This is a short story that is going to be a part of my novel A Thousand and One Arabian Nightmares: The story of the first horse.
Please give me feed back, it's a bit long, but not too, and this is the whole short story. Thanks.
It was raining when Scarborough first stepped off the vessel. The good ship Minerva had rocked beneath her feet for nine months now, and only the desire for solid ground had inspired her into the driving rain. The ship had wrestled for hours in the storm and now throughly lashed to the wooden rigging, they were able to slowly progress down the gangplank.
Her Captain escorted her, amused mildly at the storm he had just minutes before deftly maneuvered. Now with the cargo safely stowed from the jetting bullets of rain, which gave no sign of residing, they
had little to do until morning. He and Scarborough progressed through the downpour with soggy overcoats and drenched hair. Captain Anton towered over her and did his best to tuck her under his coat, and shield her from the torrential rain.
"How it does seem we can't escape the water," Scarborough remarked disdainfully. Joining her Captain and lover here on his voyage had not had all the romantic connotations he had implied. There had been many sea side sunsets and fresh fish, but one could easily be driven mad by the monotony a constant landscape and diet provided. Now here in the Cape of Good Hope, all hope was lost of finding dry land.
The mud squished under her boots as she felt the land for the first time. "It's funny" proclaimed Scarborough after they had walked a short while, "it still feels as if we're rocking." The ship's steady
rhythm had an almost hypnotic affect that carried onto dry land.
A small lamp glowed outside of a tavern and they quickly shuffled inside alongside other crew members. "Make way for the Captain," cried out one of the sailors. "Step aside for the Captain and his lady," shouted another. As they entered, still wringing out their coats and hung them on a nearby coat rack, Scarborough noticed a large party in an off room toward the back.
They continued toward the bar where Anton ordered a scotch and Scarborough a cup of tea. Upon its arrival Scarborough produced a small flask and added a large amount of unidentifiable liquor to the
kettle. She smiled sweetly and proposed a toast. "To a good trading season," with that she clinked his glass to her mug and then slowly sipped the hot liquid. Anton drained his glass in one gulp and
commanded another. That was Anton though, always in command.
As the barman returned Scarborough used the opportunity to inquire about the commotion of what appeared to be a private party.
"That," said the barkeep, "Is a royal member of the court, a prince I believe, or perhaps a king. He's visiting here on business and will be staying for several weeks. He's rather wealthy as you can see by his entourage and his bill."
Scarborough smiled politely as her eyes narrowed on the section of the room where voices rose and fell with laughter. Never one to be left out, she excused herself as Anton downed his third drink. Waltzing slowly across the room, she was certainly practiced at making an entrance. And though her dress was not near her first choice to be introduced to royalty in, it hardly could mar her absolutely lovely figure. Combined with her sapphire eyes and delicate features, it was no doubt Scarborough was good at dramatic entrances.
Her hair lay in curls piled atop her head and only the rain could truly detract from her overall appearance. Even at that, the dew collected around her hair refracted the firelight and gave her an
almost angelic halo. She smiled softly as she approached the party and her presence was immediately noticed, but not in the manner she was accustomed. The prince had a glare in his eye at the onset of the
"Well, my dear," he acknowledged her, "it seems a dove has wandered in among a murder of crows."
Scarborough blushed realizing she was for the first time a minority and a commoner at that. "I only wanted to introduce myself," sighed Scarborough, "as it seems you have quite the company you are keeping. I am Scarborough, your highness."
"Allow me to introduce myself," he replied coaxing Scarborough closer, "I am Prince Abioye. I am here specifically for trade of such valuables that it required my specific attention. Diamonds mostly, one of the few things so fine as the women I choose to keep my company."
"Well then," said Scarborough her eye's brightening at the mention of diamonds, "maybe I can be of assistance. Perhaps we both may have some offers in trade."
The prince chuckled and continued, "You, my fair maiden, are far to pale for my collection. Maybe a few of your cabin boys can find something attractive about a ghost, but I always preferred dark meat."
Scarborough drew back the hair that had collected at her cheek. She almost had no reaction, at that, she hardly could even realize she had been rejected. Being this the first time it ever happened, it
hardly registered. She nervously smiled and excused herself to a nearby table occupied by sailors.