Been a long time since I posted a snippet of anything, current or past. This happens to be current--a short story I'm working on.
Rough draft. Please don't quote or repost.
Note: Any inaccuracies in sailing jargon would hopefully be fixed at final edit.
The crew rushed to the rails, peering across the water to catch a glimpse.
Katya felt a rush of premonition. Dread weighted her muscles. She turned and sprinted for her spyglass. When she turned it to rear quarter, leeward, sails sprang to life in her vision. The sails were frayed and tattered--something no shipmaster worth his salt would ever allow. She searched the deck of the vessel under those sails, looking for any signs of life. There were none that she could see. The ship ran silent and dark. More important than that, she ran against the wind that filled the Dragon's sails.
She lowered the spyglass and squinted, then raised the glass again. Yes, she hadn't been mistaken. Dark clouds massed behind that ship. She turned. Rian, never far from her side, awaited orders.
"Bring her about and take in those sails!" Katya said.
Rian turned, instantly relaying her orders without question.
"All hands on deck!" he bellowed. "Show her our heels! Reef the topsails! Haul up the mainsail!"
Rian turned his head. "Aye, Cap'n."
"Bring out the grapeshot," she said.