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Locked Topic
Musings, Letters, Dreams; Andrea Costa's collection of notes
Topic Started: Mar 16 2013, 06:44 PM (2,388 Views)
Andrea Costa
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Sailing Master on the "Rising Sun"
Pirate Admin
[align=center]So many letters I have written to you at dawn
But nobody sent them to you until now.
Because I want to see you rather face to face
To tell you what I am feeling now.

Posted Image

I should make time for something serious too –
To send a letter to me as well,
To tell myself „I love you”
But I forgot the street name and the number
And it stays in the drawer with the other letters.


(the song)
[/align]
[align=center]Posted Image
||Biography||Plotting||Quoted theme song||

[size0]Thanks to Patrick of Souls on Fire and Pompeii for the graphic set![/align]
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Andrea Costa
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Sailing Master on the "Rising Sun"
Pirate Admin
[align=center]A NEW LOVE[/align]
[align=right]24-th of August 1719[/align]

I have been ready at your hand,
To grant whatever you would crave,
I have both wagered life and land,
Your love and good-will for to have.


[align=center]Posted Image[/align]


I heard some years ago, in a song, that true love never dies. Even if you have found a new love, the sweet memory of the past will continue to haunt you for the rest of your life, and a new love is not meant to replace a past one; just to be different, exactly how when the specific flowers of March and April fade, there are others, blooming in May and June, of different shapes and colours, but not less beautiful or less fragrant. For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow. I think this is valid for me too.

I need a guiding star in my heart more than anything else, and without it I am lost. A sailing master without compass, map and any navigation tools. Love was the reason why I had joined the pirates, love is the reason why my world was spinning around… or why it has ceased to do so for a while. I guess this is my main weakness.

If one said women are my weakness, it would sound wrong, because I am not like one of the many butterflies I’ve known. When in love, I have eyes for no other. When alone… yes, I guess it is an abyss of loneliness I don’t want to deal with, but I had to, for a while, and I didn’t like it at all. Maybe loneliness in my thoughts is what I am afraid the most. Definitely, it’s not the physical loneliness which might happen to be felt once or another time; while the guiding star is in my thoughts, I can cope with it.

Sometimes the best love is the one that has been always there, and we don’t succeed to see it in time. This was what I thought about Chiara too, since she was my friend before realizing that we could be more… if God wanted us to. And He didn’t. He took her instead.

But, so soon after her loss, and unexpectedly, I have found a new love. I have found an answer to my inner quests in Honey’s jade eyes, and since then we are in that heaven of those sharing the beauty of a fresh love.

I love Honey. She has been always there, with her teasing words that haunted me before and after the loss of the ”Caribbean Siren” – that I must have tasted horrible for the sea to spit me out several times. But I didn’t know we were meant to be together, neither then, nor when I returned from Kingston and I met her in the market of Basse Terre.

I met her just in time to help each other with shopping, it felt so pleasantly strange how both of us were telling the other our deepest secrets in the most casual conversation. She had let slip about her tumultuous past, something I learnt afterwards that neither Belle, nor Sol knew, and she would have expected me to judge her for it and to despise her. By contrary, I had the utmost respect for the one who had given up a rather affluent, but easy lifestyle for love. She had done exactly what Mireille hadn’t, and what Kayla and Chiara weren’t exactly prepared to do either.

Now, that she is my girl, her past doesn't matter to me either. I have known it from before and I accepted it without blinking, because the future is always more important than the past. And, at the same time, this helped me understand better that I want to offer her exactly what the men passing through her life hadn’t – from flowers to a romantic night under the stars, hand in hand… and what more? How does one properly court a girl? I am not sure that I know, despite the fact that I had three or four women in my life.

At my turn, upon a lunch in one of the little eateries in the market, I told her about the encounter with my sister in Kingston, and how, somewhere in my mind, the fact that she was with child and not yet married bothered me. Honey had found the best words, not so teasing this time, to make me understand in a friendly way that I was wrong to judge her, and that sometimes circumstances could change radically an accepted situation. She didn’t find anything wrong to my sister. Unfortunate, yes, but not wrong, she said. And I believed her. It soothed my worries somehow.

It seems as if it was a century ago, not only one week ago… If anybody told us right then, or back into the past, when the mermaid teasing had happened, that we would end together, who would have believed it? I wouldn’t, but since our return together to the inn gave Sol the idea to send Honey with me to Port de Paix, as she had said she had never got the opportunity to leave Tortuga before, that might have been considered the beginning.

Anyway, it was a simple coincidence that far back in July, when I made her acquaintance, I had this idea and I had told it to her casually during our thorny conversation. Accompanying me to Port de Paix sounded better than pushing me into the mermaid’s arms. But she hadn’t said anything to Sol, and neither had I. It had been just… a mere possibility tossed with other words. And he had thought the same when seeing us returning together from the market. His best initiative, I might say!
[align=center]Posted Image
||Biography||Plotting||Quoted theme song||

[size0]Thanks to Patrick of Souls on Fire and Pompeii for the graphic set![/align]
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Andrea Costa
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Sailing Master on the "Rising Sun"
Pirate Admin
[align=center]A TRIP TO REMEMBER[/align]
[align=right]24-th of August 1719[/align]

A gentle breeze, a warm caress if you please
Work, laughter and play, yes we'll always be this way.
Haiti Cherie, now I've returned to your soil so dear
Let me hear again, the things that give music to my ear.
The lone shepherd's horn that welcomes the rising morn
When roads overflow as crowds to Iron market go.



It was nothing I hadn’t done before. Going to Port de Paix or another port, to learn about Navy moves and merchant ships, was something rather common. Sol liked sending me to the French-speaking ones especially. Most times I was going alone, but there had been times when I was accompanied by a crewmate, male or female. Pavoun, Yazeed…, Kayla, Chiara... This was how I befriended Chiara, on the way to Kingston, about nine months ago, only because we discovered that we were both Venetian. I was too enthralled by Kayla then to dream that I might love her later… and I couldn’t know that the sea would claim her, either.

This time, Sol had thought well to send me together with Honey, who had told him that she had never left Tortuga. Port de Paix was still dangerous for pirates, and a couple would attract less attention than two men or a man alone… who might have been recognized as a pirate and turned in for a reward. And everybody would look at Honey’s beauty, neglecting me. The captain had talked with Belle, had obtained her agreement – it was not difficult, since it was about remaining only two days without one of the tavern maids, for a good cause – and it seemed that Honey had nothing against it either. I didn’t know then that, besides the curiosity to travel, she had another reason to be glad to leave – wishing to find herself again, far from Sol and Ayiana. For me, it was simply good not to be alone, not to dwell on painful memories – and she was a new friend with whom I felt like being sincere from the first moment.

She is a good company, so I thought the trip would be enjoyable. She would help me think about anything else than what I wanted to avoid reminiscing – the sunken Carribean Siren’s survivors’ brief respite there or Saint John’s festival, spent with Chiara, the one she had never returned from.

I knew that this way one of her dreams was becoming true: she had never left Tortuga before. It was up to me to make her first trip memorable, to show her Port de Paix and to make her laugh again, that silver bell like carefree laughter I had heard already. But, at the same time, I thought how she might feel at her first sea voyage, and this included potential sea-sickness too. The fact that I was careful with getting a good supply of candied ginger, good for such ailments, proved invaluable. I also asked Belle, for the voyage, for a bottle of mint tea and one of mead. Belle makes not so often mead, as she prefers to use the bee’s work into lemonade more, but she did it for me, and it was tasty, flavoured with wormwood and liquorice, which are better cures against seasickness than the strong rhum or brandy most sailors recommend.

My precautions showed to be welcome, as the sea was rather rough and the smell of fish, normal on a fisherman’s boat, was rather aggravating Honey’s sea-sickness, making the trip seem to have lasted for ages, not for less than half a day. She told me later that she had liked the fact that I was behaving like a careful mother hen around her, giving her mead, or tea, or holding her when she needed to get quicker to the railing, and trying to tell her the funniest adventures I or any of my past crewmates had witnessed, only to distract her attention from the sickness.

Therefore, seeing the port of destination at the bow was a blessing. I was sure that, on firm land, she would surely recover and we’ll get to visit and enjoy the town.
[align=center]Posted Image
||Biography||Plotting||Quoted theme song||

[size0]Thanks to Patrick of Souls on Fire and Pompeii for the graphic set![/align]
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Andrea Costa
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Sailing Master on the "Rising Sun"
Pirate Admin
[align=center]I WAS HER SWORD ANGEL… AND I REMAIN HERS[/align]
[align=right]24-th of August 1719[/align]

How the honey sticks to the mouth,
So our love may stick us one to another.


I had promised Honey, in jest, when we got acquainted, that if someone called her derogatory names and she didn’t have anybody to protect her, I would wield a sword for her any time. It was true that nobody had ever insulted a woman in my presence without receiving the due answer… and she had just the opportunity to convince herself that I wasn’t lying.

Once arrived to Port de Paix, we were not in a hurry. She needed a little time to recover after the sea-sickness of the trip. I persuaded her to eat a little, then we went to show her the town. Well, a certain haberdashery owner full of information for us was on our route anyway. But having her by my side, to answer her questions and tell her travel stories, was refreshing. The haberdasher told me useful things that the captain would love to hear, and with a little bit of luck we might get our dream accomplished soon. But before going to the inn, which was the following step on our intelligence gathering mission, a man had recognized her and he had insulted her.

I drew my sword for her without hesitation, and we fought. I killed him and we succeeded to disappear right in time before the guards would come. I was too focused on her to notice that my shirt was getting red of blood. He might have been dead already, but I had got a slash on my chest too.

We were lucky that the girl in the inn was waiting for us with news for our captain. She gave us quickly a little room and, when seeing the blood getting through my shirt, ordered water to be boiled for tea, as we asked for.

It had been previously agreed that we’d share a room at the inn; it matched our disguise, and Sol had trusted both of us when sending us to Port de Paix with a spying mission. She would have occupied the bed, and I was to sleep on the floor – but now, the fact that I was wounded made her ask me to lay in bed and let her take care of me. I obeyed, so she started cleaning the wound and stitching it.

Honey’s hands were soft and skilled. The pain was easier to bear while looking at the passing lights in her jade eyes. It happened then, for sure, the spark which drew us to each other.

Teasing of all kind was flying in both directions and filling the air anyway, as it had always happened when we got together, since the very day I had met her. I asked her why she hadn’t thrown me back to the mermaid, to ensure her protection, like she had joked a while ago, in the “Elixir”, and she answered that today has proved she might need my protection ashore more than a mermaid’s, so she had to make sure I returned safe and sound to Tortuga. Moreover, Sol doesn’t have so many men left, and the sailing master is important, she added.

I was, at the same time, distracted by the pain in my chest, so it seemed to me half reality and half a wishful dream. I can’t say why and how I got the courage to ask her if she would be willing to wait for my return to Tortuga, during the upcoming expedition and the following ones. Her surprised gaze met mine, not answering anything for a while.

I wasn’t perceptive enough, at that moment, to understand that she simply needed time to think, to reconciliate the impulse to say yes with the fear not to get heartbroken again and, at the same time, with the lingering, confused feelings she still had for Sol. I had no idea about those at that time, and when I saw her slightly nodding affirmatively, so shy and endearing, while looking at me as if she wondered whether I meant it or not, I was happy again. (Well, as happy as a man with an aching wound just being stitched could be.)

With trembling hands, she secured the last stitch, then I took both her hands and kissed them in reverence, gratitude and affection. She didn’t draw them back, so I looked at her and I spoke my mind plainly:

”I think this turn of events was only a way for fate to show us that we belong together. And we can’t know if it is true until we try… if you want to, I mean. Yes, you may say it’s too soon… but life can be short for a seaman, and <what if?> might be too late to ask sometimes…”

This was something I have learnt both as a corsair and as a survivor of three shipwrecks. Given that, as a pirate, danger is always my companion, this had also been my philosophy of life which drew me and Kayla together from that first day when she had found me on the shore of Tortuga, half dead. Life is short, and regrets are useless.

Once I finished expressing thoughts and longings which I hadn’t known they had been hidden in my heart for her, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to meet Honey’s eyes again and read rejection in them one moment before she would say it.

Only that she didn’t say anything, leaving me with my angst and going downstairs to get some boiling water for a tea meant to calm a little bit the pain and keep fever away. Upon her return, the bitter taste of the willow bark in the tea got enhanced by her question why would I want to court her when I knew already about her past. I answered that the future is always more important than the past. It had served to teach us some painful lessons, but it has to be left behind. And I told her that not everything in my past were angelic decisions to be proud of, either.

Looking again into her eyes, I said plainly what I was thinking:

“If I can’t get your heart, I’ll be contented with your friendship which I have already. Do I have any chance to be the one who …stays in your life? To receive from you exactly what you haven’t given to many – a kiss, a song, a tender smile, a warm thought? Because I am ready to offer you what you actually wish and what others haven’t given you. I don’t think I have ever properly courted a girl, but I want to try if this is what you like, if this is what you haven’t received yet.”

This was seemingly enough to persuade her to agree to be my girl – and such a decision meant, as both of us understood it, first of all, learning more about each other, in all honesty.

Both of us have been hurt recently and vulnerable, so we might be each other’s healing and joy, if God allows it. Both of us have found out, in friendly discussions, that we had common aspirations for the future. We would never know if we are a good match unless giving a chance to a relationship.

I was more surprised – or should I say shocked – to learn that I had just stolen my captain’s girl… only that she explained the strained relationship between them lately as not exactly what it should have been. She told me about his fascination with Ayiana while still clinging on Honey, and seeking her advice how men usually didn’t do. ”I guess we are more friends than lovers,” she shrugged, adding: “Sometimes, a relationship doesn’t work out. Other times, it might. I’d like you to be what he never could.”

This made perfect sense in my head. I understood her and I agreed with her:

“I think you are special indeed, and I can’t condemn him for not being able to make his mind. I guess I am fascinated by you somehow in the same way he is with Ayiana – and I want you to know that as long as we are together, I might joke with any woman, or defend her if the need arises, but nothing else. I couldn’t cheat on you, neither with the thought nor with the deed, exactly how it didn’t happen in my previous relationships.”

Well, something had happened that triggered Kayla’s disappearance, still it hadn’t been cheating, it was nothing else than a mistake and a honest misunderstanding exploited by enemies. I had been sincere all the time.

The air was boiling between us, as we kept discussing, forgetting for a little while the usual banters we have been exchanging. The beginning of our love story hasn’t been a classical courtship (which of my love stories had been so, anyway?), neither a lustful encounter. I have shown her a deep respect all the time.

Even after she accepted me, I didn’t hurry to set a claim on her. Not only that I needed her affection more than her voluptuous body, but also the respect I had both for her and for my captain required me to wait, first of all, for her to clarify what remained to be set clear between her and Sol. No matter how much I care for Honey, I wouldn’t have wanted to be the one who boldly steals the captain’s girl and gets his well deserved wrath.

Honey agreed with me in this matter, and it seemed that my behaviour pleased her. For me, it was normal; in her opinion, it wasn’t a thing many men would do.

As by her bidding, I shared the bed with her for the night, but the only sign of our newly found bond was that, before falling asleep – she enveloped in the blanket, me, by her side, covered with my coat – we were holding hands and talking heart to heart. I told her about Mireille, about Kayla and Chiara, not making any secret about my shortcomings either. If she wanted to be mine, she had to accept me as I was, and the same would apply from me to her.

It seems that I have found a new love, a new happiness, and a brand new beginning. With my newly acquired wisdom, I think that love shouldn’t always be sheer passion. It can grow also from a friendship and a mutually supportive bond where partners care for each other and support each other in their endeavours to achieve both common and personal goals and hopes. Having someone by your side, to understand you and to support you, even if only with the right word at the right time, is what gives meaning to a relationship. Passion might fade away, in time, if there is nothing else to ground a relationship on. So, in the next time, it is up to us to see how well we understand each other and if our relationship can work.

The morning didn’t look very bright for us. I had a fever, but not too high, so after a new mug of that bitter tea we could walk through the town and meet the people Sol expected us to. As I needed first of all a decent shirt, mine having been ruined in the duel, we had stopped in the market streets. Mama Etta’s haberdashery was the best place to buy one, and we had to pass by anyway. But until arriving there, I saw in a seamstress’s window a dress rather similar with the one Honey had admired back in Tortuga, a few days ago, when I had met her by chance in the market. I told her to enter and try that dress, and she looked at me so strangely, as if I was sending her to the wolves.

“If it fits you, if you like what you see in the mirror when dressed in it, you’ll have it”, I told her directly. “I think that shade of blue would highlight more your features and your jade-like eyes might borrow from its hue. And I want my girl to have the things she likes.”

It sounded a little strange, I know… but I didn’t intend – and luckily she didn’t interpret it that way either – to buy her affection. Only to offer her a token of mine, for when I couldn’t be with her, as our sailing life requires.

It was just later, in the smugglers’ ship which brought us back to Basse Terre, that my health started worsening. If at the passage to Port de Paix I had been the one worrying about her seasickness, now I had no more worries, as my fever rose. I saw her by my side and it was enough to be happy, to know that I wasn’t alone anymore.
[align=center]Posted Image
||Biography||Plotting||Quoted theme song||

[size0]Thanks to Patrick of Souls on Fire and Pompeii for the graphic set![/align]
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Andrea Costa
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Sailing Master on the "Rising Sun"
Pirate Admin
[align=center]NOT ANOTHER MAN'S WOMAN[/align]
[align=right]25-th of August 1719[/align]

I fell in love with another man’s woman,
Another man’s woman’s got a hold on me
I’m on my knees, I cannot see,
She came out of the sun just like a deity.
She came out of the cold and she is melting me.

I fell in love with another man’s woman,
Another man’s woman’s got a hold on me
She’s swarming in my head just like a buzz of bees
She’s hit me like a cyclone on the seven seas
She came in from the rain and she is drowning me
Adrift in the room, gonna splinter at sea...


[align=center]Posted Image[/align]

It had been a shock for me to learn from Honey that she had been with Sol. I mean… I had never stolen another man’s woman. Even less my captain’s, who happens to be my friend too.

Sol had been angry with me for a woman back in February, but that was far from having jealousy as the reason. Then, it was only his despair of having lost a good fighter and the siren who had a specific task aboard the ship, due to my indiscretions. Now, I was expecting the worst, even if Honey had told me that their relationship was, lately, more of good friends than of lovers, and that I wasn’t the reason it was ending.

I've tried to be strong, I've tried to leave town
This conscience of mine is getting me down.
I needed a love, someone sweet and kind
But another man's woman was all I could find.

Another man's woman, Oh Lord, can I get
It's too soon to answer for I'm falling yet.
There's so many others who need love like mine
But another man's woman was all I could find.


She had explained that they had never exchanged any promise, while I had promised her fidelity and trying to make it work, with the possibility of a greater commitment after we know each other better.

Of course, I couldn’t promise anything more now, and she appreciated both the realistic promise and this sincerity. Only God knows if this budding love is meant to last or not – but this would have been valid, if Chiara returned aboard the “Caribbean Siren” as planned initially, in that case too. Who said that a relationship between us would have worked, and we wouldn’t have quarreled to rip our eyes off, once sharing a ship and a hammock?

But now, Chiara is in my past, to be remembered only in church, when lighting a candle. Honey is here, and she is my present, hopefully my future too, but only if Sol doesn’t object. As I had told her that afternoon in Port de Paix, honey has healing properties. She might be everything I need, however not by stealing my captain’s woman. She has promised me to discuss first with him, and clear everything out, before we can say we are together.

She had told me that since the sinking of the “Caribbean Siren” Sol has been changed. Well, who hasn’t been affected? But what made her think more about this relationship without any future was the fact that he was, lately, fascinated by Ayiana, who looked like Sol’s deceased fiancée of years ago, and that he needed her more as a friend than a lover. And knowing that they are only friends, it is something I can accept. Maybe she is, somehow, like Belle, who still cares somehow for Baptiste, but not as a lover, more in a motherly way. And I am the first to know that some women can be true friends, exactly like some men can.

I have waited anxiously for Honey to tell me the outcome of her discussion with Sol, and she has just come to tell me that he doesn’t mind us being together, that everything was clear between them now and that he would always remain a friend to whom to lend an ear and give a piece of her mind. His words to her weren’t far from the song:

Although it hurts
I'll be the first to say that I was wrong
Oh, I know I'm probably much too late
To try and apologize for my mistakes
But I just want you to know:
I hope he buys you flowers
I hope he holds your hand
Give you all his hours
When he has the chance
Do all the things I should have done
When I was your man.


Only now, when Sol confirmed me directly that he thought I was a better choice for Honey, warning me not to break her heart, I can be really happy that I wasn’t that kind of a man I despise, and that we can be together without any cloud over our heads. He said that she would always be precious to him, but that I was a better match for her than he was, and I could offer her the love and stability she needed.

I will take good care of Honey, and I won’t break her heart. And if it comes to the worst, I know that if anything happens to me, she has a friend to rely upon, besides Belle, of course.
[align=center]Posted Image
||Biography||Plotting||Quoted theme song||

[size0]Thanks to Patrick of Souls on Fire and Pompeii for the graphic set![/align]
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Andrea Costa
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Sailing Master on the "Rising Sun"
Pirate Admin
[align=center]A HAPPY MAN[/align]
[align=right]8-th of September 1719[/align]

Two brothers on their way,
One wore blue and one wore gray.
As they marched along their way
Fife and drum began to play,
All on a beautiful morning.


[align=center]Posted Image[/align]

No, it’s not about me, happy this time. Or, well, I am happy anyway… how I haven’t been for a long while. So happy that I am afraid I might wake up from my dream and be again on the deck of the ship which had fished me out and brought me to Jamaica after the ”Caribbean Siren” sank.

There is a beautiful woman who loves me, who has waited for me in Tortuga and who has prayed for me - sweet like honey, healing like honey, and with the hair in the colour of dark honey.

We have a ship again, a beautiful Bermuda sloop, not too big - but who needs a big ship? A quick one like the “Rising Sun” is better, and I am a sailing master. What more to ask from life? God had mercy of me, of us the surviving crew of the sunken ship.

Today is Saint Mary’s feast, and I remembered also my late mother, may she rest in peace. I went with Honey to church, to thank Stella Maris, how the Holy Virgin is called sometimes in church prayers, for her mercy, and to pray both for the peace of the departed and for our own happiness.

But upon our return, we found another happy man – my dear friend Baptiste. Not only happy because “La Guajira” arrived and he got the captain’s promise to be taken to his beloved; he’ll leave tomorrow, and only I know that he wants to take her away, like Diamandis did to Aunt Lena. Today, with Saint Mary’s blessing, his brother and his friend from the life before our brotherhood had the courage to come and seek him, and they were lucky to find him. I got introduced to them too. I hope I found the right words to make his older brother understand what Marina had understood, finally.

They reminded me of the British song I had heard so many times. I only hope their story not to have the ending from the ballad, exactly because Baptiste is gentle and kind:

One was gentle, one was kind,
One came back, one stayed behind
Cannonball don't pay no mind
If you're gentle or if you're kind
It don't think of the folks behind
Or of a beautiful morning.

Two girls waiting on the dock,
One wore blue and one wore black
Waiting by the harbour, on the dock
For their lovers to come back
All on a beautiful morning.
[align=center]Posted Image
||Biography||Plotting||Quoted theme song||

[size0]Thanks to Patrick of Souls on Fire and Pompeii for the graphic set![/align]
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Andrea Costa
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Sailing Master on the "Rising Sun"
Pirate Admin
[align=center]BEST MAN AND BRIDESMAID[/align]
[align=right]21-th of September 1719[/align]

The best man is an apple tree,
The bridesmaids are the apples
The bride is climbing to take them
And the groom is lowering the branch.
The maid of honour has flowers in her hair
And the best man thoughts on the hat’s wings.”



[align=center]Posted Image[/align]

El Moreno’s song dedicated to the newlyweds and their attendants made me think more about commitments. Yes, my friend’s sudden marriage has been a shock for many. The wedding feast organized by Belle, another shock for those who had gossiped something else for so many months. Only for me none of this was a too big surprise. My parents’ marriage had been no slower, neither my uncle’s. And this wedding feast has been a good opportunity for the best man’s thoughts (and the bridesmaid’s, I am sure, even if she hadn’t told me anything yet) to wonder about their own future.

She seemed to enjoy being in the centre of attention, praised for the bouquets and decorations she had made, and spending all this time also with me. Except the traditional first dance which I had to dedicate to Belle this time, as she was the maid of honour, and the one with the bride, also traditional – which meant teaching her to dance the sevillana, on the other row being Baptiste, ready to receive her when switching partners – I had danced only with Honey, and we had fun with the musical dedications. Most often, El Moreno and Sol had been the ones playing the guitar and singing wedding coplas.

I can’t help wondering, though, how Sol is taking it. Yes, I understood that he doesn’t see me as a luckier rival, that he had accepted our love. I understood that he couldn’t say he loved Honey, exactly how Belle has a different kind of love for Baptiste. Still, we were in the position, a few times tonight, to switch dance partners as requested by a dance or another. And his eyes were watching her strangely… No, I am not jealous. I know she won’t leave me to return to him, and I know he won’t try anything in this purpose. I think rather he had some unanswered questions in his mind… or maybe not only unanswered, not properly formulated yet. They will come, some day, and I trust Honey will find the right answers for him. It’s more a troubled mind than anything else, while ours are at peace now.

The land, in order to be good,
It has to be swarthy,
And the woman to be preferred by the man
Has to be also swarthy.


Sol’s dedication matches the bride and groom’s story, somehow the maid of honour’s, but not the best man’s and his favourite bridesmaid’s, who has to be white as the finest alabaster. And, even if, unlike Baptiste and Carmen, we aren’t ready for a wedding yet… this made me think that an engagement might come soon. I know she has doubts sometimes, not to lose me to another, while I have never had this kind of doubts, only those related to the will of fate.

Yes, I am known to fall in love quickly – but who knows how much time we are left to be together? Gorgona might protect me from water; what about bullets and broadsides, God forbid them, or…? (I am thinking of Yazeed and Pavoun, shivering too much to dare to put on paper the concrete words). So, why not thinking already about an engagement in perspective, if I am already sure that we are a good couple?

The better I know Honey, the more I like her way of being. Thinking about her, dedicating her any victory, being happy to hold her in my arms, having fun together, sharing even the prayer moments… what to wish more? Only for it to last, and to hear these serenades, some day, for us not as attendants, but as bride and groom.

I might have enough savings for an engagement ring, even if not yet for the wedding and for buying a house for her. But longer engagements are in order too. Not as long as they happened in my father’s country, but as long as the tradition normally requires, about one year or a little less.
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Andrea Costa
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[align=center]ENGAGED[/align]
[align=right]30-th of September 1719[/align]

We may be rough outside,
Rougher than your landsmen are,
But hearts within us hide
That, than theirs, are softer far.

The cheeks are rough and red,
'Gainst which the tempests blow;
Don't be by that misled,
While a warm heart beats below.

Then take me, lass, for life;
A sailor's darling be;
You'll know, when you're my wife,
What hearts we bring from sea.


[align=center]Posted Image[/align]

I was just glad to have another holiday to share with my beloved, an opportunity for her to travel to another island, for us to party and be together. She still has trouble getting accustomed to the sea, and she gets seasick, with all the peppermint tea and candied ginger I had stocked for her.

But when we prayed in the Cathedral, at Michaelmas, her words had helped me make my mind for something I hadn’t chosen the day yet, still I knew it was to come. Her incertitude, showed in the words ”I'm not going anywhere, I'll be here to chase those dark shadows until you don't want or need me anymore." determined me to show her that it wouldn’t come such a moment she dreaded. That I want and I need her in my life and by my side forever. I am not the man meant to disappear on her or to leave her for another.

There's something very special that happens to a man when he realises that he's met the woman that he's going to spend the rest of his life with. I think it's called fulfillment. When that moment comes, the words can't come out fast enough.

When I saw the heart-shaped sweetbread with that particular inscription, which I deciphered with effort, it inspired me to voice my feelings and propose to her. I knew her dreams for the future, she knew mine… and yes, I knew that I want her to be a part of my future. I had thought about this several times – last time this morning, in the cathedral. We really are a good match. Since she entered my heart, I definitely am not going to allow her out of it.

My previous loves weren’t the settling kind. Mireille had preferred a rich, old widower, and when I didn’t understand what marriage could bring to her and I had offered to marry her instead, with the innocence of my almost twenty years, just to dissuade her in marrying that old man. Kayla and Chiara preferred to remain pirates as long as possible, and they didn’t see marriage as something to come for a longer time in the future. Honey wants a family… So do I, now understanding what it means to have to whom to come to… or to have her by my side, as she has confessed she’d prefer when she accepted a year-long engagement. What could I wish more than a life like my parents had?

I want her to be my family. She knows that there had been, in my family, even quicker engagements than this one. We have been together for six weeks; my father had seen my mother once or twice, briefly, before he asked for her hand. My uncle and my aunt had eloped together after seeing each other a few times during a week or two. We are more patient in this respect, but we are here, facing different conditions and obstacles.

And later, after we met Marina and Honey succeeded to get close to her and to comfort her in her grief, I had the opportunity to sneak away and buy the most appropriate engagement ring for her, accompanied by a matching necklace. Isn’t she my beautiful mermaid? Besides, we have been somehow connected, at our first meeting, by such a talk about mermaids, and I teased her, when we got together, in Port de Paix, that she didn’t push me into the water in order to gain Gorgona’s protection, as she had joked back then. Who knows, maybe Gorgona herself has chosen Honey for me, because She knew I couldn’t be alone.

I had enough respect for my sister’s grief to keep the surprise for after we parted with her. We approached the fires, hand in hand, then I got my other hand in the pocket, taking first the ring, and I embraced her there, singing her on a low tone, so that not everybody would hear, the most appropriate song:

We've not the smooth ways, perhaps,
That some can show on land;
But we're men, we sailor chaps,
As your eyes can understand
Lisping words polite and cold
Your landsmen's way may be,
But our love in tones is told
That we catch from storms at sea.

Then take me, lass, for life ;
A sailor's darling be ;
You'll know, when you're my wife,
What hearts we bring from sea.


When finishing the song, I already put the ring on her finger, with the simple declaration: I love my beautiful honey-haired mermaid, now and forever., then, after she jumped to kiss me, I put the necklace around her neck too.

Since then, we are engaged. There were no dances around the fires, unlike at Saint John’s festival in Port de Paix, but we could remain embraced, looking in each other’s eyes, without the excuse of a dance, for the rest of the night.

Honey is the one person in the world who could rip my heart apart again, but she didn’t. More than anything else, she will accompany me at sea if I stop being a pirate, like my mother and my aunt had come aboard “Colomba”. And I will do it, when marrying her. I can help Sol and I can keep having Tortuga as my home even from this position, of a trusted and dedicated merchantman. But until then, there is about one year ahead of us. One year of savings and smart thinking for our common future of a lifetime. She can’t get rid of me anymore!

We celebrated, when we remembered that bodies needed food and drink too, not only love, with a little feast with the traditional roasted goose with potatoes and vegetables and Struan Michael cake, watered with punch. What more wonderful opportunity for an engagement celebration than Michaelmas feast, when Saint Michael protects sailors too?
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Andrea Costa
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[align=center]A PARADISE FOR LOVERS[/align]
[align=right]7-th of October 1719[/align]

Sail away with me, Honey
I put my heart in your hand
Sail away with me, Honey - now, now, now
Sail away with me, what will be will be
I wanna hold you - now, now, now.


[align=center] Posted Image [/align]

Yes, she accepted to sail with me… Not only figuratively, but she said that she didn’t want to wait for me ashore, she wants me to get a ship, rather than a house, and to have her aboard like my mother had been aboard “Colomba”. This would be wonderful, as Marina would love it too. They two got acquainted at Michaelmas, and they get along together well.

Honey was brave during the storm and afterwards. She didn’t show panic, even when she was scared. She saved a man’s life by giving him the first aid and stopping the bleeding, then she helped Sara and Leif in the sickbay as needed, overcoming her fear of blood. I admire her more and more, and I love her more and more.

Her choice overjoyed me. It means that I will have to cease being a pirate when we get married, and this is nothing to complain for me. I might get some business connections in a few ports and help my friends in another way. A smuggler’s life can be safe for women too, more than a pirate’s. And if I think well, my father was a smuggler too. Yes, “Colomba” used to carry legal cargo too, but it always had weapons for the rebels in the mountains. Capetan Leftheris, Capetan Nikitas and the others were good customers, paying in tobacco loads, which were also smuggled goods to bring to Venice, as tobacco was Turkish monopoly.

For now, a desert island like Inagua might be a paradise for Honey and for me. Three days have passed and, knowing that being stranded here is temporary, all in all it is enjoyable. Yes, we have work to do. Sometimes each of us separately, sometimes together, and this is wonderful. This is how everyday should be, for the rest of eternity, no matter where…

She is learning quickly to mend sails – something my mother used to do too. Working, talking and singing together… life is wonderful, and we have more chances to be together than in Tortuga. And when work is over, there are so many things to be seen, so many fruits to be tasted, and the luxuriant vegetation offers us more privacy than a cramped ship. Well, only the birds are too bold sometimes… as if they would scorn us for having invaded their territory, and for being tenderer than a pair of doves. Don’t mind them – they are jealous on our love and happiness!
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Andrea Costa
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[align=center]A LETTER TO KINGSTON[/align]
[align=right]8-th of October 1719[/align]

[align=center]Posted Image[/align]

Dear sister,

I hope this letter finds you well. I have been worried for you during the storm, but I know that the Duchess’s manor is stronger built than any ship, and it can face hurricanes without problems.

We are well too, and our ship is under repairs.

I had the opportunity to discuss with your fiance’s friends and one of them has given me a good idea for you. They will let you know when they are back in Kingston, and they will stand witness in your favour in front of the judge, confirming your statement that you have exchanged marriage promises and that you have received the necklace as your engagement token, and based on this, it is a legal provision called SPOUSAL DE FUTURO (don’t forget this name!) according to which your child will be considered as legitimate.

You should talk to the Duchess and ask her to recommend you a good lawyer, because I don’t want you to stand alone in front of the judge. I know you don’t lack money, so you will be able to give the due fees to the lawyer and the judge. Given that you will have no claims on child support from anyone, as you have your work, your savings and you can say also that you have a brother who is a sailor and who will always help you, I think your application will be received favourably. It is worth attempting, for your child’s future!

Please give me your news upon receipt of this letter. Anne will always have a piece of paper and a quill for you.

Be sure that both Honey and I love you, pray for you and you are in our thoughts.
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[align=center]A BALLAD FOR A PROUD PRIVATEER CAPTAIN[/align]
[align=right]9-th of October 1719[/align]

[align=center]Posted Image[/align]

Following the discussions with Daigh and Neil, the privateers, I finally met my promise to them. At first, I said that I’d write a ballad for Sharky just because I wanted to understand him more, but as I heard his unusual story, I got inspired to really do it.

He hadn’t got the chance to be my brother-in-law, however this doesn’t mean I admire him less. By contrary. So, while sewing sails together with Honey, she helped me polish the English words to the song we ended making together.

You seamen brave and bold, hear my tale
Of cruel fate and valour
Of an awesome sailor
Which in the West Indies is told
A privateer’s destiny to unveil.

My name is Captain Sharky. I sailed,
From my Far Eastern seas;
No harpoon could help us,
Our boat in the storm tossed
Following the big whale when I sailed.

A Spanish ship saved me from the wave
And aboard her I sailed.
Not free, but as a slave
Wishing for an early grave,
For ten years brewing revenge I sailed.

Upon the seven seas, as we sailed,
Their king a war entered
Upon the ocean wide
We fell to a broadside,
A British privateer’s, when we sailed.

Her captain set me free and I sail'd, ,
With them, known as “Fate’s Hand”.
I was a topman, good,
Helping them with all I could,
Learning how a free man to live meant.

Many long leagues from shore when we sailed,
Another captain came,
Black by heart and by name.
In anger he keelhauled me
But with my friends’ help I survived.

For a wrong order he gave when I sailed
I harpooned Captain Black,
And laid him in his gore,
Many long leagues from the shore
Then with the mutineers I sailed.

We steered from sound to sound, while we sailed.
We steered from sound to sound,
A pirate brig we found;
Her men we stripped and bound.
By sharks we got followed while we sailed.

My harpoon killed a shark at twilight
Its meat the tars to feed.
From here the name of the ship.
The crew wanted me to lead
And the cat of nine tails I forbid.

A Spanish galleon then while we sailed,
Fully loaded with gold,
A Spanish galleon then
We robbed of hundreds ten,
Assisted by my men, while we sailed.

Many Spanish ships we took while we sailed,
Also pirate ships we took;
We did still for plunder look;
All good prizes we brought
Successfully awarded, while we sailed.

At famous Port de Paix when we sailed,
A prize to get awarded,
An old foe noticed me.
He drugged me and made me pay
By selling me into slavery again.

By a slave trader I was taken,
Into irons awakened.
No escape occasion.
What an awful situation!
Farewell my love, farewell my brave men!

With the man I was sold to I must go
A slave again, on land,
On an unknown island,
With sad and heavy heart
To comply with my fate I must go.


Not only Honey, but Ellis helped me too, as he was the one to note down the verses when we finished them. (It might take an eternity until I learn to write in English... speaking it is difficult enough! Honey will learn reading and writing it quicker than me... but at least for her it's her mother tongue.)

Looking forward to sing it to the privateers tonight by the fire!
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Andrea Costa
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[align=center]TREASURE[/align]
[align=right]7-th of October 1719[/align]

We found treasure yesterday. Actually, two different treasure trunks. One to be split with the privateers, one to be kept among us. Hopefully they don’t catch wind about the second one, which belonged to a pirate captain named Henry Avery. He had a flag which looks as if Sol would have put himself on a Jolly Roger.

Sol recognized this too, and he took the man’s seal, which wasn’t in the trunk Sara and Gaspard discovered, but on a skeleton’s hand, discovered by Pieter and Sol. He had the right to take the ring, since he was the one to bury back the remains of the pirate.

I am glad for this unexpected wealth, because it means we might get our wedding sooner than initially envisaged. (Should I admit openly here that I am a little envious on Baptiste? For him, everything got lined up nicely once he made his mind… but maybe it is because he is always content with little. Our plans for the future are a little bigger than his.)

Gaspard found and read the letter Henry Avery had written to a woman to whom he wanted to return… but he never got to. This is how we learnt whose treasure we have got. The other treasure we had to split with the privateers is from a Spanish ship since more than one hundred years ago, since the coins are dated 1599.

Later in the evening, Sol asked who knew more about Henry Avery and Nails told us. It seems that the man was roaming more the Indian Ocean and Madagascar than the West Indies, and he gave a big hit by catching an Indian equivalent of the Spanish golden fleet.

It got him a big treasure - hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of goods, gold, silver and jewels - and the Indian King’s daughter who fell in love with him. Captain Avery’s ship ran away with the loot, not to share it with the other ships commanded by the famous Thomas Tew, and with the girl. This is how he arrived to the West Indies, where he lived for a while in peace with his princess, but when he got a big bounty on his head, the Governor of Bahamas of then told him that there would be Navy coming for him. But then the men went each of them where they knew somebody, and Nails knew that the man run off somewhere and set himself up in style with his great wealth.

Honey was by my side when listening to the story. Probably she wished such an ending for us too, but we know now that it wasn’t true. That he had left for England, probably, but something happened and he had to hide his fortune here on Inagua, then he died in a pistol duel with somebody. Probably his quartermaster or first mate, who might have taken the girl and left with what treasure he hadn’t succeeded yet to hide. A sad ending for a pirate captain… and maybe a warning for us all to be wise and know when to retire.
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Andrea Costa
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[align=center]BROTHERS, BROTHERS[/align]
[align=right]11-th of October 1719[/align]

One is Leif, my sworn brother, who is worrying me recently.

Maybe I have neglected him more than I should have, but what to do? When I had free time, he was busy with Sara, or with Nails, so I got to sew sails together with Honey. When he got to sew sails, I was aboard the privateer ship, with the maps. And probably he is a little jealous that Honey is here with us for this voyage. I definitely have to find more time for him.

One is Baptiste… almost my brother too, and definitely someone’s.

I don’t feel like I have committed an act of treason. By contrary, I am sure I have done the right thing.

I don’t think it is anything wrong for two siblings to meet in secret, if their lives and positions depend on the others not knowing they are related. If they can’t meet in the open, better in secret than not at all. And a friend in need is a friend indeed – hence me for Baptiste.

I don’t envy Marc at all, but I did my best. God was merciful to make me meet Marina again, after so many years since I considered her dead; it was my turn to do the same for two brothers… no matter what! Blood is thicker than water, ink and than the seafarer’s rhum.

I was glad, though, when we were all aboard at dawn, weighing anchor. That navy-filled island was too hot for us.
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Andrea Costa
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[align=center]WISE DECISION[/align]
[align=right]15-th of October 1719[/align]

I am so glad that Honey was with me to Kingston, and that we have passed the storm together! Not only that I would have been deadly worried about her and afraid not to lose her too, but once we returned to Basse Terre we heard that the inn had been looted, some customers and poor Tom had been killed, others got hurt – including little Darcy - and some of the women got raped by the bandits until a rescue party could be gathered.

Don Luca and Renaud arrived with some others at the right moment to chase and kill the remaining bandits, after Belle had killed their leader. She had gained his trust, then, after a few hours, she had offered him one of her tonic wines with plants… only that this time it was stronger and different than the one she had used at the fort in Port de Paix when saving Sol. Unlike that one, this was of the kind to drink, fall asleep and never wake up.

With the Penman’s help and the others’, the inn had been cleared of bandits… but a bit too late for some of the happenings.

They are obviously recovering, establishment and women alike. Probably not without nightmares and terrors. I wonder what kind of people can harm or kill a child – Tom wasn’t much older, at fourteen or fifteen. But Belle and the inn need our help. I talked with Honey and she agreed that I give Belle the money in advance not only for this stay, but until the end of the year.

We won’t get poorer, we still can get our wedding some time the next summer. With a bit of luck, even at Saint John’s summer feast, as it is a holiday of lovers. And yes, I would feel better knowing that Saint John is watching over our love, together with Saint Michael.

But this amount of money offered exactly when Belle needs it the most would have a great impact on the inn’s recovery. I don’t doubt that Cass and Sol will help her too, however I am not sure how much she has lost and how much it is needed to get the stocks she had before, so everything would count.
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Andrea Costa
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[align=center]ONE MORE FIGHT[/align]
[align=right]17-th of November 1719[/align]

I can say I like this blockade. Three Navies fighting two against one and the privateers helping their allies mean simply less pirate hunters chasing our hides in the Caribbean waters. We convoked the Council to establish the best route for us to take, as this time we had been waiting for no special ship.

With the smugglers busy to run the blockade, and the unsuspecting ships coming both from the Mainland and from Spain, who hadn’t heard yet about what happened, it took just for us to head more to the South than usual, and we got a well loaded galleon freshly arrived from beyond the Cape Horn, which surrendered rather quickly.

It took just Cass’s cannonade peppering their sails to strike their colours, then the silver bars and copper bars were ours - a prey less for the hungry Frenchmen and Brits enforcing the blockade!

We took the cargo, but we left the ship and the crew to leave in peace. We even recommended them to head to a port on the Mainland to wait there for the end of the blockade. At least, unlike the allied Navies, we take no war prisoners.

Their pilot had an interesting discussion with me about the Cape Horn and the Viceroyalty of Peru – who knows if some day I won’t be headed there too? I will keep the maps I got from him, even if I’ll lend them to the Penman to make his copies. Who knows when I might need him for a thing or another?
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