Re-Preview: The Treasure of Oake Island

Yeah, I know it’s been a year, but one of the most important things I’ve learned about writing is “Never publish anything you haven’t had someone else read”. Long story short, the next Realmgard story, The Treasure of Oake Island, is taking longer than I’d like because getting someone else to read it is taking longer than I’d like. On the other hand, enjoy this sample section of the forthcoming (hopefully soon) story.

© J.B. Norman. All rights reserved.

   Unknown to the members of the Family Darkstone, they are not the only ones with an interest in Oake Island, and not the only ones with knowledge of William Newgate’s treasure.

   Drawn by the call of the treasure, Captain Myra Morningstar has brought her Red Wolf Pirates to Oake Island.

   There are, in fact, no oak trees on Oake Island. It gained its name in honour of the man who instituted and funded an annual swimming contest from the harbour of Porthaven to the island and back: the vastly wealthy and even more vastly eccentric Archimedes Oake. The Oake Derby, as the race has come to be known, is now something of an honoured tradition in Porthaven.

   Gunnar Swiftswimmersson is the reigning three-year champion.

   Myra stands on the beach of Oake Island, the first one off the boat and onto the sand, where she begins to bark instructions to her crew as they begin to unload the boat and haul crates of equipment onto the beach. Even if she knew that she was about to have competition in the hunt for the treasure, she has confidence in the capabilities of her Red Wolves when it comes to securing the treasure of Oake Island.

   “Hurry up!” Myra calls to her crew. “I’m not paying you to lollygag!”

   “Actually, Captain, you’re, uh, you’re not paying us at all,” one of the Red Wolves answers as he passes by, carrying a crate. “You just told us to get on the boat and then you started kicking us.”

   “Shut up and haul,” Myra answers, turning away and walking up the beach.

   The pirate turns to one of his companions. “The Captain’s kind of grumpy today, isn’t she?” he asks quietly. “We didn’t forget her birthday, did we?”

   “No. Her birthday’s in the winter,” the other pirate answers. “She’s probably just grumpy because we all got up so early this morning.”

   “Yeah. That must be it,” the first pirate agrees. “She’s kind of cute when she’s angry, though.”

   “Yeah,” the second pirate says absently, having stopped listening to his companion. “Wait. What?

   “Nothing,” the first pirate mumbles. “Help me set up this flagpole.”

   As Myra stops midway up the beach and gazes back at the rest of the Red Wolves on the beach, she cannot help but feel that her previous confidence in them is perhaps slightly misplaced. They were they best – or maybe just the least bad – recruits she could hire with the budget she had, but that doesn’t mean they’re really anywhere near competent. Or even adequate.

   “Careful with those!” she calls back to her crew as they continue to fumble with the supplies. “If you break them, you’re paying for them.”

   Myra had thought long and hard over the name of her crew, deciding on Red Wolves in a flash of inspiration. The previous forerunner had been Myra’s Crew. Names are hard.

   As it turned out, Red Wolves was far too impressive a name for this bunch of hapless fools. At least they have the one redeeming quality of listening to her orders, even if actually carrying out those orders still remains beyond them.

   Once she finds the treasure, she first thing she’s buying herself is a new crew.

   Even so, she feels herself swelling with pride at the sight of the flag, her flag, standing as a clear warning to the whole world that the treasure of Oake Island rightfully belongs to her. And that she and the Wolves aren’t going to take kindly to anyone suggesting otherwise.

   It really is a fantastic, awe-inspiring flag. Looking at it, people might even assume that the Wolves are a fearless, peerless crew of hardened, fearsome pirates. The embroidered letters are particularly fetching.

   “You,” Myra declares, pointing to a group of the least incapable Wolves. “Come with me.” She points to the two pirates standing by the flagpole. “And you two, guard the boat.”

   “Yes, Captain!” one the pirates standing by the flag says with an eager salute. He turns towards the water and resolutely straightens his posture.

   “Let’s get moving,” Myra says to her escort of Wolves. She turns from the beach and begins leading them towards the centre of Oake Island.”

   One of the Wolves hazards a question as they continue towards the treeline. “Captain? Do we know where we’re going? I don’t want to get lost in this forest.”

   “We’re fine,” Myra assures him. “I wouldn’t be leading you here if I didn’t know exactly where to go.”

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