Captain Blackscuttle knew not what to expect of the Island of Gold or what the Island of Gold expected of him. It was obvious that whatever the island had in mind was for him and him alone. He may not have had those thoughts the first time he stepped foot on the island but this time he knew better. There was too much about the island that revolved around him to ignore the fact.
Standing before the big palm tree wondering what was going to come next Captain Blackscuttle looked and waited. There was nothing above, nothing to the left, nothing to the right, but there was something sticking out from behind the trunk.
He stepped forward carefully and cautiously, one small step after another, towards the trunk. The whitish sand still crunched below his feet despite its soft looking texture, the sound of the crunch echoing in his ears but not beyond.
The first thing he saw was a roll of hempen rope. A multi-strand coil of natural fibres spun together to create a strong strand of rope that looked closer to home tied between mast and gunwale aboard any large pirate ship on the sea. If he was forced to guess he would have put the rope’s length at somewhere between two hundred and three hundred feet, nowhere near the longest length he’d seen but still long within its own right.
The second thing he saw was a shovel. It’s handle was less than three feet in length and therefore it would be the sort of shovel the would give its operator back ache the longer the required job needed to be completed. The handle of the shovel was a simple T-piece of timber with smoothed edges and chamfered corners. The head of the shovel didn’t look like it would shift much more dirt than several handfuls at a time. Whatever the shovel was expected for it was not for digging large holes.
The third and final item that caught Captain Blackscuttle’s eye was the pick axe. In every way shape and form it was bigger than the shovel. If the sizes were to be compared directly it may be considered that the shovel was for a wee pirate laddie of only a few years whereas the pick axe was definitely for his father. The handle was made from thick timbers, dark in colour and deep in what should not have been ebony but kind of looked like it. The hardened steel, dual pointed pickaxe head was as dark in colour as the handle and from tip to tip Captain Blackscuttle guessed its measurement to be around two and a half foot.
Whatever he was suppose to dig and break with the pickaxe did not seem like the kind of material suited to the small shovel, while the rope seemed to offer no hints to its requirement at all. But obviously the items were there for him despite not knowing how they got there or who put them there.
It was at that moment as Captain Blackscuttle stood contemplating, but not touching the tools that had been left for him, that the heavens opened up. What had only a second before been white clouds slowly floating far above suddenly became dark, black and angry, then opened up and began teeming with rain. It was an icy cold shower of needle like drops pounding against the captain’s clothes drenching him to the bone quickly.
Not knowing what else to do Captain Blackscuttle watched with his head down and the water dripping from the brim of his hat. The raindrops fell to the ground and formed small puddles, each small puddle then joined with a puddle near it and became a larger puddle. From the larger puddles rivulets of water then started to trace a path away from the palm tree and away from the captain’s feet.
The captain watched as the rivulets of water joined and by the time his eyes were looking no more than ten feet away the rivulets had began to merge like meandering rivers joining into one main tributary on a map. He quickly realised the resemblance to a map was not a mistake, the stream of rain water as it ran away from him was leading him somewhere.
He raised his head and looked ahead trying to see where the water was leading but with the darkened sky turning day into night and the dense rain falling in front of him his vision was severely hampered. For what reason he wasn’t sure but immediately he grabbed the pickaxe, the shovel and the rope and began to follow the rivulet of fast flowing water.
Thunder cracked in the sky, forked lightning slashed through the darkness hitting nothing and lighting very little as Captain Blackscuttle followed the rivulet of water. Only minutes had passed but to him it seemed like he’d been walking for hours, he was unsure of where he was or where he was headed but if the island wanted him there he was going there.
Then as quick as the storm arrived it disappeared. The black clouds that had been floating above dropping all of that teeming rain disappeared, the thunder stopped, the rain stopped and the sun began to shine once more. The sand under the captain’s feet was bone dry, possibly even drier than it had been before he’d reached the palm tree if that was even possible and the only sign of the storm was the rivulet of water at the captain’s feet.
Captain Blackscuttle stopped in his tracks, looked up at the sky amazed at what he was seeing, then again looked down. In the instant in which his vision had been diverted the rivulet of water had suddenly turned a darken shade of red, which the captain did not want to touch to confirm his thoughts as to what it was. Without conscious thought his eyes followed the red trail of what he hoped was water but his eyes and his mind were not ready for what they saw at the end of the rivulet.
There less than twenty feet from where he stood the red rivulet came to an end in at a large X.
Previous Pirate story here.