KEY CHARACTERS: DELAINE THE DEVOURER
The Queen of the Great Below lurks out beyond the break. Many serve her, most without ever knowing it. Others like Delaine bear her mark openly.
I’ve wanted to give other voices a platform in our sandbox for a while. So, when I asked my super talented friend Dawn to contribute something, more on her in a sec, I didn’t say a word about a Bearer, turned pirate queen shipwrecked on an island covered in the bones of old, dead gods. That all came later. I just answered her questions, got out of the damned way, and let the jazz of creation happen.
A LEVIATHAN WAITS
Delaine was never short on ambition. That’s what kept her alive. Well, that and the ability to steal knowledge from the dead. Knowing there was no refuge in the grave gave Delaine momentum, jumping from job to job, con to con, filling her pockets by whatever means the dead could reveal, and the highest bidder could afford. And, when her reputation grew too infamous to endure, she sought her freedom elsewhere.
In younger days, they called her Delaine the Devourer, Captain of the Heiress. A small ship, fast and nimble, her crew few but
loyal. Each hungry in their way, but none as driven. They didn’t see the storms in their dreams. They couldn’t feel the pulse of thunder cracking at the base of their skulls.
Spotlight Dawn Humphrey:
As manager and co-founder of Brown Recluse Productions, Dawn and BRP CEO Jen Brown host the award-winning Women in Caskets Podcast on the Bloody Disgusting Network. She is also Co-Ghost and writer on Genre Graveyard which debuted on the El Rey Network in 2020.
BURIED BY THE SOUND
Even as the depths gave up their dead, Delaine craved more. At first, there were only whispers in the deep, promises of derelict ships untouched by scavengers. But salvage had stopped scratching that nagging itch months ago, and the crew was taking notice.
Then on a particularly stormy night, the thunder in her skull returned. This time, like nothing she had ever known. Delaine shuddered as she stumbled toward her cabin at the stern, locking eyes with something predatory coming out of the fog. Its features were unsettling; its smile too white, its movements too fluid, and yet as it neared, the thunder roared.
“Can’t you hear the storms, Delaine,” it asked. “They have been calling for you, heralding my arrival.”
Delaine’s eyes rolled as she collapsed to the deck; when she woke, it was from the safety of an unknown shore. Frantic and alone, she called out for her crew. When none answered, she looked out over the expanse, searching for them from horizon to horizon. But no matter how she strained, there was only emptiness atop the rolling skin of the deep.