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Eternal Paradox | The Bianca Chronicles 2: The Darkest Night

November 29, 2023
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Rise in yer east and go set in yer west, through darkest night Captain Bianca knows best.

The torchlight flickered and danced upon the faces of the marauders, casting grotesque shadows that stretched and writhed upon the walls of Bianca’s beloved cottage. Fear gripped her youthful heart like an icy claw, but she remained crouched in the darkness, her eyes fixed on the pirate gang.

Desperate for a better vantage and some plan of attack, Bianca darted through the black to the side lawn of the cottage, where she could see, hear and smell the action through a well-lighted open window.

The pirates, their voices raucous and breath laced with the stench of rum, burst through the cottage door with weapons glinting menacingly in the firelight. Perkins and Clara stood defiantly before the pending onslaught.

With his weathered hands gripping the hilt of his old sword, Perkins spoke in a voice that trembled with age but not fear. “We knew you would come,” he said, his eyes unwavering. “We were ready.”

The pirates laughed — a harsh, mocking sound that echoed through the small cottage. “Ready to meet your maker, old man?” the leader sneered, his face obscured by a dark hood.

Perkins met the pirate’s gaze without flinching. “Ready to protect those we love,” he replied, his voice firm.

The jagged laughing response from the hooded man chilled Bianca’s soul. He took a full and indulgent cackle, then paused with a sigh and spoke plainly: “Where is the brat?”

Perkins’ words came out as a defiant curse: “The king left her in our protection, and she will never be yours.”

“Y’old fool,” replied the cold voice, “We only mean to kill her.” The band laughed heartlessly at this.

Clara, her frail form standing tall beside her husband, raised her hand, her palm glowing with an ethereal light. “You will not find her,” she said, her voice laced with magic.

The pirates, momentarily confused and stunned by Clara’s display of power, hesitated. But their hesitation was short-lived. With a wild roar, they lunged with weapons aimed at the old couple.

Bianca watched in horror as the pirates descended upon Perkins and Clara. She longed to rush to their aid, but her legs were frozen with fear, and she knew that Perkins wanted her to run. As he had reminded her so carefully less than an hour before, we run when the fight ain’t ready for us.

Perkins fought valiantly, sparks from his sword flashing in the dim light as six pirates fell by his hand, but he was no match for the overwhelming number of attackers. Clara, her defensive magic failing to hold back the tide of violence, collapsed to her knees with wide eyes full of rebellion and rage.

With a final desperate lunge, Perkins fell to the ground, his sword clattering away and blood pooling below him. The pirates turned their contorted faces to Clara.

“No!” Bianca screamed, her voice echoing through the night.

But her plea was too late. A pirate’s blade pierced Clara’s heart, and she slumped to the floor, lifeless. With one final heroic burst of energy, Perkins jumped to his feet and bound with impossible quickness to the corner where Bianca’s sabers were leaning against the wall. He picked them up and tossed them immediately out the window, knowing Bianca was there and issuing a blood-gurgling cry of “Flee, child!”

As she ran, Bianca’s world shattered. The old couple, who had been her surrogate parents, her confidantes, her friends, were gone, taken by the cruel hand of fate. The pirates gave chase, but she knew they would not catch her in the darkness. She knew the grounds too well to allow it.

A few minutes later the pirates had given up their chase. Tears streamed down her face as she watched from a distance as they ransacked the cottage, their greed insatiable. They took everything they could find — the precious trinkets Clara had collected over the years, the tools Perkins used for his fishing boat, even the food from their larder.

When the pirates finally left, the cottage was in ruins, its warmth and laughter replaced by an emptiness that echoed in Bianca’s soul. Then fire engulfed the cottage.

She stumbled off into the night, her legs weak and trembling. She smelled the sea, once a source of comfort and adventure, but it now felt vast and unforgiving.

She had lost everything she held dear. Her home, her family, her sense of security. All that remained was a burning desire for vengeance, a need to make the pirates pay for their crimes.

As she crept along behind the pirates, she fantasized about attacking. She wondered how many she could kill, but even if she could manage all of them, it was not enough. Bianca made a vow. She would become a pirate, a force to be reckoned with, a legend that would strike fear into the hearts of those who dared to cross her path. Only then could she manage the punishment that these wicked creatures deserved for their crimes.

She would never forget Perkins and Clara, and their sacrifice would not be in vain. She would use her skills, her knowledge, and her newfound determination to avenge their deaths and bring justice to the world.

The darkest night had arrived, but Bianca had faced it and survived. She would emerge from the shadows, stronger and more determined than ever before. The sea was hers, and she would make them all know it.

The Bianca Chronicles 3: Jumping Ship

The Bianca Chronicles 1: The Sea is Yours

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