Thursday, December 02, 2010


The Curacao Caper – Chapter 43

Minutes earlier in the governor's mansion:

A shot rang out.

Everyone in the entryway standoff – the governor, Mad Sally, Ol' Chumbucket, the guards – froze, looking up, surprised. Then they all looked down, and satisfied that they weren't bleeding anywhere, looked around again for the source of the shot.

At the entrance to the main hall a cloud of white smoke cleared and revealed a young, redheaded man dropping the pistol he'd just fired into the ceiling and drawing a second, which he aimed at Gov. Wubbeldinker.

"Jack!" said Mad Sally with relief at the appearance of her escort.

"Dave," said Ol' Chumbucket with annoyance at the appearance of the young upstart.

"What the hell!" shouted the governor, with wet pants at the appearance of a person with a gun pointed at him.

"The lady and I will be leaving," said the man known by a variety of names but it was apparently Jack, since that's what Mad Sally had called him in that unguarded moment. "And I guess this guy too," he added, nodding his head at Ol' Chumbucket.

"I don't think so," the governor said, trying to recover his control. 'You'll notice you're outnumbered."

"It only takes one ball to kill you," Jack said.

"Maybe," the governor said diffidently, "but that means my guards are at least six times more likely to kill you."

"Or not," Jack said, adding, "Ladies?"

The guards, who Chumbucket had thought looked little young, took two steps forward, executed a neat about face, and leveled their muskets at the governor. The wet stain on his trousers grew – by a factor of six, appropriately.

"Now then, your Excellency, I think we'll be leaving," the redheaded young man said.

Wubbeldinker gawped. It might not be a real word, but it's what he did.

"Hold on just a second Jack," Mad Sally said, stepping toward the nonplussed (but truly pissed) governor. "Have the girls got Hamnquist?"

"I sent them to the inn where you arranged the rendezvous," the youth said. "They should have him by now."

"Then let's head for ..." she glanced at Ol' Chumbucket and decided not to reveal all her cards, "the place where we're to meet them."

"Aye, ma'am."

"But before we go ..." Sally took another step forward until she was eyeball to eyeball with the governor. At this proximity, she could actually smell the urine that pooled now at his feet. The man must have been eating asparagus, she thought, wrinkling her nose in disgust.

"You ruined the reputation of a man who means a great deal to me," she hissed at him. "You terrorized me and my mother, and forced him to do something he's never been forgiven for. And I will have my revenge."

Wubbeldinker flnched and whimpered as she hefted the boarding axe, which still trailed streamers torn from her wedding dress.

"You know," she said. "I've never understood why people always assume that the perfect vengeance is to kill someone."

Jack sighed and glanced at his watch.

"Could we hurry this up?" he asked. "That shot should be drawing any guards who are left."

"In a moment," Sally said, then turned her attention back to the craven figure in front of her. "I could kill you. I could make you scream with pain. Or I could do something worse. I could let you live."

The governor said nothing, but dropped to his knees.

"I'm going to leave you here, soaked in your own piss and crawling like the rat you are. For the rest of your life you'll know you're a coward, a thief, a black-hearted traitor and a writhing piece of filth. And everyone else will know it too. I've already taken the steps to be sure that everyone will know – the citizens of this island, your government in Amsterdam, the Brotherhood and even the officials of the other governments – England, France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden. There's nowhere you can go where you won't be greeted with scorn and derision, laughed at, mocked, hated. Officials will think you're worse than a pirate, the pirate community will know you're lower than the lowest thing you can think of. And all because you kidnapped the family of a man who had shown you nothing but kindness. Threatened them with rape and torture if he didn't deliver to you a treasure you didn't deserve. I'm going to enjoy thinking about your miserable excuse for a life, and I hope you live a long, long time, wallowing in self-pity – because no one else on this globe is going to pity you, and that's a fact."

Jack glanced nervously out the front door.

"Really, I think we need to go now."

"One more minute," Sally said, keeping her steel gaze locked on the governor. "Stand up!" she barked.

The governor cringed.

"Stand up, I said," she repeated. He rose slowly to his feet, and she took a step back, staring at him with a cold smile on her face.

"I want to remember you just the way you are."

She stared at him, letting her gaze run up and down. Then she laughed.

"And you thought you were going to be married to me! Let's go, girls."

Sally turned and crossed towards the door where Jack waited. The girls from her crew kept their muskets aimed at the governor while they backed away. Sally, looking every bit the pirate captain despite the fact that she was wearing a torn, tattered wedding dress, turned towards Ol' Chumbucket.

"You should get down to the harbor and get aboard the Boil," she said. I imagine they're getting ready to sail, but they'll probably be looking for you."

"Wait a second," he replied. "I'm not going anywhere without Hamnquist."

"Oh yes you are," she said with a steely gaze. "I've got the captain, and I'm keeping him. It's been fun, as always, and there's certainly a lot to think about before the next time we meet, but for now ..." She cocked her head and gave a mock salute. "Ta ta! Now let's go, girls."

The half dozen pirates formed up in ranks, maintaining their disguise as guards, and headed out the door. But their progress halted immediately as a hail of musket balls tore into the building's exterior.

"I think those soldiers I was taking about have arrived," Jack said, as he calmly aimed his pistol at the gathering out front and fired. "Back door, I think."

"Aye," Sally said. "Bonnie, Crow, come with me. You four watch the soldiers. If they start to advance fire a volley then follow us out back."

She started down the back hallway. Ol' Chumbucket took a step towards her, but she shook her head.

"Not this time, luv," she said. "We're going alone. If I were you I'd find a side window. You'll be safe."

"I'm going where you're going," he replied firmly.

"The hell you – Duck!"

In the confusion, Wubbeldinker had withdrawn a derringer from his waistcoat and aimed it in the general direction of the fleeing pirates. The shot flew over Chumbucket's head. Jack had pushed Sally down, knocking over a table that held a lantern. It hit the floor and smashed, the pool of kerosene catching fire.

Sally pushed her redheaded escort aside and snatched up her axe, which had fallen into the flames. Without pause or thought she held it aloft – the remnants of wedding dress now alight, turning it into a faming torch – and hurled it toward the governor.

It wooshed through the air, burning brighter as it flew end over end across the room, and hit the governor squarely in the chest. He staggered backwards, the blood competing with the flames over which would be the most spectacular effect, and collapsed on the table that held the wedding cake that had been so carefully prepared by Fifi. The flames began to spread across the table toward the desert.

"Damn, I wanted him to live," Sally said. "Oh well, that's not bad either."

Then she looked down at Jack, who was struggling to his feet, clutching his arm from which blood was beginning to seep

"You're hurt!" she said with alarm.

"I'll be alright," he muttered through clenched teeth. "It hit me in the arm, but I don't think it broke the bone. We'll take care of it later."

The four pirates stationed at the front door fired their volley and drew back towards the hallway. Evidently the real guards were making their move.

"Let's go, everyone. Now!" their captain ordered. Ol' Chumbucket stared after her with admiration.

"Sally!" he shouted.

"I'm serious, Chumbucket. Don't follow." she jerked her head toward the window. "Go!"

"Wait – just wanted to say," he looked over at the table where the governor sprawled, flames licking at his corpse, "that was awesome!"

She smiled.

"Thanks. But I'm serious. Don't follow."

You know I'll come after you."

"Yes, but will you catch me?"

She blew him a kiss and disappeared down the hallway. Chumbucket ran toward a window and raised it.

Several things happened almost simultaneously.

-- Ol' Chumbucket got one leg over the window sill.

-- The real guards burst through the front entrance and saw the man from the church – Ol' Chumbucket – halfway out the window.

-- They began to turn to shoot at him.

-- The flames on the table reached Fifi's "bombe"

-- The cake exploded with a roar, blowing away the front of the building, the guards, and the mortal remains of Gov. Governor Roelof Van Wubbeldinker – which was turned into so much scorched, shredded meat.

–– Chumbucket was blown through the window.

"So this is flying," Chumbucket thought as he rocketed through the air. "Not as fun as I'd have thought."

Then he hit something or something hit him and the very bright afternoon went dark for him.

You should write a scary pirate stories book!
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?