The Ship was called “El Tesoro Del Cielo”- Treasure from Heaven- even though it was a very earthbound Spanish treasure ship- on a journey to mysterious treasure. Yet this ship whose Captain and crew longed for this treasure- would very soon encounter another gift from the celestial regions above. But not a pleasant gift, indeed. In this short excerpt, we experience an omen, a fiery foreshadowing of things to come.



“Every hand to rigging!” Estefano’s voice bellowed over the wind and rain. “Look lively, men!” Two dozen sailors were already at their duties on the wet and slick deck, every muscle taut in a steely effort to hold the ship’s lines against the few bucking sails not yet rolled to posts. A flash of lightning through the black sky silhouetted the Captain’s grim features as he tied off a bowline. A loud crash from the bow made him look there. Voices called from the hold, the quartermaster’s shrill Spanish cursing the loudest below deck. The storm had risen out of nowhere, tossing the El tesoro del cielo on the angry night waters of the Caribbean’s notorious Dragon’s Teeth, sending the crew scattering on deck and within its large hold. Every mast was furled on the Spanish galleon, all cargo secured in the hold, but it was not enough. A sea-splitting thunderclap echoed across the hurling waves, followed by a crack of lightning that hit the foresail derrick. Flames erupted along the post, lacing up to the wood to the canvas, fire spreading instantly, the crosstrees framing a fiery cross near the forecastle. Half the sailors on deck paused for an instant to stare in shock at the flaming symbol, faces ashen as they hurriedly crossed themselves. “God’s blood! We’re cursed now!” Estefano cried as he latched a rope dowel. “Remember your position!” the Captain called to his first mate. “Set an example, Estefano!” “Aye, Capitán!” Rain splattered man and ship alike as the helmsman tried to steer the treasure ship among the bellicose waves threatening to sink it. The flaming crosstree of rigging was an omen to many in the crew, but every spare hand grabbed a line and bucket and began dousing the fire. An eerie light of fire and lightning washed the deck as men scrambled to put out the flames. It was by far the worst storm the Captain had seen in his twelve years as master of the ship. His fist gripped a thick rope to the center mast above, the rigging whipping violently in the gusting winds as he looked out over deck which was now a menagerie of water, flames, oaths, and desperate seamen battling those flames. Another crash rolled up from the hold, and this time the quartermaster’s curses were louder.

Carlos Lopez Avery & Johnny Blue Star. THRICE BORN (Kindle Locations 48-68).

The Thrice Born” Copyright © 2014  by Johnny Blue Star & Carlos Lopez Avery

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