The Davy Stuart Trilogy
You will be able to follow my progress in publishing the first of my two books in the trilogy. A maritime adventure story with more twists than a corkscrew.
Davy Stuart "Fight or Flight"
The first of three books telling the story of a young shipwright from Leith in the later part of the 18th century.
Please note that the story contains adult content. The first couple of pages are shown here as a taster.
The docks were the darkest and most desolate place to hide. So, without even thinking Davy followed Pat. They could hear the crowd that had gathered outside the pub, baying for blood. Although they could not make out what was being said, the boys knew they were all over the other side of the road, looking down into the blackness of the water of Leith. Bob his old friend from pre-school days, instinctively knew when to save his own skin and fuck anyone else – they knew he had long fled the scene.
Davy and Pat ran, half stumbling, along the cobbled streets down the shore, making it through the unattended dock gates. They came to a halt, gasping for breath, sweating with the sudden burst of adrenalin induced by fear and exhilaration. Davy was in some pain, still in a state of shock, as he rested against the stack of new timber awaiting a horse-drawn wagon to take it to the mills.
Fear was now taking hold of him; for the first time in ages he was beginning to panic, and the smells from the timber were over-powering, making him retch. He rested his good hand on the wood, which was immediately covered in the sap from the still-drying timber. It was funny how small things could still bother him. It was then that Pat grabbed him by the collar of his torn shirt and started to slap him hard across the face. Just as Davy was about to retaliate he came back to his senses. He could now hear what Pat was trying to tell him.
“We have to get you well out of here, Davy boy and the only way I can think of right now is by sea.” Pat’s sweating face was very close to Davy. “I can get you on the ship that’s taking me, but you need to do exactly as I fuckin tell you.”
Davy nodded, not really sure what Pat meant, nor the implications of what had just happened. I’ve killed that bastard, Tazz, Davy slowly realised, and while he may well have deserved it, the judge would not see things that way. Davy would hang for it if the authorities managed to get a hold of him. With this sudden knowledge, Davy felt himself sinking down the timber pile.
“What the fuck am I gonna do now, Pat,” he blurted out. “I think I’ve killed the bastard.”
Pat replied once again that his only hope now was to get the fuck out of Scotland, as far away and fast as possible. He grabbed Davy, half dragging him, and in a cold voice, ordering to move.
They ventured back out into the dim light of the cobbled roadway that formed one of the quaysides of the dock and moved on further into the dark interior. By now Davy was half-unconscious with a loss of blood from the stab wound. It was like nothing he could ever explain to someone else, what it was like to have a blade go in. He was only half aware of the form of a ship looming up in the half-light, then being hauled up the gangway by Pat.
He vaguely remembered Pat having a conversation with someone on the ship but he could not be sure… it all seemed like a nightmare. He was sure that he would wake up soon; it would be time to swing out of bed, get ready for another day's graft in the shipyard.
Previous articles have included work for Ships Monthly in the U.K.
Previous articles have included work for Professional Mariner magazine in the U.S.A.
I have presented papers to the Royal Institute of Navel Architects in London on the restoration of Historic Ships.
To be continued