Thanks for taking time out of your Mother's Day weekend to stretch those writing muscles! Our winning entry is below:
The grappling hook sailed over the side of the Seeker and grabbed the mahogany railing. All up and down the deck, as hooks latched onto the boat, my crewmates scrambled for knives to saw at the ropes in futile attempts to free the Seeker from the pirate ship’s grasp.
“Saw, you dogs!” I yelled, my dagger working frantically, the muscles in my arms burning, tears clouding my vision. Behind me, my father, the Queen’s captain, lay motionless, a wooden splinter protruding from his chest. His blood soaked my clothes and the once-pristine deck, but I would not let them take this ship.
But sheer determination wasn’t enough. The pirates sailed gracefully through the air suspended on the ropes that bound our ships, and when their boots hit the deck, the Seeker’s crew was against the opposite railing, swords at the ready, my father’s body the only thing between them and the invaders. I kneeled over it, my eyes a warning to the snarling men.
The pirate captain stepped forward. Her tricorn hat sat at a mischievous angle on her head. There was something familiar about her eyes, something that reminded me of what my father said. “You have her eyes, the same color as the restless sea. I fear you will be as wild as your mother.”
Then the woman’s gray eyes found mine and it was like looking into a mirror. She was a dream, an illusion, a nightmare. She had the nerve to hold her arms out as if I would run into them. Well, my forgiveness was not so easily won.
“Mother,” I said, the word a curse, unfamiliar on my tongue. My father’s rapier sang out of its sheath, its weight familiar to me, and when I stood, I brought the sword down to meet hers.