Grantaire was nothing special on this ship. He wasn’t the captain or had a high rank. He wasn’t the owner of the present gold. He was nothing but a young boy who wanted to make a living on the sea, who wanted to go on an adventure. He’d got stuck scrubbing the deck of this rathole instead.

He liked the sea, he truly did. Otherwise he would have never boarded the Patron-Minette. It was a hard life, sailing the seas, and he earned very little. He was pretty sure captain Claquesous kept most of the money for himself, but what could he do against it? He was nothing special.

It was a quiet night and Grantaire was once again busy cleaning the deck. He had drunk a bit too much the day before and had started a discussion with First Mate Montparnasse, and now he had to pay for it. The captain didn’t allow them to drink much, preferably none at all, but how could they survive this life without something to numb the boredom, the pain and the suffering?

The deck smelled like rotten fish, and Grantaire was sure it wouldn’t go away, no matter how hard he scrubbed. The Patron-Minette would never lose her smell.

Maybe the quiet should have warned Grantaire. Everything bad always happened on quiet nights when the moon had hidden her face behind the clouds. It didn’t. He had nicked another bottle of rum to help ease the hours on this desk.

“It’s a damn tough life, full of toil and strife, we whaler-men undergo,” he sang softly. The wind blew his voice away, and even he could barely hear himself. “And we don’t give a damn when the gale is done, how hard the winds did blow…”

The captain was already sleeping of course. The whole crew seemed to be asleep, apart from the one in the crow’s mast and the one making the rounds. It was damn cold and the wind tried to cut through clothes. No living soul would want to be outside.

“For we’re homeward bound from the Arctic ground with a good ship, taut and free…” another voice continued. Grantaire smiled.

“You’re on duty tonight, Ép?” he asked. Éponine sat down on a barrel, watching as Grantaire continued scrubbing. She was the only girl on the boat, and they both knew the only reason captain Claquesous had accepted her as a crewmember was because he had a debt to pay. Her father had forced him to accept Éponine. Nevertheless, she was one of the best sailors Grantaire ever met. She was the fastest to set the sails and her coordination was terrific. Wasn’t it for the captain’s special dislike of her, then she would definitely have been first mate. She was much more capable than First Mate Montparnasse, at least. Everyone knew he was just a mate of the captain, someone who would kiss his arse.

“Yeah, nobody wants to sacrifice their sleep, so the captain puts me here. You know how it is.”

Grantaire chuckled. “He’s just hoping you’ll finally leave.”

“Like that’s gonna happen.”

Grantaire took a big swig of the rum, then offered the – almost empty – bottle to Éponine. “To never leaving,” he said.

“To not leaving the sea.” They both didn’t speak about not leaving the Patron-Minette. Grantaire would leave the corrupt captain the moment he would get the chance. But he wanted to stay on the sea. He wasn’t made for living on the land, so what choice did he really have? Who would want a young sailor, when his former captain was telling everyone what a lazy and useless drunk he was?

Softly he continued his song. “And we won’t give a damn when we drink our rum with the girls of old Maui-” He was abruptly cut off by shouting.

“Ship! There’s a ship coming!”

Cursing, Grantaire jumped up. Indeed, there was a ship sailing to them fast, with no lights. It could only mean one thing: “Bloody pirates.”

Within moments the whole deck was crowded with people who were trying to rub the sleep out of their faces, but it was already too late. The grapnels were already thrown, and all the crew could do was fight for their lives. Somewhere in the chaos Grantaire had lost Éponine.

“Ep!” he shouted. He tried to dodge the fighting people, but of course he couldn’t. He wasn’t special, but in a fight with pirates it didn’t matter whether you were or not. As long as you were able to hold a sword, you were a threat.

People were shouting, people were dying. Even in the dim moonlight the deck looked red. People fell, begging for their lives. They tried to grab his clothes, wanted him to help them. Orders were shouted, but nobody listened. It was chaos. All Grantaire could do was shout Éponine’s name over and over again. Where was she? Was she okay? Did she need his help?

He tried to fight. He really did. He wasn’t a very bad swordsman either, but the rum had made his head heavy, and he was surrounded by four pirates. It didn’t take long before he had lost his weapon.

“Come on then!” he shouted. He only had a dagger left and used it to fend off the swords. “Is this the best you have?” He wasn’t going to die without a fight, not even in his intoxicated state. He would live. He would win.

“Just surrender,” one of them said. The world had become a bit blurry, so Grantaire couldn’t make out who was speaking.

“Never!” Once again he tried to attack them, but his movements became less and less coordinated. He was tired, he was scared, his body hurt. Where was Éponine? Was she still alive? His arm was bleeding where he had been cut.

“Don’t be a fool. We’re not here for you. Why die when you can live?”

“Because… because…” Grantaire was just mad. These pirates had just invaded their ship, tried to take everything and he had to simply surrender? He couldn’t. It was his pride that didn’t let him. The ship had been a hellhole since the beginning, but he couldn’t just let himself become a prisoner without trying.

He wanted to wipe that little smirk off of that face. He couldn’t let the blond pirate win. Just as he wanted to strike once again, something heavy hit his head and everything became black.

Reageer (3)

  • Derks

    Of coooourse heeft Grantaire een beetje teveel gedronken de avond voordat er een piratenschip aanvalt, zodat hij met een kater moet gaan vechten xD

    Ik las 'red' en ik moest meteen aan Red And Black denken xD xD xD

    3 maanden geleden
  • Phlegethon

    Aan boord gaan van Patron-Minette.. Somehow denk ik dat de Amis beter gezelschap zullen zijn dan een boevenbende.
    "how could they survive this life without something to numb the boredom, the pain and the suffering?" Typisch R.
    En nu al een discussie met Enjolras, begint goed xD

    3 maanden geleden
  • ProngsPotter

    Everything bad always happened on quiet nights when the moon had hidden her face behind the clouds. It didn’t.


    3 maanden geleden

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