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The Morning Star

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Morgan and Claire run away one night to escape Claire's abusive father. They stumble upon a ship and thought this would be an easy way out. They should have known since their life has never been easy, this wouldn't be. The plan was simple start over, but that wasn't the case. The ship they stumbled upon was not a regular ship. It was a pirate ship and it's captain was out for revenge. Morgan and Claire now find themselves at the mercy of this Captain. They're a long ways from land and won't be docking anywhere soon. Morgan must find a way to make sure her and Claire survive.

Chapter 1

****Warning: book contains scenes of physical abuse, sexual content, violence, adult content, and foul language. Some scenes may be triggers to some and are not appropriate for all ages. Thank you for reading- S.E Dymek****

Escape:

She couldn't see her hand in front of her face; heart pounding in her chest. She could feel her lungs burning inside of it. A pair of small arms clung around her neck. Hanging on for life. As she forced her legs to keep running.

Run. Run. Run.

The word screaming in her head. She could feel her legs getting weak. No. She couldn't stop. Branches of passing trees scratched and pulled at her skin as if they were trying to stop them. She knew it was coming and she hated herself. Something caught her foot and they fell forward.

"Claire!" Morgan yelled in between gasping breaths.

She got up from the ground shaking. With only the moonlight and the trees blocking most of the light, she could barely see.

"Claire!" She yelled again panicking.

She needed to find her. They couldn't stay here much longer. She heard a small groan come from the side of her and that's when she saw her outline. Morgan rushed to her side and began checking her over.

"Claire, are you hurt? You ok?" Morgan said, brushing the blond hair from her face and studying her.

"I'm ok. Are you?" Claire asked, getting to her feet.

"Ok we gotta go now." Morgan said, taking Claire's hand in hers.

"Can you run?" She asked Claire.

"I think so. Do you think he's-" before Claire could finish her sentence she was pulled backwards away from Morgan.

"YOU little bitches." He slurred as he threw Claire.

Claire's poor body slung across the dirt floor of the woods. He chuckled and started back after her clenching. his fist. He couldn't wait to rip her apart.

Morgan didn't wait. She ran straight at him and threw herself on to his back. She locked her forearms around his throat; Squeezing as tight as she could. He wasn't going to touch Claire again. He began choking and flapping his arms wildly. His nails drug into her skin leaving deep scratches. She gritted her teeth and tried to squeeze even tighter. He started to fight less and a spark of hope filled Morgan's gut. She eased up. With all his might he slammed backwards into a tree. The bark of the tree ripped into her flesh. She hung on to him with everything she had. He slammed her again and again into the tree. Each time she felt her skin scraping and ripping. Her grip wavered as her head bounced off the tree. He seized his opportunity, grabbing her arm and throwing her forward into the ground.

Morgan laid there stunned. Her body felt like it had shattered. She could hear him catching his breath in between coughs. Get up, move. Get up!! She screamed to herself. She rolled to her side trying to get up. She heard him coming for her. She frantically tried to get to her feet. His footsteps crunching on leaves as they neared her.

"B*tch!" He yelled, kicking her in the ribs.

The kick sent the wind out of Morgan. She gasped trying to s*ck air in, as another kick was delivered.

"Morgan to the rescue. Always have to save the day. F*ck*ng B*tch" he screamed spit pouring out of his mouth.

He cranked his leg back and kicked her again. Morgan curled into herself trying to block the incoming blows. She heard another scream.

"Leave her alone! Stop it!!" Claire screamed at him.

"Almost forgot about you. You. You should have died. She should be here and you should be dead." He growled drunkenly seeing Claire.

Raged filled his eyes as he started towards Claire. She heard Claire yell and try to get away from him. Morgan stumbled to her feet. Her mind screamed at her that she needed to do something. She couldn't take much more and she couldn't go down. Claire needed her. He held Claire by her blond hair.

"Hey!" Morgan yelled at him.

He grumbles seeing her back on her feet. He dropped Claire and turned around to face her.

"Ya just can't stay down! Always gotta get up!! I'll make sure you can't get up! Ever again this time!" He cursed charging towards her.

Morgan dropped to the ground as he neared her. Swing her legs at his, sending him to the ground with a thud. She went to move towards Claire. She felt his hand grip her ankle and yank her down. He was on his knees dragging her back towards him. Morgan tried to twist away but he had too strong of a grip. He flipped her over and began to lean over her. She threw her knee up connecting with his stomach. When he lurched forward from the blow; she smashed her elbow into the side of his face. Blood immediately started to pour from his nose. She shoved him off; as he began to gasp and hold his nose.

Standing she studied him praying that they were done, maybe he just let them go. That thought was shattered as he stood up. She glanced back at Claire who was watching in horror.

"Claire run. Just go." Morgan urged her.

"I'm not leaving you." Claire said through tears.

"Its ok. I'll find you. Just go "Morgan said her eyes focused on the stumbling angry mess making its way towards her.

His paces quickened and Morgan braced herself as he started to charge at her.

"Morgan!" Claire screamed as something was forced into Morgan's hand.

She didn't know what Claire gave her but she gripped it and swung as he charged at her. It connected with his skull and there was a loud bone snapping sound that echoed through the silent woods. He hit the ground lifeless. Morgan stood there shaking holding a large tree limb in her hand. Blood smeared down the side of it, as she waited for him to get back up.

Nothing happened. Claire approached her slowly and tugged on her hand.

"Come on." She whispered, staring as well at his body.

Morgan snapped out of it and scooped Claire and took off running.

She wasn't sure how long she ran for but it seemed like forever. The sun was just starting to come up as her feet hit warm sand. Touching the sand ; she collapsed. She just had to get away. As far as possible. Claire tumbled into the sand next to her.

Claire was seven years old but much older in spirit. She had to be. She was a very tiny thing and looked just like her late mother. Long soft golden blond hair and eyes as blue as the sky. Claire laid there looking at the sky. She could smell the salt in the air and without looking knew they were on a beach. She sat up and looked at Morgan. She collapsed on the sand exhausted, bruised, bloody, and beaten. Claire's stomach turned in knots. It was all her fault.

Maybe her father was right. Maybe if she would have died instead of her mother none of this would be happening. Morgan wouldn't constantly be taking her beatings. Who knows what better life Morgan would have had if she never existed.

Claire's mother died not during childbirth. She didn't know if that made it worse. Claire's mother died when she was four. It was winter and Claire had somehow managed to wander out of her house. Not too far from the house there was a lake. They would fetch water most days from it. With it being so cold it froze over. Claire wanted to help her mother and get water. She wandered out towards the lake and the opening in the ice. To this day she could still hear the echoing of the cracking of the ice. She can still feel the stinging burning sensation on her flesh as she crashes through the ice. Letting a loud scream out as her body sank. She remembers giving up and giving into the darkness. Then warm arms reached in, pulling her out with such force she slid across the ice towards the shore. She scooted herself to land and went to look for her mother who should have been right behind her.

She looked back and saw her mother on her belly trying to slowly make her away across the ice. The cracking of the ice echoing around the lake.

"Momma!" Claire called to her.

The look on her mothers face as the cracking became faster and louder. That look and sound is forever etched in Claire's mind.

"I love you." She yelled to her as she sunk into the icy water.

Claire's mom didn't know how to swim and with the water being so cold she didn't stand a chance. Claire sat on the shore screaming for help until her voice was gone. Her father had gone to town to get supplies. Claire had tried everything she could, getting sticks, yelling and begging for her mother to come back. Her father came looking for them, the look of horror on his face when he realized what had happened. He raced out onto the ice breaking pieces of it trying to find her and then carrying her mother's lifeless body out of the lake.

She still remembers the look that he gave her at four years old as he walked by carrying her mother's dead body.

"Momma?" She whispered; the look of such hatred and rage he shot her turned her stomach

He left her there on the shore to freeze. when Morgan had finally came home and rushed to find her. She scooped her up in a blanket and cradled her. Morgan and her we're not sisters but cousin. Morgan moved in with them after her parents died. They had gotten some illness and Morgan was the only one to survive. Morgan had been there for her from that moment on.

A groan tore Claire from her thoughts.

"CLAIRE!?" Morgan shot up and began looking around.

"I'm here it's okay" Claire said to her going to her side.

Morgan inhaled with relief as she stood taking in her surroundings. They were on a beach. It was far enough away from where they lived for her to never have been but not far enough away for them at this moment.

She knew by the way his body went limp after she struck him with the tree branch that he had to be dead. The bone snapping sound that echoed through the forest added more reassurance. Even still She couldn't stop her mind from racing with what if and her stomach flipping in on itself. She needed a plan and she needed one quickly. They had to get as far away from here as possible. She scanned the beach. Off around the bend sat a ship. It looked to be a cargo ship. If they could somehow get on the ship. They could get off wherever it stopped and start over. This was it, simple enough. Get on the ship, hide till it docked and sneak off. Start over. It would work. It had to work.

"Claire-" Morgan said but then Claire let out a loud gasp.

Morgan's stomach drops as she prepares herself. Seeing nothing she stared at Claire who was now crying.

"Morgan your back," Claire said, reaching up with gentle hands and touching her bleeding back.

Morgan gritted her teeth to stop from wincing. She didn't realize how much pain she was in. The back of her dress had large tears in it from the branches and tree bark. She knew her skin had to be ripped open but didn't know how bad. The wetness on her back she had chalked up to sweat or mud from the ground. She looked down at Claire and her bright blue eyes filled with tears. This little girl who is blaming all this evil on herself. This little girl who never had a chance to be a child. She looked at her and her heart broke. She reached down and rubbed her cheek, wiping the tears away.

"Claire, it's okay. I'm fine; it doesn't hurt. I promise it's fine. we need to go." She smiled at Claire.

"Go where?" Claire asked, confused.

"Ok listen closely. There's a ship down the shore there. We need to go now and sneak on that ship. We'll hide till it docks and then get off when it does. We'll start all over you and me. Ok?" Morgan asked, squeezing Claire's hand.

Claire nodded and they began making their way down the beach. They were careful to stay out of sight from the ship so no one would see them. They ducked behind a few rocks just by the ship and Morgan began to survey trying to find a way onto the ship.

Morgan spotted large wooden crates next to the ship. They were long enough and wide enough to fit a grown man. She tugged Claire's hand and they made they way to the crates. No one was around as Morgan began to quietly open them. They were empty. what would they be doing with empty crates she thought. Shaking her head she led Claire over to the crate.

" Hey, we are going to hide in these crates. There's cracks in the wooden boards that we will be able to get air. So don't worry it will just be for a little while. Take a nice nap and when we dock I'll come get you out. I'm going in this one here. I'll be right next to you ok?" She whispered to Claire.

Morgan could see the fear in Claire's eyes but she nodded and started putting herself in the crate. Morgan helped lower her in.

"I promise it'll be ok." She said, kissing Claire on the top of her head.

Moran quickly opened the empty crate next to Claire's and got in. Morgan prayed that they were not going too far; she was worried for Claire. She could see bits of the sky and sunlight in the crate. It gave her reassurance about the air supply. She heard footsteps and talking coming towards them. Morgan prayed Claire would be quiet.

"These two are the last ones." She heard a deep scruffy voice say as her box was kicked.

Her heart jumped at the kick but she remained quiet and still. The next thing she knew she was being picked up and carried closer to the ship.

"These must be more food rations." She heard another man groan as he stepped off the ramp and on the ship.

She was carried a few more feet and then hit the ground with a thud. She had to cover her mouth to stop from crying out in pain as her back hit the crate. A second thud hit next to her box. Claire thought as she looked towards the side of her wooden crate. She wished there was another way for them. She smiled at how brave Claire was. She listened closely to see if anything else was happening. She could make out sounds of orders being given for the ship to get ready to leave shore.

And just like that they were on their way to their new life.

Chapter 2

Caught:

"MORGAN!! Morgan!!!"

Morgan went to jolt upright and hit her head on the wooden crate. She must have nodded off. She thought she heard-

"LET GO OF ME. MORGAN!" Claire screamed.

Claire- Morgan's stomach burned with dread. She tried to push the crate open. But something wasn't letting her out.

"Now, now girly. Why you screaming for?" She heard a man chuckle.

Morgan began to panic. She needed out now. She brought her knee up and felt it budge a little. She placed her forearm on the cover and pressed up.

"DON'T TOUCH ME!"

Morgan with all her strength flew her knees and arms into the lid and it came loose. She pushed the lid off the crate and nearly fell getting out as quickly as she did. Her blood boiled as she stared at the sight in front of her. Three grown man stood in a circle around Claire shoving her back and forth. They hadn't heard her. She glanced around an old la

Heroes

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