The Ship at The Dock - A Short Story

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

Welcome back to my blog, HoneyScribblers! I hope you are all doing great :) Today's post is more of a feature for the winner of my 2000 follower contest on Instagram! @sailorwrites won first place in the short story competition, and I think she did AMAZING with her piece, so why not share it here for all of you to read as well? Let me (and her) know what you think in the comments down below or private message either of us on Instagram! Okay, enough talking—here is her short story, The Ship at The Dock! Read on, and enjoy!


TW// Blood & Gore Depiction

The Ship at The Dock

A Short Story

By: @sailorwrites on Instagram

The captain was dead. And contrary to popular belief amongst the crew, I didn’t kill him.

On the day I found the captain (and didn’t kill him), I was taking my late afternoon stroll along the coastline like I did every day at around the same time. Usually, I did this to unwind, strolling along the sandy shoreline and admiring the beauty of Sicily behind me. Usually, the beach was deserted, so I could walk alone and enjoy it in peace. And usually, I did not find pirate ships anchored by the docks.

But that day was different.

The Mediterranean’s waters were infested by pirates. Villagers from several different coastal countries had developed new techniques to enhance their security and defenses, all because pirates were invading towns more than they ever had in the past. Several smaller cities were robbed of their money and resources, and many of them became abandoned.

Pirates pillaged, plundered, and took whatever they desired from the locals, just for the fun of it. Seeing one of their ships anchored and tied to the docks was not a good sign.

The strange sight caused me to pause my walk. Small sapphire-colored waves crashed against the shore, and although they were beautiful, my eyes were glued on the ship. I’d seen pirate ships before, but that one was nothing like I’d ever seen before. It loomed over the shore like it belonged to a king. The wood was a deep chocolate brown shade—maybe even black—and there were too many sails for me to count. Several ropes tethered the ship to the dock, and an anchor had been lowered into the water to keep it from floating away.

It intrigued me, to say the least. I was almost too interested in it.

I wanted to keep moving down the beach, but something invisible was tugging at me. Waves trickled onto the shore, and distant voices chattered from the marketplace behind me. Only silence came from the ship. The crow’s nest, as well as the deck, were deserted. There wasn’t a single pillager or plunderer in sight.

The ship was completely empty.

I knew it was a bad idea. It was foolish for a child, especially a girl, to wander into situations she knew were dangerous. But maybe, just maybe, I would find something exciting and escape the ordinary for a while.

My heart won the battle. I picked up my heavy skirt and hurried onto the dock.

Chilly seawater splashed my face. Sunlight from the west blinded me as I rushed towards the boat. I peered back towards the shore and the distant village, but nobody was looking my way. The villagers were far too busy trading and chatting to notice the pirate ship or the girl running down the dock straight for it.

There was already a ramp from the dock to the deck when I reached the ship. The pirates hadn’t been gone long; I’d only missed them by a few minutes. I didn’t know how long it would be until they returned, but based on the fact that none of the locals had realized there were pirates on their island yet, it wouldn’t be for a while. Taking a quick glance around to ensure no one was watching, I clambered up the ramp, stepping one foot at a time before landing on the dock with a thud.

The ship was even better up close. The wood was smooth to the touch, but it was worn like it had faced many days at sea. Masts towered over my head at staggering heights; I had no idea how the pirates even got to the crow’s nest if it was that far from the deck. The ship smelled of stale food and rum, which surprisingly wasn’t a horrible smell.

I’d gotten my taste of what a pirate’s ship was like. My instinct was telling me to leave before the pirates returned, before I got caught being somewhere I shouldn’t have been. But a voice deep down inside of me was telling me to keep exploring the ship. It wanted to learn more about the pirates that decided to visit Sicily that day.

And like any irresponsible teenager, I listened to the voice.

I sauntered up the stairs onto the poop deck, where a wheel the length of my wingspan was practically waiting for me. Unlike the rest of the ship, it looked new, its wood still shiny and fresh. I marveled at everything on the ship, but the wheel, in particular, drew me in like a moth to a flame. It made me wonder what it would be like to be a pirate, sailing across the Mediterranean and living on a ship. Of course, stealing from cities by the sea wasn’t personally ideal, but living on the water every day and traveling around the European and African coastlines sounded terrific.

All was calm. I don’t know how long I was on the ship before the serenity was interrupted by a shout coming from the island.

“Hey! What are you doing up there?”

My instincts kicked in. I didn’t have time to look at who caught me; I needed to either get off the ship or hide.

My hand left the wheel, and I bolted down the stairs. Just by looking around, there weren’t many good places to hide unless I wanted to climb fifty feet or so to get to the crow’s nest. The barrels of wine and food weren’t good hiding places either—they were too obvious, and I would be found immediately. The only other place I could think of hiding in was the captain’s quarters underneath the poop deck. If the crew of pirates wasn’t on the ship, I assumed the captain wasn’t either.

I scurried over to the door underneath the poop deck, yanked it open, and shut myself inside. I had no idea if anyone saw me run into the captain’s quarters, but there was no time to check. As I wiped the sweat off my brow, I turned around to look at the room I’d just entered.

I almost gagged.

The captain was slumped in his chair, his head covered in blood.

I averted my eyes. There was a nasty gash on his head, although I couldn’t tell what it was from. His limbs were still, and his eyes were stuck open. He didn’t respond when I ran into the room.

I suddenly wanted to be anywhere other than the captain’s quarters, even though it was one of the only spots I could hide. But unfortunately, there was no other place to go. Footsteps echoed up the ramp from the other side of the door. Voices chanted. Swords and weapons clinked together.

The crew was back. And I was stuck on the ship with the dead captain, who the other pirates were going to think I killed.


All Rights Reserved. Credit goes to @sailorwrites on Instagram.

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