PodCastle 383: Abandoned Responsibility

by G. Scott Huggins
read by Wilson Fowlie

First published in Fantastical Visions IV, edited by William H. Horner. (Still available on Amazon.)

“Ah, Captain.” The pirate bowed. His accent was crisp and strange, and the crowd hushed as they strained to listen. “I thank you for your hospitality—”

Haraad cut him off with his usual tact. “The captain . . . has better things to do. I’m his son. And we aren’t rescuing you, pirate.”

The stranger’s odds would have been better a year ago, with the captain, but he had taken sick. And Haraad was just enough of a sailor to see Ekkaia safely back to the Grove. But there was no way for this man to know that.

The stranger’s face fell. “I was afraid of that,” he said calmly. “I don’t suppose you’d believe me if I told you that our, ah . . . situation . . . has changed?”

The crowd laughed, Haraad loudest of all. It was an oily, ugly sound. But even Responsibility felt the laughter well up in her for an instant. Pirates change? One might as well ask the sunspike to move! Ever since the First Fleet split, the Near Islands had been rife with pirates. It did not look good for the pirate, alone on a Century Ship.

Rated PG-13

G. Scott Huggins lives with his wife, three kids, and cat in Wichita, KS (no Oz jokes, please) where he makes the history of the world awesome enough that high-schoolers pay attention. He has six stories coming out this year in various venues (maybe more by the time you hear this)! Of note is his very-nearly-award winning story, “Phoenix For The Amateur Chef” coming out in November in Sword and Sorceress 30 from MZB Works. It was runner-up for the Baen Adventure Fantasy Award in 2014. You can find him on Facebook.

Wilson Fowlie has been reading stories out loud since the age of 4, and credits any talent he has in this area to his parents, who are both excellent at reading aloud. He has been narrating stories for more people than his own family since late 2008 and has narrated for PodCastle, Escape Pod and Pseudopod, as well as StarShipSofa, Protecting Project Pulp, Crime City Central, Tales To Terrify, Beam Me Up, Cast Macabre, Dunesteef Audio Fiction magazine and the Journey Into… podcast. In real life he’s a web developer and also the director of a community show chorus called The Maple Leaf Singers.