Stone of Jade

United States

~ 17 she/her ~
Aspiring writer and artist. Completely awestruck by night skies. Apart of many, many fandoms ;) Reader, journaler, collector.
~ pilot pens and beat-up notebooks ~
one half of the locket
discord LexLuthor#8769

Message to Readers

The finale!
--the links to all chapters are in the footnotes--

IMPORTANT: Please read the story first and THEN read the footnotes.

Thank you all so so much for following this story with such love and encouragement. Your feedback and comments really made my day. This is the fourth *fully finished* story I ever wrote so I am really excited (and a little proud) to finally share the ending with you all.

Thank you all again so so much!
Love you all,
Lexi

~
check out my other work if you feel so inclined :)

Traitors and Rebels (continuing)
On The High Seas (finished)
heartbreak series (finished)
Unlikely Hero (finished)

On the High Seas | 8 | FINALE

January 6, 2021

FREE WRITING

15
The Fortune barreled through the waves towards the Manta, which lay hopelessly aground a shallow sandbar. The sails of the large ship bulged under the force of the wind behind it. Waves leaped ahead of the bow, breaking through the sea like white-crested rolls. The creak of the wood and the whipping of the ropes made the sight a terrible one to behold. Then, high above, attached to the mast, a flash of color gave the final blow of despair. A new flag was being raised, one as red as blood. It thrashed in the wind, screaming its message: This was it. The final stand. There would be no mercy shown. 
    “Avril! Corrin! Load all cannons with anything that’ll blow a hole in that ship!” Ladell ordered. “Tallis! Come down below! You need a weapon if it’s results in hand-to-hand combat!”
    Ladell led Tallis below decks. She plucked a sword from a wall of weapons and handed it to him.
    “You got a lot of swords to spare,” Tallis joked as he tested the weight of the weapon.
    “Not funny, Tallis. This is Boothe Colborne we’re talking about. He’s not happy with you.”
    “And I take it you aren’t either?” 
    “NO!” Ladell burst. “This all could have been avoided! You didn’t have to do the job!”
    “Thornely would have tracked me down, and then found you too!” Tallis shot back.
    “I can look after myself! Do I have to look after you too? All you do is get into trouble!”
    “You used to think it was fun!”
    “Well we’re adults now! We can’t just pick fights! There are real consequences to pay! And now my crew has to pay them for your mistakes!” Ladell was filled with anger. She was angry at Thornley for making their lives so miserable. She was angry at Colborne for his stubborn moral of punishing thieves. And she was angry at Tallis. But that look in his eyes...she knew she was blaming him for more than his mistake.
    Her voice softened. “It’s just…I was hoping things might have turned out different.”
    “Yeah, I do too," Tallis said. "I’m sorry for dragging you into this mess. I’m sorry for all the trouble I brought you.”
    “Trouble isn’t unusual in our line of work,” Ladell said. “And I don’t blame you…I just wish maybe we could have had that life of peace for awhile.”
    “Don’t give up hope,” Tallis said, placing a hand on Ladell’s shoulders. “After we beat Colborne, we’ll sail far away! Discover unmapped islands!”
    “We’ll sail some place where neither of us are on the wanted posters,” Ladell laughed. 
    “Sound like a plan?”
    Ladell nodded. 
    “Then come on,” Tallis said. “Let’s face Captain Colborne once and for all.”

The pair ran up the stairs to the main deck. Ladell took her place on the stern-castle. The Fortune was steadily sailing closer. The ship was so close, the carved figurehead of the Basilisk seemed loom over them, as if waiting for the right moment to devour them all. 
    “FIRE CANNONS!” Ladell commanded. 
    The deafening blasts of the canons filled the air. Several splashed into the wake beside the incoming ship, but a good many found their mark in the hull of the Fortune
    Gunshots from Colborne’s crew echoed in retaliation as Ladell ordered another round of cannons to fire. The noise of shouts and cries rang across the sea. Splintering wood flew through the air as the Manta rocked from a hit from the Fortune’s cannons. 
    The space between the two ships closed. The Fortune rammed into the Manta. Ladell gripped the wheel as the ship gave way. The Fortune was now on top of them. Ladell could see Captain Colborne standing at the wheel of his prized ship. She could see the captain’s rich coat, lined in silk. She could see the gleaming sword sheathed on his side. Two pistols hung in their holsters on his belt. Ladell could see his grizzled black beard, and even blacker eyes.
    A gangplank thumped against the side of The Manta. The fight had begun. 

With a loud yell, several men on the crew of the Fortune ran over the gangplank, swords raised. Metal on metal clashed through the air. Ladell watched helplessly from the stern-castle as several of her crew fell to the enemy’s blades. She watched as Marley took on a large sailor. Avril and Corrin fought side by side, holding off three large men. Ladell watched Tallis on the quarterdeck. He ran down the main deck and killed several sailors that were trying to make their way to her post. But even under his defense, three men made it up the stairs to the stern-castle. Ladell drew her cutlass. Her silver blade shone in the midday sun. With a loud cry, she ran at the men. 
    Her sword clanked against the largest man’s sword. Ladell recognized him as Davian, Colborne’s third in command. She parried Davian’s attack and ducked under the second man’s swing. The second man went by the name of Rhett. She had met him before. She hoped he didn’t remember that meeting, but by the anger in his eyes, she knew he did.
    Ladell swung her sword, deflecting another of Davian’s blows. With a hard thrust forward, she felt the contact of her blade in the stomach of the third man. With him down, that only left two more.
    Swing after swing left Ladell feeling the heavy weight of her blade. She was tiring, and her enemy could tell. 
    “Your crew is already taken,” Davian mocked. “If you surrender, Colborne might let you live.”
    Ladell looked across the ship’s deck. She saw Marley, dead, leaning against the side of the ship. Several others of her small crew were also dead. Avril and Corrin were tiring as they fought a battle whose fate was already decided. Tallis was on the deck below her, facing another of Colborne’s men. Ladell knew this fight was near its end, but she resolved to keep fighting until she could no longer. 
    “Colborne won’t stop chasing us until he sees our bodies in the sea!” she said, raising her cutlass. 
    “Then I hope you know how to swim!” 
    With renewed strength, Ladell darted towards Rhett, ducking his saber’s swing and retaliating back with a hard stroke. She rushed forward again but her arm was stopped by a strong grip. Davian had her sword arm pinned in his large hands. He thrust her backward, slamming her against the mast. She hit the floor of the deck hard and gave a loud cry. 
    
Tallis heard Ladell cry out just as he finished off his foe. Glancing up he saw two of Colborne’s men cornering her against the mizzen mast. He ran towards the stairs to help her, but just as he reached the bottom of the steps, Captain Colborne landed on the deck of the Manta
    Tallis saw that Ladell was right. Captain Colborne was the most intimidating man either of them had ever come across. He was more threatening than Tallis remembered from the first time they met. Colborne seemed taller. He was all broad shoulders and bulging muscles. He sported stringy, pitch black hair and a scowl that pierced your very soul. Colborne’s ratty, mangled black beard and beady black eyes, coupled with the indelible stench of stale rum that seemed to float off of him in putrid waves, made him a daunting sight to behold. Boothe Colborne was not a man you wanted as an enemy. Tallis turned to face him, his usual grin replaced by a determined frown. 
    Captain Colborne waved a pistol in the air. His loud voice bellowed across the ship’s deck.
    “Surrender, or die,” he barked. “We have the ship already! Just give up!”
    “Never,” Tallis swore. “I will fight you as long as I live.”

Colborne’s mouth stretched into a sly smile. His second in command leaped onto the deck of the Manta
Stanford stalked forward, hefting his saber. Tallis raised his cutlass, ready to fight, but Stanford was no match for him. In no less than three strokes, Stanford had Tallis unarmed and defenseless. Stanford swatted Tallis aside, he sprawled out in front of Boothe Colborne. Colborne loomed over Tallis like a cat about to pounce on its prey. 
    “You could never run for long,” Captain Colborne growled, cocking his pistol.
    Tallis’s eyes widened in fear, his breath grew rapid. This isn’t how adventures were supposed to end. Tallis glanced to the deck above him where Ladell was still fighting. They had finally reunited--now they could sail for eternity, just as Ladell wanted all those years ago. 
    Captain Colborne smirked as he followed Tallis’ gaze. “Still want to be the hero?” he mocked. “Still want to save the girl?”
    Tallis swallowed his pain. “I think you’d better worry about your goons than about Ladell,” he shot back. 
    Tallis looked back at his friend, who rolled across the deck, between the feet of the two men. Ladell plunged her cutlass into the gut of the biggest man, who dropped onto the wood planks. Ladell stood, unsheathing her dagger from her boot, ready to take down the second man--but she was ready in vain.
    “There’s no need to worry about the girl,” Colborne said slyly. “I wasn’t lying--there’s nothing you could do to escape me.” Captain Colborne raised his arm, pointing his pistol away from Tallis and training it on...Ladell.
    Tallis’s heart stopped--the world froze in place as he realized a second too late what Colborne was about to do.
    “Ladell! Look out!” Tallis cried, his voice breaking with the strain of his warning. But it was no use. The sound of the pistol echoed across the water. 

Ladell crumpled as the bullet found its mark. She stumbled back, falling down the stairs and onto the deck where they stood. Tallis stared at Ladell’s body in shock, only coming back to reality by her weak cry. A thousand thoughts flooded through his mind--but only one was clear--he had to reach her. 
    “NO!” Tallis cried, wrestling away from Captain Colborne. He would have made it if Stanford had not stepped out to block his way. Tallis struggled against him but the fight didn’t last long. He saw the blood first, then felt the pain. Tallis looked down to see a long dagger in his abdomen. He dropped to the ground, clutching his wound. His hands dripped red with blood. 
    Stanford knew he had won the fight. He stepped back, watching with an wicked grin, as Tallis tried to get to his feet. Tallis grew pale as he staggered across the deck before giving way. 
    Tallis fought hard to get to Ladell. He could see her lying on the deck, the puddle around her growing. Tallis crawled forward a few feet, struggling under his own weight. He collapsed next to Ladell.
    “We were so close...” Ladell whispered faintly.
    “We’ve had a good run. I guess…I guess it had to come to an--to an end...eventually.”
    “And now”-- her voice struggled to be heard-- “we can sail the seas forever…” Ladell gave a weak cough, dark red blood coating her lips. Her eyes fixed on the clouds above. She didn’t move again. 
    “For all eternity,” Tallis said as he drew his last breath. Then he too, went still.
 
I'm putting this down here so i don't spoil anything in the message board in case you read that before reading the chapter. Also this is a long one, but I couldn't find a good place to cut it into sections. 

Can I apologize? Cause I'm sorry...that I'm not sorry. I know it seems strange, but his whole story was built around Ladell and Tallis dying at the end. That was the very first scene I had in my mind. A picture of a character failing in stopping his friend's (maybe more than friend if you know what I mean) death yet failing and ending up dying themselves. ahh so sad!

I know this is a short story--chronologically it takes place in only a few days--but I wanted the reader to connect to the characters. In order to do that, I tried building this story through flashbacks and foreshadowing. How did it come out? Did it work? this whole genre/style (the flashbacks) is brand new to me so I really really want feedback. 

It's a tough ending. It makes me sad when I read it. My sister says I have a problem with killing off characters haha [It's totally true tho, have you read Traitors and Rebels? lol] 

Here are the links to all the chapters in this story :)
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7

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  • January 6, 2021 - 10:35am (Now Viewing)

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17 Comments
  • V-Rose

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Please, no! *falls on my knees in despair* No... I know you had to do it! It's part of *our* line of work! But, I still want to cry. Amazing story. As soon as the bullet hit Ladell, I could feel the story spiraling to a close. I could feel the end and I wanted to yell! This was so good but so sad but so awesome!

    I'm going to need a little while to recover.

    I do feel like you could expand this, though. More details and chapters and such and one day publish this and hurt a lot of people but also show them some amazing writing. Because this story is amazing! Sad... but amazing!


    3 months ago
  • wil

    Wow...I didn't expect them to die! That's so sad.
    This is a great story!


    4 months ago
  • anemoia (#words)

    AAAAAHHHHH YOU DID NOT HOW COULD YOU MY FRIEND
    brilliant writing tho. really. i really liked the flashback format; it wasn't confusing and you handled it well. echoing what starlitskies said. i just really like this style, this genre, and the setting. one question: about how old are tallis and ladell? i imagine them early 20s, prob about 24?


    4 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    (re: Tysm!) (and haha, I'm just reading a book where a character's called DaRian) (also, it says "Tallis raised his cutlass, ready to fight, but Stanford was no match for him". Shouldn't it be "but he was no match for Stanford."?) Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh so sad but so gooooodddd!! You're such a talented writer, and the ending is despairingly gorgeous. I've loved reading this series, thank you for writing it! <3


    4 months ago
  • The Ravenclaw Dragon

    This was really good- and sad at the same time. However, I have a tip to make some readers cry- put all that Ladell meant to Tallis after she got shot, and then write about how he would never have that anymore. Keep on writing!


    4 months ago
  • books4life

    wait---no! no! no! my heart is broken. you just killed them--but other than that, this story was amazing! the story was built through flashbacks which was such an interesting way but it paid off! this short story was simply marvelous and this chapter was so amazing! :) well done


    4 months ago
  • Starlitskies

    No no no no no no no no why? Why, Lexi? Why? You can't do this to me. :(
    *puts emotion on hold and gets analytical* This is, hands down, the best chapter of the story. All the action was written with clarity and the dialogue flowed smoothly between Ladell and Tallis (who you killed off -_- ).
    There were so many beautiful and cleverly created lines. The first paragraph was really good. Like really really good. Other than that...
    "The ship was so close, the carved figurehead of the Basilisk seemed loom over them, as if waiting for the right moment to devour them all." This is an exceptional sentence that I absolutely loved. <3
    "Avril and Corrin were tiring as they fought a battle whose fate was already decided." Awfully saddening, yet beautifully written!
    "Colborne’s ratty, mangled black beard and beady black eyes, coupled with the indelible stench of stale rum that seemed to float off of him in putrid waves, made him a daunting sight to behold." Great description! You've ensured not to confine it to only a single sense. Stunning!
    And of course the ending was heart-wrenchingly beautiful! I want to paste it down here and highlight a few parts, but I'm definitely gonna get emotional if i do that. *sniffles*
    Overall, the story was a masterpiece. Even though it was short, I got so attached to the characters because of your beautiful, clever and engaging writing. I don't think I've read this style before but you've done a splendid job here! Can't wait to read more of your work! <3


    4 months ago
  • Rose A(hiatus)

    This was so good! But why....... I'm so sad that they all had to die. At least it was a great story...
    Seriously though... This was absolutely terrific. I'm glad I finally got to finish reading it. :)


    4 months ago
  • Emi

    nooonoonooooo. okay, I literally read all of these so fast I didn't have time to like all of them because I was so fascinated. this is seriously the best story I have ever ever read on here and of course the main characters die. *sniff sniff* literally my sister's playing sad piano music right now and I'm like ready to cry. this is so beautiful and if you ever put it into a novel and publish it send me the amazon link and I will buy it. ok, gotta go blow my nose now cause the story was just so beautiful and tragic.


    4 months ago
  • chasing sunsets

    This literally ripped my heart out!! NOO. I knew it was coming since I read it before, but ugh that ending kills me :((

    I think you nailed this style by introducing your characters through flashbacks and cramming that much information about Tallis and Ladell in a short amount of time. The characters felt so life-like, and it was fun getting to connect with them. This was incredible! (Even though I feel like I'm bleeding to death after reading those last lines)

    And congrats on finishing your fourth story!! Yippeee!!


    4 months ago
  • Paisley Blue

    HOW DARE YOU-

    ...... >:(


    4 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    YOU MURDERED THEM?! NOOOO THIS WAS SO GOOD THO


    4 months ago
  • ~Zoe N~

    re: Alright, sounds good!
    Thanks!!


    4 months ago
  • AliMuscles04

    NO! I knew this was coming, but I'd hoped I was wrong! You did an amazing job on this entire thing! You even inspired me to start resurrecting an old pirate story I thought of a while back! There are not enough words to describe how amazing this is!


    4 months ago
  • xx carolina xx

    JADE HOW DARE YOU FFFFFFF-
    I WANT MORE BUT I CAN'T HAVE MORE


    4 months ago
  • FantasyOtter12

    wowza. what an ending :o


    4 months ago
  • xx carolina xx

    I have to go reread this all because i've skipped a few chapters - ;-;


    4 months ago