There wasn’t many pirates still within ear shot when the good Captain told Captain Bildgepoole to feed the stranger to the fish and burn his ship the majority of them had dispersed back to their designated jobs when the Good Captain was summoned. The lack of pirates within hearing distance meant that when Ol’ Barracuda returned comment with “Son, I beg o’ ye hear me out!” the full impact of the statement was not felt by anyone but the Good Captain, his fair maiden and the second Captain.
For several moments Ol’ Barracuda stared at the Good Captain’s back wondering what his reaction would be. Had the captain recognised him? Did he believe him? Was his time shorter than even the fortune teller predicted?
“Hear ye out? Hear YE out? ‘n wha’ makes ye believe ye ‘ave anythin’ that I wants t’ hear ole man? The good pirate said as he stopped, turned on the spot and stared directly at Ol’ Barracuda.
It was at that moment as Captain Bildgepoole saw the Good Captain turn, saw the look in his eye and heard the tone of his voice that he realised there was truth to the story the old man had given him in order to summon the Good Captain to the jetty. The old man standing before them was in fact the Good Captain’s father.
Very few men knew about the Good Captain’s father, he was a subject rarely spoken about, even those pirates that had been side by side with the Good Captain in his days aboard the evil Captain Morgan’s ship knew very little. Pirates being no different to any other group of people talked long and loose, especially during those times where they were full of rum, but not once during all the time he’d been in such a position had the Good Captain ever let his own lips gets so loose when it came to stories about his father.
The Good Captain had of course shared stories of his father, his up bringing and his fatherless life since turning fourteen with his fair maiden but even she did not know the full truth. In actual fact it had been so long since the events that saw his father leave even the Good Captain himself wondered how much to the stories he remembered were the truth and not just distorted figments of a angry mind.
“All I ask be fer an hour o’ yer time me lad. Yer attention fer but an hour ‘n nah a minute more.” Ol’ Barracuda said quietly knowing he didn’t need to speak loudly to be heard. “If ye still feel th’ same way when me time be up ye can feed me t’ them thar fishes.”
The Good Captain had thought many times over the years about what would happen if he were to ever come face to face with the scoundrel that once asked him to call him father. But standing before the man suddenly all those thoughts were null and void because he couldn’t bring himself to do anything but stare.
“Why now?” The fair maiden asked seeing that her loving captain could not bring himself to speak.
“Miss, we have not had the pleasure. I be Barracuda Rattlebones.”
“Barracuda Rattlebones? Be that wha’ ye be callin’ yourself now ole man? Wha’ happened t’…” The good captain spoke up.
“That was a long time ago me lad,” Ol’ Barracuda interrupted before the Good Captain could recite his previous name, “a lot has changed. If ye give me some time I shall tell ye th’ tale.”
“Why now ole man?” The Good Captain took over repeating the question the fair maiden had asked that was not answered.
There was only a few seconds silence before Ol’ Barracuda responded. “’Cause I be a dyin’ man.”
“We be all dyin’ ole man. Some quicker than others but we be all dyin’. Why should yer death nah be quicker, ‘n at th’ hands o’ me men?”
“’cause I be yer father?” replied the old man.
“Ye ceased bein’ anythin’ related t’ that term long ago ole man.” The Good Captain’s voice had risen in volume but he still was not shouting.
Ol’ Barracuda knew his final fight was going to be one of the hardest of his life, he also knew that getting an audience with the man that once upon a time called him father was only a small part of that fight, convincing him he was worthy of his forgiveness was by far the toughest battle.
“We may all be dyin’. We may all be nah long on this earth, but unlike ye I know when me time be up.” Ol’ Barracuda quickly decided it was time to up the ante, he did not plan on lying outright to his son but his old pirate ways where coming back and extending the truth, as opposed to lying was something he was not afraid to do. “Ye I nah only know exactly when me time will be up but I know ye will nah be th’ one t’ end me. So while ye might be wastin’ me last hours ye be also wastin’ th’ time I needs t’ tell ye me tale.”
The good captain thought about what the old man before him was saying. “Ye best nah be seekin’ me forgiveness ole man.”
“Jus’ like me tale be somethin’ only I can be tellin’, yer forgiveness be somethin’ only ye can be givin’.” The old man said still hopeful for his audience with the good captain before his final breath.
The good captain realised he had very little too lose listening to the old man’s story. An hour of his time was very little considering the number of hours he’d spent over the years wondering what had happened to the man before him. He doubted there was anything the old man could say that would change his mind and see him full of forgiveness but he was running out of excuses to not listen to the man.
“Follow me t’ th’ castle ole man. Ye ‘ave one hour, nah a minute more ‘n I be makin’ no promises.”
Previous Pirate story here.