Read Legends of the Vengeance : The First Adventure (9781310742866) Online

Authors: Chautona Havig

Tags: #ships, #pirates, #mediterranean, #christian fiction, #pirate adventure, #caribbean adventure

Legends of the Vengeance : The First Adventure (9781310742866)

BOOK: Legends of the Vengeance : The First Adventure (9781310742866)
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Legends of The Vengeance
The First Adventure

Chautona Havig

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Copyright © 2014 by Chautona Havig

Smashwords Edition

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of this author.

Chautona Havig lives in a small, remote town
in California’s Mojave Desert with her husband and eight of her
nine children. When not writing, she enjoys paper crafting, sewing,
and working to finish educating the rest of her children so that
she can retire from home education.

Edited by:
Haug Editing

Interior fonts:
Times New Roman

Art font:
“Jellyka Delicious Cake” and
“Charlemagne”

Cover photos:
S-E-R-G-O/iStockphoto

Kylie088/shutterstock.com

Cover art by:
Chautona Havig

The events and people in this book, aside
from any caveats on the next page, are purely fictional, and any
resemblance to actual people is purely coincidental and I’d love to
meet them!

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All Scripture references
are from the NASB. NASB
passages are taken from the NEW
AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (registered), Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963,
1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman
Foundation

Fiction/Christian/Youth/Adventure

Chapter
One

Siracusa

Alone in his quarters, watching the busyness
of the nearby docks, Sebastian seethed. Water lapped the sides of
the ship and gulls cried overhead as they swooped and dodged,
fighting one another over the same fish tossed aside by a
fisherman. The rowboat carrying members of their crew hit the
docks, and the sight sent a fresh wave of fury over him.

It was the same in every port. They arrived,
dropped anchor, and the first wave of the crew hurried ashore—a
taste of freedom Sebastian could only imagine. His father stepped
on to the dock first, followed by Jaime. A smile tried to surface
as Jaime turned and waved to him. His friend knew he would be
watching; he always did. When you are left behind at every port,
what else is there to do but watch?

Observing the rest of the crew held no
interest for him. He turned from the porthole and crossed his arms
defiantly. Why? Why could he not go ashore too? Why was he always
left alone with the half-blind cook and the sleepy skeleton crew?
He was twelve now—hardly a child.

Strolling out on deck, Sebastian saw Giorgio
whittling in his usual place on the gun deck and a couple of the
others playing dice. Cook probably snoozed in the galley as usual.
He didn’t want to listen to Giorgio complain about being in port
again. The man was only happy when out to sea.

The others, below deck or above, looked
deceptively lazy and uninterested in what happened around them.
There were few ships in port—none that would threaten a pirate ship
such as theirs. However, if one arrived, those on land would be
notified in a trice. Paulo, hidden from view, kept watch.

A shout turned his head and Sebastian
watched with a longing he couldn’t identify. Several boys—a little
younger than himself he guessed—chased another boy all along the
wharf, dodging between barrels and boxes. Men shouted at them, and
two of the boys found themselves jerked off their feet when a
dockhand grabbed their shirts as they passed.

Dissatisfied with his lot, he stormed back
to his quarters and flung himself on his bed. Just as shame over
his childish and rebellious behavior crept into his heart, an idea
formed in his mind, locking out that initial remorse. His eyes slid
toward the boots in the corner, and he peered out the porthole
again. This time, excitement filled him.

“No boots,” he muttered to himself. “They’re
too heavy. I might need money, though.” A few coins from his
father’s cabin satisfied him.

It took some time to find a long enough
piece of rope, a safe place to tie it, and then creep silently down
the length and beneath the water. Jumping would have been swifter,
but the chance of him being overheard was too great. He held on to
the rope for a moment, adjusting to the temperature of the water
and warming his leg muscles until he felt confident. It wasn’t far
to the docks—just a couple hundred yards.

Sebastian took a deep breath, and pushing
off from the side of the ship, swam underwater until his lungs felt
as though they’d burst. He rose, took a deep breath and continued,
not waiting long enough to hear if someone saw him and called for
him to stop. It took longer than expected, but he managed to reach
the docks undetected.

When he hoped no one was looking, Sebastian
pulled himself on to the wharf and wrung the water from his
clothes. He tried to act nonchalant as he made his way among the
workers and bustle, but several men called out to him, teasing him.
“Fell in, did you? Take better care next time or you’ll drown.” His
ears burned. Sebastian was a good swimmer. He didn’t fear drowning
in the least.

Unwilling to risk giving himself away as an
outsider, Sebastian hurried away from the docks and away from the
castle that seemed to threaten him with its imposing authority. Who
lived in the castle he didn’t know or care to know. He desired only
to avoid it.

The sun and the sea breeze helped dry his
clothing as he crept through the town, hiding from as many adults
as possible for fear they’d be able to identify him. Children ran
past him, giggling as he stepped out of the way and watched their
games. Sometimes they hid from one another, and in a sense, it made
him feel as though he were a part of their play. After all, was he
not running and hiding from his father and the rest of the
crew?

A church—magnificent to his inexperienced
eyes—beckoned him. His father hated churches. As if one act of
defiance required every other possible act, he marched up the steps
and pulled open the great door, stepping into the cool interior.
Sebastian had never seen anything like it. The beauty of it made
his heart ache.

He stood at the back, his eyes taking in
every curve of the windows, the artwork, and the majestic ceilings.
A statue of a beautiful woman stood in an alcove, candles lit
around the stone skirts covering her feet. As if compelled, his
hand reached out to touch it, but he snatched it back again. A man
wearing long white robes strolled down the main aisle, greeting him
sternly. Panicked, Sebastian fled.

Though not pursued, his feet slapped against
the streets as he tore through them, hiding behind trees and
buildings anytime he thought he saw someone from the ship. It took
some time, but at last, he found himself beyond the crowded streets
and walking along a path leading to places he could only
imagine.

His lungs filled with air that was only
faintly tinged with salt and sea. The breeze was cooler here, and
Sebastian couldn’t imagine what the sweet, fresh scent was but he
wanted more of it—much more. A woman shooed a dog out of her house
and then stopped to stare at Sebastian.

“What are you doing there, boy?”

The words were familiar but sounded a little
strange. Feeling self-conscious, he glanced around to see that she
really did speak to him and then shrugged. “I’m just taking a
walk…”

“You sound funny. Where are you from? You
are not from here.”

Sebastian couldn’t announce that his father
was captain of the pirate ship, Vengeance, so he shrugged. “My
father is from the north of Italy at Parma.”

“You are far from home. Is your father a
merchant?”

“He is in trade…” At that moment, the dog
crept back toward the house. Something in the woman’s eyes,
weariness it seemed, prompted him to chase the animal for several
dozen yards. Once the animal did not seem inclined to return, he
turned to wave and saw the woman beckoning to him.

A new feeling overcame him as he dragged his
feet back down the road—dread. The woman waved him into her yard.
“Are you hungry? We are going to eat.”

“Um—”

The woman, Rosa she said her name was,
ushered him into the house. “My son Angelo will be in soon. He’s
out painting again. Ah well, it makes him feel useful. There is
even one of his paintings hanging at the castle. The lord of the
castle’s son says that my Angelo is a genius.” On Rosa prattled as
she cooked small bits of stuffed pasta in a vegetable sauce.

“Have you seen much of the town?”

“I saw the docks and the cathedral.”
Sebastian found himself on a bench with an orange in front of him.
As he peeled the orange, he described the things he’d observed.
“But that statue of the woman—she was so beautiful, so serene.”

“Aaah, Maria. The Holy Mother. Yes, she is
beautiful. I have asked Angelo to paint her, but he says he cannot.
He is not worthy. For all his faults, my Angelo is humble.”

“I wish I could see someone paint. I can’t
imagine what that must be like. The art I saw in the church was
so…” Try as he might, he couldn’t find an adequate word to describe
how he’d been affected by the paintings and frescoes.

“You ask Angelo when he comes. He will show
you.” The woman sawed off a hunk of bread and set it before him.
“He is late. Eat. He sometimes works through and forgets. If he
doesn’t come by the time we are done, I will send out his meal with
you. Then you will see how brilliant a painter he is.”

A shallow bowl of ravioli appeared before
him as he finished his orange—so delicious. Savory and sweet pasta
filling combined with herbs and vegetable sauce was something he’d
never tasted, but he wanted more. It would be rude to ask, or would
it? He didn’t know.

“You eat like you are hungry. Oh, the boat.
They say cooks on boats make disgusting food.” She ladled another
heaping portion into his bowl. “Eat. You are too skinny.”

By the time he finished eating, answering a
question out of the side of his mouth every half minute, Rosa had a
deeper bowl full of the little pasta squares, a towel with a spoon
and bread wrapped in it, and a small flask of wine. “Take this to
Angelo. Follow the trees and then up that little hill. He’ll be at
the top.”

Sebastian hurried out the door and through
the trees. A painter! What fortune! He had always wondered how
people could see something beautiful and recreate it on canvas and
now it seemed as if he might have the chance to see it himself.

The man worked exactly where his mother said
he’d be. Now Sebastian understood why he hadn’t come home—why he
didn’t work in the fields, groves, and vineyards. He had only one
leg, a mangled left arm, and as he turned, only one eye. He frowned
as Sebastian approached.

“What do you want?”

“Your mother sent me with food.”

“Mama is a worrier,” Angelo sighed as he
bent to clean his brush. “She usually brings me something herself.
I tell her not to, but you know how mothers are…”

Sebastian didn’t. He did not remember his
mother. “She seems very proud of you. She said…”

BOOK: Legends of the Vengeance : The First Adventure (9781310742866)
10.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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