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  • Writer's pictureGrace A. Johnson

ABC Tag!

Y’all, I dunno about this tag. This is gonna be tough! The ABC tag requires you to write a story with 26 sentences, each sentence beginning with a letter in alphabetical order...and lemme tell y’all, Vanessa Hall made it look EASY! She’s to blame for saddling me with this tough challenge, and her pirate story was sooo good! Y’all can read it here!

Thanks again, Vanessa, for the tag! Fingers crossed I can do it justice!

Also...I just so happen to be doing a nautical-themed story as well...not to steal the idea from Vanessa, but because one of the best x-words out there happens to be a type of ship. Go figure.


The Rules

Thank the person who nominated you and link back to the original blog! (Thank you, Vanessa!!)

  • Include the hastily constructed graphic in your post! (lol)

  • You must write a 26 sentence story each sentence starting with a letter from the alphabet. (Example, first sentence starts with a, second with b, third with c, and down through the whole alphabet!)

  • Nominate 7 bloggers or writers to do the challenge!

  • Have fun! (And try not to get stuck on x and z….lol…)


The Story

Across the vast sea, wind ripples and rends the water, causing waves to form and crash against the shore. Billows roll until they break against the hull of my father’s ship, water scattering like a handful of chaff in the wind. Carefully, I withdraw my spyglass, its smooth, slender body cool to my touch. Don’t you dare drop this one, Leonia Drago, or you’ll be paying for the next. Ever since I carelessly let Papá’s scope slip from my fingers and bust last month, I was—how is it?—on the needles and pins with every other precious sailing instrument of his I touched. For after that incident, I knew my father wasn’t joking when he said he was protective of his possessions. God only knew what Papá would do if I broke his brand new spyglass.

His ship, his career as a prosperous merchant ship captain, they are his life...and they were both nearly wrenched from his hands by the vile doings of corsairs, you see. I’ve heard the tale enough times to know how deeply that close call with pirates affected my father. Just as you can imagine, anything and everything pertaining to his life on the sea is of utmost value...even the simplest spyglass.

Keenly, I peer through the scope and survey the horizon. Languid waves continue their dance, each crest like the ruffles of twirling skirts. My hand lowers from my face as I pull back from the taffrail of the main deck and cross to the opposite side, where the sun hangs low in the sky. Nary a ship or creature meets my gaze...until I tighten the scope and a shadowy speck becomes a ship. O Dio, have mercy. Pirates, I know that’s what they are, for the ship is slim and sleek, with both lateen sails and oars. Quite common in this area, off the coast of North Africa, and favored by Barbary corsairs, the xebec is, coveted for its speed and maneuverability, and probably designed by pirates themselves! Regardless, corsairs...especially corsairs sailing on a xebec...are the very last people we want to be visited by. Ships such as ours are laden with fine fabrics and dyes, rich wine and oil, delicious dates and nuts and spices—all items of great worth. Trading our valuable goods will make us a pretty florin, but losing all our cargo? Unthinkable!

Very probable, however, if my calculations are correct. We could never outrun the xebec, not even if port is a knot away.

“Xebec!” I cry as panic builds up in my chest, my heart slamming against my breast. “You must come quick, Papá!”

Zagging past ropes and barrels, my father charges across the deck to where I stand, immediately snagging the spyglass as his face hardens and his eyes turn to granite.


Dude. That was actually fun! I honestly can’t believe I did it! Of course, my brain decided that this would be the perfect time to forget the order of the alphabet, so I had to rearrange some things, but I’m rather pleased with how it turned out! (Anyone else interested in what happens next???)

I’ll never take the freedom of beginning a sentence with whatever letter I choose for granted again.

Now, for the tagees!

I Tag…

AND YOU!! Tag piracy is always encouraged ‘round ‘ere, ye know! *winks*

For those of y'all who don't have blogs, you're welcome to accept the challenge in the comments! I'd love to see what y'all come up with! *grins*

Yours in spirit and script,


#blogtag #abctag #tagyoureit #writiing #flashfiction #shortstory #writing #pirates

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