I started this under the assumption I would submit it to Port Cos' writing contest, but I'm pretty sure that date has come and gone. Having finished it though, and having no other ideas what to do with it, I figured I'd post it here. Maybe some of you will have a laugh.
I haven't seen anyone write about the ugly women of Gor, but they're out there ..
---The Sea-Bosk Saga
Thassa was a starving whore, and he debated throwing the girl overboard to sate her.
"Please! Take me back to Cos!" she pleaded, clutching Tel's leg as the small vessel crested yet another rolling wave. He was sure the hull would split before they'd even pass the Tamber Gulf.
"Be still!" He shouted, shaking his leg to knock the girl's quivering fingers away.
She recoiled, rolling unceremoniously toward some of the ships rigging.
"Save me!" She demanded mid-tumble, her voice almost lost to the screaming sea.
The girl managed to grab a fistful of cordage and stop herself, belly dragging across the damp planks loudly enough to compete with the storm.
She whipped about, before slamming into the dozen paga barrels that were intended to cover most of the journeys cost. Her girth shattered one of the containers, sending a slosh of amber liquid into the roving waters.
Tel saw the lanyards loosen, and the remaining barrels begin sliding against the bulwark. They were about to lose half their cargo to raging Thassa.
"Bosk!" He shouted, removing his arm from the sails ropes and skating across the teetering deck. He caught the opposite edge of the ship, but his momentum sent his feet careening over.
His knuckles whitened instantly as he held himself above the foaming sea water, wide-eyes staring through the slits of the ships railing. He could smell the bitter, paga drenched wood, the salty scent of Thassa kissing the bottom of his boots.
He looked toward the helm of the ship and saw the sky shattered by another strike of lightning. Above, the prison moon shone like a ghost in the night sky, but even its light was lost beneath the threatening black below.
"Master!" Came a concern ridden squeal from the girl. It was a noise that could make a lesser man let go of the ship altogether.
The clouds became gray blotches against a ceaseless sky, with a second charge of lightning thrashing the horizon. Tel watched in horror as the violence made a silhouette out of the next approaching wave, one that was nearly vertical.
He struggled feverishly to pull himself back onto the ship. His boots were overflowing with water, weighing him down as if the soul of the sea wouldn't allow him to leave. The trade cog began lifting out of the water, completely at the mercy of the storm; the Cimmerian succubus who would inhale them all to their end.
He took a deep breath, and prepared himself for what would become his grave. No final words, no prayer, just warrior's readiness for Thassa's cold, enveloping fingers.
"Hurry!" She screamed with a pleading voice from overhead. It was the girl, his newly acquired bosk-like slave extending what may as well be a hoof in his direction.
The sound of her voice reverberated through him like a northern chill, shattering whatever peace he'd made for himself in the few, fleeting moments he had left. With a grunt, his soaked hand met hers, and with her weight wedged somehow to the ship, she managed to hoist him back onto the deck.
Tel landed face first, exhausted, but he forced himself to throw an arm back through the ropes of the sails. An uneasy silence came over both of them as the helm of the ship struggled to break over the next crest. For a moment, his body dangled clean from the vessel, extended above the collapsing turmoil that had almost claimed him.
There was a lull, an almost deadly calm that lingered before the boat crashed back into the water. His eyes were shut tightly, not wanting his last vision to be of the girl creating a tsunami of her own as she plummeted into the water. He pictured beautiful slaves, and what his death might have looked like if he hadn't boarded the floating coffin.
He waited, expecting to hear the splintering hull rip straight through the ship's centre. He waited, not even breathing, in a silence that felt like a second lifetime.
Tel had 'won' this girl in a game of Kaissa, played between other merchant ships in Post Cos. He was promised a recent trophy, plucked from the tower-bridges of Ar, a free woman to collar at his discretion.
He'd hardly looked at her again after removing her veil, and knew why old Azah seemed to lose intentionally. In truth, the woman turned slave would look more at home tugging covered wagons across the Plains of Turia.
They looked at each other, their expressions reading as if unsure if they were still alive. The girl broke the silence, her plump lips pursed as if expecting reward for her act of heroism.
"Am I beautiful?" She asked with an inflexion in her tone that suggested Tel's near death experience had somehow caused blindness.
Tel frowned, looking down at their linked hands now red beneath the strain of the ropes. "I've decided to keep you," he said.
The girl's hideous, upturned nose wiggled with what he assumed was excitement. Her fingers trembled like cooking sausages over a fire, and she spun about as if in the throes of passion -- a one woman stampede pirouetting on what was almost his death bed.
Tel did what he could to stomach the action, even though his guts were still churning. "I will call you anchor, and if you ask me if you're beautiful again, I will test your name when we hit landfall."
The girl. His.. 'Anchor,' stomped her foot as Tel's words snuffed out her display.
But Tel ignored her now, unlinking his arm from the rigging and leaning over the edge. The storm had quieted, and the first strokes of dawn began to paint the distant darkness.
As he calmed, he started laughing. He'd been saved by the same girl he expected to collar. Still, he couldn't help but wonder that if she displeased him, how much of a splash she would make.
'Veils too, are a type of poison'