The Spanish Tavern

Photo copyright:

Photo copyright: Fatima Fakier Derik

If only I had sailed on by; but no I had that sailors thirst. Adventure, booze and women in that order. I was minding my own business in the Spanish Tavern when she walked by. Her hair like a lion’s mane, her mutilated body working hard to survive. She picked up a tray of empty glasses and turned for the bar. Someone put out a leg and sent her flying. Then the landlord walked over and started kicking her. I heard myself saying enough is enough. Landlord here’s a purse for your loss. Now leave her alone.

This Post Has 40 Comments

  1. rochellewisoff

    Dear Michael,

    I can’t help wondering why this woman is being treated so. Sad.



    1. Michael Humphris

      It’s 1800 and she an African slave, the landlord is a dunkard. She will be better treated now the ships captain owns! her.

  2. Dale

    What a cruel time for women. (You might want to add a couple of apostrophes…) 🙂

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Dale, I penned this piece in a hurry whilst waiting for an appointment at my surgery. I have now altered it after reading your comment. I am afraid that I am somewhat of a duffer when it comes to grammar. So any help is always welcome. Sadly I absolutely hated English lessons at school. I regret that now.

      1. Dale

        We’re here to help each other out, Michael!

  3. Magaly Guerrero

    Shocking… and strange that landlord would be her to the point of mutilation. She won’t last long. I wonder how many others he has in his service, that he doesn’t mind losing a worker.

    1. Michael Humphris

      The landlord is a drunkard; but some of the mutilation occoured before he purchased her! My story was set around 1800 and prompted by the sailing boat with the brown sails in the picture. Thank you so much for your feedback.

      1. Magaly Guerrero


  4. Martin Cororan

    Chivalrous ole dog!

  5. Lynn Love

    Let’s hope her future is much brighter now. There are tales of owners being very kind to their slaves, having them educated, treating them (almost) as equals. Nicely done Michael

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Lynn. That was his and my desire for her, including her being given her freedom.

  6. granonine

    Sad tale, gallant hero–I hope. We have to imagine what will happen to her next. . .

  7. Iain Kelly

    A brutal time and not much of a life. Hope he treats her well having saved her.

    1. Michael Humphris

      His guilt for his past sins means that he will give her freedom, and a means of living well.

  8. beautyswot

    poor lady 🙁 hope she has a brighter future

    1. Michael Humphris

      She definitely does, she will gain her freedom and the means to live in comfort. thank you for your comment.

  9. gahlearner

    He seems a good man. What a cruel fate she had, and how mean and dehumanizing these people in the tavern were.

    1. Michael Humphris

      I felt uncomfortable illustrating her being humiliated. But I felt that her story should be told

      1. gahlearner

        I think you did that extremely well. Graphic descriptions are far less effective compared to subtle hints and our imagination.

        1. Michael Humphris

          Thank you, the feed back on this story is brilliant, it has helped me to develope the characters more. My writing hints are being fleshed out, which is great. Hopefully one day I may write a little more about these individuals.

          1. gahlearner

            I’m looking forward to reading more about them. FF is a great community, I agree.

          2. Michael Humphris

            I also hope that ideas turn up to encourage further stories from this era. Thank you for your feedback.

  10. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover

    Loved the line “her mutilated body working hard to survive.” A tragic tale. I gasped when I read the abusive parts. Glad he was her knight.

    1. Michael Humphris

      So glad to read your comments, they matched how I felt about this story.

  11. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    Even if she will be better off, she will still be owned…so tragic.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you for your comment Bjorn. In my mind the boat captain gives her her freedom and the means to survive. But I agree that would be a rare thing at the time.

  12. rgayer55

    The real world isn’t always a pretty place. I’m glad you gave her a rescuer. The nice thing about fiction is you can always craft a happy ending.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Russell, I like happy endings, perhaps I use them to often, but I get miserable if I write a bad ending to a story.

  13. Alicia Jamtaas

    Such a sad tale. I was glad for the explanation of who she was after reading “her mutilated body” because I wondered why.

    1. Michael Humphris

      In my writers mind I saw a woman who had been flogged and branded, then scarred by knife cuts as she fought to protect herself. I tried to put all of those events into mutilated! Thank you so much for your comment which has helped me develope my understanding of this character. I can now write about her again.

  14. JoHawkTheWriter

    A chivalrous pirate. Hmm, a man I might like. LOL Nicely done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Yep I believe he may be a likeable rogue, I will have to see if I can develope his character. Alicia has already encouraged me to develop the character of the women he rescued. Thank you for your feed back

  15. Michael Wynn

    The horror in this comes across really well Michael, I like it. Those were horrible times, I often wonder how I would have been, what I would have done, especially as I’d only know the mindset of the times. It makes you shudder.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Michael, I have wondered the same myself. The comments on this story including yours are encouraging me to think about how I might use the story again.

  16. amiewrites74

    Poor woman, she has had a hard life. I hope our hero treats her well.

    1. Michael Humphris

      He will, I hope to write about her again at some point. She was poor but proud of her heritage. Replying to all the comment about her has helped me understand her better. Thank you for commenting

  17. goroyboy

    Honor is not exclusive to the wealthy

    1. Michael Humphris

      Very very true. Thank you for commenting.

  18. lingeringvisions by Dawn

    Horrible treatment of anyone!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Sadly there has it seems always been horrible people willing to make life difficult for others. Thank you for commenting

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