Work is well underway on The Giant And The Fishes, and I wanted to share a first glimpse at one of the book’s more unusual characters. Here we meet our pirate ship,
the Bloody Wench.
They walked down one of the piers, the loose boards creaking under their feet in the pale moonlight. Waves lapped gently at the pylons, and there was a soft scraping as the ship docked here rubbed against the boardwalk. Burlap sacks filled with sand cushioned the hull. Fergus looked at the ship, finally seeing his new home. The Bloody Wench was a caravel, a small ship with two masts built more for speed than anything. It was not large, but it was long and slender. The main sail was square, with a square topsail, and a lateen mizzen mast. Six small cannons poked their noses out from the main deck, between openings in the gunwale. There were also doors on the deck below that hid more guns. The small forecastle held two cannons which were shorter than the others, but broader in girth. Along the railing there were several small guns, barely larger than muskets, mounted on pivots. The ship might be small, but she had teeth. Standing out more than all this, though, was the figurehead situated underneath the bowsprit. It was a meticulous carving of a naked woman, and in its own right was a work of art. She had been painted lovingly at one time, with shades and highlights on the flesh that made her almost seem alive. Somebody, however, had splattered her with red paint. She, Fergus surmised, must be the namesake bloody wench of the ship.