Today, in the spirit of being a little more active on here beside book promo, I am taking part in a new weekly (I hope) feature! It’s called the Open Book Blog Hop. The idea is that there is a discussion point tied to books, writing, literature, that everyone taking part works on. We write a piece tied to that and in doing so, get to share with you lovely readers a little more about us as authors and what makes us tick.
This week’s subject is to write a diary entry from the perspective of one of my characters. Having only one novel so far, it was clear that my character would be my lead, given I feel like I know him best. For those of you who haven’t read my novel, Chasing Shadows, I’d like to introduce to you Edison Crow. This is not the seasoned, grizzled, theatrical Crow that exists for most of my book, however. This is a younger Crow, one trying to find his place in the world. His entry takes place following the events in a chapter that sees a job go horribly wrong, one with life-changing consequences for our lead. I hope you enjoy!
And remember to pay a visit to my fellow writers to see what they have come up with. You can find their works here!
The stubborn bastard fool! He has always been brash. Pushed his luck. Everyone finds his cock-sure attitude ‘endearing’. They find it to be the mark of a good leader. I see it as a hazard. Some of the crew are liabilities – they drink with Rohgar. Encourage him, incite him. As if he needs it. One ale too many and he becomes overconfident to the point of arrogance. And there are those that give him the audience he so craves! He feeds off of it.
I’ve tried, Lords know I’ve tried. Everytime the ale gives him another feckless idea, I try to temper it. If I don’t, I am not sure anyone else on this blasted airship will! Arcos is a fine vessel, and she deserves to be treated as such. Not to be used as the plaything of an ageing captain with rose-tinted ideas of piracy. There are decent people aboard, people who have little else in life but their dedication to this ship. They follow Captain Rohgar because it still seems better than the alternative. But there are those in his inner circle, a sycophantic cabal that fawn over him, massage his fragile ego.
We’ve flirted with danger before, no thanks to those fools. Either they thrive on the danger or they just want to see the world burn. Which I don’t profess to know. I don’t care much either if I am entirely truthful. What I do care about is the harm they may cause. If we aren’t to show even a modicum of caution good people will be hurt. This is the very thing I have tried to get across to the captain. I don’t think he is a bad man. Not intentionally so, anyway. Just a fool that serves himself above all others.
The few rare occasions he has granted me the privilege of leading a job, planning it from start to finish, it’s been clear he has no time for my methods. He has an idea,runs with it and damn the consequences. I’ve raised my concerns with this approach more times than I care to count. The risks of running in blind, not knowing what awaits. I won’t, cannot, work like that. The risk is too great. You cannot skirt the line between lawful and criminal and expect to survive without caution. The few jobs I have run have taken weeks from inception to action. They cannot be rushed. I settle on the goal, then plan every detail. Research the location, assess the threats. If the reward seems worthy, then I act. But only then.
It always angered Rohgar that I was so cautious.
“You’ll never make much o’ a captain with such a yeller streak runnin’ through yeh,” he’d bellow to the delight of his lackeys. Oh how they snorted and howled with glee, casting sideways through false laughter to ensure Rohgar noticed them. My planning became a problem. So much so the fool decided to prove me wrong, put the young lad who’s still wet behind the ears in his place. Show him how a job should really be done. They drank last night. Beyond excess, even by their standards. What bright idea entered his addled mind?
The Mint. The bloody Mint! What was he thinking? Aside from the riches he assumed would be idly sitting around in easy-to-steal sacks ripe for the taking, I mean. I asked him how we were to get in? Once in, where would we find the loot? And somewhat rather importantly, what are his plans for a safe and expeditious exit with said loot and all crew intact. When he stopped laughing at me enough to answer I was cuttingly informed that it’s The Mint, of course it will be filled with bullion, coins, jewels as far as the eye can see. Getting in was a breeze. Blow a smouldering hole in the enormous double doors. It’d make for their exit too.
I knew it was too simplistic. Nothing involving official buildings tied to authority was ever going to be wise. I was laughed out of the captain’s quarters. The fools went right ahead with it, in broad daylight no less! They made it in, I’ll grant them. But not one of them considered that it may be guarded more than it appeared. The authorities swarmed The Mint. Lords know where they appeared from! It was a mess down there. No other doors in or out of the building and only one gate through the huge walls. Even the briefest of investigations into the building would have shown it for the deathtrap it could be!
Those of us aboard Arcos got them out, barely. A number were injured, many seriously. Rohgar will be a changed man. There’s talk of trying to save his leg. I saw it. There is nothing remaining to save. Torn and ragged, a mess of blood and meat and bone. And the fear. The fear in his face. I’ve never seen him like that before. He is done, even if he survives. There are murmurings of a mutiny of sorts. All faith the crew had in the captain is gone. How can anyone follow him now? How can they trust him to do right by them?
Reuben spoke with me earlier. They asked me to step up. I am not convinced I am ready. Running a job here or there, looking out for Selah and myself, that is one thing. We’ve always been a crew of two. But to captain Arcos and all who stay aboard. That’s a responsibility far greater than I can imagine. It’s beyond what I sought when Selah and I fought to survive on the streets.
Is it too big a burden? For me. For Selah. For the crew. Or is this our chance? The chance we both have been seeking. Freedom to live as we want to. An opportunity to give the crew a good life. It’s a lot to ask of the crew to follow me. But if Reuben speaks true, and if he and Selah will stand alongside me, who knows. This may just work.