The Captains Wife (Chapter 1)
Chapter 1- The Voyage & The Storm
We sailed from London on September 3, 1759. It was a cold and wet day, and I was miserable. My father had insisted I travel with him on this voyage to the West Indies. It was to last for months and I just knew I would die if I couldn't see William for such an extended length of time.
That was my father's plan, of course. William was a scoundrel, according to him. He hated William and his f****y, and had upon numerous occasions forbidden me to see him. He was beneath us, he used to say. Perhaps that was why I enjoyed William's company. I don't know. But I couldn't keep away.
There was talk of sending me to a convent for a few years, but my mother was reluctant. She had been sent to a convent as a c***d and she had horrible experiences. The discipline had been frightfully strict and somehow she had always managed to find the wrong end of the rod. She begged my father to take me with him on his next voyage instead, arguing that months away from William would do me good and the exposure to the world would educate me. Finally he agreed.
The first few weeks I spent mostly alone in my cabin. I had a few books which I read and reread, but soon I became bored. For a while I amused myself daydreaming.
I'd imagine William riding a ship after us to save me. There would be a tremendous battle and which he would win, and then he would threaten to kill my father unless I was released to him, and my father would finally consent to our marriage. I made up wild fantasies involving William and events of a sexual nature. I was chaste, of course, though once when he kissed me my hand pressed against his leg and I felt the bulge of his crotch. It had inflamed me, sending waves of terrible sensations through my body, especially between my legs. I grew wet there, and it took me a long time to get to sl**p that night.
I often found myself touching my "secret place" during these fantasies. It was always in terrible fear that I would get caught, so it was hastily and inexpertly done. I was never satisfied and I longed for William's gentle caress against my cheek and sweet lips against mine.
One night after a particularly trying day--nothing I did seemed to satisfy my intense craving--I awoke from a fitful sl**p of troubled dreams. The ship was rocking horribly, and I could hear the wind and the sea battering the walls of my tiny cabin.
I remembered father had told me at supper to prepare for a fierce storm. He had recommended I eat lightly, as the sea would be rough. In defiance I had eaten more than my fill, and now I regretted my rebelliousness. My stomach heaved and suddenly I hastened from the bed and managed to position myself on my hands and knees over my washbasin.
I left the remains of my dinner there and retreated. The smell was horrible and the ship had not ceased its violent rocking. In a fury I left my cabin to tell my father I would not tolerate such treatment--he had better order the captain to control the ship.
Up on deck was a maze of activity. The wind and rain and waves all blended together and through the darkness I vaguely saw men climbing and running every direction, shouting and cursing. I was shocked to hear the men speak like this, but in truth I could barely hear as the fierce wind stole their words away. Everyone ignored me as I struggled up the stairwell. I could not see my father anywhere. I decided he must be with the captain.
Suddenly there was a tremendous blast of thunder that seemed to shake the very universe almost immediately followed by a blinding bolt of lightening that lit up the scene clearly.
I saw men in the rigging most clearly and was shocked when the ship suddenly tilted almost horizontal and several of the men lost their grip and were flung into the raging ocean. But far worse was the main mast itself. The lightening had apparently struck the ship and the mast was burning!
There were screams of terror and fear everywhere as men ran to extinguish the flames. The ship lurched again in a vicious twist and suddenly I felt myself falling. The last thing I remember was wondering how the giant wooden ship, well-built as it was, could take such tremendous beating from the wind and waves.
To Be Continued...