Crouched on all fours in my small, dark, dank prison I am waiting to find out what is to become of me. That small slither of light cracking the door is not fed by some artificial source it’s natural, which in the bows of a ship is still dark, but not as dark as my pit. I watch and wait for the slither to get broader but it seems to be taking forever. Could it be that whoever, or whatever is on the other side of that door is not my blackened captor and is someone as scared to see what is on this side as I am to see what is on that side?
As the slither increases slowly my life flashes before me. It was a good life, at least in my eyes. I do not think I deserved to be incarcerated aboard this hell ship, the ship with the blackest crew. I was a captain of my own right, and a Good captain at that. Sure I have killed. Sure I have looted. Sure I have pillaged. But that is the life of a pirate.
Maybe I could have found a different path early in my life. Maybe I could have chosen not to follow my father’s wake and with the first chance I got headed off to sail the oceans of the world. Maybe I could have chosen not to serve the captains I did before getting my own command. And maybe, just maybe I could have commanded pirate missions where no lives were lost. But that is the life of a pirate and a pirate captain. But I was good to my men. There was narry a ship aboard the oceans we sailed that treated her crew better than I treated mine. We were rich to the gills and we wanted for nothing.
How did all that lead me to this hell hole created by the black pirate captain where I am a slave to his every whim. Where my only vision of daylight is when I am being whipped, or beaten to task about the top decks of the ship. I have not seen any other prisoners. I do not remember how I was put upon this ship and I do not remember when I last saw my crew.
Perhaps the cannon fire and the gun shots that rang out above me and took me so long to distinguish are my crew. Perhaps they have finally tracked down this god forsaken ship and they are here to rescue me. Perhaps on the other side of that door, the door with the very slither of light that does not appear to be getting any bigger is my saviour and not the black captain.
I shake my head, what a vision, it happened all in a blink of an eye. I must be going insane.
As my mind rattles itself back to reality I am again thrust back into my darkened pit. I can feel the ship listing to one side slightly, but I do not know if it be starboard or port. I know the ship is taking water because I can feel it lapping my toes, but I do not know if that means she is striken in the water.
My door is finally opening wider, I can see more light pushing through the gap. Several inches now. Getting larger. What is that?
It’s light, flickering light. Whoever is out there has just been joined by someone with a lantern of some sort.
I hear voices.
They are definitely pirate voices.
As to whether they are the voices of my captors or the voices of my saviours I can not tell. Perhaps it could be the crew of my long lost and nearly forgotten ship.
They are talking amongst themselves seemingly not at all worried by the time in which they are taking to release me. I could open the door and make a run for it but if they are prepared or worse still, armed, as I would ensure my crew were, things could end badly. Perhaps they will listen if I call out to them.
“Help!” I called. But if I am not mistaken there was not but a sound from my voice. I tried again and for a second time I heard not a sound from my own mouth.
As I am pondering what has happened to my voice the door opens and I am greeted by two pirates. Both dressed very similar in their long coat, dark boots, flintlock dangling from their belts on their right hips, rapiers on their left. As I look upwards the flicking light from the lantern brightens their faces. I gasp quietly but to my surprise their faces are not dark, in fact they look familiar.
At first as I was being escorted from my darkened pit, presumably to the upper decks, I try to ask questions. I try to find out if these men are friend or if they are foe. I try to find out what happened to the blackened crew and the evil captain. But no answers are forth coming and I am told to wait until I see the captain. Even without the answers my hope is high that the captain they speak of is one of the same high moral and guidance that I remember myself to be.
As I reach the upper decks I am still being escorted but by no means is the effort of the two pirates behind me forceful. The bright light of the sun hurts my eyes as I emerge. I squint almost painfully and then try to blink away the sting. As opening my eyes becomes easier I am able to see crew milling around the upper deck, what they are doing I do not know, I am also not afforded the time to figure it out for I am stopped in front of a large man.
“Wha’ be yer name pirate?”
I am asked as I collapse under the weight of my own body which my knees can’t seem to support. I have to assume that the man whose boots I am now looking at is the leader of the crew that have boarded the ship. Do I recognise him? Is it possible that he is a captain whom I previously employed?
At that moment I hear the voice of a female.
Previous Pirate story here.