Inspiration (A Book Teaser)

Fleur thought back to the storm. One moment, everything was calm, but then a series of larger waves began to surge in and rock the vessel back and forth. Lightning streaked across the sky, highlighting the rising swells as cool rain poured down. The pirate-sailors worked to stabilize their ship. Inside of the cage, Fleur hugged her knees as the rain and wind hit her relentlessly. One wave was so high that it washed over the ship, punching her body like a giant fist.

Despite the cold, uncomfortable surroundings, it was her heart that hurt the most. Tywin’s actions stung more than she cared to admit. There was once a time when she was just a romantic young woman hoping to meet a nice young man to share her life with. She never thought she’d fully settle down with a house and children – that wasn’t her – but after years of independence, she liked the idea of finding a partner who wanted to take an everlasting adventure with her.

She almost laughed at her trite thoughts. What a frivolous thing to think about while trapped on a pirate ship – love. Closing her eyes, she drifted in and out of fitful dreams that didn’t make sense. A floating sensation overcame her as she somehow rose above the wet deck – someone was carrying her. The rain and wind dissipated, and she found herself lying on a soft, warm bed. Safe and out of the elements, she fell into a deep sleep.

She awoke to a soft, familiar voice. The sound of it made her shudder. Her heavy eyelids opened. She was warm and dry.

“You were so wet,” said Tywin quietly, looming above her. “I had to undress you and put you in new clothes.”

 Jarred by the realization that he had seen her naked while she was out, she sat up and looked down at the loose tunic and trousers that draped over her slender form. On the table, her sheathed sword, thigh armour, and belt rested. A rack of daggers on the wall showcased many engraved sheaths.

“The clothes aren’t the best fit, I know, but it’s the best we could do. There’s only so many spare clothes we have aboard.”

“Thanks for bringing me out of the storm,” she said, staring down at her knees.

“Now I can finally take what is mine.”

With an evil smile, he started to remove his coat. That was when the floor suddenly tilted sideways. Fleur screamed as both of them slid until they slammed into the wall. The ship then rocked the other way.

“Fuck!” yelled Tywin. “I will kill that pilot once we land – if we land.”

“What do you mean ‘if’?” cried Fleur.

Water suddenly rushed into the room before the ship righted itself, but this only lasted for a few seconds before leaning to the other side again. Fleur went to retrieve her belt, armour, and sword from the floor, securing them back where they belonged. Tywin grabbed Fleur by the wrist and pulled her along with him through the tilted hallway. Cold water swirled around their legs, quickly rising up to their waists.

“Can you swim?” he asked.

“Yes,” she said through chattering teeth.

“Good. I need you to survive.”

“You ‘need’ me to survive. Not want!”

“God, woman! We’re about to die if we don’t leave now. We have to swim in this storm just like the little sea rat you wrote about in your book!”

He kicked off his boots. Her feet were bare, so she was ready to jump. She could make it. She had to.

Tywin leaped off the ship without warning. Taking a deep, shaky breath, she followed his lead. When her submerged body broke the surface, small mountains of water surrounded her. She and Tywin swam away from the vessel as it sank below the waves. She never would have thought she’d have to face one of her biggest fears on top of completing the suicide mission. She’d spent the last couple of summers swimming in open water, so her muscles were conditioned for the exercise even with the extra weight of her weapon and armour. As her survival instinct took over, she focused on the most important goal – reaching the shore and keeping her head above water. Her limbs burned as she swam with all her might over the crests and troughs of waves.

When her hands gripped the wet sand of the beach, she emptied the contents of her stomach. Rolling onto her back, she stared up at the starry sky, catching her breath. Sitting up, she realized Tywin wasn’t anywhere in sight. With her sword and light thigh armour still intact, it was her chance to break free and get on with her mission. Without blinking, she sprinted for the forest, leaving the pirates behind. As she ran, a sense of relief swept over her. Even though the dragon still loomed in the distance, she’d no longer have to worry about renegades sabotaging her mission.

She ran through the night until she reached a creek. Kneeling, she cupped her hands and drank from the mountain spring. The ship ride shaved a few hours off the hike. Though her limbs still shook from the exertion and terror of swimming in a sea storm, she didn’t have too far to go.

Tywin’s voice echoed in her mind. Those with good intentions are able to make it through the woods without being harmed by the creatures.

She continued through the lush landscape, hoping that the legend was correct. The forest didn’t look much different from the ones closer to where she lived, but dangerous wild animals supposedly lurked in those parts. After jogging for the better part of an hour, men’s voices interrupted the quiet atmosphere. Her heart nearly stopped at the realization that the pirates were gaining on her – and they might have seen her. She hadn’t been traveling fast enough.

Finding a thicket, she disappeared into it and crawled on all fours as the pirates’ voices grew louder. She pressed her body flat against the forest floor as their sharp curses infiltrated the air. They seemed to sink into every corner of the forest. Someone walked close to her, swaying the bushes and snapping the twigs on the ground. Leaves fluttered everywhere. Holding her breath, she willed for him to pass without stepping on her. She’d come so far. Men like Tywin took what they wanted when they wanted it, but maybe having a vision that surpassed her own selfish desires would pay off this time.  


A branch snapped not three feet away from her. Paralyzed by fear, she waited as deafening silence fell over the area. With a deep sigh, the man backed away.

“She’s not here. I think she’s long gone.”

Her heart lurched.

“I can’t believe that bitch got away,” snarled Tywin.

“I’m pretty sure she drowned,” said one of the men.

“No. I saw her running on the beach. It couldn’t have been anyone but her.”

“I think we should stick to our original mission. We caught her and she escaped. No point in wasting more time trying to catch her – it’s not like she’s going to make it up that mountain anyway – and if she does, she’d be too weak to defeat a dragon.”

“Not that she had much chance anyway,” scoffed another.

“She’ll pay for this one way or another,” said Tywin.

“We’ve got our weapons. If anything comes at us out here, we’ll be ready,” said another.

The group stepped away until the only thing Fleur could hear was silence. They were taking the main trail, so she’d need to find a different path. One higher up with a good view of where the pirates were. She sprung up to her feet and climbed the rise, staying within the protection of the brush. She found the gang below. The pungent scent of smoke and roasting meat permeated the air. They had stopped to eat and rest – two luxuries she wouldn’t be taking part in. She padded lightly, noiselessly as she passed them from above. Little did they know.

As the trail took a sharp dip downward, her confidence waned. Standing close to the edge of the cliff, she cursed. Nothing in life came easily, it seemed. Not willing to risk climbing down the jagged incline and falling to a bloody death, she traveled west to see if there was a gentler slope to climb down. A half hour’s walk brought her to another dead end, but she was able to climb down with less risk of slipping and killing herself. Now on the same level as the main path, she picked up her pace, glancing over her shoulder often. It was unlikely they’d catch up with her at this point. It would take awhile for the meat to cook.

“The wolf is only as strong as his pack, but the fox thrives alone.”


If you can’t win the battle, it’s better to runnn

Do you want to read more? Check out Inspiration on Kindle and in print!



  1. That’s a really exciting teaser, in fact breathtaking.

    About something completely different; I’ve discovered that I posted the review for She & The Wolf: A Flash Fiction Collection, under the Kindle version instead of the paperback version which was the one I bought. The paperback version and the Kindle version are not connected on Amazon and therefore the reviews are separated and therefore my review is indeed in the wrong place. I have been thinking about moving it to the right place.

    • Thank you so much for posting the review for She & The Wolf. 🙂 I appreciate that read the print book! I wish Amazon would connect all the reviews regardless of print vs. ebook. Maybe one day they will.

      Thanks for checking out my book teaser, too! I appreciate it. 🙂

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