"Hell found me." Were the first words I said to the preacher when he walked through the door. He seemed almost too young to be a preacher but, what would I know of the cloth and age requirements.
"My child this place, this prison can not be as bad as hell." Replied the preacher.
"Preacher you ever escaped from the slums only to be on death row, I thought not preacher. Well your here to listen to my sins and final prayers right."
"I am here for spiritual guidance to prepare you for you passing on. But, if you wish to confess your sins to me to clear your mind before the end, yes, I will listen. But please so I know who I am praying for, may I know your name?"
"Well preacher, you'll know my name soon enough. You best take a seat because I might as well start from the beginning of my life, cause I have been sinning sense the day I was born."
The preacher with understanding just looked at me as if to say ok you can begin, and sat across from me in the cell. I pulled at the cuffs around my wrists they chafed so badly.
"Well preacher, it all started seventeen years ago in an abandoned warehouse building down in the docking yard of a big city. I was born in the filth and the squallier of the time and place and I isn't ashamed of being the daughter of a whore and a man she always claimed was a sailor. Life was rough for the time I had with my mother. She taught me that about the good Lord and that if I try one day we may get out of the slums." I looked over at the preacher's hands and I saw he had a small golden cross. "Preacher may I hold that little gold cross of yours? I feel that the good Lord is asking me to hold it when I tell this story."
The preacher looked hesitative about giving up the little cross but must have seen something in my eyes that told me he could trust me with it. So with a quick nod, he gently placed it in my open hands.
"Thank you preacher," I whispered as I close my hands around it. "Now what was I saying, oh yes. My mother never did make it out of the slums; she died when I was eight. I don't much remember my life between birth and the age of ten but, I can tell you I can still feel the hardships and pain."
"Blessed child such a harsh beginning, but what were your sins?" Questioned the preacher.
"Well, it may not sound like a sin to you, but I it was be cause I left my mother in the slums, and I got out, at lest for a while." I said with a half smirk. "Anyway preacher like I was telling you around ten or so I witnessed something that at the time frightened me and changed my life. I watched a rich man beat a poor man to death for no reason except that the man was poor."
"There was nothing you could do, you were ten, and the poor man if he lived for the lord is in his Holy home. And the rich man when he dies the lord shall punish him justly for his crimes."
"I know preacher but oh after that I swore I would not let that happen if I could and well that the, wait I'm getting ahead of myself here. Well after I saw that I was soon adopted as a cabin girl on a merchant ship. The captain had taken a real shine to me and basically adopted me as his own daughter and kept me safe from the sailors. Well I soon learned that, in truth that the ship I had joined was really pirates. But I was a better life than I had so I didn't complain. Soon I took a shine to pirates and the life. And that would be my next long combined list of sins from the ages of ten to fifteen. But then one fateful day the good Lord decided to take another parent figure from my life. It was in a pirate raid, we had lost most of the crew and the captain was mortally wounded, we managed to escape barely.
Well the ship was all but lost, but at least I had six members of the bless them rowdiest crew alive and my captain alive at the time of the escape, Being the only thing to kin he had, I was shocked to the waves to say I got his business and his title. I was the Duchess of Manlayn. He had lived long enough to get him to his little hut by the shore in Manlayn and buried we him there. Those six pirates were loyal I can tell you, all took an oath to work under me. I was only fifteen and had six pirates, one small ship and the property of Manlayn to my name. With those few things I set out to see that justice was paid to the death of my captain, and to the poor."
"Child, you became a pirate captain at fifteen? I am truly at a loss to say to console you" Mumbled the preacher, shaking his head in disbelief.
"Iy, all true preacher, all true. It was in the last two years that I sinned the most an known that I did it. I became a ruthless pirate captain, I with my six pirates started out small robbing and pillaging corrupted merchant companies, with in six months I with my crew, ruled over most of the east coast. We moved quick and silent, they never knew what hit them. I held to my oath to help the poor, I would take half of the booty an' I'd give it to the poor through donations and such sometimes right to them, I hired many poor and out of work men to work my land, to build me ships for a fleet, I would take in orphans to give them a home, and do what I could. Don't let that fool you though preacher, I saw that look in your eyes, you thinking I did was good and kind not worthy of being here, well now I have to get ruthless and tell you the dark side of this pirate, I hunted down the man that killed my captain. I killed him in cold blood, while he slept. I have killed many times, I am a murderer of soulless men. Preacher these hands, Look at them preacher these hands!"
From such a shock all the preacher could do was look at my hands, as if to see fresh blood dripping from them. But all he could see was cuffs and a little gold cross.
"These hands preacher, have killed men, many men, have robbed them, and tortured with them, but preacher I an' a saint, but I an' the devil, I'm only human. I tried to do what was right for the less fortunate for me, but I did what I didn't want to do I killed the poor to do it, oh never the poor in possessions but those with out kindness, an' no humility in there soul those with need to be given the good Lord's goodness."
"Child, harshness has ruled your life; these sins are in the Lord's to sort out. You must tell me though at the start you said you got out of the slums, at least for a while, what happened child?" The preacher seemed to beg to know.
"Well preacher that gets me to my next step of my story, and how I got here. It was about two months ago I had gone back to the slums where I was born and grew up. I was looking for; oh bless it be my mothers old stomping grounds to see if any of the gals were still there that would remember me. I found one. She was so much older than I remembered her to be, that would be Lily. She was the woman that would watch me when my mother was working. I ended up staying there with her to help her out I started to pay off her debts, but before I could get her out of there one of the crew members of a ship I had just raided had come in, for a lady that night, but saw me instead as I rushed to get Lily out, he had gotten the militia to stop me what did he think I had there my entire crew with me, hn, well good thing I left them with instructions to carry on without me as we would normally do if I was there and that I have in a sealed envelope chosen my hire to my title and all my comes with it.
Well I was taken before the judge, jury and, prosecutor all in one, the 'good' governor of this area, all my case consisted of was me walking in, my name being said, the governor looking at me, and him saying I was guilty of murder, the sentence, execution. That I think has got to be the quickest trial ever. And here I am preacher been here for two days waiting for this day."
"Child, I have heard your story yet I still do not know your name I know your life, your title, accomplishments, and your sins, but your name I still do not know. You told me I would know soon enough, but I still do not know. May I be so bold as to hardily request to tell me now?"
"Preacher, preacher you do not yet know my name oh I thought telling you that I was a female pirate captain would surly tell you, or maybe my title certainly, oh preacher you so kindly sat here for me all this time, I will tell you. I am not a thief I stole nothing that wasn't aready stole, I am a murderer I killed the soulless, I an' no saint, but I an' no demon from hell either, all I am is just a pirate girl with dreams of being known as a modern day Robin Hood. I am known as Captain Black Charity, but that's not my true birth name. That is Serendipity De luc'. Don't tell any one that, it has been kept secret for years."
"Alright Serendipity De luc' I shall keep your name quiet. Your true name I shall keep my secret under vow of the cloth."
"Preacher may I ask you to do something for me?"
"What is it my child?"
"Will you please tell others of my tale so that they may know that I was not just a cold hearted murderer but that I did have a kind loving side as well? Also my I carry this little gold cross with me to my end; I do not want to feel alone in my last moments of life."
The preacher looking at me contemplatively, and then nodded his head, yes. "Thank ye preacher, you know this little gold cross just may save my soul."
Just then the guard called out, "Pray time is up, buzzard bait, time for you to go to the gallows." As I heard him thumping down the hall.
"Well Preacher its time for you to go, thank you for listening to me for this last hour. It's good to know I will at least be remembered in one mind for my whole story."
"God speed Serendipity." Was the last thing the preacher said to me as he was lead out of the cell and out the door of the prison. The guards came back both smug that I was a female and in chains that had no key left for them, that they didn't even draw there pistols. They just put me in between them and walked me toward the door to the gallows when I suddenly lurched forward toward the guard before me and grabbed at his waist. He pushed me back into line. We kept going when suddenly I smirked. As a clang resounded through the hall I aimed the pistol at guard in front of me and pulled the trigger, and shouted as I ran, "I told you preacher that little gold cross just may save my soul."
Ten Years Later ...........