“The Legend of Captain Jon Blackwell” Pt. 2 – Short Story

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To follow is part 2 of “The Legend of Captain Jon Blackwell”. Thanks for the use of the art, I am not sure who to credit but if it is yours please contact me. It’s beautiful and would love to give credit where credit is due. Please enjoy the second part of my story.

They spent the next few weeks preparing for his departure. The merchants were thrilled that he agreed to take on the voyage and paid him a handsome advanced salary with the promise of more once he returned. The crew readied three ships as all would be needed for the cargo they were to pick up. The sailors buzzed around the docks with excitement, most could not wait to get to open sea. It has been months since they left land.

Finally, the evening before the voyage was upon them. Jon and Marissa spent the evening sharing an intimate meal and the remainder of the night in each other’s embrace. Marissa pushed back the dread and fear she felt and focused on cherishing this time with her husband. The morning came too quickly for her liking; both of them were up before the sun. She assisted with packing Jon’s bags and walked with him to the door.

Jon kissed her gently and once again, promised he would return. No more than a month he would be gone and he would never have to sail again. She stood in the door way and watched until his carriage disappeared in darkness. Marissa looked down at her slightly bulging stomach and rubbed it lovingly as she turned and returned to the sitting room where she cried for the first time since the night they found out about the trip.

The sun was just starting to peak over the horizon when he arrived at the docks. The ships were ready only awaiting his orders to set sail.  He climbed aboard his flag ship, depositing his bags in his state room and headed for the helm. He took a few moments; feeling the cool breeze on his face and smelling the salty ocean air.  He had missed it.

“Let’s go gentleman.” He shouted. Cheers erupted all around him, and the ship began to come alive with activity.

The journey began as they all did with smooth waters and calms winds. They were hours out to sea and Jon started to relax. Withdrawing a pipe from his pocket, he walked to the front of the ship and whispered into the wind. “Lovely Calista, I have missed your waters so. I hope you will continue your kind favor upon us and we may arrive and return safely.”

He smiled down into the waters, watching the sun shimmer like gold off the waves created by the ship. The winds remained light and the sea calm. Jon returned to the cabin and stowed his things before heading to the dining hall to sup with the crew. He promised the sea he would return at sunset as he always had in his past voyages.

Jon’s crew worked like a well-oiled machine and with fair sailing, their tasks were much easier. The crew laughed and joked with Jon on how he had wooed the sea goddess once again. His first mate chuckled loudly, “let’s hope she never finds out that Jon has a new love that waits for him ashore.” The men all laughed.

“Calista knows her seas will always be my first love.” Jon laughed with them.

The day began to turn to night and the sun started to set in west. The waters were growing darker as he returned to his place; pipe in hand, at the front of the ship. Most of the crew had turned in for the evening and the remainder of the crew knew not approach him when he went to speak to the goddess. He had always been use to speaking into the sea and watching the waters change colors with the setting sun, but something was different this time. Jon jumped as a small water spout began to develop in front of him.

“What is this? I have not seen such a thing before.” He spoke out loud.

For the first time in all of his journeys he heard a voice on the wind and a face in the sea. She was truly beautiful and shimmered like diamonds. “Where have you been, Jon Blackwell?” The wind whispered around him. A female voice, soft sweet, sweeping through the air and Jon looked around frantically to see if anyone was around him. Was one of his crew playing tricks on him?

“I, I, I was ill and unable to sail.” Jon stuttered.

The water spout took on more of a form; Jon could almost make out the full shape of a woman. “It has been many months. Not one of your ships have sailed my seas.” The voice spoke again.

“Is this Calista?” Jon questioned, whispering so none of his crew heard him for fear they think him insane.

A soft laugh rang in the air. “I have many names, but yes. That is the name you have given me.”

“I never expect in my deepest dreams I would ever hear your voice, much less see a form of you.”

“Does my form please you?” Calista asked coyly.

“You have always pleased me Goddess and blessed my travels. I thank you.” Jon said.

“Yet you have not visited my waters in many sunsets.”

“I am sorry Calista. I grew ill and life on land became distracting.” Jon responded.

“Yes.” Calista hissed. “I heard the men talk of a new love. A wife you have taken, is this true Jon Blackwell?”

Jon paused, puffed on his pipe before responding. “Yes, it is true; however the sea-your seas-will always be my first love.”

“If I am your first love, then it is with me you belong.”

“It’s complicated.” Jon started to say, but the winds picked up and the sails on the ship began to ripple.

“It does not have to be complicated, but if complicated is what you wish.” Calista shrieked, sinking back down into the waters.

The ocean awoke, the waves becoming choppy and the wind heavier. Jon attempted to sooth Calista, shouting over the waves and wind words no one could hear. He realized they were falling upon deaf ears; she was not listening to him. Jon shouted for his crew to tie down the sails and by the time he made it back to the helm the rain started coming fast and hard.

Tossing and swaying, the ship creaked under the strain of the seas. The rest of crew woke, running to the deck confused. They had never dealt with a voyage like this with Captain Jon Blackwell. Jon’s first mate walked up beside him and with a solemn look stared at Jon. “What did you do?” He asked him. Jon just shook his head.

He and the crew spent three days and three nights fighting the wind and rain, just hoping to keep the ship upright. As the sun began to rise on the fourth day, the waters and rain calmed. The wind still stronger than usual but easier to manage than the last few days and Jon was exhausted. His first mate, which had gotten more sleep than Jon, took over the helm and sent Jon to his room to rest.

Jon lied down, every muscle in his body aching. They were almost half way to their destination, and he was unsure how many days of this he could take. He whispered softly, “Calista, I am sorry I have offended you so. I beg of you, spare my men from your wrath.”

As he closed his eyes, a light started filling up the room. “I will spare your men, Jon Blackwell. Your journey will be without event from this day forward, but you my love, will need to be with me always.”

Nodding, as he fell into a sleep. “I will love your seas, always.”

When Jon woke hours later, the ship was sailing so smooth it felt as if it were not moving. The light in the room was dim from the sun setting. He shook his head, attempting to shake the sleep from his mind and the image of a bright light and the voice from his dream, commanding him to be with the sea forever. What a wild dream, he thought to himself.

Calista was good to her word. The remaining trip to and from their destination port back to home was smooth and uneventful. Jon had originally estimated the journey would take three weeks, but they arrived home at least four days early.  The men rejoiced in their good fortune and looked forward to continued voyages that would bring them even more riches.

Jon monitored from the ship the unloading of the cargo, as he always did and before leaving went to the front of the ship to thank Calista for an amazing journey. Her voice spoke to him through the breeze once again. “Remember your promise, Jon Blackwell.”

“Promise?” he responded, stunned.

“I spared your men, favored your voyage, you must remain with me forever.”

Jon was speechless. He did not remember making such a promise. “I can’t remain at sea forever, you know that.”

“No, I do not know that.” Calista said, the voice louder and the wind stronger. “If you leave this ship, Jon Blackwell, you will die. You promised.”

“I made no such promise.” Jon said, turned and left the bow of the ship. He gathered his bags and prepared to go ashore. As he walked down the plank that led to the docks, he looked down into the water. A face appeared to him. “You will return to me, or perish Jon Blackwell.”

He shook his head and made haste to return home to Marissa. She met him at the door, her belly bulging further than when he had left her. He had missed her and fell to his knees in front of her, kissing her stomach where their child was growing. She wrapped her arms around him, holding him close to her.

Jon stood, taking her face in his hands. “No more trips.” He said, kissing her lips softly.

She smiled brightly in return, lacing her fingers through his and leading him into the house. They spoke for hours about all the things that had happened while he was gone. She had started the nursery; she was sure it was a boy. She had dreamed that it was so. Jon hoped she was right.

All was well for them over the next two months. Marissa was larger still, only a month or so from delivering. Jon began negotiations on the contracts for his fleet to continuing sailing, and Calista’s warning had faded from his memory. Nothing had happened thus far, he had become confident that nothing would ever.

Jon left Marissa on spring evening to meet with the merchants to go over the contracts at a tavern by the sea. He and the two gentlemen drank and toasted to the future success. Contracts in hand, he stepped out eager to return home. He turned to stare out at the sun disappearing into the ocean when in the wind he heard a voice once again.

“You have not returned to me. You have broken your promise. I am sorry Jon Blackwell, you shall die.” The voice said.

Jon’s heart filled with fear. He had dismissed the whole notion of Calista’s ultimatum being true. He returned quickly to his carriage and returned home as quickly as he could. By the time he reached home, he was overcome with fever and stumbled to the door. Marissa met him at the door, but couldn’t lift him. She called, panicking, for their servants to help her get Jon to bed and insisted the maid call the doctor.

“What has happened, my love?” Marissa asked, crying at his side.

“Calista.” The only word he could say.

All work and excerpts shared here are copyrighted and the sole property of the author. This blog may be share with this statement attached. This is a work of fiction by Sherry A. Stevens. Reproduction without this statement is prohibited without prior authorization. For additional information or other works by Sherry A. Stevens, please contact sastevens72@ymail.com. Thank you.

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