Last week, we saw the exciting conclusion of Fryte’s Gold.
This week, a preview of the next story: The Treasure of Oake Island!
The Treasure of Oake Island will soon be available for the first time ever on Smashwords, and a revised, improved version will be available on Amazon at the same time.
Copyright 2021 J.B. Norman
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.
Unknown to the members of the Family Darkstone, they are not the only non-swimmers with an interest in Oake Island, and not the only ones with knowledge of William Newgate’s treasure.
Drawn by the allure of William Newgate’s treasure, Captain Myra Morningstar has already brought her Red Wolf Pirates to Oake Island.
She stands on the beach of Oake Island, the first one off the boat and onto the sand.
She begins to bark instructions to her crew as they 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 would still have every confidence in the capabilities of her Red Wolves.
Nothing is going to stop them from claiming 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 brusquely. “You’ll get paid when the job is done. Same as always.”
She doesn’t wait for a response before she turns away and stalks 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 pirate agrees. “She’s kind of cute when she’s angry, though.”
“Yeah,” his companion says absently, having stopped listening to his companion. “Wait. What?”
“Nothing,” the 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, she cannot help but feel that her previous confidence in them is perhaps slightly misplaced.
They were the 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.
Of course, they aren’t quite completely hopeless.
They’d passed the most important test: when Myra had asked “Want to join my crew?”, most people had looked at her, wrinkled their noses, said “But you’re a girl.” and walked away.
Since all of the Wolves are willing to follow a female captain, Myra can’t quite bring herself to write them off completely.
“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 agonisingly long and hard over the name of her crew, deciding on ‘Red Wolves’ in a sudden flash of inspiration while idly leafing through the Big Book of Taxonomy.
The previous longstanding forerunner was ‘Myra’s Crew’.
Names are hard.
Still, most of her crew probably don’t deserve to be called Wolves. As she watches them on the beach, she decides they look more like a flock of frightened chickens.
Despite all this, she feels herself swelling with pride at the sight of the flag, her flag, on the beach. It’s a great flag, one of the best pirate flags she’s ever seen.
Looking at it, people might even assume that the Wolves actually know what they’re doing. The embroidered letters on the flag are particularly fetching.
She notes confidently that the red flag is now flying 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.
The Red Wolves may leave a lot to be desired, but they’re still her very own crew, and she has no doubt that she is going to lead them to victory. Even if she has to drag them there herself.
Myra is sure her grandfather would be proud to see all of this, Myra leading her own crew under her very own flag to be the one to reclaim William Newgate’s treasure.
Of course he’d be proud; after all, she’s doing all this for him.
Myra tightens her belt and brings herself back to reality.
“You,” she 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 of 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.”
She smiles confidently over her shoulder. “Trust me.”
The full version of The Treasure of Oake Island will be available within the next few weeks on Smashwords and Amazon, right in time for a new chapter every Friday.
And come back next for a special epilogue chapter of Fryte’s Gold right here on realmgard.com!