I honestly did not know what to think.
I hadn’t long had to come to terms with the fact that the ship I had been imprisoned upon was not the death ship I thought it was. It had not been crewed by the most evil of blackened bastard crewmen lead by the darkest and most evil pirate captain to ever live. I was not their slave. I was not forced to sing that terrible bloody shanty of theirs. None of that which I remember was true.
However what came as an even bigger shock was that the man standing before me, Captain Bildgepoole had not only served under me but he’d actually got wind of a ship by the same name as he served with me on floating in the seas and he’d chosen to seek it down. According to him I had been long gone, without a trace, presumed dead. Yet one single word of a ship named as I named my ship and he was off with his crew to find out more.
Then when he finds the old girl listing in the sea and taking water he boards her and rescues me. According to him there was no sign of any crew, there was no cannon fire that I heard with my own ears, simply me on a ship that was dead in the water and sinking.
Maybe this is rehashing things a bit too much but I can tell you now it is all I have because as I sit here on this ship, the one Captain Bildgepoole calls the Revenge, heading back the port he calls home, I can not tell what is fact and what is made up by a mind of illusions.
I believe Captain Bildgepoole, I have no reason not to because too much of what he has said makes sense and tweaks different formations of memories in that old brain box of mine. It’s the bits about blackened pirates, prison and where the hell I have been for all these years that keep sending my mind into a gibbering mess of confusion.
I can happily admit that sitting up here on the front deck with the wind pushing through my hair, feeling the ship rise until she crests the wave, then nose dive down the backside until she flattens out and then repeats is somewhat stimulating compared to what I have been used to. Rough seas are the bane of many a sailor but to me at this instant in time they are a godsend.
I hear footsteps behind me yet for the first time in I can not remember how long I do not fear them.
“She’s gettin’ rough out here Captain. Would ye like head under cover?” The voice belonged to Captain Bildgepoole.
“If ’tis all th’ same t’ ye Captain I reckon I prefer th’ outside.” I replied.
“O’ course. Mind if I sit down wit’ ye?”
“Nah at all me lad. Perhaps ye can shine a light on this here dim dark brain o’ mine. Help me remember.”
Captain Bildgepoole sat down beside me. “I nah be knowin’ how much help I can be. Th’ light I ‘ave already shed o’er ye has done wee more than confuse.” The young captain took a breath, “ ‘n I be afeared I can nah be sheddin’ light on wha’ happened afore we arrived.”
He was right of course, he could not tell me what had happened to me since my disappearance, no one present could and by his own words he had come looking immediately upon hearing a report the ship was sighted. Also by his words the reports from many a source told of anything from my demise to my disappearance, but not a single one had any more evidence to it than another. I decided that for me to continually dwell in the past was doing nothing and that there would be time for such reflection at a later time, so I changed the topic of conversation.
“So, be tellin’ me about this home port o’ yers Panha…” Why I chose that moment to use the name I once knew the man next to me by instead of the name I have been calling him since he rescued me I do not know, but I stopped and corrected myself mid-sentence. “Captain Bildgepoole.”
I saw a smile form on the Captain’s face as I stumbled with his name. He then started to tell me all about the second Good Captain he’d had. The man who he’d served under through many dark battles, the man who’d trusted him enough to give him the captaincy of his own ship and the crew to man it. The man whose home port was the size of a small city with hundreds of men milling around at an given time. I must admit it sounded a lot like the dream I once had, only on a bigger scale.
“O’ course ye will be welcome t’ make this port yer home fer as long as ye desire.”
After hearing those words from Captain Bidgepoole I did question why his Good Captain would welcome an old man barely able to remember his past into his fold. The response I got would have dropped me had I not already been sitting down.
“He too understands wha’ ’tis t’ ‘ave a mentor.”
Two and a bit days later when we arrived in port, I’d spent a large portion of this time sitting on the deck reminiscing with Captain Bildgepoole about his years aboard the Sarah-Marie, I met the man referred to as the Good Captain. He was everything Captain Bildgepoole had said he was. He asked no questions, he made no threats and he extended a welcome hand to a fellow pirate captain as if I was his own long lost friend.
Previous Pirate story here.