V is for Victory: Sometimes Winning is Losing #atozchallenge #blogging #writing #CalloftheSea

While I was pondering what to post today, I started to flip through my brain for words starting with V that would translate into a excerpt for you all from Call of the Sea — Then it hit me. Victory! what a great V word. Everyone likes winning.

So, with that in mind, I began to think on what scene I could share to illustrate the theme of VICTORY. The irony of this snipit is that it shows us that even though you can claim victory, sometimes you still don’t actually win. Below is an example of what I mean, brought to you by CALL OF THE SEA and Ellie Winters.

The ship drew closer.

A tingle started at the base of Ellie’s neck and trickled down her spine. The burning ember of familiarity sparked to life in her chest. Her heart froze when the vessel finally raised its colors. The brig flew the flags of Winters Shipping—The Siren’s Call.

Ellie dropped the spyglass and her hands grasped the rail, fingers curled so tight her knuckles whitened.

Papa! She took a deep breath, rolled the sudden tension from her shoulders, and called down to the deck. “She’s a friendly, Captain!” Was her father really aboard?

While the brig was her father’s first ship and his favorite, he did own a few others. Ellie scrambled for the spyglass, chest tight. With shaking fingers, she lifted it to her eye and searched the deck for her father. Would he even recognize her?

She sat back, gathered her knees to her chest and hugged them tight. Maybe I can just hide up here until they go away.

Ellie wrinkled her nose. She didn’t want that either. If she were brutally honest with herself, she wanted to see her father, missed him more than she cared to admit.

As The Siren’s Call drew closer, she was able to make out the shapes scrambling about the deck. The olive-skinned men with flowing pants and bare chests were not Papa’s crew. Her brow furrowed and her heart plummeted.

Pirates!

Ellie jumped to her feet and pointed across the waves. “Pirates, Captain!” Pulse hammering in her ears, Ellie climbed out of the crow’s nest and hurried down the rigging. “Pirates have taken The Siren’s Call!”

A panting Captain Harris reached Ellie as her feet touched the decking. Worry lines etched his forehead. “Ye sure, boy?”

Ellie nodded. “Positive, Captain.”

“Man the cannons! Prepare to come about!” Captain Harris withdrew his pistol, checked it with narrowed eyes before stuffing it back into his belt. He glanced at Ellie. “Arm yourself and get on the wheel, boy. Send Barry to me at the cannons.”

Ellie bobbed her head and bolted for the quarterdeck. Tendrils of panic wormed their way through her stomach. Where the hell is Papa?

Upon reaching the quarterdeck, Ellie fell to her knees and lifted the heavy chest lid. She grabbed her cutlass from inside and sheathed it at her hip. Slamming the lid shut again, she lurched to her feet. Ellie took the helm from Barry, sending him to the captain. Wrapping damp palms around the wheel, she turned her attention to the oncoming ship.

Their sloop would be no match for the heavy guns of The Siren’s Call. She’d have to outmaneuver them to have a chance. Ellie pulled hard on the wheel. The ship responded with a flap of canvas, swinging to port. Her eyes sought Captain Harris. The painful realization they were about to fire upon her father’s ship hit her with the force of a tidal wave.

Harris raised his sword.

Ellie held her breath. Please don’t let Papa be aboard.

“Fire all cannons!” Captain Harris swung his arm downward. The cannons answered his command with a deafening concussion. Smoke exploded from the ends.

Screams of both anger and pain mixed with the sound of splintering wood as the shots found purchase.

The muffled shout of “Fire!” rang from across the water. A second volley of guns rent the air. Gunpowder burned Ellie’s nostrils and stung her eyes. The quarterdeck stairway exploded to her right, a jagged chunk of wood grazing her shoulder and throwing her to the ground. Searing heat radiated down to her fingertips. Gritting her teeth, she crawled to the other side of the helm, pulled at the wheel’s smooth handles.

One.

Two.

Three rungs.

The Surf Runner veered hard to port.

Ellie scrambled to her feet.

“Reload the cannons!” Captain Harris’s voice carried to the helm. “Swing ’er about, Ellis!”

Ellie glanced over her shoulder, made a quick distance calculation. Her gaze swung up the rigging. She yanked on the steerage, eyes glued to the sails. Right on cue, the sheets of white canvas caught wind and snapped to attention. The ship sliced through the waves in a tight arc until The Surf Runner faced The Siren’s Call.

Taking a deep breath, Ellie clamped down on her apprehension and steeled herself for another pass.

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About Rebecca Hart

Im a single parent of three and a published author of romance in all sorts of sub-genres. A full time IT geek, Managing Editor of Roane Publishing, cover artist and a reformed gaming addict -- I live to write fantasy peppered with a dash of romantic nonsense :P Addicted to all things pirates, penguins, Johnny Depp and rum. Follow me on Twitter: @Rebelhart69

Posted on April 25, 2012, in A to Z Blogging Challenge 2012, Blogging, Call of the Sea, General, Inkspell Publishing, My Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I love the title that you picked for today’s blog post, but it wasn’t exactly what I imagined. This isn’t to say that I didn’t like it, I quite liked it in fact, but let me share with you what I thought you were going to say – let me know if you agree with me…

    For us, as writers, we are faced with a devastating prospect of a dual “win/lose” scenario. One of the biggest challenges we face is the entire process of “start to finish” writing. It is not a small challenge. Anyone that says otherwise doesn’t really devote that much time or thought into their work, I think. We have to create something, a baby if you will, and nurture and raise it. Once that baby has reached maturity we, like most parents, set it free into the world. Only to be faced with a terribly large amount of rejection. That’s part of the writer’s game, right? Not many people have the opportunity to get their work published on their first run, and that is where the “lose” part comes in.

    We have to continue to push and even though we have the victory of finishing our work under our belts, we then have to deal with the continuous “not winning” of the post-writing process.

    Just my two cents,
    djm.

  2. Hi, Rebecca,

    This is cool–love it.

    Teresa

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