Pirates of Hardwood

Chapter 15

Darrick was shoved into a room with no windows and only a few candles for light. It smelled musty and dirty, wooden barrels were stacked ceiling high along one wall and clear bottles of rum were placed nearly on a few shelves in the corner. The barrels were marked as gun powder and there were a lot of them.

His orders from the captain were to separate the empty barrels from the full ones. He knew it was a redundant yet laboring task, but he didn’t dare question it. The captain already wanted a reason to kill him before making it to shore and he needed to find a way to get Sam before that happened.

The large door was closed and Darrick could hear the guard standing just on the other side of it. There was another man in the room with him. He was older and his clothes were ratty and torn. His long, greasy hair swept against his shoulders as he approached the new slave.

“Name’s Jonah, who are you?” The young man spoke in almost perfect English.

“Umm, Darrick.”

“You don’t look like a pirate.” Jonah started, moving his eyes up and down Darrick’s form.

“That’s because I’m not one. My friends and I were out sailing and ran into a lightning storm. We ended up here and the captain captured us.” Darrick replied.

“Aah, the infamous lightning.” Jonah said, turning away from Darrick. “She does have a way of changing things, doesn’t she.”

“You know what I’m talking about?” Darrick quickly followed him to a shelf filled with rum.

Jonah nodded, “Indeed I do. I’ve seen those storms all to often. They catch the unexpected and hurl them into the unknown. How do you think I got here?”

Darrick ran his fingers through his tangled hair and shook his head, “Do you know how we get back? How to get to our own time?”

Jonah stared long and hard at Darrick. He was contemplating the answer in his head. He reached fire a half empty bottle of rum and pulled the cork from it. The glass his hit lips and he nearly finished the drink in one swig.

“If I tell ya, what’s in it for me?” Jonah asked, setting the bottle on the shelf.

Darrick shrugged and replied, “I don’t have any money, but you could come with us. You tell me how to get back where we belong and we’ll take you as well.”

Jonah laughed, “You would take a complete stranger back to your time without question?”

Darrick reluctantly nodded, “Yeah.”

“Alright,” Jonah said with a sigh, “Going through time is actually the easy part. Another lightning storm will come along eventually. It’s the waiting that could kill you.”

“How long?”

“There’s no saying, boy. The storm that brought you was the first I’ve seen in two years.” Jonah replied.

Darrick’s heart sunk and he felt add though his while life was over. He’d never get to see his parents again or his other friends. The job he hated was suddenly missed and his future was over.

“However,” Jonah continued, “there was a time where those storms were more frequent than I had ever seen. I used to track them and was there waiting for the treasures it brought me.”

“How often did the storms come then?” Darrick asked, sounding hopeful.

Jonah shrugged, “You’d still have to wait, but the lightning used to arrive once a month. If it happens like that again, you’ll be lucky. But you’ll need a plan to get you and your friends on a separate boat or ship and sail into the lightning or you’ll be doomed to wait even longer. Understand?”

“Yes.”

“Good, now follow me we have a lot of work to do down here.” Jonah ordered.

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