Wordly Wise Wednesday | boatswain

Welcome everyone to our second Wordly Wise Wednesday!

Today’s word comes courtesy of the lovely and oh-so-very talented Mollie whom you should definitely check out at her blog Mollie’s Musings!

I already have another word lined up for next week, but please feel free to suggest words of your own that you’d like to see me tackle. I promise to get them all 🙂


 

BOATSWAIN

n. (boat-swain)

  1. a petty officer on a merchant ship having charge of hull maintenance and related work
  2. a naval warrant officer in charge of the hull and all related equipment

Etymology:

First Known Use: 14th century

Middle English ‘bootswein’, from boot boat + ‘sweinboy’, servant.  Phonetic spelling bo’sun/bosun is attested from 1840.

Information provided by http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/boatswain & http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=boatswain.


The first cannonball rammed into the starboard side of the ‘Leana’.

Jared gripped tighter to the helm, assured in that moment that he would never see land again. An image of Leana rose to his mind. He had left her with the promise that he would come home. It was bound to be another broken vow, but not his last.

“Orders, Capain!” Grint’s brusque voice drew him away from such musings. The boatswain was flanked by the crew, terror dark in their features. They waited upon their captain.

“Arm yourselves,” Jared replied, drawing the sword that had once belonged to his father.

A second wave of cannonade fired from the encroaching pirate ship. By some miracle, they sailed past without hitting their mark. Jared could not bring himself to delight in even the smallest fortune. The humble merchant vessel had no weapons of its own to defend itself. Their best chance was hand to hand combat, and even then Jared knew better than to hold out on hope.

The brigands came alongside them, armed to the teeth. They wore vicious grins of malicious intent, hooting and hollering with the pleasure of inflicting harm.

Jared regarded his crew one final time, forcing his features to convey courage and determination. “Fight for your family. Fight for your life. To the death.”

Grint responded to his words with a rallying cry, shouting out. The men carried it in turn, using their raised voices to stifle the fear that truly held their hearts.

Gunfire soon resounded across the waters as the two crews engaged in their deadly scuffle. With it, echoed the clashing of swords.

Men fell. Around their corpses, blood pooled upon the deck of the ‘Leana’, scarlet stains of lives lost. Among them, Jared caught glimpses of faces both familiar and unknown. So many husbands, fathers, brothers, sons lost.

A sharp pain shot down his arm as a bullet tore through flesh and bone in his shoulder. He turned in time to see the pirate take aim once more.

The shot rang out, but the bullet did not claim his life. Another body was offered, a willing sacrifice for his sake.

Jared raised his own revolver, killing the pirate with a perfect shot between his eyes. He spared no time to watch it make impact.

Grint collapsed back into his arms, his life fading fast.

“Take care of my sister. Take care of Leana.” His final request took the last of his strength and he expired in Jared’s arms.

“I swear it, Grint.” This was to be his last broken vow.

The blade pierced his heart and he was gone before he could take another breath.

FIN

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

© 2015. Faith Rivens.

 

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