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Seagull`s Legacy Volume 1 - One Last Galley by Don Blane

EXTRACT FOR
Seagull`s Legacy Volume 1 - One Last Galley 
(Don Blane)


Seagull's Legacy Volume 1

Chapter 1 -- The Lash

 

Hiss whap "Eighteen!"

Hiss crack. "Nineteen!"

Barok stared out of his upper window, watching with prurient delight as the two pretty girls took their punishment.

"Yes…That's it! Give it to them! Slap the worthless dogs! Skin the stinking bitches and leave them dead for all anybody would care!" he rasped to himself as he clutched at his window frame and watched the two girls beyond suffer the torture of the damned.

The executioners used the dreaded, cat-o'five-tail whips on the pair, two men appointed to each girl, and the men hurled their whips with well-practised brutality and indifference as they flogged the pair. It was a flogging savage enough to be granted to horse or camel thieves, or girls who had been caught in the act of robbing a high judge, or Cadi.

"Go…go…! That's it…more…more!" Barok was so preoccupied by the scene without that he scarcely noticed his vaunted visitor enter.

"Ah, Barok…! Your slave girl told me I would find you within!" said a well-dressed individual, clad in a blue burnoose, gathered at the waist with a red velvet cord and shod with gold coloured sandals. His neatly trimmed dark beard and hair gathered in a blue turban told anyone that he was a man of refinement and position. Barok snatched a look at his visitor, knowing who he was before he saw him.

"Oh Emir! I am glad you have called."

Emir drew alongside Barok to witness the increasingly bloody and pain-filled scene outside. Although he used his title as a name, it was all the same to him and when called he answered to it as he would his real name, Farouk.

Now, both girls were shouting as the whips slapped and cut their way across their stripped backs and Barok seemed to glean more pleasure, as he knew the girls' agony increased by the whip-stroke.

"Your doing, I presume?" observed Emir. Barok sneered at his associate, for real friends they were not.

"I warned them!" Barok said with unconcealed venom. "I told the pair of them, that if they dared to set their market stall by mine again, I would take action against them!" The evil man glowered. A fat, sweating man, clad in voluminous red trousers tucked into large, black boots, white shirt and blue cummerbund with blue jerkin to match and a blue turban, he looked every inch the galley operator he was. He had a swarthy, bloated expression and an untidy beard on his fat face. His chins shook with anger as he told Emir of his dire warning, talking in his soft, effete voice that also had a lilt of refinement about it that made it even more feminine than it might have been. Emir's gaze turned from Barok's, back out to the sweat soaked, bloody scene outside.

Both girls had been strapped to the infamous whipping frames, their feet restrained in stocks and their wrists bound tightly to a broad beam that stood at head height. The frames were stationed opposite each other so that both could see her friend taking her punishment as she writhed and gasped in agony to her own. Each had two strapping men, stripped to the waist, flogging them.

The one girl was a pretty girl indeed. Blonde, her fair hair was tied in a knot on top of her head, though in her distress and dishevelment, strands had torn loose and stuck now in wet, sweaty clumps about her tortured face and neck. Her large, heavy breasts shook and waved as she shouted in pain as the whip slapped her bare body, and though she had the looks of a sultan's harem slave, she had the body of a well worked galley or farm slave. Her brown eyes in a sweetly proportioned face were normal enough, but her blonde hair marked her eternally as a Talasian, though in fact, she was pure Provincial. That was why the Talasians hated her obvious Provincial ways and beliefs and the Provincials hated her Talasian-looking traits.

Her friend was a pretty brunette, presentable, but overshadowed by the sweet looks of her friend. They both now writhed and worked against their bonds as the whip count constantly and inexorably rose.

"Twenty nine!"

Hiss crack. "Thirty!"

Both girls were yelling loudly as their brutal flogging now hit already agonised flesh at every stroke. Emir glanced at Barok who watched the increasingly sickening event with ever-mounting glee.

"By the prophet's word, Barok. Do the judges intend to kill them?" he asked, as it was clear that the guards had no intention of stopping at thirty lashes.

"They deserve every nuance of it, Emir! I said I would punish them if they came again, but still they set stall alongside me, cutting the prices of my plates stock by as much as thirty percent! How, I ask myself? How can they sell so low if they aren't buying their plates with their gaping maws?"

"Are your prices not a little high, perhaps?" Emir had difficulty hiding his cynicism as he said it, which cynicism was lost on Barok.

"I have set the prices and there they stay and these dogs will pay with the skin on their backs for their attempts to undermine me!"

Hiss slap. "Thirty nine!"

Hiss whack. "Forty!"

Hiss crack "Forty one!"

Emir looked on alongside Barok, slightly disgusted by the whole sorry scene. For such an offence, if offence it was, any sane man would have been happy to see the pair lashed with two dozen at the most, but this was beyond even Barok's normal love of brutality. Barok grinned at Emir and tapped the side of his large, hooked nose in a conspiratorial way.

"Ha, it pays to have friend in high places, Emir. It was my close alliance with the learned magistrate that allowed me to get this stinking pair arrested and now, out of my hair for good I'll be bound!"

Emir walked away from the window.

"I hear old man Hoque is ailing, on his death-bed by all accounts. That means the fleet may soon be up for grabs," he said airily and for the first time Barok's gaze left the torture scene outside and was levelled directly at Emir.

"The whole fleet?" The question's relevance was not lost on Emir. He gave an airy toss of his hand.

"One assumes so," he tried to sound nonchalant while Barok's shifty eyes flicked about the cluttered room as his voracious, money-motivated mind raced overtime to consider the news.

"Hmmm!" Barok mused to himself. "You are interested?" Emir continued to try and look only half-interested.

"Like you, Barok, I have a modest fleet and make a very healthy profit. There is no reason to assume that if I increase my fleet by fifty percent with another dozen vessels that my profit would not correspondingly increase. I should only consider buying from them if the order book came with the deal," Emir added. Barok mulled the information over.

"A dozen boats and oars, that's over seven hundred and twenty women!"

"Yes, they run their boats top-heavy, it's eight hundred and sixteen to be precise!" It was clear Emir had already been meticulous about the maths.

"Yah, they are going to sell every third month; it's another dull rumour, but you do your research all the same, Emir, I'll say that."

"Quite, Barok, and my research assures me that the Hoques will sell the fleet before the old man's body is cold, which will be very soon. The word has gone out already."

"Then it would be a trip to Ajarbit."

"I understand the entire fleet is already there and prospective buyers are looking the stock over."

"Hah, I'll bet they are. It would take a good two weeks to get there, perhaps a little more," Barok was musing as he mumbled to Emir. The unholy din outside was plainly audible and both girls were not suffering silently. "I would not be sorry to see the Hoques go. Both Abdul Hoque and Abdul Rob are a most objectionable pair," Barok added.

"I understand that is the general feeling."

"I have time for their father, but those pair!"  With that, Barok returned to the scene outside, gloating.

Now, the two girls were hanging from their bound wrists and were far less vocal as they were struck and their hot, tired heads had fallen forwards and were only raised when they were hit. Their backs were a discoloured mass of welts, bruises, blood and sweat and the pretty blonde's baggy, cream silk harem pants stuck damply to her wet sweaty arses and legs.

Hiss smack. "Fifty four!"

Hiss crack. "Fifty five!"

"Aaagh, yaagh!" Wept the blonde in agony and her miserable wails were matched by her equally slumped and sweaty friend, her dowdy fawn Zouave pants stained with sweat around her waistband had slipped low on her hips and the guards were making good use of the bare acreage of flesh she presented to them.

"I feel sure I know that blonde!" mused Emir as he looked again out onto the sweaty, bloody scene. Barok grunted in disgust.

"Well you might, the sweating heap. That's Beeba, that stinking captain of mine!" he spat contemptuously. Emir gave a low laugh.

"Yes, of course. I was sure I had seen her. Quite a deal, was she not?" Emir was being deliberately obtuse.

Hiss smack. "Fifty nine.

Hiss crack. "Sixty. That's it!" Called the presiding officer and Barok stared at the scene below, not a little satisfied with what he had witnessed.

"Ha ha, that will teach the pair of slags to try and deal me short."

Emir excused himself and left. He could only ever endure Barok in small doses, as could most people. He went out into the street and passed close to the tortured girls who were still hanging from the old whipping frames, their backs an unholy mass of crossed and re-crossed stripes. Emir looked at the pretty Beeba, her sweat streaked, tearstained face a picture of pain and suffering; her pants hanging low on her bloody, sweat-slimed body looked stained and stale. Emir approached the presiding officer.

"What's to be done with this pair now?" The officer seemed less than half interested.

"We'll throw them in the lock-up and from there they have both been detailed for a spell of hard labour. Looking at this pair, they'll be working the night shift as well!" he replied blankly.

Emir grinned and gave the officer a coin. "I will be sending my man out. I want him to bring the blonde away. I need to see her!"

The officer looked at the coin in his hand. "Yes sir! Certainly and thank you for your generosity," he added as Emir strolled away.

Emir looked at the sky and was sure that before the day was out, the rains that had been reluctant to move away from the distant hills that surrounded Tarak would at last move in and bring the sweet relief they had been promising for so long.