This picks up where Pride left off with Viola in Obediah’s care.
“There’s time for that later.” He pushed her in front of him, this time supporting her enough that she could maneuver across the deck without tripping. He pushed her roughly down a set of steps, then pushed her into a cell and slide the door closed before she could protest. A resounding click and the cell door was locked. Obediah licked the key as Viola watched. “Now, if you will come closer to the bars, I will untie you. There’s nowhere for you to go and you’ll have to attend to yourself.”
“Why don’t you come inside and untie me?” She challenged again. Obediah just laughed.
“It’s your choice, lassie. You can come closer and I’ll undo your knots, or you can stay in the cell as you are.” He lured at Viola. She did not like her choices, but Jonas had not been able to loosen her knots so she could break free. She moved carefully towards the bars of the cell, turning her back to Obediah at the last minute. Just as she expected, he took liberties with her, touching her body in places he should not, just because he could. When the knots had been loosened she gave a mighty shiver and the rope fell loose. She spun around swiftly and brought her arm up, her hand catching Obediah’s chin in her palm. She carefully let enough anger consume her so the adrenaline would rise up—not enough to kill him, but enough to scare him. She squeezed until his fat lips took on the appearance of a fish’s mouth and squeezed some more. She used her other to grab his genitalia and gave it a good squeeze. He grunted, his face turned purple as she squeezed him harder. He tried to pull his head away, but only succeeded in wounding himself with her nail.
“Now it’s your choice, captain. Whatever schemes you have in your head that involve me best be forgotten. If you so much as touch me again,” she pulled her nose to his and looked deep into his telescopic eye, “you will not live to see the moon rise.” She curled her lips back slightly, just enough for him to see her extended eyeteeth. Satisfaction filled her when she saw the tremble in his eyes. She squeezed him once more and pinched her fingers together as she released his chin, causing him to smash his face against the bar. She moved away from the bars with such speed, Obediah could do nothing but swallow.
Obediah broke the spell she was casting over him and spit into her cell. “I knew there was something hooky about this when he lost. A vampire! Bah! It will take more than a vampire to defeat me, but the risk to my crew is too great. All I want is the magnet. Give me that, and I will set you free.”
She reached into her pocket and pulled the magnet out. She looked at it carefully, turning it over and over, wondering what was so important about it that men were dying over it. Her eyes roamed to Obediah’s again. She saw something in them she could not trust. She moved the magnet to another hand and watched as his metal fingers moved in the same direction. She moved it back to the original hand and watched as, again, his metal fingers followed the magnet. She raised it out between her thumb and index finger, extended her arm, and pointed it towards Obediah. Her eyes never left his and she saw another tremble in them, and realized this time it was fear. Viola took two steps forward, still remaining out of Obediah’s reach. His steel fingers stretched their full length and she saw his normal hand rise to his metal wrist and try to force it down. Her lips curved deviously. Her eyes squinted together as she turned her head, taking in the scene as fully as she could. He wanted this magnet, yet he is afraid of it.
“Interesting,” she said, dropping her arm and putting the magnet back in her pocket. Immediately, Obediah seemed to gain control of his metal hand. “Very interesting, indeed.” She paused and made as if to sit, but turned back to him at the last moment. “No, I think I’ll keep the magnet, but you will still set me free.”
The captain looked her incredulously. “Haha.” There was no trace of the fear he had felt only moments before. “Why would I do that? You are twice as valuable with the magnet. You’ll fetch me a pretty penny at the auction.” A look of mock-pity replaced his laughter and all joviality left his face. “No, lass. There will be no freedom for you. Not for a very long time.”
A small, wiry crewman came flying down the steps. “Captain, captain! You must come quickly!” his breathless words startled Obediah.
“I will be there in just a moment, Ollie.” Anger laced his voiced.
“Captain, my apologies, but it can’t wait. You must come now!”
Obediah grumbled as he followed Ollie to the deck. His entire crew stood there frozen, facing the starboard side looking at something in the distance. “What is it?” His telescope extended from his eye socket and he looked in the direction his crew faced. In the distance was an airship and it was closing distance fast. He could see smoke coming from the sides and knew they were preparing for battle.
“Man your positions!” Obediah yelled, spurning his crew into action. “Quickly, quickly. Battle is upon us!”
Viola heard the shouts from the deck and raced to the porthole in her cell. Small enough for only her head to fit, her view of the outside was dimmed. She saw they were airborne, but other than a few puffy, white clouds and the light blue sky, there was nothing to see. Her fingers twisted around the black fabric bracelet in her pocket. She had learned quickly how to control the demon flowing through her blood, though unleashing it seemed to come far too easy. If this be friend pursuing them, it would be wiser to put the bracelet on. If it be foe, more specifically, Father Lee, she would rather not. What do I do? Do I let the beast go or do I contain it? How many more people will it destroy if I let it take over? Will I get myself back when it’s over or will I forever be changed? Will I be able to resist it next time if I let it go this time? What do I do? I need answers! Again the black face rose to her memory. Viola knew this woman was responsible for the changes made in her body, yet she held no ill will towards her for it. She wished that this woman could answer her questions. She had no idea where to get answers from. Up to this point, decisions had been made for her. Father Lee had dictated what she would do, when she would do it, and even her imprisonment within this ship had been his decision, whether it was direct or indirect. Now, faced with the opportunity to make her own decision, she did not know what to do.
“Ahoy! All hands on deck!” Obediah shouted. “To the stern, to the stern!”
Her cell was stern-side. She ran to the window again, clamoring to see what was out there. The helm of another airborne ship came into view, its black skull and crossbones flag revealing piracy. She pressed her face to the window hoping to see more. It was The Painted Mary!
To be continued…
I’m linking this up with Inspiration Monday, under the theme “Confined to Quarters.” She may not be in “quarters” but she’s definitely confined to a small space.
As always, I’m craving feedback, so won’t you please share your thoughts in a comment?
Thanks for stopping in!