I know this is the first post I’ve done in two weeks, but things have been busy at college and at home.  I haven’t had as much time to write, but rest assured that progress on the novel has been taking place.  I’ve managed to bring “THE SHIP” up to 57,000 words in length so far.  I’m aiming for about 90,000.  So it’s more than halfway done.  I just have to try and get more writing done when I can.  However, college will be wrapping up in about another 5-6 weeks and projects are due, so we’ll see how much progress I actually get done.

In the meantime, here is another snippet from “THE SHIP” where Cassandra Elliott, heiress and psychic, demonstrates one of her more unusual talents “POST-COGNITION”.  Instead of seeing into the future, Cassandra will usually see things/events from the past either in dreams or visions.  Whenever this happens it means a piece of information or knowledge is being conveyed to her about something she has already or will soon encounter.  In this case, she has already met the threat while trying to learn how to surf.  While out on the water a frightened sea lion pup climbed aboard and tried to urge her to leave the area.  Unfortunately, the two of them get knocked off the board by an unseen force and she hears the pup scream in pain and perish.    At this point of the story, she still does not know what attacked or how dangerous the thing is.  But she’s about to gain a little more insight to the situation.  I hope you enjoy this scene…

            In the bedroom Cassandra seemed to be sleeping quite peacefully, however her dreams were anything but. 

            She found herself standing on a vessel from another time.  Tall masts and rigging swung loomed overhead.  The word ‘frigate’ came to mind.  Yes, that was what this ship was.  She’d seen drawings and images dozens of different types of early vessels in history books.  There was even a refurbished frigate on display at her family’s shipping facility back in England.  But unlike the pristine colors and highly polished brass fixtures, the ship she was on was not for tourists to admire.  This one was a working vessel and it was being buffeted around by a turbulent sea and intense winds.  The sound of a storm roared loudly in her ears.  All around her men scrambled fore and aft to keep the vessel under control.

            Water came pouring over the sides sweeping some men off their feet.  But quick reflexes and years of experience prevented them from being sent over the side and to their doom.  She marveled at the way they reacted and moved.  Even more importantly, their clothing caught her eye.  Every man was wearing the gear of a sailor from the late 1700’s.  And from the condition of the outfits this was no movie or film set.  Their wardrobe would not have been deemed colorful or sensational enough for something like that.  No, this was the real thing and somehow she was in the middle of it.

            Again the ship seemed to pitch to the side and then straightened up, but she wasn’t afraid.  There was no danger for her in this place.  She was merely a spectator to the events unfolding before her.  This was not the first time she’d had such dreams, they had been a part of her life for as long as she could remember.  On all those previous occasions she was there to learn or see something of importance.  And they were not always pleasant things. 

            During the 25 years since her birth she’d witnessed weddings, births, duels, deaths, and even the circumstances surrounding Jerome’s passing.  The story she had told Julie had been based on that vision as well as notes she’d found inside old journals and letters some weeks after the dream.

There was no doubt in her mind that this was another one of those vision/dreams into the past.  In all the previous ones Brandon, Roxanne or another deceased member of the family was at her side bearing witness to the events unfolding before her.  And this one was following that same pattern.

No one seemed to notice her or Brandon who was keeping one arm protectively around her shoulders.   It was reassuring to have him at her side.  She could barely remember a time when he wasn’t somewhere near.  There were times when she even had dreams of looking up and seeing the sides of a crib and mobile overhead.  And there he was smiling down at her with his wife or Jacob next to him.

A loud shout from a raised area drew her attention and she looked up.  There manning the great wheel was a towering figure.  The captain of the ship no doubt, he was tall and solid.  Not fat, just powerfully built.  A large beard and moustache combined with long wet hair to give him an almost bestial look.  From amidst the long dark tresses whipping across his face from the storm she saw a pair of bright blue eyes with an almost fanatical gleam in them.  All this, coupled with his great height and massive chest and shoulders made her think of a bear that had somehow taken on some aspects of human countenance.

Yet it was that powerful physique and determination that made him so effective at controlling the ship under these circumstances.  Another wave crashed over the railing and nearly took the man closest to him.  But with a speed that belied his size, the captain’s hand shot out and caught his crewman by the belt and saved him from being washed over the edge.  At the same time, the human mountain kept his other hand on the wheel and pressed his great chest against it to help keep it on course.

One of the other men shouted his name and she did a double-take.  Mordecai… Captain Jason Mordecai!  She couldn’t believe her eyes.  Oh there had been paintings done of the man, many of them by Brandon who later became his business partner.  But those had been all done under much calmer conditions such as in the man’s cabin or at home.  Getting to see the legend in action was practically a treat for her.  But she knew better.  This glimpse into the past was being shown to her for a reason.  But what was it?

A scream from up in the rigging caught her attention.  Looking up she saw another member of the crew, a young man barely out of his teens from the look of him.  A look of absolute terror was etched into his face making him look much older.  “CAPTAIN!” he screamed at the top of his lungs, desperately hoping to be heard over the storm.  “WE’VE BEEN SPOTTED!”

Mordecai didn’t look up.  His entire focus was on controlling his vessel, but something in the young man’s tone had registered in his mind.  “WHAT ARE YOU ON ABOUT BOY?  ARE THEY ENGLISH, FRENCH OR PIRATES?” his loud voice boomed back.

The reply was partly lost to her as thunder roared overhead and all she could catch was “IT’S…THE… SHIP…. THE DEATH…” the rest of his words became lost on a sudden blast of wind.  But his fellow crewmembers must’ve heard him because every man on deck stopped whatever they were doing and froze.  Several crossed themselves while others began to wail like frightened children. 

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