Monday, January 10, 2005


A pirate tale – 1

"Where's my breakfast?" the captain roared, reaching for his tankard half-filled with warm ale. "Somebody's moving the deck again!"

Cap'n Slappy's cabin boy, Spencer le Hammer, ran into the disheveled cabin. "The cap'n's had another of his 'nights'," the lad said to himself. Spencer wasn't a lad to quail in the face of the old seaman's rages.

"If by breakfast ye mean the last of last night's beer, it's over in the corner with yer trousers," he called cheerily.

"How'd it git there, ya cheeky monkey?" the captain said sullenly. Just then the ship heaved, bringing a green tinge to the captain's complexion and tossing him back into his bunk. "Just steady on, lad!" he shouted. "How's a man supposed to stand when you keep rolling the floor out from under him?"

"Don't know," the lad replied brightly. "But yer wanted on deck. Ol' Chumbucket has something for ye to see."

"Well, tell him I'll be there as soon as I get my pants on. Man can't parade around in his boxers before the whole crew if he wants to keep their respect, now can he. Get out of here now or I'll have ya basted in lime and served for supper."

The cabin boy nimbly ducked the ship's cat, which the captain had heaved at him, and dashed from the cabin to deliver the message. It was close to a quarter of an hour later that the captain emerged, rumpled, a little soiled, but dressed. He glared at the rolling seas, then harrumphed a greeting to the man who awaited him on the quarterdeck.

"Morning Chumbucket. What's up with this typhoon that's blowin' us to Davey Jones?"

"Ah, good morning captain. You look none the worse for wear after last night's frivolity. Good to see you up. It's a fair morning with a wind blowing in from the nor' norwest with a rising glass and the tops'ls in conjunction with the lead. A fair sky and no mistake."

"What the hell are ye talkin' about," the captain grunted.

"No idea at all. Just making it up as I go along, as usual," Chumbucket replied. "But you might be interested to take a look at the southern horizon." He handed the captain the spyglass. "Just about two points left of due south, I think."

The captain took the glass and gave a long look. "No, the other left," Chumbucket added helpfully. The captain grunted, shifted his gaze and looked again.

"Unless I miss my guess, and that's entirely possible as usual, I think we've started making up distance on those Spaniards," Chumbucket said.

"Aye. It might not be them, but I think we've guessed right. Another hard day's sailing and we should be close enough to know," the captain agreed. "Crowd on the sails," he bellowed to the crew. "Fetch me that ship by tomorrow dawn, or I'll know the reason why!"

(This is the first installment of a writing project by Cap'n Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket. We're going to try to write something six days a week, tag team, with Chumbucket handling duties every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and Slappy taking Tuesdays Thursdays and Saturdays. We have no idea what the story is about or where it's going. It may not go anywhere. We don't even know what the title means at this point, and we'll be very surprised if it doesn't change repeatedly in the telling. We'll see.)

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