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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write in the HISTORICAL genre (05/03/07)

TITLE: From One Fair Lady to Another
By Bryan Coomes


William Thomas stood on the deck of the "My Fair Lady", surveying the myriad of ships that littered the vast harbor of Port Royal. The sun beat mercilessly down upon his broad shoulders and bronze, bare back as he stared at the majestic beauty of the coastal scene. His fine golden locks, easy looks, and general charisma bespoke a man brought up in wealth and comfort but the high seas’ endless possibilities had drawn him like a siren’s song.

The day was June 7, 1692 and it marked a significant turning point for William, as he had decided that his days of commanding the famed pirate ship were at an end. He had yet to notify his first mate of his decision, but it was apparent that the crew was itching to divide the plunder. Port Royal was the modern equivalent of Sodom in that it had all of the delightful excesses a true pirate desired: wine, women, and wagering to name a few.

After the ship had docked and the crew received their apportioned compensation, they quickly scurried about the brothels and taverns just like the beady-eyed rats aboard the ship would do whenever their darkened hideout in the cargo hold would become illumined. Watching the last crewman disappear, William turned to face his friend and first mate Davy Jones.

Flashing his dashing smile, William followed by saying, “Well she’s all yours,”

Davy’s snaggle-toothed smile quickly faded as he replied, “What do ya mean Cap’ain?”

“My Fair Lady is yours now Davy. I am no longer Captain,” William calmly stated staring back at the ship.

“I don’ understand. Why now? You ‘ave many a good year left in ya and we never did get our chance at one of those big ole’ treasure galleons. Are you sure ‘bout this,” Davy questioned in sincere concern.

“I am more sure about this than anything ever in my life. The only treasure I seek is here in Port Royal,” William paused as he looked to the hilltop where one of the few churches in the town sat. Sighing he then concluded, “If she’ll have me.”

“Aye,” Davy replied, head turning to gaze up at the church with a wide grin.

Quickly embracing his friend, William then set off in a dash toward the rectory that sat behind the church on the hill in search of Gwyneth. Upon reaching the plateau his eyes were rewarded as she was outside tending to the lush, resplendent gardens on the church property. Captivated, he stood staring at her in the midst of the vibrant yellows of the Alamanda, the soft purples of the Jacaranda and the hot pinks of the Ixora.

As if aware of his presence, she raised her head and peered cautiously at him with her pale blue eyes while her long auburn hair swayed softly from the gentle ocean breeze. The moment seemed to last an eternity before she let a small smile escape.

“I thought I might never see you again Captain,” Gwyneth said with a mock salute.

“I wasn’t sure you would ever want to see me again,” he replied slowly approaching her. “But I had to come. I am sorry for the way I left. And I am just William now.”

“So no more high seas swashbuckling for you? Whatever are you going to do with yourself,” she playfully questioned.

Locking her gaze he replied, “Anything I have to, to be near you.”

“Is that so? Well, you can start by coming to hear my Father’s sermon later today,” she stated.

“I will,” he simply replied. “I need to take care of some things but I will return. I promise,” he finished with a smile.

“I know,” she replied, smiling in return.

She watched him trotting back down the path to the city below and thanked God for his safe return. She had prayed daily for his safety and his salvation. It appeared that perhaps her prayers were finally being answered.

He was well out of sight amongst the inhabitants when without warning there was a loud rumbling like thunder followed by severe tremors that caused the buildings below to start crumbling and falling into the sea. The sea then receded only to return with such a surge that it covered vast expanses of the land, drowning hundreds of people. All told the death toll from the earthquake and resulting tsunami was in the thousands but miraculously William Thomas was spared. Later that year, he and Gwyneth were wed.

Author’s Note:
The earthquake and tsunami that destroyed much of Port Royal were widely regarded as judgement being sent forth by God unto the men and women of that desperately wicked city. Comparisons then were drawn to the destruction of Sodom and it is interesting to see the similarities that exist with the current time tsunami in Thailand and Katrina flooding in New Orleans, both places notorious for their love of sin and perversion. The survivors of Port Royal endeavored to rebuild and restore it to what it once was but it was destroyed two more times, once by fire (1704) and finally by hurricane (1722).

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This article has been read 731 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Esther Gellert05/10/07
I love the title of your story. It fits so well.
I thought I knew quite a bit about Port Royale (I used to play 'Pirates' on my brother's computer), but I had never heard of this tsunami. It makes me want to go look it up somewhere and study it some more. Thanks for sharing this story.
Teri Wilson05/11/07
I am learning so much from these history entries! How wonderful that you chose a pirate story - very creative take on the historical genre. I liked it - it had a very Pirates of the Carribean feel. Fascinating story. Oh - one tiny thing - there is no "e" in the word judgment. Great job!
Benjamin Graber05/11/07
You had me hooked with this one. Great job!
Alfreda Byars05/11/07
What a great story, reading it was like watching a movie.
Very well done.
Jacquelyn Horne05/12/07
Interesting. Very good historical reading. Well written.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge05/12/07
This would be an excellent movie. Great writing. This is a winner.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge05/12/07
This would be an excellent movie. Great writing. This is a winner.
dub W05/13/07
Interesting title drew me in, well told story; but, do watch the speech tags, it is better to show than to tell.
LaNaye Perkins05/14/07
To me this seemed like I was reading a page from a novel. You had my interest from beginning to end. I liked it alot!
Sheri Gordon05/14/07
This is very good. (I guess I'm slow today -- it took me a minute to understand your title. But now that I get it, it's great.)

This story would make a good novel -- very interesting read. Good job.
Terry R A Eissfeldt 05/16/07
This is good. I would love to hear more of their relationship and his salvation - definately more!! Great job. Thanks
Cassie Memmer05/16/07
Good story! I'm so glad William survived, and glad his fair lady was up on that hill! Nice telling, very interesting.
Dara Sorensen05/16/07
I liked it! I could see it very clearly in my head.

I do have one minor nitpick--the ending with the tsunami seemed a bit rushed--but there's only so much you can do with 750 words! I'd love to read an extended version of this!
Brenda Welc05/16/07
Let me know when the novel comes out. This was awesome. I really could sink my teeth into this story line. Nicely done,
Joanne Sher 05/17/07
I enjoyed this very much. I almost wish, however, that you had focused more on the earthquake and tsunami, even if it were at the expense of the characters. Just me, probably. Great sense of place.