Pirate Aristad, Captain of the Night Witch, is always on the lookout for treasure. Knowing where his former captor, Black Death Joe, hid his loot makes it all the easier. An abandoned manor holds a secret stash, but Aristad knows it comes with a price -- the treasure is guarded by a creature that is half man and half beast. It is the Kraken in one of his many forms.
Aristad can't resist the Kraken's pull -- he gives into sexual cravings that only the Kraken can fulfill, but he knows once his first mate, Delacroix, discovers his secret, mutiny will follow. Has he made too many mistakes to return to the life he left behind, and follow Kraken into the sea?
There was no sound of footfalls or breathing, though something deep inside me told me that we were not alone down in that cellar. Even with Atlantis gone, the old gifts of my homeland told me: there was another mind out there.
"Stay here," I commanded.
I rounded the next corner. No one followed this time. In the dim light, I stared directly at a rotted wooden door. I hesitated. It may have been a prison but whomever or whatever had been there escaped long ago.
I took several cautious steps toward the door and pushed it open.
I held my breath.
There wasn't much to see at first, just a stone floor was covered in straw. No grisly remains. No stench of death. No splattered blood.
I let out a breath.
This room was no prison but something dwelled here. I felt the tingling in my bones.
I swung the lamp around to glance at all corners.
There they were... two large trunks pushed against the wall.
Delacroix shoved past me and stood in the middle of the room. He took one look at the treasure chests and his eyes went wide.
"Damn! It's all ours," he said with glee.
"Wait," I told him.
Delacroix turned to me.
"There's a fortune in front of us," he hissed at me.
"Exactly. Two trunks filled with treasure just sitting there," I said.
I turned to the others who'd joined us in the room. They all stared wide-eyed, greed written across their faces.
"Before you touch it, ask yourselves why unguarded treasure has stayed here all this time?"
That made them stop. Pirates are a suspicious lot. We all knew that gold didn't sit there for the taking unless there was a price to be paid.
"I'd listen to your captain if I were you," came a deep, dark voice out of the shadows.
Echo Ishii () loves to write stories of the fantastic -- from high fantasy to high tech and everything in between. She is a long time science fiction fan, as well as a fan of all things fantasy and paranormal -- classic sci fi movies, shows, and even radio dramas. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook. Or stop by her blog to discuss SF and paranormal TV.
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