James stared at the door in front of him. It was a good solid door. It wore the scars of its years. It was unusual to have such a door in the bowels of a ship. But he never asked about it. That was the way on board the Jolly Maiden. You did as you were told and the rewards were plenty. You worked, you slept, and you got a nice chunk of any profits made.
It was not what most would call a good life, being a pirate, but it was all he had known from the age of 6. He had worked as a cabin boy on a cargo ship before being boarded by the crew of the Jolly Maiden. They had spared his life and he had joined up with the crew. The others had become like a family and he was soon allowed to join the boarding parties, attacking other vessels and sinking them. And as he grew so did his knowledge of the ship that he sailed on. He had explored as much as he could in his free time (what little he had) and found the ship bigger and more complex than he had expected.
That’s when he found the door, the very door he stood in front of now. When he had found it first time round, he had tried to open it. Pushing with all his might, he had managed to pry it open a tiny crack. But before he had even got a chance to put his eye up to it for a peek inside, he was roughly pulled back by Big Joe. The usually cheery fellow had a look off thunder on his face and had delivered a beating that left him unable to sit comfortably for weeks. But it had been the warnings that had been enough to scare him off for weeks. He had been gotten the message in no uncertain terms that he was never to open that door.
But still he was drawn to the door. Standing in front of it for hours when he should been sleeping. He was losing weight, as he kept forgetting to eat. He forgot to report for raiding duties and was rarely seen above decks. And still the door called. Today he would answer. Putting his shoulder to the door he pushed, straining, putting the last of his strength and what little of his remaining weight into the desperate act. Slowly it eased open, just enough for his emaciated frame to squeeze through. Smiling he slid his frame through the tiny gap. The door shut behind him.
Words: Steph Warren