The Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters, constellation

Image Courtesy of Pinterest. Click Image for source info.

England is fading away into the dawn as the Physician and the Captain flee England. For more of this story, read here.

Isaac stands at the stern, hands braced on the rail against the pitch and roll of the Channel’s current; England fades to a rolling line, then slips away under the gray sea like Atlantis. He wonders if it is lost to him now, and his daughter with it. The crew is watchful, but not active, as dawn breaks. He and his Captain are the only passengers on this ship.

“Dr. Lowe? Isaac?” her low voice and her touch on his arm are simultaneous.

He answers without turning.

“I didn’t know you knew my name. We never discussed it… before.”

“I saw it sewn into your satchel when you were brought aboard the Siren,” she explains, joining him. “I thought it best we maintained some distance at the time.”

Her careworn hands alongside his on the rail kindle a fire under his skin that the sea air does nothing to cool.

“If I am to be Isaac,” he asks, “who are you to be?”

Motion in the lines and rigging tugs at the ship. The crew calls. Isaac watches her body shift with the vessel’s heaving even as his overcompensates.

“Rose O’Leary Marquez de Navarra.”  Her eyes meet his, gray and steady. “You may call me Rose.”

“Rose, then.” He falls silent, watching her watch the water. Across the back of her neck a cluster of small stars are tattooed onto her skin just below her now close-cropped hair.

“It’s true, then,” he muses, “all pirates are tattooed like the Painted Prince.”

Her hand flies up to cover the constellation.

“It is the Pleiades. The—“

“The Seven Sisters,” he finishes. “I know the story.”

“One for each of us, and I the only one not gone to Heaven, nor likely to go. And our brother now years gone, as well.”

This week, we’d like you to write a piece in which a tattoo figures prominently. Fiction or creative non-fiction. There is a lot to think about: why someone would get one, what they chose, when they got it, what message does the tattoo(s) send? You will have 300 words with which to play.

18 responses to “The Seven Sisters

  1. Why does he run with the Captain? To protect Sirena? Does he not want her to know that he claimed the girl as his own?

  2. I rather agree with Carrie… quite a few questions unanswered from the last piece – I even went back to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Apart from that, I enjoyed the atmosphere and the way you worked the tatoo in there. I love her name! Inspired.

  3. I really, really want to see this tattoo & the way it lies against her hair-line.

    As with all of your works in progress, I’m quite eager to read through the rest of the story – with this, I’m having trouble piecing motives & advancement.

  4. Names… they have names.
    I hate the 300 word limit though… especially for this story since I love it so much and I know that there was so much more that you wanted to say.
    Regardless, I love it.

  5. I love the meaning of her tattoo, and I sense the obvious attraction between them. I am a little unsure about why he’s there with her, but I trust you’ll lead me there.

    Also, nice job with the dialogue. I have issues with present-day dialogue, let alone trying to figure out how to write in a way I don’t speak!

  6. I agree with the previous comments, but I am intrigued and want to know more.

    Of course, I love pirates more than ninjas. I may be biased.

  7. I am following quite nicely along, (does that make me shallow or just plain Stupid (said like Forrest Gump) I got it all, I want to know about the tattoo, I like what it is of, it’s interesting and moving the story along.

    Ang is right, the dialouge is spot on…so engaging. I really liked it.
    (plus we learned she was one of seven, she had a brother..etc…all things that are pushing the story)

  8. great dialogue

    I love this: “Isaac watches her body shift with the vessel’s heaving even as his overcompensates.” It presents this imagery that is unforgettable.

    This needed about 900 words. Great episode.

  9. Ah, pirates, and sailors, and tattoos! So very, very cool Cam! Can’t wait to read more of this!

  10. I love pirates too. I;m glad to see more of this story. The only thing that kind of confused me is in the beginning. You say the crew is watchful but not active, then in the next sentence you say that he and the Captain are the only passengers on the ship. Did you miss a word in there somewhere or are they on a different ship than the crew is on?

    I also liked this peek into her past and family history. I’m intrigued by why he is there as well. I have my own ideas, but I’d like to see how it plays out.

    • To clarify, there is a crew, but they are the only non-crewmembers aboard, the only passengers. Merchant ships crossed the channel often with goods or animals, and humans could book passage if there was space. Depending upon what they were willing to pay, they would sleep in hammocks, on pallets, or even bump the captain from his quarters if he stood to make a profit.

      Isaac paid for their passage on the first ship leaving the docks to get the Captain out of London. I never specified, but I imagine it to be a merchant ship of some kind.

  11. I, too, love Rose’s tattoo and am intrigued. It makes me want to know more about her. Of course, I am also interested and what kind of relationship develops between her and Isaac, if there is to be one.

    I’m hooked. Can’t wait to read more!

  12. Pingback: Red Writing Hood – Tattoos | Write On Edge

  13. Isaac is in deep shit once she realizes he has her daughter.

    I love the idea of the stars, too. I think Rihanna’s stars tattoos are beautiful.

  14. the writ and the wrote

    I’m intrigued. I will definitely try to go back and read more.

  15. I was thinking the same thing as Angela. Your dialogue is evocative while with an ease. I haven’t written anything (in the last ten years) that’s a period piece. I’m enjoying reading yours unfold.

  16. I love that you can write a whole piece in dialogue.

    I also love the imagery, and meaning, of the stars.

    Beautifully told, beautifully titled.

  17. Fascinating! I’m new to the story, but I am definitely intrigued! I may have to go back and catch up now…

    Loved this line especially: “Her careworn hands alongside his on the rail kindle a fire under his skin that the sea air does nothing to cool.”


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