All Aboard, Me Hearties!

Delaney and Bonnie Daniels have been orphans for as long as they could remember, but at least these cousins have each other. Deciding to disguise themselves as males to get by in the world, they begin a career as pickpockets. However, when they are recruited to be pirates among Captain Aric Dawkins men, what will happen to them when a past enemy comes knocking on the captain's cabin door?

A group story between myself and PoetryGirl_16

Chapter 1

The Sideshow ~ Bonnie Daniels

My hair was getting long again, and that wouldn't do at all. I usually liked it cut up to just above my ears. It was easier to handle and a lot bloody less likely to get me spotted as a woman. These days it wasn't smart for orphans to be spotted about on their own, let alone female orphans. The number of times in the past Delaney - oh excuse me - Damien and I could have been taken advantage of was more than I could count.


Thankfully Mr. Burnham had spotted the both of us from afar and offered us something we, in the right mind, couldn't refuse. Sure, being a pickpocket wasn't the most moral of all jobs, but it kept food in our bellies and clothing upon our backs. Besides, our job wasn't as bad as what Mr. Burnham did.


Mr. Burnham was a talent scout, of sorts. He traveled far and wide for those who were quite strange and very unique among cities and towns. Basically, he looked for freaks. He hired them because who wouldn't want to see a man covered in nothing but hair. Or how about the woman I knew as Tanya who happened to be stronger than the strongest of men? They were all ridiculed and couldn't be comfortable in society without someone protecting them. With Mr. Burnham, they didn't have to hide and could make a good profit just being themselves.


That was a luxury that both Delaney and I could not afford.


Then sudden tug of the material around my chest forced a big whoosh of air out of my lungs.


"Watch it!" I complained toward my cousin. "At least warn me next time you pull it tighter."


I saw Delaney roll her eyes in the mirror stationed in front of me.


"How about you get used to it?" she said. "We've been at this for how many years now?" She tugged again on the bindings around my chest.


That was one of the many downfalls of being a woman in disguise. Our chests seemed to sport certain things a man did not. And bloody hell was it a calling card on our parts if we were not seen in our boyish outfits.


She secured my bindings in place and allowed me to pull my beige shirt over my head. "We should really cut your hair," she placed a finger on her chin. "You're starting to look like a female."


I scoffed, "Oh, and what a curse that would be!"


She tried to stifle a laugh, but when I joined in she couldn't help but let out her burst of giggles. Considering how tough our lives had been thus far, I knew we could keep moving along as long as we stuck together as a team and never strayed away from each other. She was my best friend, and my only family I had left. I'd do anything for her.


*


The large crowd outside of the tent was noisy, to say the least. I couldn't believe how many people came to laugh and point at the people in the sideshow. There were elegant ladies and stoic gentlemen who lead said ladies about the crowd. I could even spot young children being dragged along by their mothers.


That’s right, I mentally groaned. Get 'em in the bloody habit while they're just wee things.


Delaney pulled me back and nodded towards me. It was time for us to start going about the crowds to see what these wealthy people held in their purses.


Delaney led the way and we were soon in the deepest part of the group where people wouldn't question being bumped into. No, they wouldn't realize my cousin and I stole their precious belongings until it was much too late.


Delaney turned her head over to where Mr. Burnham entered upon the lit up stage. He had a most extravagant suit on that would catch anyone's eye. However, the commotion coming from just down the street drew in the attention of the passerby's and definitely Delaney's and my attention.


"Come on, Benny," Delaney gestured her arm.


I followed and we were soon out of the large group of dainty women and men. We continued down the cobblestone road, but were then bombarded with people struggling to get out of the way of a very large crew that were sauntering down the street.


From first glance, I knew who they were. I'd seen their faces on wanted posters throughout the city. No one in their right mind would ever try to rat on these fierce men. No, they'd kill you before you even had a chance to say your prayers.


They were pirates. And not just any pirates. They were led by none other than the infamous Captain Aric Dawkins.


*

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