Th Birth of Black
It's my birthday! As my birthday sale quickly comes to a close, I bestow a final gift for you. A free, never before read story. This was an impetuous writing exercise from ten years ago after I had read up on the subject matter. Read on, enjoy, and happy birthday!
“Edward, please, I’m begging you don’t go on this fool’s errand for a power mad Queen.” Maria beseeches her newlywed husband, and soon to be father of their unborn child. She had made her away to his bed, kneeling by his side, her hands clasping his.
Edward had enlisted in the ‘War of the Spanish Succession’ in order to be able to afford his forthcoming child and the expenses that come with a baby, while hoping to not have to rely on Maria’s Father’s wealth, which seemed perfectly reasonable to her. “I don’t care if you’ve enlisted, you could go by my family’s name, ‘Edward Drummond’ oh my father would just love it, and you’d truly be the son he never had. Besides, you’ll miss our child’s birth. If you’re gone for years, how will our child ever know who you are?”
Not seeing the severity of the situation that his wife does, Edward replies in his typical jovial manner, “If our child will not know who I am, I shall grow my beard for the days that I am gone, so upon my return you shall not know me either. Besides, I like my name, Edward Teach, is who I am. My father was a teacher of ship builders, as was his father before him. I need to do this not only for you and our child, but for those who came before me.” Now risen out of bed, unable to sleep due to concerns of what the following morrow will bring. Well, that and his wife’s incessant nagging.
Edward retires himself to his study, and spends the better part of the evening studying his father’s writings, trying to prepare himself for the tribulations he knows await him. Edward falls asleep amidst the wise words of his father, and his grand father, yet his dreams are filled with the life he will miss of his child, and wife.
The following morning, Edward woke with doubts of his decision for the first time since he enlisted, and a horrible kink in his neck, for the countless time since moving into this house. This house, one of the most spectacular in all of Bristol; this house, which Maria’s father bought for them as a wedding gift. This house, whose every servant was a former helper of the House of Drummond. This house, where his son or daughter will be treated like royalty, by a staff and family, seemingly hand, picked by the great Mr. Drummond. This house, where his child will grow up with everything he will ever need, provided by his grandfather, not his father.
Seeing Maria still asleep with the early hints of dawn sprawling across her in bed, Edward decides right there and then, that whether he will be by his child through every waking hour or not, he will be the provider, not his money green grandfather.
Resolved to go through with this, Edward kisses Maria on the forehead, and is off before she wakes up. Shortly after Edward takes his leave, it begins to rain, not a drizzle, not a shower, but a down pour the likes of which the simple people of Bristol have never seen. Edward, however, doesn’t see it as rain, no, not rain, but the angels crying in unison of what the fates have in store him, for Edward knows, he is walking away from that house for the last time, never to see his beautiful wife Maria again, nor ever lay eyes, on his child. But in the presence of Heaven’s minstrel, and attendance of all those he once called brother, neighbor, or friend, Edward promises, nay, he vows, that with each passing year his love and thoughts of his child will grow, as will his inheritance. Edward decrees, before the eye of God hidden in the sun, that while his child may not know his father, his child will never want. And not for the sake of his father-in-law, but because Edward will do right by him.
Rising from his sopping knees, Edward finishes his route to board his assigned vessel, where he meets Captain Benjamin Hornigold. They become fast friends, and Edward quickly rises through the ranks to become Hornigold’s first mate. All the while never forgetting his vows to God and the heavens, his child, now nearing the age of four, and his dear Maria, who he prays is happy despite his absence. He has worked as hard as any man to ever board a ship, whether it be a war vessel, leisure cruiser, or a pirate ship, amassing a sizable fortune and bestowing it to his child, who he doesn’t even know if it’s a girl or a boy. He has built a reputation all men aboard the ship have come to respect, and not a day since his departure, has he shaven a whisker from his face.
However, the years have taken their toll on kind Edward. After Britain withdrew from the Queen Anne’s War, Edward was without direction. Following in his only friend’s footstep, he joined Benjamin in their new endeavor, piracy. The long years of violence, and a lifetime away from any family, left Edward a heartless shell of the beautiful creature he once was. His sour disposition coupled with his unkempt facial hair earned him the infamous title… Blackbeard.
I don't really recall why I had done some research on Blackbeard, but I was compelled to write this flash fiction piece. I hope you enjoyed it, even if as just a distraction from your day, but don't forget that today is my birthday! The book sale ends tonight at 11:59.