“Thar be a dreaded curse spoken by some men ‘o th’ sea.” the good pirate captain said to his fair maiden as they sat on the balcony of their castle in the air rum in hand and looking out over the bay, their small flotilla moored at the jetty within that bay.
Since returning from the previous successful mission that saw them raid the small village the good captain had been watching since the day dead captain Morgan told him the village had no wealth, spirits had been high. They’d lost two good men on that trip and one of the injured men had still not recovered but that was a pirate’s life and the crew knew it, loosing two men was regrettable but at the same time a huge success.
The rewards of the trip had been huge and because of the good captain’s thought that a happy crew is a trust worthy crew his unique (to the pirate world anyway) method of paying his men well meant that all of them could easily retire after that one single trip. Yet none of them did. It was a pirate’s way of life, it was what they did, what they knew and what they lived for, wealth would not change that. If anything the shared wealth the good captain offered, instead of simply paying a wage and expecting the crew to remain happy, built loyalty to both himself and other crew members, there may have been titles aboard the ships but they were all still equal.
“And what is this curse?” The fair maiden asked as she turned to look at the good captain and waited for him to tell his story, she knew it was no chuckling matter.
“’Tis an ancient tale of pirate woe.” The good captain started. “Thar be a chest ‘o glory that carries a mortal sin no sailor shall ever be knowin’.”
“What are you talking about?” the fair maiden asked, putting her tankard of rum on the table beside her and placing her hand on top of the good captain’s as a show of support.
Even in the short time she’d been with the good captain she knew there was stories that were harder to tell than others, he didn’t speak of them unless he wanted to share but when he did speak support was easier to offer than ridicule or pushing, he would speak in his own time. She also learnt that his silence wasn’t always a sign of pain, or anguish from the story he was about to tell, sometimes it was simply a mechanism within him that allowed him time to articulate the story in his own words.
“Twas many a year ago at Nancy’s Tavern I heard a scurvy pirate cap’n ‘o many years whisper a tale so grim.” The good captain started.
He went on to tell about how the captain became so focused on the treasure, a wealth that could only be dreamed about, he became blinded by it. No one knew which fearful captain of the sea buried the treasure, there was rumours but no one knew for sure. No one even knew how much treasure was there, only that the stories of its wealth all pointed toward it being the biggest haul ever.
“Th’ cap’n reportedly hired a crew ‘o hardy men to help him wit’ his cause, but they never knew th’ danger ‘o th’ massive bounty’s curse.”
The fair maiden listened on still holding the good captain’s hand in hers and looking at him as he spoke. While she had some questions for her good pirate captain she knew leaving them until the end was easier and better for them both.
As the story went on the fair maiden learnt that the scurvy pirate captain had found a map he believed was drawn by the crew that buried the treasure, he couldn’t or wouldn’t explain why he thought it to be so but he was adamant it was. The trouble was the map do not have any landmarks on it, not one sea, not one mountain, not even a single tree, just a simple ‘X’ marks the spot. They searched and searched the raging seas looking for an island or land mass shaped as it was drawn on the map.
The search took them many a year and then a mere two years before the scurvy captain would be deciding it was time to finally draw in his ensign they came across the only place they’d seen in all their voyageurs that even came close to resembling the map. They dropped the anchor, boarded the boats and set forth on a land journey in search of the treasure. They spent three days searching the island, three days digging, burrowing and hunting until they finally found it, a chest so big that it would sink any ship it was put on.
“But they never got a chance to open it!” said the good pirate captain. “Diggin’ th’ chest up was all it took release th’ curse.”
From that point on the story took a serious turn for the worse.
One by one the entire crew fell down on the roasting hot sands of the deserted island, all two hundred men dead within minutes of the chest being revealed, the scurvy pirate captain was the only one to survive. Then no sooner had they all fallen they all rose to their feet, looking alive but clearly not breathing. The scurvy pirate captain fled, bounding across the sand and making a bee-line for the landing boat. It was a large boat, big enough to hold thirty men but with fear driving him the scurvy pirate captain took that boat and paddled out to sea, alone and afraid.
He knew he could not captain the large ship by himself, but most of all he knew he could not fight the undead, so in his boat, alone, he did float. By the time he’d finally reached shore he had no idea where he was and no idea how long he’d been at sea but as climbed out of his boat and onto the sandy shore he collapsed and vowed never to be seaward bound again.
“I then heard him be tellin’ ‘o his life since becomin’ a land lubber.” the good pirate captain said, his gaze barely shifting from the dock where his two ships were moored.
The fair maiden could see pained look on her good captains face as he continued with the final part of the story and told her what the scurvy pirate captain saw. He spoke of long stormy nights when clouds did their best to hide the shinning light of the full moon and how he would hear the calls of his ghostly crew. The ghostly crew who had looted the treasure, stolen his ship and now roamed the deepest oceans. A crew so dangerous they would leave no one living to tell their tales. A crew so hell bent on revenge the only thing that was keeping the scurvy captain alive was that the undead crew could not for some reason come ashore to kill him.
When the good captain finally fell silent the fair maiden spoke. “Why are you telling of this story my dear captain?”
“What if th’ ship ‘o th’ undead could be found ?”
Previous Pirate storyhere.