When it came time for the Good Captain to throw a story out to the crowd he had to think about which story he would tell. He hadn’t prepared his own story, he didn’t think he would need to, he was sure that by the time someone even suggested it was his turn the Storm of Ale would have abated, the clouds would have cleared and no story would be needed.
But he was wrong.
Instead he was cornered on the way to replenish a drink for both he and the Fair Maiden. At first it was only one pirate, Squinter McWerter, who fronted the the Good Captain and suggested it was his time to throw a story out to the masses and if it had remained as only Squinter the Good Captain would have had a good chance to remain story-less. But that was not the case because no sooner had Squinter thrown the idea out there than he as rallying the nearby troops, calling them to attention and requesting they too cheered the Good Captain on for one of his rare stories of the sea.
Even before the Good Captain’s tankard was topped off the group around him numbered more than fifteen and he knew he was not going to escape without coming up with something. He thought hard, dug deep into his memory banks and searched for a story that he had not told before. Then as he was handed his tankard back, topped to the brim with whiskey, he started his story.
“Well me laddies gather round ‘n hear me tale.” The Good Captain took a swig of his whiskey to wet his whistle then continued. “Well ye see I was jus’ a lad o’ twelve when I first left th’ land, I’d had enough o’ th’ dirt, th’ grass ‘n th’ woody trees that fell down every time th’ wind did blow. I was lucky wit’ me chances t’ score a cot amongst th’ nest o’ ropes aboard th’ Plankard Pilkington, a silly name fer a ship if ever thar was one.
‘Twas somewhere in th’ gulf o’ Mexico, we’d been at sea fer more nights than I could count, we’d been through every type o’ weather imaginable, rain, wind, sun, heat, even snow, but naught could prepare us fer th’ crimson tide that we sailed into on that tirin’ night. Fer years t’ come sailors would natter about red skies at night disappearin’ t’ become a beautiful day fer th’ sea but I can tell ye right nah that was nah th’ case fer us.”
The Good Captain took a another swig of his drink. He knew he had the crowd before him on the line and he knew that it didn’t matter how the rest of the story panned out the attention of the men around him would not waiver.
“Th’ tide was she was high, no, she was nah jus’ high, she was a king tide th’ likes most o’ us had ne’er afore seen. As th’ tide was peakin’ at it’s highest th’ sun, that bright red ball in th’ sky that blinded us, burnt us ‘n fried our eyeballs should we be silly enough t’ get a glimpse o’ ’twas sinkin’ below th’ far horizon.
Aboard th’ decks o’ th’ Plankard Pilkington th’ crew began t’ run, they began t’ hide, they feared th’ red sunset that coupled wit’ th’ crimson tide left us wit’ th’ eeriest ‘n weirdest glow we had ever seen.
‘tis a devils omen!’ Th’ Captain he did call across th’ decks o’ th’ Plankard Pilkinton. ‘We cannot pump these seas, we cannot out run th’ swells ‘n we cannot foresee th’ future if we remain aboard these decks.’
He may not have been a poetic man but they were the Captain’s words and they should I know been heeded.”
The Good Captain took another large swig of his whiskey. He’d overstated the obvious, left his statements wordy and often confusing but still every crew member that surrounded him was hanging off his every word. Another swig and he continued.
“Now I may ‘ave been but a wee sailin’ lad, may ‘ave still been a greenhorn caught between a crew o’ experienced pirates but I was full o’ bravado, full o’ gusto ‘n so mighty full o’ naivety. So while th’ rest o’ th’ crew heeded th’ cap’n’s warnin’s I defied his simple request. I decided th’ settin’ sun was nah t’ be feared, I decided th’ tide was nah o’ a concern ‘n I decided that I could scallywag th’ ship one young pirate against th’ sea. I suddenly found me self alone on deck starin’ in t’ th’ big red ball still naive t’ th’ idea that th’ tasks o’ th’ ship had all fallen on t’ me.
Ye see me lads I may ‘ave been a lad o’ only twelve but I was nah prepared t’ give up ‘n hide, th’ crew had all marooned me, or closer t’ th’ point I had nah followed thar lead but I wouldna let th’ ship down. Whatever ’twas that I was facin’ I would face it head on.
Now I ‘ave t’ say I had ne’er held a pump within me hand, I had narry even seen one in me short life. But I knew as th’ sun dipped further below th’ horizon that fate had somethin’ in store fer me, a destiny that I had nah afore considered. ’cause ye see me lads wha’ I didn’t know afore leavin’ land was that I had joined th’ leakiest ship that ever sailed th’ seven seas.”
Suddenly the crowd surrounding the Good Captain went from hanging off his every word to hooked like an anchor in the rocks. Not only were they hooked several of them were so stunned and so amazed by the story they were almost frozen to their spots.
Previous Pirate story here.