feast before the fast.

Once the final socket was cut to perfection, we gathered for
a fine meal on the shore.  Kurt had prepared all of our
favorites to mark the halfway point of the construction.
There was oily tabouli and Italian antipasti; rich Turkish
babaghanoush and simple-looking white beans cooked to
fine French perfection; and there were delights from the
Orient to make a stoic drool.  We feasted and laughed over
stupid jokes and old songs, watching waves, meteors, and
gulls for a full day and then we slept well.

We began our fast.  The thirteen frames were ready and
waiting in the work areas scattered around the gloomy
forest.  Jemmy was the last to complete his frame, which of
course was no surprise, as he was a tiny little elf of a
monster, short with fuzzy white hair and a long nose.  He
had built the enormous sixth frame which was as big as
Reynard's, a full twelve feet wide and nearly twenty feet tall.
When he finally screwed the last cross-brace into place we
horsed around and cheered, but we were cheering for all of
us.

He just grinned and said: "Ahhh… slow I be, but careful."
He was exceptionally prepared for the drawing and lofting
process coming up.  The drawing, in particular, required
deep inner focus and concentration.  Jemmy, whose slight
wispy body always made me pity him, possessed a clarity
which moved heavy objects.  In three days, we were ready
for lofting, and we picked a good dark night to do it.

The air was brimming with static charge, barely visible
currents of ionic disturbance, crackling, swirling voltage in
the skies raised to a millionth power.  It was a rare
opportunity to gather nature's vast strength with
Hunchback's long sweeping motion.  As he marched down
the dark lane with the fantail section, he swept the
towering, loyal strength of the Buffalo into the chiseled
socket of the thirteenth station.  Around us there were bolts
of lightning leaping up from the dunes to meet their mates
from the black heavens.  Hunchback was quiet, even sad,
most of the time, but he understood the forces of nature
better than any of us did, and we treasured each droll word
which passed his shaggy brown beard.  He shot a beam of
clear, potent spit down on the fantail frame after we
fastened it to the keel with two-foot-long carriage bolts.  "Let
this be so for the Bison," he shouted to the darkness with
his hands aloft, and then took his place among us.

Jorindel came down with the wider twelfth frame, where I
would be spending most of my time, and as he crept down
the lane he traced the long, slow sweeping motion across
the blackness, and down into the twelfth socket.  Ozone
was deep in the night.  With the silent agility and perception
of the bat, Jorindel swept his staggering power into the
twelfth socket and spat, crying: "Let this be so for Vespers!"
He was almost a mystery to me still, after almost six
hundred years since I found him in the Kunlun Shan
mountains of China.  Jorindel was already ancient when I
met him, far, far older than I, and he looked remarkably
similar to his monstrous charge.  With his jet-black hair
and eyes he was disturbingly ugly when unmasked.  He
smiled silently and took his place among us.

Kaspar brought his frame down the lane.  He was
struggling with its clumsy weight for he was slight
compared with the others, and the eleventh frame was well
over ten feet wide.  His short, neat white hair and beard still
made him look dignified as he wrestled the thing into its'
socket and channeled the hopeless, calm despondency of
the miserable people everywhere with the final sweep.
When he spat on the intersection of his frame and the keel
he yelled at the top of his lungs: "Let this be so for the poor
man," and then he also took his place among us.

Conrad was working the huge tenth frame towards the
growing ship.  Thunder ran along westwards, as he
emerged from the dark, sandy lane dragging the
eleven-foot-wide frame.  It was now necessary to add
supporting braces to keep the ship standing, as she was
starting to get top-heavy.  Conrad was tall with long blonde
hair, and he had little trouble getting his frame into the tenth
socket and sweeping all of the restive spirit and endurance
of the noble steed with it.  "Let this be so for the wild horse!"
he cried and then joined us.  Immediately after came the
enormous ninth frame perfectly balanced on Fritz's silly
head.  He was actually doing a slow shuffling dance-step
while he was sweeping down the lane, smiling and
showing off, but he was deadly serious about channeling
the malicious persistent attack of the wolverine into the
ninth socket.  He was the most vicious, the most cruel, of
the crew, but you'd have never known it to see him with his
guard down.  When he spat he shouted: "Let this be so for
the wolf and the wolverine!"

One by one, the others came down the lane silhouetted
against the gloomy forest by the occasional lightning strike.
Each bore the frame he had poured his heart into.  As they
added their frame the ship grew and we finally began to
fully appreciate the beauty of Kaspar's design.  We started
to see what she would look like once planked, and our
excitement grew with the hull.  Raven swept the playfulness
of the proud mouse, and Reynard gave the wary wisdom of
the black bear.  Jemmy struggled under the crushing
weight of the sixth frame, but still swept the steady mind
and song of the whale into the socket.  Then Hans horsed
around a bit for us, staggering back and forth under the
frame's weight as if out of control, but we could still see the
intense concentration on his black face as he swept the
sensible silliness of the otters into the fifth socket.  Our
ship was starting to look alive.

Next came Marlen, slow but true, bringing the strange
nomadic spirit of the sea turtle to the fourth station.  He was
a tall redheaded man, always fair, always democratic,
always very careful in word and action.  He was never totally
lost at sea, and we could rely on him for solid advice.
When he made his gift he spat, crying "Let this be so for all
those who sing slowly under the waves."  Then Kywitt
brought his frame, which was shaped more like a 'V' than a
wineglass, and he drove it in the third socket with the vision
of the great birds of prey.  He arched his back, spit hard,
and ululated before shouting: "Let this be so for eagle and
buteo, for goshawk and let this be so for the Great Horned
Owl who rules this land with his dark wisdom!"  Kywitt was
the original caretaker here, tall and strong, with long
jet-black hair and sharp features.  He was fierce in battle
and was a great asset to the crew.

Down the lane came Kurt the artist.  He bore the second
frame, which was like Kywitt's but smaller, and he gave the
lambent energy of all small mammals of forest and field.
As I waited my turn, I noticed Kurt's silly peculiar
movements, and marveled at his grace and style yet again.
When Kurt spit he cried:
"Let this be so for flying squirrel and mole;
 let this be so for the beaver and vole.
 Let this be for the hare who can piss in the air;
 and for all furry friends who belong everywhere."

At last it was my turn.  I went through the black forest to get
the frame I had constructed.  As I brought the thing I felt
pride welling deep in me, I felt our mission's urgency more
strongly than I ever had, and I felt fear that we could fail.
Just as I was beginning to focus and channel the energy of
the Lynx, a huge explosion crashed down, an electric
inferno on the sand-dune around the dell.  For a second
the ship was lit with the unearthly blue glow of the bolt, and
I transferred all of the dynamic power into the first socket
with the razor-sharp frame.  Then I  shot my spit, clear and
strong after three days of the fast, down on the junction with
the black keel.  I raised my head to the starless night: "Let
this be so for the Lynx and her kindle!"  A final lightning bolt
slammed into the ground before our newly-born ship, drove
deep, deep under the keel, and shot back up from the
glassy sand behind her to the darkest night.

Our energy spent, we took a final look at the beautiful hull
and turned in for the night.  In the morning we started the
hardest part of the work- planking her.  Long boards had to
be shaped to fit into both rabbet grooves and all the frames
in between.  Then the inner hull had to be built inside the
first, to add enormous strength and resistance to the
elements and cannonballs.  The planking took three solid
weeks.  Then we turned our thoughts to internal bulkheads,
berths, and the furniture and final touches.  With Red Cedar
trim and Black Walnut interior we finished our sleek, deep
hull and launched her one beautiful late-August morning in
1568.

There was still much work to do. Old Hans had not a few
barrels to make and fit.  Jorindel came into his own as well,
for his strength was as a sailmaker.  Fritz and Raven had to
help him, for he had a suit of twenty-three sails to make
from the strong, golden-brown fibers of the hemp plants.
Conrad the navigator and I shaped the twin masts,
laminated magical wands of willow and tulip, wound about
with a spell of finding the wind. Conrad also made the
great spars.  Marlen was an adept diver and swimmer, and
it fell to him to shape and fit the rudder in the pintles and
gudgeons.  The other six set about to collect and store the
wide variety of foods available, to find and grind the grain
for our ship's biscuits and to pack what they made into
every empty space between the ships' water barrels.
Finally, we all had to work on making hempen rope, miles
and miles of the stuff, to set up the standing and running
rigging.

At last she was a thing of beauty, a living, sensitive beast
upon the gently lapping waves.  Then, we stepped the
masts, and Kaspar oversaw the process and had us rake
them about twelve degrees astern.  As we put her to trials
in the bay and then out into the wide Atlantic, she showed
us just what she could do.  On the reach she flew fast and
level and when running her eight square sails could make
fourteen knots.  However, her finest quality was how she
beat… how she rode those breakers was breathtaking.
We found that she could point almost forty degrees from
the wind!  Kaspar was a genius.  No other ship in the world
could point any higher than seventy degrees.  We would be
able to sail circles around any ship in any wind.

Exhilarated, we rode back to our little wooded bay and
anchored in deep water, for we still had a few small
matters to complete.  Firstly, we had to arm ourselves, to
make the game a bit easier.  Kywitt was our smith, with
vast experience in gunsmithing, and to him fell the
responsibility of finding and melting copper and zinc to
make the long brass nine-pounders. We all tried to help,
but only he and Kaspar knew what they were doing, and it
took weeks to cast the long guns.  But eventually we laid
ten shiny, heavy brass barrels on rolling carriages of strong
Oak, and only then did I allow for open discussion of our
new ship's name and her flag.


I was of the opinion that our ship should be named
"Relentless" for that was how she pointed into the wind.
But Kurt the cook is more poetic, and thought of "Legend."
The vote was not even close.  We turned to the vital matter
of our flag, the symbol of our strength and purpose.
Reynard thought for a moment and then opened his face
up for us.  Our race had descended from shape-shifters,
and while we did not retain their staggering power, we still
could momentarily reveal our clean white skulls at will.  At
once, we saw the beauty of his idea… our flag would be a
grinning white skull on a background of black… our ship
closing upon the victims'… it will be glorious.

On a misty September morning we ghosted out of our little
wooded bay and headed up into a soft Northeastern
breeze.  Conrad the navigator plotted a course for Montauk
Point and on to the Block Island, where we could get an
accurate fix on our position before rounding Nantucket and
the Cape.  As Legend met the first big Atlantic rollers she
rose with a gentle, sweeping movement, timbers creaking
from the strain but holding strong, for a moment holding
her bow out over the wave, and then slowly settled down
into the next trough.  There was a touch of weather helm:
she held true to her course throughout the long process of
climbing, but slid port while descending the waves.  I left
the wheel to Conrad and went below.

Legend was a sixty-two foot yawl, twin-masted and
fore-and-aft rigged, with six square sails as well.  Her
rudder balanced perfectly in between her two masts.
Below the rough Oak deck, there were quarters for the
crew, a galley, and a chartroom.  One of the benefits of
Kaspar's deep-hulled design was the space in the hold: it
was an immense, long compartment which held all of the
barrels of water; the ship's biscuits in bags; and all the
other necessary supplies for the voyage.  Reynard and I
looked over the contents in the hold, trying to decide if there
might be some better arrangement for the goods, some
way in which we could squeeze just another knot or maybe
two from her and restore her weather helm.  After a
glimmer of an idea, I called for a general meeting in the
galley.

The crew set the anchor and filed down through the Black
Walnut hatch.  Once below deck the gloom was
everywhere- there were no ports to weaken her hull.  Our
eyes miss no shade or shadow in the dark, and yet we lit a
single candle of human tallow and set it in the center of the
long galley table, more for a cynosure than for illumination.
Looking at their faces gathered around the swirling Walnut
grain of the table, I noticed that this just might be the ugliest
crew ever assembled.  I was proud of my crew, and proud
of Legend, and I announced my plan for redistributing the
contents of the hold to eliminate the weather helm.

The crew groaned a bit at hearing the plan: it would involve
taking everything out and filling up the decks with casks
and bags; shifting the water barrels forward about twelve
feet; and then replacing the entire contents to the
interstices of the hold.  I watched with admiration as the
crew hoisted the crates from the hold by main strength, and
then lifted them gently back down again when the heavy
water barrels had been shifted and fixed into place.  The
morning lifted pink and violet in a wide band about the ship
as we hoisted anchor at last and sped off towards the
North.

On that first trip around Cape Cod we became a single
sentient being with many powerful arms and great wings of
gold.  We learned that Legend could now steer almost
thirty-five degrees from the eye of the wind as a result of our
efforts, and the weather helm I noticed had been
completely eliminated.  Over and over we put her to the test
against wind and wave, tacking and heeling, riding those
long Atlantic rollers and the short, choppy waters with equal
grace, seeming to know exactly what we would ask her to
do next.  Turning into each tack she would forgive any
mistakes the crew might make, few though they were, in
handling the sheets.  That magical iron keel, about twenty
feet below the waves, seemed to begin each turn before I
ever even spun the wheel.  All I could do was ask Kurt to
chill and serve that keg of ale we had been saving, and we
toasted Kaspar, and Legend, with cheer that evening at
supper.

In time, we were approaching the Manan Islands, where
the wide St. Croix empties her muddy waters into the dark
blue sea.  Night had deepened and I was at the wheel,
steering West-by-Northwest under a bright, speckled Milky
Way which reached from one black horizon to the other,
and at last I sensed the game.  Legend began the turn
before I even nudged the wheel to starboard, where I felt a
presence of some cruel genius past the dark edge of the
sea in the East.  I called to Reynard to gather the crew
under the mizzen, and starlight shone on their excited faces
as they tumbled out of the hatch to come aft.

"What, Sir, is it finally some of them?" asked Conrad with
his telescope in hand.

"Aye, Conrad, they're just over there…"  I pointed to where
the southernmost island off Manan lay shrouded in the
darkness.  Three bright shooting stars zoomed across the
blackness.   "…They're after seals."

Jemmy was choking with rage.  He loved those gentle
mammals, and, being the best gunner, with ten brand new
brass long guns, but not an ounce of gunpowder on board,
he could not contain himself.  "The Pig-Fucking Bastards…
I'll roast them!"

I told the men that I thought it was a big Caravel, that the
captain spoke English but was not from England, and that
there was a crew of about forty on her.  We went over the
plan one last time and then I asked them to stay quiet at
their stations until dawn. Reynard climbed the ratlines to
the mainmast with his telescope hoping to glimpse the
chase, as it was still over the horizon from the deck.  Fritz
prepared the jolly boat and made all the lines ready to hoist
her out over the side when the time was right.  He was the
fiercest of the crew, the most athletic, the most bloodthirsty,
and he could leap twenty feet straight up without running.
When all was ready, the crew settled down to wait in the
dark, and I set a course to intersect the Caravel in about
four more hours.

We waited.  Legend stole through the waves at twelve
knots on the port tack to a point a quarter mile to windward
of our prey.   There was no doubt about her ability to steer
closer to the wind than a wide, bathtub-shaped caravel, but
I would take no chances with the success of our first
pursuit, and so I steered to where we could extinguish all
hope of evasion.  We closed on the chase in the gloom of
the predawn silence.  Reynard sent down the signal flag to
us on deck, a silent symbol of the first sighting.  We gained
on the chase as the first pink bands of morning spread
across the eastern sky.  At last, there she was.

 The hulk was dead ahead.  Four masted, wide and bulky
and full of men from America.  On her deck were huge
bales of drying seals' furs.  There was a large red star on
each square sail and as we closed on her I saw the
lookout on her crow's-nest call and wave to us.  The fools
were looking at their doom approach them, and they were
waving and calling to us.  I had Jorindel send up our new
black flag to the mizzentop, and now the lookout and the
captain were waving and welcoming death.  Now it was two
miles to the cut-off point, and now it was just a mile, and
still no shots had been fired.  It was almost dawn and I was
close enough to sense most of their thoughts, and I found
that these were the sick sort of lads who would usually
beat the sealpups senseless before ripping the furs from
their bodies.  Now we were directly to windward of the fat
prize, and they still made no thought to either escape or
fight, so we furled the sails and drifted down…

Now was the moment.  At exactly one cables' length we all
corrupted our facades, each of us except for Hunchback,
just as the sun's first morning rays came level with our
ship.  At first, we contracted, and then expanded our sinus
linings, and in a quick reflexive action, first the bright pink
flesh stood out in the warm yellow light, and in another
second, the flesh collapsed upon itself and into itself, and
finally collapsed into the gleaming white bone of our
grinning skulls.  The jolly boat was launched and in it were
Fritz and Marlen, Raven and Kywitt, all screaming at the top
of their lungs in the bright white light and rowing like mad.
Fritz made the leap to the ship's deck.

In the Caravel the Captain and the First Mate emptied their
bladders and bowels and erupted with shiny blooms of
frenzied horror, panicking first to port and then reeling
backwards, spinning and falling for their muskets as Fritz
first reached them on the poopdeck.  There were seven
men there now and four more coming up from the main
deck when Fritz landed and then took his time to stroll
towards the captain, holding his arms straight out and
looking around at the crew while licking his grinning bony
cheeks.  And he was cackling.  Laughing, and grinning,
and licking his teeth and jaw, and he strode slowly up to
the captain of the caravel as Marlen and Raven took up the
flank positions behind him.  The captain leveled his
musket at Fritz and fired as he was three paces away.  Fritz
made a movement too quick to follow and then thrust both
his hands in the captain's mouth and stretched… there's
some hot red blood… tore… here's a nice crunchy sound…
and ripped the top of his white-haired head right off as the
screams were still in his throat.

It was all over far too quickly.  It was such a let-down when
the old fellow's eyeballs only rolled around in sheer terror
for a second or two, looking as Fritz held the dripping
undead thing high above his own head and let out a
piercing loud scream.  None of the other crew offered any
further resistance… it was a pity, really, but we had our fun
with them later.  When the jolly boat's crew had marched all
forty-two of the men on board the caravel to the main deck,
and roped their hands behind their backs, we divided them
equally between us, so that each of us got three or four.
What a party we had then, each of us playing in our own
style.  At least sixteen of them were skinned alive, just like
their own prey, and another fourteen were flogged to a slow
lingering death.  My favorite moment was finding that
quivering, red-haired man, the one who developed their
skinning method, and setting him up by his back on a spar
we found in the hold and sharpened up for him.  It took him
four hours to die.

We also found fresh flour in the hold, sacks and sacks of
the stuff, and barrels of sour red apples.  Somehow, room
was found to store these luxuries on board Legend.  Hans
found three kegs of a pale dry ale from Holland, and Kurt
found jars of exotic spices and bags of wild rice in the
galley.  The bags of gold in the lazarette meant nothing to
us.  Jemmy searched the caravel from stem to stern for
kegs of that precious black powder but found none.  A
caravel carries no cannon.

For myself I cared only for maps, and spent the better part
of a day looking for good ones, with recent soundings of
the sea floor.  The chartroom was a neat array of about
twenty maps of the American coast, in four shelves
according to scale, and two more shelves of maps
showing the Old World.  I took them all, of course, but found
only three to be of any use to us.  Those three maps,
however, showed many details of the coastline from where
we were now down to a place well below New Netherland,
with the evil-sounding name "Philadelphia." I rolled them
up and returned to Legend.

When we had removed all the tasty treats from the hulk,
and about two miles of new rope, Kurt set fire to her hold
as the twilight grew.  The long, pink Belt of Venus moved
over us, the very last rays from the sun for this happy day.
By the time the sharks had finished their feast the first
wisps of flame licked and curled around the hatches and
gratings of the caravel.  We set the flying jib and the
spanker, and backed off a half mile to windward to watch
the show.

The darkness came.  A  great black sky waited to receive
the essence of that cruel tool and four thousand bright
stars would bear witness.  The dry hulk caught fire and the
blaze raced through the deck and tore up the masts and
rigging.  Twelve old canvas sails burst into flames,
billowing reds and oranges under the blinking stars.  While
the conflagration was reaching its' peak we saw off the port
beam the huge shimmering green and yellow curtain of the
Aurora Borealis and heard the crackling, sputtering sound
it made.  Kurt tapped that first keg of new ale and we sat on
the taffrail wondering at the colors around us in the dark
and tasting that delicious brew.  For such a light, pale beer
it had a rich strong flavor.

Marlen gave a laugh.  "Hey, Fritz, you were amazing up
there…"

Fritz just smiled and said, "Ah, go on…"

"What about when he started licking his lips…?"  Conrad
was cracking up.

The crew was all smiles and giggling at the thought.  "Nice
touch of drama there.
The captain thought you were going to eat him."  I was
laughing too.

"Whoa, look at that…" Kaspar was pointing to the burning
hulk.  The four masts broke at once and fell in different
directions, crashing and rending the dying wooden frame
and sending an enormous cloud of bright red sparks up
into the night.  She began to settle slowly into the waters
stern first.  At last she went down.

"Oy, that was good fun today, mateys.  Damned good job to
all" Reynard was right.

Over on Seal Cove we heard hundreds of seals barking,
and then we turned in.

« Last Edit: August 20, 2005, 04:57:44 PM by blunt » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2005, 04:09:59 PM »

I don't know how you managed it, but when I try to post it as text, I get

Quote
Forbidden
You don't have permission to access /forum/index.php on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.


Looks like there's something hidden in there Wink
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2005, 04:19:41 PM »

what do you mean?  whats wrong with it? is it infected or something?  please tell me whats going on.
Horrorcrafter
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2005, 04:23:47 PM »

I don't know, but I will find out.
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2005, 04:55:49 PM »

I've found out what the trouble is now.  Although the forum has no word filters, it turns out that a lot of hosts have begun installing something called mod_security on their servers.  This acts as a word filter to protect the database - words like haxx and linx set the thing off and it blocks the post.

I've sorted it out now, so you should be able to post your complete story.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  I didn't know our hosts had the damn thing installed - never had a problem with it before rolleyes
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2005, 04:59:53 PM »

Yep - the story is posted in its entirety now afro
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2005, 05:04:42 PM »

well, I'm not really sure of what your talking about, but thank you very much for whatever the hell you did.  Was it the two cursewords in the story that set it off?  I'm worried that there is something darker, hidden deep in this computer, lurking in the main drive, waiting to get me.
Please let me know if I am not crazy.
Yours admiringly,
Horrorcrafter
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« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2005, 05:15:33 PM »

No, there aren't any virii in your story, probably not on your comp either - but if you're worried you can always get an antivirus programme.  Norton is about £30, from what I remember, but there are free ones available at places like www.download.com most of them aren't much use, but they'll give you a basic level of protection.

What was setting off the mod_security (not on the forum, but in the server) was the word 'linx' in your story, from what I can make out.  I think all the references to 'frames' probably triggered it too.  I think the hosts must have installed it on our server recently - we've never had any problems like this before.

Guess you were just lucky grin

There aren't any word filters set up on the forum - you can use whatever words you want in your stories - shit, fuck, cunt, piss, whatever you want smiley  I think censorship is too restrictive on a forum like this.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2005, 05:19:13 PM by blunt » Logged

Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2005, 11:12:52 PM »

Oh, my fucking, pissy, cunt! What the fuck are you shits going to do next?  scratch scratch
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« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2005, 04:02:09 AM »

scratch  Maybe I should reconsider Cheesy
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« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2005, 09:01:56 AM »

 laughter1
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