The Place of Bones

The spirit of competition over at Indies Unlimited and their flash fiction challenge is going strong. There are a decent number of entries to choose from right now. As always I would like to share my entry along with the written prompt before you head over to the voting site (to vote for me of course).

The Place of Bones

the place of bones

photo by K. S. Brooks

The Place of Bones. That is what the English prisoners called it. The Spanish had a more pleasant sounding name for it, but the English nickname stuck, and for good reason.

It mattered very little to the men inside, for they comprised their own nation, bound together in misery and released only by death.

But in 1682, John Deane was brought to the prison fortress. John was well-known among the Brethren of the Coast. He’d been caught and tried and sentenced to hang in half a dozen ports. Somehow John always managed to slip away. The men tried to tell him that this time it would be different.

John laughed and said, “Gentlemen, I’ve not come to steal away in the dark this time. No, we shall all leave together, and with all the Spanish gold we can carry.”…

The details set in place, John looked over his plans again. The simple plan showed genius, at least in his eyes. In the past his escapes ran along more complicated lines. But this wasn’t an escape.

The Spanish kept uprisings down through isolation. Prisoners maintained limited contact and individual cells. John changed that. Several of his men preceded him to the Place of Bones. They brought his working code, a series of whistles and bird calls, and trained other inmates in the new language. Prisoner communication, cooperation, and morale built to a level unheard of before this.

The plan began with a small group, team leaders that trained their own groups. They lacked the discipline of a crack military unit, but for prisoners they came close. Their lack of weapons did little to deter their determination. Tools to fashion makeshift weapons were readily at hand. These weapons looked and performed as simple tools allowing them to remain hidden till they were called to action.

The dark skies on the morning of the riot that changed it all, held ominous portents. Morning formations and duty transfers happened as they did everyday. It was the call of the hawk from John Deane that changed the course of the prisoner’s lives.

A concerted revolution with little more than workmen’s tools overpowered the guards and their weapons of war. The tides turned for the Spanish that day when the English worked together for their own greater good.

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