The Captain, looking every bit as evil as his brother, stared at the carnage. James studied him closely, a man, thought James, with a tenuous grasp of sanity. He mouthed something as he slowly rocked back and for, his eyes staring, the tip of his sword in the deck providing him with balance. James found a spot on the enemy deck where he could step and stand without sliding in the gore. He stood looking at the almost pathetic figure of the Captain and stepped gingerly forward.
"Capitain," James spoke quietly. Looking at the deck, he took another careful step forward avoiding the blood. "Capitain Furneaux. Capitain Furneaux."
Slowly James's voice seemed to be registering. Furneaux's eyes opened very wide and closed before opening again, his face spattered with the blood of his crew. The Frenchman turned towards the voice; he stared at James, his mouth twisting out of shape before he gave a screaming yell and immediately came alive, lifting his sword Furneaux leapt forward towards James who instinctively raised his sword in defence. The scream was still on his lips when lunging forward his sword held in front of him, his foot slid forward on the blood-covered deck and he impaled himself on James's sword, the blade passing through his neck. He sank to the ground his mouth still open his eyes staring at James, before falling to one side his neck now clear of James's blood-stained blade.
James stood transfixed, staring at the body and looked quickly around at his astounded crew, who had watched his every move. Pangs of guilt overcame him; he looked shocked; he all but voiced his thoughts, 'I never did anything. He slipped. He impaled himself on my sword. It wasn't me.'
"Are you all right Captain," asked Daniel, "Did he stick you?"
James shook his head, shocked. It was one thing to deliberately kill a man in a fight, but something totally different if a man leaps to his death on your sword when you were expressing your concern for him, as the Captain had been doing when quietly calling his name.
"No," said James, "He didn't stick me, I am all right."
"Thank God for that Captain he could so easily have killed you with that unpremeditated attack. My God you were quick."
Author: Glyn Adams
Title: The First Officer
Series: The Face of the Enemy
First Published by: Glyn Adams
Date: 9 June 2014