Ol’ Barracuda had told his tale, in less time than the Good Captain had given him. He’d given him the story as to why he’d left the young pirate to be and fled to the seas. He told of his own life as a pirate captain and he’d told of his life’s down turn since leaving the seas behind. But perhaps the hardest thing he told was how he longed to find his son. Longed to tell his son the story he’d just told. Longed to be a part of his son’s life. But it was not until that night out the front of the tavern of the Famous Ol’ Spiced, that he’d finally after all the years realised his dream was possible, having seen his son for the first time in many decades.
“Why now? Why are ye comin’ t’ me wit’ this tale now? If thar be really naught in it fer ye why come at all?” The Good Captain asked for a second time.
“Me time be nigh son, me hours are numbered.” Ol’ Barracuda said.
The Good Captain felt the fair maiden’s grip on his hand get tighter once again, almost as if she knew he was going to say something he may regret. Heeding her warning he thought for a moment before replying.
“So now ye be dyin’ ye come t’ me t’ seek forgiveness? Ye wants me t’ tell ye ’tis ok ye left me behind all those years ago?”
He felt the fair maiden’s grip tighten just a bit more. “Darlin’ he’s already told us there is nothin’ in it for ‘im. He hasn’ asked for your forgiveness. Why not hear ‘im out before you judge.”
The Good Captain looked at his fair maiden, he could see the look in her eyes telling him to remain calm and hear the old man out.
“I ‘ave been listenin’ but so far he’s nah sayin’ anythin’. So far he’s nah told o’ why he be here.”
At that moment Ol’ Barracuda spoke again. “Maybe I do ‘ave a reason fer bein’ here but that reason be entirely selfish.”
“O’ course ’tis. O’ course ye do.” He turned to his fair maiden, “See I told ye he’s here fer somethin’. Maybe he’s worked out it wont be forgiveness but he still wants somethin’.
“’til I saw ye at that tavern I had no idea ye were even still alive. Me life fer th’ last twenty years has nah been somethin’ t’ be boastin’ about, ’tis nah like I was in any state t’ be searchin’ fer ye. But when I finally saw ye I knew I needed t’ tell ye me tale.”
“Well ye told me ‘n I aint heard anythin’ that convincin’ me I should feel any different about ye.” The Good Pirate said getting frustrated with the conversation.
“I’ve got naught t’ convince ye o’. Maybe I’d hoped ye could forgive me, but I knew that was a long shot. Still I had t’ give it a go. Aft I saw ye that night I knew I couldn’t leave this world without at least tryin’.”
Finally the old man’s mention of his impending death was heard by the good captain, it wasn’t heard the way he wanted it to be heard but they were heard and reacted too.
“Wha’ be wit’ this continued natter about th’ end o’ yer days?” The Good Captain said reaching for his tankard of rum.
“I be nah long o’ this world, son.” Ol’ Barracuda said without fear or anger.
“Wha’ are ye natterin’ about ole man?” He still refused to acknowledge the old man as anything related to father. “Ye look fine. Ye sailed that ship out thar by yourself. Yer days are no more numbered that me owns!”
“That be where ye be wrong lad. By th’ settin’ o’ th’ sun tomorrow I shall no longer be o’ this world.“ Ol’ Barracuda said.
“Nah by th’ hand o’ me or any o’ me crew ye wont be.”
“Never said that be th’ case.”
The frustration of the conversation was getting to the Good Captain, why the old man seemed to be talking in circles was a mystery to him. He appeared to have no end goal, no plea bargain, nothing yet he seemed reluctant to be ending the conversation, instead preferring to talk about his own end.
“Ye’re time be runnin’ out. I’ve been more than generous wit’ th’ time ye’ve been offered but I be yet t’ hear why ye came here.” The Good Captain could see the old man was about to say something but interrupted before he had a chance. “Don’t give me that stuff about chasin’ me t’ natter t’ me afore yer demise. Tell me th’ tale ole man or ye can leave now.” Ol’ Barracuda thought for a few seconds before the Good Captain spoke again. “I told ye time be wastin’,”
“Nah long afore ye turned up at th’ tavern, I don’t remember if ’twas days or weeks, I was waitin’ in th’ alley fer th’ tavern t’ open. Wha’ I thought at th’ time was a wild ole seahag lookin’ fer company tripped o’er me foot. Turns out she was a booty teller.”
The Good Captain looked at his fair maiden. “He’s here t’ tell us a fairy tale,” he then laughed but Ol’ Barracuda was not perturbed.
“ Ye wanted me tale, now sit thar ‘n listen t’ it wit’ th’ comments!” Ol’ Barracuda was forceful with his words but he wasn’t loosing his cool. “I told her I wanted none o’ her falsehoods but she didn’ listen. Like ye I was disbelievin’ o’ wha’ she said…”
The story continued…
“…’n that be when I knew th’ booty teller’s words were th’ truth ‘n me fate was sealed. Then when I saw ye at the tavern a few days later I knew wha’ I had t’ do, her words had come true, ‘n I has t’ do it afore th’ settin’ o’ th’ sun tomorrow.”
The look on both the Good Captain and the Fair Maiden’s faces told Ol’ Barracuda that they finally believed every word of his story.
Previous Pirate Story here.