New Standards

Even the wind dared not breathe. The horizontal white and green stripes topped by the cross of St George was significant, even to me. The lads had served the Realm, in the merchant navy, long enough to know a Navy battleship when they saw one. It was the personal standard of the Tudors that they, and I, found most surprising. I couldn’t help but wonder if she was aboard her, watching me. I more than wondered, in fact I prayed for it.
However, what had the boys all white-knuckled right now was the jagged red X that, seemingly, held my ship at a disadvantage.
Whispers of the Armada creaked through the knotted hardwood decking beneath my knees, I did find myself wondering of what business this was to the Spanish. Ha! Me in my ignorance.
Skelton prodded me in the back to warn me of their imminent boarding, I was ready. My bonds were all for show yet the dripping wound in my nose wasn’t. I had to make it look convincing.
Claric had vanished, again. I just hoped he was ready too. I never fully knew if he was listening to me when I spoke. I guess time would tell.
Hushed Spanish commands were barked as our lads assisted in tying them abroad our starboard side. They lowered a plank as Skelton rested my long knife in my hand. I whispered wait under my breath and watched from my pretend defeated, hanging head.
A very fine Spanish officer stepped aboard with his polished black pointy bloody things on, his face sneering in contempt like this deck was shit and he was forced to step in it. That was when Claric reappeared, singing and laughing. He stopped a couple of feet away from the Spanish officer who merely glanced at him before casting a dismissive flick of his waxed moustache. Claric must have said something untowardly because the Spaniards face began to change colour and he instantly reached for his sheathed sword, fool. Claric wasted no time in reaching over and expertly twisting his head, breaking the captain’s neck. I think I started laughing as I shrugged off my bonds and bounded forth towards the oncoming tide of angry Spanish sailors.
The Irish coast must have been close enough to swim, because when I turned around to see what my crew was doing, some of them, in fact, half of them, had disappeared, but not Claric, and Skelton and the Limper and the dark one, can’t remember his name now, oh and the guy who once told me to fuck off, yeah, he was still there, Kevin or Kelvin or Calvin or something like that, I just called him Gob. Anyway, there we stood, then rolled, and slipped as the decks of my ship were properly christened with the blood and piss from the tip of the Armada. That was the day that I realised that there was a whole domain out there that I had not explored. A kingdom upon which I could be ruler: the Oceanic Empire. Four of them surrendered and I let two of them join my crew, after they proved themselves by killing the two that didn’t. I desperately needed more men cause now I had two ships to command. Claric was still laughing and singing and I thought I saw him sticking up the middle finger of the stiffening dead Spanish captain before tossing him into the depths of the icy water. The green and white flag must have made a hasty retreat the moment we started fighting cause she was gone. Now I needed more men and Ireland was within reaching distance. Plus, I would be hard pressed to find a Island of people who hated the English monarch as much as I did, still do.
‘Captain, the red cross, what shall we do?’ It was Skelton. He had survived, to my surprise, maybe there was more steel in his spine than I had initially thought? Men were bleeding all around me, silently, even my own men. The Limper had collapsed on top of the white flag we had used to feign our surrender. I knelt beside him and gently freed the new standard of my company. The white square was dominated with dark red – signalling death like nothing I had ever seen before. Maybe I was beginning to let things get to me?
With two formidable vessels I had the beginning of something special before me, I had an idea but first I needed to unite the men, my men.
‘Tear it down and replace it with this.’ I handed over the blood soaked sheet. Skelton nodded once and began barking orders.
Blood usually makes people think about things.
‘One on both ships captain?’ I turned and nodded back to him. I knew I had chosen well.


About Henry Game

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13 responses to “New Standards

  • charlypriest

    Did you just toss a Spanish Captain out?….And when was the red cross around in those days…. I feel like I´m in Alice the wonderland. Nice.

    • Henry Game

      A jagged x, is probably more accurate Charles. Sorry to hear about your loss borther

      • charlypriest

        He did fight until the end I´ll tell you that. A damn fighter this dog. Better that he´s out now, he was suffering too much.
        Getting back to the your saga…..are the Spanish going to win, that would be a nice twist.

      • Henry Game

        Against me and merry band of pirates?
        We don’t stick around for a war with the enormity of the Spanish Armada. Jesus Charles, I maybe a lot of things but suicidal is not one of them. Oh no, the saga shall continue on toward the Americas. The Spanish don’t feature again until I got wrapped up with the little prick Napoleon. Then, we see your lot again mi amigo

      • charlypriest

        Try to win that midget of Napoleon, let´s see how that one goes, hahaha!!!

      • Henry Game

        Let’s just say, Henry has a lot to do with a lot of things. Napoleon falling is one of them. The hand that pulls the strings

    • Henry Game

      Oh and yeah, tossed his gracias over board, him and his shiny shoes.

  • field of thorns

    HG, I really like the direction you’ve been taking us with the last several posts. Great to see Henry at sea, getting about a bit! He’s always up to something good, or not so good, but that’s what I love about Henry!

    • Henry Game

      Thanks Pippa, I am glad that you’re enjoying it. I felt like I needed to show a little bit more about where I have come from, as to fully understand where I am heading to and why. The story line of the Nephilim is far from done, my tormentor is unlike any for I had faced, or ever will again, I suppose…
      Seeing how I developed such a disliking and deep distrust in Royalty or feudalistic societies is also important, in my opinion. But more than anything, I wanted to show Henry having fun and adventures again. Too much darkness will swallow you whole, I know, and I needed to just take a step back, you know?
      It is good to receive your comments, you often make me think deeper than I ever thought I could.
      Thanks again my friend.

  • sitateofani

    being a non English native, in my struggle i found your story is exciting and intriguing, i like a lot your chosen words for visualization, but i guess i have to go back to find the first track, huh? how many post back? 🙂

    • Henry Game

      I am thrilled that you are enjoying my story. Ahhh, the beginning of this entire extraordinary chain of events, begins with a post called overcast. This is about 12 months and 50 posts ago, or so. The most recent series begins about 7 posts back with an intervention post titled Pastures New. From there it is relatively easy to follow.
      Thank you for reading, I hope you continue to find it intriguing and exciting.

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