Confrontation (flash fiction)


Anne looked through her spyglass at the ship before her. They were catching up with the Damnation and would be in cannon range within only a few hours. They had spent the night following her and it had been good to see her black sails in the morning light so much closer to them than the evening before. Anne knew her ship was more swift than Harrington’s as it sliced through the brine. She listened to the rigging straining and the sails filling with wind. The Damnation hadn’t altered course at all and seemed to be leading them on to some unknown destination. Stryker, her First Mate joined her on watch.

“We’re catching up with her. Harrington doesn’t seem to be too concerned that we are chasing him.” Stryker observed.

“Yes it’s almost as though he wanted me to find him.” Anne agreed. She left Stryker on the forecastle so she could get a few hours of sleep, though once she was in her cabin, she instead found herself thinking about the coming confrontation. It was obvious Harrington didn’t think that Anne or her ship was a threat to him, or he wouldn’t have goaded her. He knew she would chase him, so why provoke her? Was it for fun? Or did he have some darker intentions? She intended this to be the last time Harrington would ever inconvenience her. While she thought about this, she drifted off…

“Captain! The Damnation seems to have slowed. We’ll soon be on top of her!” A crew-member alerted her. Anne quickly awoke wondering what time it was. She got up and staggered to the deck. There before the ship was The Damnation looking as menacing as a dark storm. She immediately went to the quarter-deck. They were almost in cannon range now. She noted the sky had clouded over and the sea was getting more rough. Then The Damnation began to turn.

“Turn to port! And prepare the cannons!” Anne commanded. So this is where Harrington wanted the battle to be. Maybe he had guessed she was getting some rest and had chosen this time to attack when their response would be slower. The Red Dagger turned, both ships now faced each other. “Fire a broadside!” All the cannons on the starboard side fired at The Damnation. Anne watched Harrington’s ship get punctured by cannonballs. Then The Damnation returned fire. As The Damnation’s cannons were higher up compared to The Red Dagger’s, the cannonballs hit the upper decks and masts.

“Captain, the broadside from The Damnation damaged our mizzenmast. Another attack like that and we could lose it.” Stryker informed her. She nodded in acknowledgement as she watched The Damnation sail past.

“Turn to starboard and keep firing!” she ordered. “We need to get closer so we can board her.” As they turned to starboard, The Damnation turned to port and the ships faced each other again. Another broadside hit The Damnation further damaging the ship, then another round of cannon fire hit The Red Dagger. This time cannon fire hit the quarterdeck where Anne stood. She found herself lying on the deck.

“You okay Captain?” Stryker asked helping her up. Anne nodded.

“Sail right for her. We need to ram her!” Anne commanded once she stood up again. Their ship made right for the middle of The Damnation. Everyone was jolted off their feet as the ships prow smashed into The Damnation. After the deafening crash, there was a brief moment of silence…

to be continued….

Joanne Fisher

This follows Chasing Damnation.

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©️2022 Joanne Fisher

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