Blue Sea Burning

Blue Sea Burning by Geoff Rodkey

Book: Blue Sea Burning by Geoff Rodkey Read Free Book Online
Authors: Geoff Rodkey
mallet.
    As I opened my mouth to scream, the
Grift
’s cannon began to roar again, drowning out my voice and making the whole side of the hull shudder.
    â€œFOUR IN THE HOLD! FOUR IN THE HOLD!”
It was the emergency order. If anyone heard it, they’d come running.
    I kept screaming it at the top of my lungs.
    The cannon were still roaring. I could barely hear my own screams over the noise.
    â€œFOUR IN THE HOLD!”
    Guts was motionless on his back, the water cascading down on him, rising up over his ears.
    â€œFOUR IN THE HOLD!”
I pounded away at the patch as I screamed, but it was pushing back harder now. The water wanted in. It was stronger than I was.
    And Guts was going to drown.
    â€œFOUR IN THE HOLD!”
    The cannon roared. I kept screaming for help.
    I couldn’t let the water in. I had to keep pushing back.
    Guts was drowning. Just a few feet from me. And I couldn’t move to help him.
    â€œFOUR IN THE HOLD!”
    There were pirates on the stairs. Running for me. The first one slammed into the patch with the full weight of his body. The second one squeezed past him and lowered a shoulder against the other side.
    â€œGet on the breach!”
the first one yelled at me.
    I slipped past the second man and started for Guts. Two other pirates were headed for him at the same time, coming around from the other side of the barrels. The first one got there ahead of me and scooped up Guts, throwing him over his shoulder. I got a glimpse of my friend’s face—eyes shut, skin ghostly white, red and pink smears of blood mixed with seawater running down his face from a fat gash over his eyebrow—and the pirate was turning to run him upstairs and I was about to follow them off when the other pirate yelled,
“On the breach!”
and I realized the hole was still gushing water and it was my job to plug it.
    The mallet was in my hand. The plug that had struck Guts in the head was near my feet, bobbing in the water. I handed the mallet to the pirate, picked up the plug, and attacked the flood of water that had hurt my friend.
    I got it over the breach, and the pirate hammered it home. Then we hammered in a second plug behind the first one, just to be safe.
    By now, there were four pirates holding the weakened patch in place, and a new bucket line was forming to bail the hold. Quint and Kira had arrived, and Quint was shouting orders at the pirates on the patch. When he saw me, he pointed to the ceiling and yelled,
“Find the cap! Tell ’im the patch is bust! Take her down to six and no turns to port!”
    As I turned to run for the companionway, my eyes met Kira’s for an instant, and I saw the worry in them. I knew it was for Guts, and I wanted to tell her he was okay.
    But I didn’t know if it was true.
    And there was no time. I had to find the captain.

CHAPTER 12
    The Fangs
    I TOOK THE COMPANIONWAY STEPS two at a time. When I reached the gun deck, the floor was gritty with sand, and there was so much smoke in the air I could barely see through the haze. I was halfway up the next flight when the
Grift
’s guns erupted again.
    The recoil nearly knocked me off the steps.
    As I stumbled out into the open air of the weather deck, a cloud of smoke from the guns was rising like a curtain on the port side. Before the smoke choked off my view, I glimpsed a familiar-looking frigate half a mile off port. Its foremast was leaning at a crooked angle, one huge sail cut loose from its spar and billowing uselessly across the ship’s deck.
    It was Ripper Jones’s ship, the
Red Throat.
As it disappeared behind the veil of smoke, half a dozen muzzle flashes blinked from its gun ports.
    I hit the deck as cannonballs ripped through the sails over my head. A moment later, a hundred pounds of rigging crashed to the deck behind me.
    Right away, I realized I’d been wrong. As bad as it was down in the hold, not knowing what was happening above, this was worse.
    I got

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