I’m not proficient concerning the ways of the sea or about ships. This series is completely written for fun and for you all to read and enjoy. Sorry to all those who are in love with 19th-century ships.
Also, this story does contain small amounts of violence, so if that is a concern, please read at your own discretion.
Several Weeks Earlier:
“You have done foolish things before Will, but this–drunk, in class!” Joseph Devon tightened his hand into a fist. He wanted to strike his desk but no, that would only fuel his anger. “Do you know what shame you’ve brought to our family? You made your mother weep. All your classmates will have no doubt spread the word of you and your friends’ indiscretion, and your schoolmaster is threatening to expel you!” Joseph looked into his son’s eyes. “How could you?”
“It was only this time! I swear!”
“Don’t lie to me,” Joseph said evenly. “Last month you put glue into your schoolmaster’s ledger, you nearly killed a fellow schoolmate by daring him to dangle from his fingertips out a third-story window, and now this, going to class drunk! And that’s not the worst of it! You went out with the very same boys I told you to stay away from.” Joseph’s voice dropped. “Drunk or not, you disobeyed your mother and me.”
“I don’t care.”
Joseph ground his fist into the wood of his desk. He needed to stay calm. Needed to be gentle, yet firm. “Do not speak to me like that.”
A flicker of remorse passed across Will’s face. He looked down at the floor.
“Your mother and I want you to have a good life. We want you to make good decisions—” Joseph paused. This was hurting him as much as he knew it would hurt Will. “We can’t trust you anymore, son. You aren’t allowed to leave the house.”
“That’s not fair! You’re the one making up all the horrible rules! Why can’t you let me be like the other boys? Their family doesn’t care what they do. Why do you always have to preach to me?”
Resentment burned in Will’s eyes and angry tears shown in his eyes. Joseph wanted to reach out and pull his son close and make his anger and pain go away. But he couldn’t. Will wouldn’t understand. Joseph had never really shown him that sort of affection before.
Joseph remembered the day he had held his newborn son in his arms and vowed to bring his son up right. To show him the ways of the Almighty. To guide him with a strict yet loving hand.
As a young child, Will had tried his best to obey them. He would usually burst into tears when he knew he had done something wrong and go to his mother to confess.
Everything was different now. Will was sixteen. He had a mind of his own and a nature that resented authority and rules.
Joseph blinked, two tears rolled down his face. Will was still standing there in front of him, arms crossed, and look of defiance on his face.
Joseph rubbed a hand across his eyes. “How long until—”
Will glowered. “How long do I have to stay in the house?”
“Until I say so.”
Joseph listened to the angry footsteps of his son as he went up the stairs. That went well. He leaned his arms against his desk and hung his head. He remembered all too clearly the other fights. The other boy standing in his study. His firstborn. It has happened years ago but it was still raw. Still painful. He had done everything wrong with his firstborn. Given him everything he wanted, unrestrained fun, no rules, no guidance. Damon had run away right before Will had been born. Joseph still didn’t know the whereabouts of his oldest son, or even if he was still alive.
Joseph groaned. Why did his sons have to be so much like him? Stubborn and rebellious. Should he tell Will about Damon? Tell him how his older brother had disappeared?
No. Will had to want to do the right thing. He had to decide for himself how he was going to live his life.
He had never had a strong relationship with his son. Joseph guarded his heart and kept his youngest son at arm’s length. He loved Will but he couldn’t bring himself to grow close to the boy. What if he lost him somehow? He wouldn’t be able to bear it.
I’m under the impression that I’ll most likely be writing short story parts like this one. When I write for too long it starts to get choppy and stilted. Hopefully, I can write another part tomorrow.
What do you think? Is Will’s father being too hard on him? Has there ever been a circumstance in your life where you remembered what your parents taught you and made the right decision? Do you think Joseph should tell his son about Damon or is it better to leave well enough alone?