Captain Bren and the Royal Siren, Chapter 4

  • Posted on October 16, 2023 at 2:22 pm

For a more detailed breakdown of this story’s chapters, please consult the Chapter Links.

by kinkychic and kinky’s_sis


Chapter IV: A Rescue Plan

The steering master didn’t question my instructions when I gave him a northerly course. The only other senior hand on deck was Davy.

There was a grin on his face as he approached. “I knows you, an’ what you’s at. Jack and Anne, I be thinkin’.”

I grinned at him in return. Davy, here alone, was my friend. “We’ll overnight at the same river bay as we did on the way down,” I said. “I want to talk to everyone. I have a plan.”

“You always does,” he said.


Marianna seldom objected to my decisions, but this one worried her. “Bren, are you sure of this?” she asked. “To sail into Port Royal seems like offering yourself up to the hangman – along with the rest of us.”

“The men will be gathered shortly, my love; I will put my plan to everyone. I believe it has a great chance of success.”

Everyone seemed eager to know where we were going, and whether I had resolved the question of how to dispose of the treasure. There was complete quiet as they listened. I planned to sail the Majestic into Port Royal, while the Siren would stay well out of sight to the northwest of the island. No one would recognise the Spanish ship, which would now be flying a British merchant flag. We would pass under the guns of Fort Charles and anchor among the many other ships in the harbour. With luck, no one would give us a second glance.

“Our aim is to at least make an attempt at rescuing Calico Jack and the two women,” I said. “As for Vane, I may well release him, but he won’t be welcome to come with us.” I waited for the crew’s babble to die down before continuing. “As some of you may know, I grew up on the streets of Port Royal. I know my way around and I’m certain that I can make my way into the prison without causing a rumpus.”

Davy spoke up, “’er, the Cap’ain, was a street urchin when I found ‘er… beggin’ your pardon, Cap’ain. Just paintin’ a picture is all.”

It was true. Davy had likely saved my life. He had brought me aboard the Siren when he discovered I lived on the streets. At the time, I was only twelve years of age.

“So, what say you? Remember, we would all likely be dead anyway had Jack not been there to help in the fight with the English frigate. I think we owe it to him to give it a try.” I paused. “But as ever, I listen to your opinion. I consider and then I decide. But I ask you, have I ever yet been wrong?”

An exuberant cheer erupted. “Calico Jack!” they shouted. “Calico Jack!”

I held up a hand, signalling for silence. “Now, the treasure. What are we to do with it? We cannot sail about the Caribbean with such a fortune below decks.” Again, I had to wait until the noise quieted. “But after much thought, again I have a plan.

“On our way to Jamaica, we will pass close by an island. There are a number of old lava tunnels that lie at sea level. Mostly they are ignored, as they are dangerous places, but I know of one that has upper levels and a cave that is very difficult to get to. We may conceal the treasure there.”

I sensed most were in favour of what I was proposing, but there was some dissent.

“You have known me long enough to know I am as one with you,” I said. “I would never rob or cheat my own men. So when I tell you this island cave has to be a deathly secret, you will understand. Any whisper, any slipped or mistaken word, and all is lost. Hundreds will be searching for our gold. So, I am suggesting the location remains a secret known to only four of us – Jensen, Davy, Marianna and myself. We will keep back enough that each man has sufficient to enjoy whatever pleasures he wishes for the foreseeable future.”

I let them talk among themselves for quite some time. It was Taylor who spoke up.

“Cap’ain, we are agreed. We goes with yer plan. If’en we succeeds in the rescue, then we talks again. Be’in’ you happy with that, Cap’ain Ma’am?”

“Mister Taylor” – I doubt he’d ever been addressed so courteously – “I am content with that. We shall discuss the plans tomorrow. You, Mister Taylor, will please join us in my cabin when I call a meeting.” I had noticed these past few weeks that Taylor seemed that bit brighter than many of his fellows.

A final word for the crew: “I will add Taylor to those who know where our gold is hidden. This way, you can have a deckhand, one of your own peers, sharing the knowledge.”

Several men looked at Taylor as if he’d just been promoted to the rank of a senior officer. “Thankee, Cap’ain,” he said proudly.


“Here is Aruba,” I said, placing a finger on the unfurled map. “A Dutch island with little to recommend it. No one is interested in the place. It’s the proximity to Curacao that makes it Dutch. We can safely anchor there without being observed. There are caves that can only be entered by boat, and then, only when the tide is low. They lie under the high cliffs, which will shelter us from prying eyes. These caves offer a safe hiding place. Of that, I am confident.”

Of those gathered, only Davy, aside from myself, had ever seen the caves. “I didn’t much likes it in them caves, Cap’ain, but I thinks you be right. ’Tis a good place to be stashin’ things,” he said.

Everything went smoothly. The waters were calm enough, allowing us to anchor safely close in. I dispatched scouts to the cliff-top. Once they had given the all-clear, we could proceed.

Two of our best topmen had soon scaled the cliff inside the cave. I myself had been up there a few years ago, and it wasn’t something I wished to try again. It very nearly killed me the last time. Lefarge had brought us here, although he hadn’t made clear exactly why. We’d scaled the cliff out of simple curiosity.

On this occasion, I waited for the rope ladders to be put in place, along with spars, blocks and tackles that would enable us to hoist the treasure. It was only a few hours before our riches were safely hidden away. Before departure, we checked that we had left nothing behind to show that we, or anyone, had been there.

I held some gold in my cabin, more than enough to keep every man happy for ages to come. A pirate’s needs were simple – rum, baccy, and a good whore. I had retained more than enough to pay for all of them.


We approached Port Royal cautiously. I felt a foreboding that something was amiss, though I knew not what. I doubted it was at all possible that anyone expected our arrival, but it was wise to assume they had. As we passed the small islet at the entrance to the harbour, Davy called to me. “Cap’ain, yer telescope, larboard side, small island.”

Instantly I knew we were too late. Tears welled in my eyes, which I hastily wiped away. It was Jack! The gay clothes left no doubt as to his identity. The poor man had been gibbeted for all to see. His body, left for the gulls to pick at, was a message to any pirate who dared to approach Port Royal — nowhere are you safe.

When we had anchored, I took a while to consider. One man’s execution did not mean all the prisoners were dead. I had to know the fate of Mary Read and Anne Bonny. We waited until dark before Davy rowed me ashore, just the two of us.

I was dressed more like I had been all those years ago. The only difference was my age and the weapons I carried, quite aside from the giant of a man who walked behind me.

It took immense resolve to walk into the tavern where I had worked before. Davy had his hand on my shoulder. “Cap’ain,” he whispered, “be strong, likes you is.”

I discovered two things: Anne Bonny was still in the prison, and worse, my tormentor from all those years before was still there in the tavern, as loud and tyrannical as ever, shouting at the young girls, groping them while they served. The present owner was clearly no better than the one Davy had killed.

“Davy, before we leave, I will kill that man,” I said. “But not right now. We have plans to make.”

With Davy at my heels, we edged our way around the back of the fort. A jumble of bushes hid a crevice I knew from years before, and it was still there, though more overgrown than I remembered.

The crevice had been opened by a massive earthquake some years ago. More than half of Port Royal had been swallowed by the sea and sand, and many hundreds had perished. Tonight, though, they were not my concern. I needed only to find the way into the prison that I had used on previous occasions to steal pistols and swords I could sell.

Fort Royal was the only fort out of four that had survived the earthquake. I didn’t know why, nor did I care. My one concern was … yes! There it was! Was it still safe? The sand was slipping all around me.

Then I breathed open air. I was through. I saw no one, no sentries, nothing. They clearly didn’t expect anyone to be breaking in.

“Davy,” I said, “we might as well take a look while it all seems quiet.”

It took us a while to find the passageway that led to the cells. Stealth was unnecessary. There were no guards. Only one torch lit the gloom, but it was enough. “Anne,” I called softly. There was no answer.

Again, a little louder this time. Then out of the darkness, I heard, “You, the bitch captain.” It was the unmistakable voice of Charles Vane. “How the fuck did you get down here?”

The blade of my knife stopped an inch from his throat where he stood at his cell bars. “Is Anne here, Vane?”

He didn’t answer me, he just laughed.

“Vane, is she here?” I again demanded.

He laughed again. “Go fuck yourself. Fucking women pirates… nothing but trouble.”

I heard a whisper, maybe more of a croak. Then I saw her. Shrivelled up in a filthy blanket. A hand reached out. “Help me.” I had found her.

As much as I tried, my blade failed to force the lock. Then I heard someone coming down the stairs. It sounded like a very unsteady approach.

A British uniformed soldier appeared, holding a lantern up high as he weaved from side to side, drunk as they come. He never saw my approach from the shadows as he staggered past. Nor did he feel the hilt of my dagger bang into his temple. He slowly sank to the floor as I grabbed hold of the lantern before it shattered on the flags. The bunch of keys at his belt soon yielded the one I needed.

It was clear Anne was in no condition to walk, though Davy could carry her easily enough. She was as light as a starved kitten.

Vane’s voice came out of the dark. “Throw me the keys, then I’ll look after myself.”

It was my turn to laugh. “Vane, this bitch doesn’t take kindly to your insults… so, in your own words, go fuck yourself. Had you half a brain, you might have been civil. It was your choice, and now you’ll hang for it.”

I took a look in the other cells, but there was no sign of Mary Read. Vane still laughed, “You lookin’ for the other bitch, don’t waste your time. She’s dead.”

Davy helped me drag Anne through the cleft below the wall, the sand constantly crumbling and shifting around us. Without his added strength, we would have been buried alive. Then, suddenly, we were free of it, forcing our way through the bushes. We crept from shadow to shadow, back towards our boat.

I was about to follow Davy aboard when I heard the voice. I turned towards the sound. My concern for Anne had allowed me to forget for a time, but here he was.

“Cap’ain, leave it. The scum ain’t worth yer trouble.”

He went unheeded. The feelings from all those years ago welled up – a hatred like nothing I had ever felt. I strode towards the sound of the voice.

He saw me coming, a dagger in my hand, and he laughed. “Stupid li’l bitch with a sticker in ’er ’and an’ pointin’ it at me. You wants to play, then let’s us play, then I fucks you to death.”

“You don’t remember me, do you, pisspot?”

“Why’d I needs remember one tart from another? You’s all just cunts waitin’ to be fucked.”

“A question for you then, fuckface. Remember the little girl you made piss herself, the day the landlord got killed?” I watched the changing expressions as his addled brain tried to deal with the question. I saw a flicker of memory. It was enough. “Yes, that was me. You made my life a living hell. Now, you pay. The world will be well rid of you.”

He sobered up quite quickly. He was looking at my knife, sizing me up. But I wasn’t here to play. It was simple revenge for a little girl’s nightmare.

Still laughing at me, he raised his blade, but to no purpose. My hand had passed in front of his face without his dull brain even registering the fact. His free hand clutched at the reddening slit across his throat, and the blood burst through, pouring between his fingers as he fell.

For a few seconds, I looked down at him as he died. I felt no satisfaction, no pleasure, not even release. It was merely something I had to do.

Davy watched as I cleaned my blade on his clothes. “’Twas needed, I s’pose,” was all he said.


Anne was in a bad way. I doubted her chances of survival. It seemed our rescue mission had been in vain. Jack and Mary were dead, and Anne soon would be. For perhaps the first time in my life, I didn’t know which way to turn.

Marianna snapped at me. “Bren, listen to me.” It made me sit up, she had never spoken so sharply, but her voice calmed before she continued, “Bren, my love, we need you. We need your decision-making. The men are becoming restless.”

I knew she was right. I had set an aimless course, not knowing where to go, but meandering would only lead to further trouble.

A rumbling broke into my thoughts. It was cannon fire.

Hastening to the deck, I asked Halcombe, “What do you see?”

“Nothing very much as yet, they’re too far away.”

I turned to the sailing master, “More sail. Let’s take a look, shall we?”

Two hours later we beheld an astonishing sight. An English man-of-war, of at least seventy guns, was under attack by three large frigates flying Spanish colours. Spanish frigates are, generally, far larger than the British, often with two decks of guns.

“I don’t understand, Halcombe,” I said. “Why are the Spanish fighting a British third-rate in this part of the world? Bartholmew had mentioned a squabble of some sort in the Mediterranean, but way over here, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

I studied the scene through my telescope. The man-of-war was clearly sluggish in the water, yet she flew an admiral’s pennant. It was also obvious that the frigates were methodically knocking her to pieces. There could only be one outcome.

None of us owed a damned thing to England. Yet, I couldn’t just stand by and watch this senseless slaughter.

“Clear for action. Starboard guns load with chain, larboard with ball. Signal Jensen. We attack. He is to follow me until we see how the Spanish react.”

Perhaps the Spanish were so intent on their purpose that they did not see us coming. Our chain shot ripped high up into one frigate. Jensen’s did the same to another. Siren’s cannon wreaked havoc. Ropes parted, sails went awry, and then one mast teetered, having lost all its support. The wind did the rest. The mast snapped and fell.

The third-rate fired, and one of the frigates seemed to leap from the water. Her guns were silenced as her captain struggled to control a critically injured ship. Jensen, even with his extra firepower, hadn’t managed to cause as much damage as we had. But then, he was undermanned and had no experienced gunners aboard.

The frigate he had attacked was now returning fire, they exchanged broadsides, and the Majestic was getting the worst of it.

“Wheel hard a-starboard,” I yelled. “Tight on the sails!”

The Spaniard was coming close. Would we clear her, or would we come together before we had turned? Marianna had learned enough to recognise the danger. I felt her grip on my shoulder, but I had no time to ponder.

“Starboard guns fire as soon as you bear,” I said. “Big twelve to fire at her waterline.”

Shot whistled overhead, from both the Spanish and the British. We were drawing between them, and it was a dangerous place to be. It was now hard to see what was happening, as the smoke enveloped us completely. I could only hope Jensen had got clear and that the bloody seventy-four didn’t sink us.

The Siren took a massive series of blows. At least five shot simultaneously hit her hull. She heeled over as I prayed the masts would hold. Suddenly, the sky lit up, even through the smoke. Then the explosion hit us. Again, Siren heeled, this time from the force of the blast.

The smoke slowly cleared in the wind, revealing a rolling sea littered with timber. The Spaniard’s powder had blown. She was gone.

The third frigate had seen enough and decided to run. The Majestic hauled alongside its one remaining adversary, which had lowered its colours in surrender. Likely her captain realised that given the forces arrayed against him, it would be only minutes before he was also blown out of the water.


We were close by the British ship when she hailed. “Who are you? You haven’t shown your colours. Whoever you are, we are in your debt. We would not have survived without your intervention.”

I was in a quandary. What did I answer? I was wanted by the British. I suppose we could have just sailed off, but that wasn’t my way.

“My name is Dawlish, but that is unimportant. I saw an uneven fight. I did what I thought was needed.”

His hail came right back. “Captain, on my word of honour, safe conduct if you will come and talk with me. We have already suffered much damage. I do believe your two ships could sink me if it were what you wanted.”

I marvelled at the sheer size of this mammoth of a ship as I set foot on the quarterdeck. A line of pipers tweeted me aboard, something that simply wasn’t done for a civilian. An old man, obviously the admiral, actually saluted me. I returned his salute with a bow.

He read my surprise. “We likely owe you our lives. Is that not worth a salute, Captain Dawlish?” I had never been referred to as Captain Dawlish before. Was it possible that he still hadn’t realised who and what I was? He seemed to read my mind. “Oh, I know who you are, and I know of your ship. Not the other vessel though. Either way, welcome aboard the Nassau, of His Majesty’s Navy.”

He was about to continue when the officer standing behind him softly cleared his throat. The admiral glanced over his shoulder. “Yes, quite right, Captain, thank you.” With that, he stood aside and beckoned for me to accompany him. “Will you join me in my quarters, Captain? I have things that need saying.”

Like everything else on board this ship, the main cabin was vast. The oak table alone could seat more people than the whole of my cabin could fit.

A steward waited for his orders. “I need a stiff drink after today’s business. I’ll take some of that heathen whiskey. Will you join me, Captain?”

I had never tasted the stuff before, and I soon found I probably wouldn’t ever want to again. I would stick to my preferred cognac, or indeed, any brandy.

The admiral didn’t waste time once the steward had left. “I know all about you. You are in my orders,” he began. “When I take up my post, my instructions are to apprehend you at all costs. The amount placed on your head is now one thousand pounds by direct order of the King. I used your surname for good reason. I didn’t want it bruited about that I had Captain Bren on my deck, and yet I had not arrested you. Perhaps my Captain is aware, but I doubt any others are. I now have reasonable excuse to claim that I had not known who you really were. Do see, Captain?”

I was coming to like this man. He might well be old, but he was sharp as a handspike. “I know the King feels he is right to want my apprehension,” I said. “I did sink one of his ships. Perhaps though, he is not aware that it was in self-defence. His frigate had no reasonable right to be attacking me. I was still sailing on a privateer’s letter of marque. It was one Hornigold who branded me a pirate, something that was not within his rights to do.”

“At the enquiry, the first officer of that frigate raised the very question,” the admiral said. “He expressed concern about the legality of their orders. He also spoke of how well you treated the men. He said many more would have perished were it not for the rapid deployment of your boats. I am aware that you have never taken a British ship, only Spanish and French. Indeed, until the sinking of the frigate, I do not believe you have ever fired a shot at anything English.”

I took another sip of my fire-water. The admiral must have seen my grimace. “I think the Captain might prefer a drop of … perhaps brandy?”

He didn’t ring for the steward but fetched the bottle and a fresh glass himself.

“Now, Captain, let’s get down to business. I do not take up my post for another four weeks. So I will not be issuing any orders regarding yourself for some time to come. In the meantime, I intend to make a few more enquiries. You may or may not be aware that Hornigold is dead, but I want to know who sanctioned his orders, and on what grounds. Do see where I am going, Captain?”

He saw my appreciative look when I took some of the fine cognac. “You have expensive tastes, I see.”

“Admiral,” I said, “I could afford to buy the place that made this, never mind just a few bottles.” I had a flash of inspiration. “What if I were to bring the King at least two fine frigates to replace the one he lost?”

The admiral almost choked on his whiskey. “You are that wealthy, Captain? No, I beg your pardon. That is an intolerably rude question. Please forgive me.”

Once more I laughed. “It’s of no consequence, sir. You see, I am intolerably rich. Quite possibly, the richest person in England … were I ever to be allowed in England, of course. I understand it to be a cold and dismal place, but I would still like to see it.”

The admiral stared at me for ages, until at last he said, “I wonder whether you truly know what you are saying. There are a lot of very rich people in Britain.”

“You may take my word for it, sir. I was already immensely wealthy before I found a lost Spanish treasure galleon. She carried more gold than I am sure even the King has. You see, Admiral, I could buy the King a new Navy, never mind a brace of frigates. My one problem is that I have had to hide most of our fortune, and I currently have no access to my bankers.”

“Another cognac, Captain?” He paused to pour. “I do see your problem, and I can make no promises, but you have confirmed what I was coming to believe. It may take some time, but I do have the ear of the King. You need to keep out of the way for a while, perhaps somewhere up the American coast beyond the Spanish territories. I am bound for Jamaica but will be in Bermuda soon after.”

We discussed a few other matters. It was agreed we would wait three months at the least before the Majestic would send a boat into Castle Harbour, flying a flag signal that only the admiral’s staff would recognize.

As I rose to leave, the admiral said, “Wait one moment, if you please.” He took a highly ornate ceremonial sword down from the bulkhead. “Please accept this as a token of my gratitude for you and your crew’s valiant action today. I am in your debt, Captain. I would have paid all of your men a reward, but it would seem there is little point.”

Back on the quarterdeck, I found Jensen talking with the captain. The admiral approached them. “And you, sir. I believe you must be the captain of the other frigate that engaged the Spanish. I would know your name, so I may shake your hand.”

“This is Captain Thomas Jensen, my second in command and my business partner,” I said.

Jensen passed the Spanish frigate’s flag to the admiral, who looked puzzled

“Their captain insists he surrendered to the Navy, and not a ‘witch pirate’, as he put it,” Jensen said. “So, the prize is yours, Admiral.”

“You see, the King already has a better frigate than the one he lost, and you will receive the prize money,” I said.

The ship’s surgeon was sent back with me, to do what he could for Anne. He prescribed no more than a tonic and a strict feeding regime. “Provided there is no organ damage, she will be fine,” he told me.


I charted the safest route I could think of that would take us north. We would shelter for the first night at Charlotte Amalie on the Danish island of Saint Thomas. The authorities had little objection to guests who caused no trouble, but they did not care to see a British Naval vessel unless it were an officially arranged visitation. We wouldn’t even be going ashore.

From there we could stop by Tortola to see how Josh and Daphne were managing.

On to Chapter Five!


8 Comments on Captain Bren and the Royal Siren, Chapter 4

  1. Kim & Sue says:

    Captain Bren is fantastic, as are the writers and editor of this great adventure story. So much in this chapter we wouldn’t know where to begin.

    Very good scene trying to make the rescues, and glad to see the bad guy go down. Well described. Davy is for sure our fav male character.

    Makes us hungry for the next chapter.

    • kinkychic says:

      Sis tried to reply to this last night but couldn’t get it to post.

      Thanks, ladies. Glad that you continue to enjoy.

  2. Erocritique says:

    That was perfect. The previous chapter was a bit chaotic and helter skelter (imho) as Captain Bren executed a rather abrupt departure from Yaima and the lost lesbian cult, but this chapter was linear, laser focused and mission oriented, yet not without its surprises(some tragic and some providing satisfying closure).. The serendipitous encounter (for all parties involved) with the Admiral provided a hopeful ray of light that Captain Bren and her crew will be able to enjoy a future free from constant pursuit after their “pirating” days are over. The teaser about returning to Tortola to see Daphne was welcome and exciting news. Another chapter where I was totally enthralled from the first line to the last. Brilliant work ladies. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    • kinkys_sis says:

      That’s what I call high praise.

      Yes, the sad demise of Calico Jack (exactly how it happened). Never understood why Vane was treated differently… still hung though.

      We’re both so pleased at your continued enjoyment and support, you know we love your comments.

  3. No One says:

    Some interesting events in this chapter. First, we get a classic hidden pirate treasure, though from the perspective of those hiding it rather than those seeking it. All that’s missing is that they make a map with an X to mark the spot–or maybe not, that wouldn’t actually be a very good way to keep it hidden! Then there’s a daring prison break (break-in?), though unfortunately they were not in time to save Jack. Well, you know, “unfortunately.” It’s fun to root for antiheroes in fiction, though I suppose pirates were not actually very nice people. Finally, it seems they might have found a way to legitimize their enterprise in some fashion. That would be putting their new-found wealth to good use, I think.

    Good work overall on the twists and turns in this chapter, though I do have some issues with the believability of certain elements. First, there’s a hole in the prison wall that lets people go in an out unseen, and it goes unpatched for years…? That seems unlikely. Then Bren randomly decides to risk her life, the lives of her lover and crew, and her ships, not to mention attract more attention to herself, to go rescue some random English ship that she knows nothing about. That seems a bit insane? She’s a pirate, not the Caribbean coast guard. And afterwards, after a big deal is made in the beginning of keeping their treasure a secret, she brags about it to the first person she meets. Sure, she doesn’t reveal the location, but that’s an awful lot of trust to put in some guy you just met. Thankfully the admiral seems honorable, so it will probably be fine, but there’s really no reason Bren would be so open with him. Just a few more details to justify this sequence of events would have gone a long way.

    • kinkys_sis says:

      I realise that you have basically complimented my story, thank you. However, allow me to respond to the points you raise.

      Our captain was never a true pirate, as becomes clearer as the story progresses.

      I perhaps over-used the term prison. Fort Royal (better known as Fort Charles) was not a prison as such, but a fort that had prison cells. It was the only fort in Port Royal that survived the 1692 earthquake. The others were all buried by liquified sand and sank out of sight. The fort was considerably damaged as a result of the earthquake and was never fully repaired. The port authorities had more important things to deal with like trying to rebuild the devastated city. Then in 1703, a fire destroyed all the rebuilding they had managed. The city was moved to Kingston as a result and Port Royal was almost abandoned; only the naval facilities remained. It is today, only a tourist attraction.

      It is quite conceivable that there may have been an unobserved way in under the wall hidden among the scrub — not ‘a hole in the wall’.

      It was not unusual for one captain to go to the aid of another; especially when the Spanish were involved. As for putting lives in danger … that was exactly their way of life. It’s what they did. Danger was seldom a consideration — excitement was.

      As to the treasure. She makes no mention of where or how the treasure was, only that she had found it.

      Although the story is fiction, I have woven it around actual historical events. Calico Jack’s death occurred exactly as I have portrayed it. In point of fact, he was, in reality, a nice enough person. He was known to be honourable in so far as he never tortured or killed anyone. It was a part of why he was never a successful pirate.

      If I had been writing an actual novel I would likely have gone into more detail. But I was writing an erotic pirate story. We edited out some of the details I had in the original draft so as not to overpower the ‘fun’ of the story.

      • No One says:

        Fair enough about the fort. I didn’t realize the jail was just a small part of it. I understand that the passage was hidden by bushes on the outside, though my thinking was that it should be more noticeable from the inside. But if it’s a large structure fallen into disuse and the prison isn’t its main purpose, they might not care enough to do something about it. That makes sense to me.

        As for the rest, well… Agree to disagree, I suppose? 🙂 Bren may not be a “true” pirate (though really, she attacks a random ship to plunder in Chapter 1, so what’s the difference at this point?), and of course she and her crew lead a life of danger and excitement, but it still seems like a leap from that to suddenly going to the rescue of an unknown ship (from a nation that wants to arrest her, no less) for no personal gain. That just seems reckless, and she didn’t strike me as that type up to now. And yeah, I did mention that she doesn’t reveal the location of their treasure, but still… “I’m richer than the King, by the way. Sure, let’s meet again in three months, giving you ample time to make plans to lay a trap and steal that treasure I just mentioned” is not a wise move.

        This would have been a good opportunity to give more agency to your protagonist, actually. I noticed that the story is often about our captain stumbling onto some adventure and reacting to it rather than making her own plans, which is fine sometimes, but there’s more character development opportunities when the protagonist has more decisions to make. If she’d seen the ship getting attacked and thought, “this looks like an important English ship, hmm… maybe if we help them, we could leverage that into getting them to advocate for us with the Crown,” you could then have basically the same events, but Bren has more of a solid reason to act, she seems active rather than reactive (the deal with the admiral was her plan all along rather than just falling into her lap), and it makes her appear cunning and capable to the reader.

        Do rest assured that I only go into such details because I like your writing! In a typical story, it’s like, “uh, the way these characters got into bed seems far-fetched, but whatever, it’s just a sex story,” and I don’t give it much thought. But your stories have a lot of interesting potential for drama and character development, and I feel compelled to offer advice to hopefully improve future stories even more. Um, do tell me if it’s annoying, though.

        Oh, and that’s an interesting tidbit about Calico Jack. I’ll have to read up on him some time.

        • kinkys_sis says:

          No, I’m never annoyed by sensible critical comment such as you offer. Whether I agree or not is immaterial, it makes me think things through a little more than I otherwise might have done.

          I strive to improve which I can only do by being told where there is something not quite right.

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