Dorianne's Adventures
Music to Explore By Dorianne's Adventures Galleries The Ship's Roster Tour of the Ship Historical Female Pirates Ship's Galley Site Map A Treasure Chest of Links Credits and Bibliography
Dorianne's History The Captain's Bath Memories Lost Shipmates Return Honor Among Thieves

The Captain's Bath

All is silent and motionless in the Captain's cabin, save the widening rings of ripples in the soapy water filling the wooden tub set to one side of the large desk. With a sudden burst, the water's surface is broken by the crown of a drenched head. Water streams over closed lids and regal cheeks, and moisture darkened red brown tresses cling to curving shoulders. Hazel eyes flecked with gold and green snap open as she continues to rise, sudsy water cascading over tanned muscles and curves. Cool air brushes her skin as she steps from the tub. A brief shiver raises goosebumps on her flesh...bumps quickly smoothed down by a linen towel. She dries her skin, then applies the towel to her hair, rubbing vigorously until her hair stands out about her head in a wild auburn halo. She drops the towel to the floor, reaching for her clothing to ward off the cold, but pauses as she catches sight of herself in the full length mirror in the corner of her cabin. The mirror, securely bolted to the floor, as is the rest of the larger furniture in the cabin, is one of the few concessions to her vanity.

She turns a bit, eyeing her reflection critically, tensing muscles here and there to make certain they are not growing weak. A glance at the wild hair frizzing about her head prompts her to lift her hand to smooth down the unruly, still moist tresses. She turns her head to the side, eyeing her reflection, hair forgotten as she touches fingers to the small half moon scar at her temple, just at her hairline. That was where her mother's keeper had left his mark with a backhanded swipe, one of those few times when she had not been quick enough to get out of his way. His ring had cut into her skin, and she had been frightened by the blood, and yet too afraid to ask anyone for help. She'd ended up hiding the wound with her hair, after having soiled several of her stockings in an attempt to staunch the flowing blood. But the whorekeeper had been more than repayed for his unkindness. The memory of that brings a grim smile to her lips.

Her hand drops then to her upper arm, muscles flexing beneath her fingers before she pauses to draw a fingertip along the thin, white line marring her skin midway between elbow and shoulder. About two inches in length, the scar served as a reminder never to let her guard down, especially when slaves and slavers were involved. That one she had gotten early in her career, when they had taken a slaving ship that had crossed their path. Most of the slave ship's crew had been rounded up or killed in the fighting, and Captain and crew went about the business of freeing the slaves chained in the hold, and liberating the ship of its riches. Dorianne had headed straight for the Captain's cabin, in search of papers and charts that she hoped would lead her to other slavers. What she found instead was a finely, though scantily dressed girl, chained by her ankle to the large bed that dominated the cabin. She immediately moved to free the girl, bending over the chain to detach it from her ankle. A movement caught out of the corner of her eye set her reflexes into motion, and it was only these that kept her from taking a dagger in the heart. Instead, the slave girl's blade had sliced her arm, leaving the scar that remained to this day. When the girl had been subdued and the chain unfastened, two of her crew had dragged her onto the deck while Dorianne pressed bed linens to her bleeding arm, following behind. Once on deck, the girl had broken free and run with a joyful shout to her bound Master. Dorianne shakes her head in remembrance, as she did that day, watching as they lowered the slave with the Captain and crew in longboats and set them to drift at sea. There had been some fine goods acquired from that venture, besides a lesson in slave behavior. A silver tea set, along with some fine red wine and several bolts of both brocades and velvets, as well as some other items long since traded had found their way onto Dorianne's ship before the slaver's vessel was sent to the ocean floor.

Then of course there were the almost invisible scars at her wrists, where those manacles had bit so cruelly into her skin. Her fingers drop to rub at them, tracing the slight ridges with the sensitive pads of her fingertips. They served to remind her of her mission...and to fuel her hatred, should she ever chance to feel it wane. Those memories are forced back into the darker recesses of her mind.

There would have been more scars, for she had taken worse injuries in her time at sea, but shortly after that incident with the slave girl they had taken on a more than competent healer, and those injuries had healed without scars.

She turns from the mirror and resumes dressing, slipping on those oddly feminine underthings, white cotton adorned with tiny blue and yellow flowers, before she straps the triple blade sheath to her arm. As is her habit, she tests the spring action once the sheath is secured, flicking her wrist and sending the first of three small blades flying into her hand. Fingers close about the handle, then loosen and send the blade home with a motion almost as quick as the one that released it.

She slides the linen shirt over her head and lets its lower ends drop to the middle of her thighs, while she arranges the laces at its front for a middle range amount of cleavage, then fastens and straightens the ruffles at the cuffs. Next she tugs on brightly colored cotton breeches, tucking the shirt into the waistband, along with a sheathed blade at her center back. Sitting down on her bed, she pulls on thick socks, then boots of brown leather, fastening criss crossing lacings that go almost to her knee. A pair of gold buckles adorn the ankle of each boot, along with another set just below the knee. She slides a large sheathed dagger into the outside of one boot, and then a smaller one on the inside of the other, and stands. The heels of the boots lift her a good three inches above her barefoot height of just 5'4", and she smiles, feeling like a giant.

Pulling on her vest, she tucks another small dagger into the inside pocket, as well as a small packet of white powder, and a package containing two small pills. The powder was a sleeping draught, and the pills were fast acting poison, each kept handy for emergencies. Tucked into the vest pocket on the other side were a small tinderbox and, for when she carried her pistol, a small pouch of shot and container of gunpowder. Over the vest she fastens her belt, simple and brown, with a gold buckle. From this she suspends her money pouch and the strap that holds her whip to her side.

This morning, no urgent business pending, she lingers over her toilette, and lingers also over the past. She finishes pulling a brush through her unruly waves of drying hair, finally just letting it fall to her shoulders, and reaches for the small jewelry box resting atop her dresser. First, she removes a thin, gold chain, from which dangles an ornate cross, and a tiny jade heart. The heart had been from dear Thomas, now dead and gone for many years. He had died honorably, fighting beside her, and her fingers linger over the smooth stone for a moment, savoring the memories of the times they had spent together.

The cross had been a gift of gratitude from a slave that had made his way in the free world. She wore it out of superstition, more than out of love or belief in a Christian God. She slips the chain about her neck, closing her eyes as the cold metal and cool jade make contact with her skin. Once it is clasped, she reaches into the box again, this time removing a pair of gold hoops, one larger than the other, and a jade scimitar dangling from a gold ball. The hoops are placed first, the larger one through the single hole in her left ear, the smaller through the second hole in her right. The scimitar joins the smaller hoop in her right ear. Giving her head a shake to let auburn tresses fall where they may, and to test the feeling of the dangling earrings, she steps back from the dresser and picks up her hat.

Lately, she'd taken to wearing a scarf tied about her head instead of the hat. It was better for keeping her hair out of her face when the wind blew, and it looked rather dashing with her pants. But the hat had always been her favorite accessory. It marked her position as Captain, and she always stood a little taller when she wore it. The brown felt tricorn is pinned in three pin is a magnificent gold replica of a three masted vessel...another a comical gold parrot with a red gem for an eye...and the last, a gold framed cameo. At the side bearing the ship, a bright red feather is pushed between the layers of felt. She straightens the feather with her fingers, then drops the hat onto her head, turning to face the full length mirror. Giving her reflection a wicked wink and a flashing grin, she tilts the hat at a rakish angle, grabs her coiled whip, and steps out to face the day.

  © 2001 by K. Thornberry


Read on for more Tales of Adventure!