About the Book
Author: Kirk Weddell
Release Date: 26th November 2019
Genre: Literary Fiction
Page Count: 332
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon
Kerrigan – the cantankerous lighthouse keeper of a remote Irish island has been
estranged from his only brother Patrick for most of his adult life. His only
solace has come from immersing himself in the legend of a long lost treasure
belonging to the wreck of a Spanish Armada galleon that is rumored to be hidden
beneath his light.
after tunneling in vain for years, Owen is issued with a sudden eviction
notice. In desperation, with only days left to find the gold, Owen begrudgingly
asks his brother for help. Hoping it may help to rebuild their relationship
after more than thirty years of silence, Patrick reluctantly agrees.
they attempt to unearth the fortune, Owen becomes increasingly drawn to Ellen,
an enchanting descendant of the Pirate Queen – Grace O’Malley, who ruled the
island at the time of the Armada.
Owen’s imminent eviction looms, they race to solve the riddles ingrained in the
ancient folklore of the island
and realize that Ellen may unwittingly hold a vital clue to finding the treasure. But the rift which kept the brothers apart for so long threatens to thwart both Patrick’s hopes of reconciliation and Owen’s dream of finding the fabled hoard.
Pedro de Mendoza, the war-weary Captain of El Gran Grin, roared out a loud,
crude sailor’s oath when the deck dropped from under his feet and slapped the
lid from his hand. The heavy laden chest slid, leaving more furrows in the already
torn plank floor of his quarters. The twenty-eight-gun galleon tossed him off
his feet, and he ended up half sitting, half lying, on his sea and rain-soaked
slammed into the wall, rattling a lantern that had long-since blown out. Don
Pedro gritted his teeth and sucked in a hissing breath. His entire body
tensed—then the ship lurched again, forward this time. Don Pedro took as deep a
breath as he could, sucking in enough rain and salt spray to make him choke. He
pushed himself off his bunk and, with the practiced gait of a veteran seaman,
danced his way across his cabin to the chest, which obliged by sliding neatly
The lid had slammed
closed, and Don Pedro checked one set of iron hinges with his bruised,
almost-numb right hand and the other with a quick glance. If they bent any
more, locking it would be a waste of time.
“¡Capitán!” a man called
from the doorway—Don Pedro hadn’t heard the door open, or at least hadn’t been
able to pick that sound out from the racket of his ship being ripped to
splinters on the jagged rocks.
“¡Fuera!” Don Pedro roared
back, pressing down with all his considerable weight on the lid of the chest.
He blinked up at the seaman who stared back at him, eyes wide, blood pouring
from under his hairline to mix with the rain and paint his face a livid orange
in the flickering illumination of the nearly constant lightning.
“¡Las rocas!” the sailor shrieked back.
Don Pedro lunged
at him, riding the heave of the deck under his feet to crash hard into the man.
He took up the sailor’s torn and drenched tunic in his fists and bellowed into
his face, “¡Vete, perro estúpido!”
He pushed the
sailor back out of the door. For a moment Don Pedro thought the sailor had
slapped him across the face, but then his mouth filled with a rain-drenched
cloth. He grabbed at it as he half-fell, half-stepped back into his cabin. The
door slammed in front of him, striking the toe of his thick leather boot and
sending a knife of pain up his leg. He swore again and tumbled back, and the
lightning illuminated the cloth—a tattered quarter of the pennant of the
Squadron of Biscay.
Tossing the flag
aside, he fell to his knees and cast out on both sides for anything to grab
onto. The ship lurched again, and he huffed out a breath but managed to stay on
his knees at least. Lightning flashed bright and close, and he could finally
see the ruin his cabin had become—heirlooms lost, charts soaked and torn, glass
and splintered wood everywhere. The cabin leaned hard to the port side. Thunder
crashed above him, so loud his ears began to ring.
The chest slid
past him, following the thunder with the grinding sound of its iron bindings
once again tearing through the decking. The chest caught something Don Pedro
couldn’t see, and then it tumbled over.
“¡No!” he shouted, but the
chest tipped to one side, then plowed the rest of the way into the wall.
flashed again, revealing the blazing reflection of a mountain of gold coins—a
king’s ransom, a treasure no man could ever turn his back on, a fortune worth a
hundred galleons of Spain—all to pay for safe passage home in case of capture.
Ransom money for a ship and crew not yet held hostage. It was more gold than
Don Pedro had ever dreamed existed in any one place, let alone that he’d ever
be trusted with its safe passage.
Don Pedro surged
to his feet and took two long steps, then fell onto the chest. The ship rocked
under him again and there came a splintering crash—wood ripping itself apart. “El mástil,” he whispered to himself. He
couldn’t hear the words over the sound of the mast coming away, but the feel of
the words on his lips made his flesh crawl. “Dios,”
he cried, “¡Dios me ayude!”
And he pushed
the lid closed. A few of the coins slid away as the ship rocked again, not
coming back to center but listing ever more to port with each deafening crash.
The gale whistled, so he couldn’t hear the coins bounce away, couldn’t hear the
sound of the lid finally coming closed. He’d saved most of them—lost only a
how many men? he thought.
Don Pedro shook
that thought out of his head, spray whipping from his dense gray beard. He
caught sight of himself in the mirror his wife had given him— just a glimpse as
it rolled past to shatter against the wall. He looked older—older even than he
felt. The lines in his face were deep, the bags under his eyes deeper still.
Holding the lid
closed with his whole body weight, Don Pedro tore the ornate gold key from the
chain around his neck. Holding tight to the bow, beautifully, lovingly shaped
into a crown-and-anchor. He made three attempts to stab it into the keyhole of
the big black iron lock while his ship broke apart. He could hear it being torn
to shreds, and he screamed in harmony with it.
The deck dropped
from under him, and the chest slid away. Don Pedro turned the key to lock the
chest, then yanked it from the hole as he fell back and his head slammed
against … something. His bunk? The ship listed harder to port. He held on to
the side of his bunk with his left hand to keep from sliding. The portside
bulkhead came away then, revealing the storm-tossed sea only a few feet beneath
across the sky, and he could see land.
“Dios me ayude,” he said,
squinting into the rain, his words drowned out by the roar of thunder.
He put the heavy gold key to his lips and kissed it, and the deck fell out from under him. The cold sea surged in, and to Don Pedro de Mendoza it felt as though the whole of the ocean had fallen atop him. He grabbed for something, anything to keep him from the water and the rocks. His fingers found cold steel—he couldn’t see what it was—but before he could register that perhaps he’d saved himself, whatever he held came free of whatever held it and he was falling. The air was driven from his lungs, and he closed his eyes so he couldn’t see himself taken from his ship, from his command, from his treasure, to die on the cruel rocks of a foreign shore.
About the Author
Kirk Weddell is an award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker; Brothers is his first novel and is based on his earlier Writers Store Grand Prize winning screenplay. After graduating with a degree in neuroscience, Weddell moved into writing; his science fiction screenplay Alone was shortlisted for the prestigious Oscar Academy Nicholl Fellowship in 2016 and is entering production next year, and his short film Dutch Bird won numerous awards at International Film Festivals. Weddell lives in Wimbledon, South London.
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