Tag Archives: swashbuckling

A snippet

This is a bit from a larger piece I’m working on, but I really like it.  My tip of the hat to Terry Pratchett.

For all intents and purposes, Rudolph “Ruddy” Cobb, Angel Carrier sailor for three years, was a good man.  Sure he cursed and he drank and he sometimes even took a bite of his mate’s biscuit when he wasn’t looking, but Ruddy felt pretty confident that he deserved a good life, and a sailor’s life was a pretty good life.  Three hots and a cot, as they say, although it would definitely depend on a man’s definition of “hot.”  In Ruddy’s world, a closely related and practically identical word to “good” was “simple.”  Simple like when you put on an extra pair of socks, your feet stay dryer and warmer.  Like when you have too much beer, you belch.  Simple like how men, such as Ruddy and his mates, sometimes have to fight other men, like those scurvy, thieving raiders, to protect their stuff.  And sometimes their “stuff” included their women.  Women were sweet little things with lots of skirts on who wrung their hands and made sure that there were no raw bits in the middle of a cooked chicken or that your boots made it off before you hit the pillow after a long night at the pub.
Women were not–and Ruddy, while not an expert, could be very certain about this–arrow-shooting, battle-ready killers who sniped blood-thirsty raiders from hidden perches all around the deck.
Ruddy had just cleared his blade of an enemy who had the stones to swing onto the deck dressed like a vibrantly colored bird, when the first arrow found its mark in the chest of another air-born raider, who plummeted into the ocean below with a scream.

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