Grab Your Broadsword and Pistol and Prepare To Board!

Amber Wake

Amber Wake is Coming!

I think you may need a nice little teaser to grab you and pull you back in time to the Golden Age of Piracy!

How about a little light reading to get you started? Grappling hooks, pikes, swords and men who valued freedom and vengeance on the open ocean await! We give you Chapter One of Amber Wake – Gabriel Falling. 

Chapter One:

“Gabriel, there’s trouble brewing upstairs,” Miles Jacobs said, taking an empty chair at the corner table of the tavern. When I observed my Lieutenant’s set jaw and clenched teeth, I immediately appreciated the seriousness of his words. My eyes followed his to the steps at the opposite end of the tavern, passing over the crowded room of Royal Navy men and local seamen. There was only one nature of affairs to be found at the top of those stairs and it was never the prudent sort.

“Are any of our crew involved?”

“No, but Admiral Hawthorne is,” Miles answered.

The mention of the name of such a pious member of London society snapped my attention fully to the big Scotsman, Miles, and I leaned to his ear and asked, “Are you certain?”

“I’ll forgive my captain’s momentary lapse of sanity in questioning his First Lieutenant and lifelong friend,” Miles said with a raised brow. “But it would seem the Admiral’s lovely wife is engaged upstairs, and the Admiral has followed her here to capture her in the act of said engagement.” His expression of feigned insult slid quickly into a devilish smile that appeared to be bursting with anticipation.

The possibility of a deadly outcome in this situation began to hush the hall and anxious expectation rose thick in the atmosphere of the room. However absurd this situation was, it was beyond even Miles’ ability to indulge in the pleasure of being present for such a scene. The reality of an Admiral’s wife spending time in a room normally occupied by whores was as humorously awkward as any scenario either of us had witnessed of late.

“Perhaps we’d make better use of our time elsewhere,” Miles said as he stood. I rose to follow him, when the commotion on the stairs stopped us like an unseen wall. A young, dark haired man leapt down the stairs; his coat in one hand and his open shirt flapping in his wake as he fled the roars of the wrathful man close behind him. I easily identified the young man as Maddox Carbonale, a young lieutenant we’d only yesterday acquired from another ship. His assignment to my patrol galley came with a reputation that I’d been left to sort out—as well as his less than obedient temperament. I’d been repeatedly blessed of late with the Navy’s problem seamen and I hadn’t yet had the honor of a formal introduction with this obvious miscreant. According to my command, I was adept at handling hard heads. I knew better.

“Hold that bastard!” Admiral Hawthorne ordered. He made his way down the stairs one at a time, clutching at the railing for support.  His face was puffed-up and as red as a drunken Irishman with an empty wages packet. He was sweating and panting as if he too were running for his life.

A group of Royal Navy men obeyed the admiral’s order without question and scrambled after the fleeing man. The object of their pursuit fought them, tossing each one off as they struggled repeatedly to seize him. However, it wasn’t long before several of them at last wrapped him up and wrestled the stealthy young man to the ground. Knowing my Lieutenant’s lust for a good scrap, my hand was pressed hard against Miles’ chest until at the conclusion of this spectacle, he turned to me and said, “I wasn’t going to hurt anyone much.”

“We need to determine the full nature of this incident before we unwisely jump into such a delicate situation. What decent woman would involve herself in such an indiscretion, unless it was of her own device?”

“I didn’t say who that ‘anyone’ I was going to hurt was,” Miles said from the corner of his mouth.

“Make your way around the other side with care,” I said, and he nodded and began an easy journey through the now vacant part of the tavern. Everyone still sober enough to stand was pressed closely together to see what would happen next. The stench of beer and body odor assaulted me as I moved roughly through the gathered mob.

“I am going to blast your balls off for this, boy,” Admiral Hawthorne slurred, spraying his words as he waved his pistol and moved closer to the fit young man. Now standing, he was secured tightly by the arms and shoulders, yet continued to twist and wrestle to free himself from the Admiral’s men. Admiral Hawthorn labored step by step towards the restrained target of his angst until he lost his footing and stumbled to the tavern floor.

Throughout his entire ordeal, the handsome young man neither spoke nor showed even a speck of fear. Even as one of the men snatched a handful of his unruly black hair and jerked his head back while two other sailors helped the Admiral to his feet.

A low rolling groan flowed through the crowd as Admiral Hawthorne appeared to be making good on his threat. He raised his pistol, and pointed it in the general direction of the man’s groin, scattering the gawking mob. It appeared almost everyone feared the chance of being caught by a misdirected shot from the shaky hand of the maddened Admiral.

“Hold, Admiral,” I said stepping forward, which hushed the nattering crowd.

Hawthorne turned toward me with a squint. “Captain Wallace? This is none of your concern. It would serve you well to remain clear of the matter.” He turned to take aim again and I held back my retort in regards to my own welfare. However, having no interest in bloodshed, I spoke anyway. “Sir, the young man is unarmed and being held against his will. There has been no trial. This will not go well sir, not even for you.” As I spoke, I spied Miles still carefully moving throughout the crowd, until he was directly behind one of the Admiral’s men who was holding tightly onto the young man.

Admiral Hawthorn took two tottering steps and his rotund body was pressed hard against mine as he barked up at me. “You dare to presume how my actions will be received, boy?”

“Just offering a bit of direction in a storm, Admiral. To murder a man in this manner, will surely bring grave consequences, sir. There is no honor or dignity in murdering a restrained and unarmed man.” The stench of hard liquor on his hot breath seared my nostrils as he blew his words at me, causing me to lean back and away from his face. The room fell silent as every man now stood quietly awaiting the admiral’s rebuttal which did not come. Then, I watched as all eyes and ears turned to the stairs and the delicate footsteps descending them. To say the Lady Hawthorne was brave would be a great understatement. To say she was beautiful would be pointless.

“Agatha, I told you to stay—”                      

“Be quiet, Jeremiah,” the young Agatha Hawthorne said to her husband. “Ordering me around as if I were one of your crew has never worked for you nor will it, ever.” She said and turned her gaze to the handsome dark haired prisoner, who’d ceased his relentless efforts to free himself as their eyes met.

“Agatha—” The Admiral said in an attempt to draw her attention—as well as his embarrassment, away from the young man’s bright green eyes but she didn’t waver.

“Maddox, I do hope we meet again. If not, I doubt I will find another lover that has your appetites.” She twirled a long loose curl with the fingers of her left hand and slid the fingernails of her right, down over the flesh of his exposed chest. She turned gracefully away from him at the shoulders, gazing back one last time before finally cutting a path through the crowd as she walked away.  Her expensive scent followed her through the musky tavern, until her dazzling blue eyes acknowledged my presence. “Captain Wallace,” she said and nodded.

Everyone watched as she drifted care free from the tavern, leaving lustful thoughts and in her wake—revenge.

“Die, you wife thieving scum,” Hawthorne growled as he lunged forward.

“No, Admiral!” I shouted, grabbing his arm as his gun discharged into the floor. At the same time, Maddox made his most daring move yet at escape. He kicked up with both feet in the air. Taking his captors unawares, he leveraged his body weight to pull them down on top of him, causing them to let go and creating a havoc of scattering sailors and gawkers.

 “The lothario has killed the Admiral!” I looked to the source of that cry and across the room was the First Lieutenant of Admiral Hawthorne, ever present and ever protective. He was pale as moonlight and trembling like the last leaf in autumn.

I glanced at Miles and nodded to Maddox. Miles nodded in return.

“Admiral Hawthorne,” I said, still holding onto his arm but now, I was completely bearing his weight. I looked at him in horror to find a dagger had somehow been buried deeply in his chest during the chaos. My assumption was the dagger had been meant for Maddox.

“Help me sit, Gabriel,” the Admiral groaned as he lowered himself into a chair and I held tightly onto him to keep him from falling. “Pull it out. I don’t want to die stuck like some wild boar on a hunt.”

The Admiral’s shirt and waistcoat were already saturated in blood. I knew from experience that removing the blade would cause a red river to spring forth but the choice of a quick death was his to make.

“Grab his shoulders,” I called to Miles as the others gathered around. “Someone hold his legs. On three.” My chest tightened and pushed every breath in me outward like a gale. Then, I counted.

The wet sucking sound as his flesh reluctantly released the blade, caused some of the men to retch and groan. Admiral Hawthorne’s blanched white face was now glazed over with perspiration. Over his ragged breaths, he murmured, “My nightmares . . . have always been, of dying by stabbing but I never thought…it would be over some society arranged marriage, young piece of . . .”

The Admiral slumped in his chair and was gone.

I Don’t Know What To Call This. My Let’s Save America Mission Statement Maybe?

Tonight I skipped about the internet and read some really horrible things.

I swore I wouldn’t do it but I did. It really made me sad when I saw some of the things that were being said. Yes, some of these comments on these so called news sites were just trolls trying to stir people up, and unfortunately, a lot of people were too ignorant not to see through it and they of course had to fire back with their own nasty remarks. Sometimes I honestly think the internet was a really bad idea. Then, I have to remind myself of all of the good things the internet has brought us…like the ALS ice bucket challenge. 🙂

From there, I sat here and wrote up this list. This list is about US as a Nation of people. It’s about ALL of us. Granted, these are my personal views but none the less, with everything that is going on all over the world, I think we need to get it together and concern ourselves with the health and well-being of the United States because here at home, we are bleeding to death from self-inflicted wounds.

Where did we lose our way?

Were we all too consumed with pushing our own agendas that we forgot there are millions of other people pushing theirs and in the course of these actions we alienated ourselves from the population as a whole?

You don’t have to agree with me and if you read this list and twist it and interpret it in any way other than what it is meant to be, I have no control over that. I believe that most of you who know me, will know this comes from hope and the desire to have my grandchildren grow up in a better world.

Personal accountability and tolerance are two words we don’t hear much anymore and yet they mean everything when it comes to the ability of a society of vastly different people getting along and living together. We’ll never be one big happy family but we don’t have to be the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s either.

Here is what came out of my head:

  1. This is our country. It doesn’t matter how we got here, who put us here or why. If you live within the borders of the USA, it is your responsibility to uphold your end of the freedom bargain.
  2. There are these things called rules. Without rules, the whole system will collapse.
  3. Obey the rules. If you feel a rule is unjust, educate yourself and get to work fixing it.
  4. People who are caught breaking the rules get punished. What that punishment is and where you end up has almost everything to do with you. You made the choice to break the rules, not the person in power who has to deal with you.
  5. Laws and rules are necessary to protect the innocent. Without them, we will all perish.
  6. Someone has to enforce those rules and those enforcers are human beings, not robots. Sometimes they make a bad call. Obey the rules and you most likely won’t have to worry about this.
  7. Human beings are flawed and we shouldn’t expect them not to be. Are you perfect?
  8. Be the change you want to see in the world, starting in your own communities.
  9. Talk to the problem not about the problem.
  10. Don’t wait until all hell breaks loose to do something.
  11. Stop blaming everyone else for your problems. Take a look in the mirror and be honest with yourself.
  12. If you can’t work, and the tax paying citizens of your country are taking care of you, volunteer.
  13. You are not a product of your environment. You are a product of your choices.
  14. Just because you believe something is true, doesn’t make it a fact. Facts are tangible proof. They are not ideas and opinions.
  15. Most people just want to live their lives peacefully without anyone messing it up for them. Right?
  16. You’d be surprised at how little anyone really cares about what color, religion, sexual orientation or nationality you are. Most of us just want to get through our lives day to day and enjoy our freedom.
  17. No one is required to agree with you. The upside of this is that you are entitled to the same privilege.
  18. No one is required to like you either. However, being likable won’t hurt.
  19. Just because someone doesn’t agree with your lifestyle, sexual preference or even hair color, it doesn’t make you or them a bad person, as long as they aren’t interfering with your personal freedom.
  20. Forcing your personal beliefs down people’s throats is a waste of time. If and when they choose to think like you, it will be their decision, not yours. You’re not the only person who can get angry—other people get angry too.
  21. What adult people do in the privacy of their own homes is none of your business.
  22. Most conspiracy theories are just that—theories.
  23. Stop being a victim. You are who you think you are. Believe you are a victor over your own circumstances and you will be but you have to work at it.
  24. Stay in school. Education is the only way to rise. Even if you only graduate from high school—this is America, the first twelve years are still free.
  25. Respect is a two way street.
  26. Everyone wants freedom but not the responsibilities that come with it.
  27. If you like living in a free country, get used to the fact that we are all free, not just you.
  28. If you believe the system is broken, vote those in power out by choosing different leaders.
  29. Don’t vote for promises, vote for someone who appreciates and values you enough to expect you to step up and help.
  30. Stop turning a blind eye to corruption and crime in your own back yard. You are only perpetuating the cycle.
  31. Just because you don’t want to hear something or don’t agree with it, doesn’t make it false.
  32. Try to be a good example for your children and not just expect or tell them to do better. YOU do better and they will follow.
  33. Try to believe the good news as easily as you do the bad.
  34. Stop looking up to people who look down on you. If someone points at you and tells you that you are a victim, a target and oppressed, instead of cheering for them, PROVE THEM WRONG.
  35. It’s hard out here for all of us. The only way it will ever get any easier is if we work together.
  36. Live in the now. You can’t go back and change things in the past.
  37. Things won’t make you happy.
  38. Some things make your life easier but not happier.
  39. Admit when you’re wrong. Others will respect your honesty.
  40. Show off your talents, your smarts and your humanity, not your car and your house.
  41. Saying, “That’s just how I am,” or “That’s just how it is,” is a cop out.
  42. Stop buying your children’s silence and then wondering why they have no respect for you or anyone else for that matter.
  43. Acknowledge greatness and encourage it.
  44. Mind your own business unless your inner voice tells you to ask what you can do to help
  45. Everyone just wants to be heard. Try listening instead of talking sometimes.
  46. Give the benefit of a doubt, especially to those you love.
  47. Give credit where credit is due and say please and thank you.
  48. Not everyone gets to do the job they love and get paid for it. Do what you love on your own time. The rewards are worth more than money.
  49. Stop expecting something for nothing. There’s always a price to pay in the end.
  50. Freedom is not free. It is a responsibility to maintain the freedoms our ancestors fought and died for. It is a responsibility to your country and fellow countrymen and women. You are not above it.

The reason this country is bleeding is not because of war, it’s because of people who want to sit on the sidelines and only stand up when it suits them. Our government is flawed. Our finances are mess. Our educational system is sub-standard and yet we want to point our fingers at each other and lay blame?

We can’t even fix ourselves and yet we expect others to fix it for us. Change comes from within. Change comes from being accountable for your actions and doing something to make life better for all of us, not just you. Stop waiting for your government to kiss your booboos and make it all better. We need to start fixing things ourselves in our own homes, schools and communities.

Thank you for reading my ramblings. I’m just one woman who believes this country can still be saved but we have to trust each other to do the right things and make good choices.

United we stand. Divided, we are already falling.