In collaboration with SY (12 years old)
The sky was a tint of orange and a west wind was blowing strongly. It was time. “Let’s commandeer yon trading ship and use its resources to head south, me hearties,” I told the crew.
“Hoist the colours!” I barked at one of the crew as I hobbled over to the starboard. I had a wooden leg, a hook on my right hand, and a black patch over my left eye; I looked very fearsome indeed. A gleaming golden tooth completed my formidable looks – the fiercest pirate in the Caribbean and the scourge of the seven seas.
The lookout on the merchant ship saw our skull and crossbones flag too late, but instead of turning tail, the captain fired a cannon ball that hit the bow. Enraged by his audacity, I let expletives fly. “Ye scurvy bilge rat, arrrr! I’ll have yer lights and liver. Yer soon be shark bait, ye mangey cockroach!”
“Fire!” I snarled at my master gunner. “Aye, aye, Cap’n!” he replied and snapped rapid orders at the gunners. As the first mate competently steered the ship alongside the trading vessel, the deckhands threw grappling hooks to secure the boarding. My men swung on the lines like monkeys and we were on board the other ship in short order.
The merchant crew put up a good fight but they were no match for us ferocious pirates. All the ill-fated merchant seamen were slain for I gave no quarter nor did I believe in taking prisoners. I lived by my motto – dead men tell no tales.
Victory was sweet but finding the booty was sweeter. The crew let out triumphant whoops of joy when several chests of gold bars and coins were discovered in the hold. Moments later, we realised that we were borrowing trouble with a capital T to become overly engrossed with the gleaming gold.
Several blasts of cannon hit our ship. Nobody had noticed that the navy had snuck up to us. The gunfire intensified and I had to dodge fast bullets whizzing though the air to get to the helm. My earlier exultation instantly morphed into a towering outrage. Could a pirate captain explode with indignation? It might just do the trick in blowing up the blasted Royal British warship.
I cussed as flames leaped. The fires kept the powder monkeys busy at dousing. The guns blazed again and again. Soon the canvas caught fire and plummeted in a flurry of sparks. Debris and corpses littered the deck.
Only a handful of my men now remained upright. They slumped their shoulders in defeat. Ignoring my deadly glare, the cowardly imbeciles jumped overboard instead of fighting to death. “Bloody traitors! Cowards! Cretins!” I cussed furiously.
Like my deserters, I was not ready for a lifetime jail term and dancing with Jack Ketch was not an option either. I would rather leap into a shiver of hungry sharks. Walking the plank after all, was a pirate’s specialty.
Giving my enemies a smart salute, I spread my arms and dived. I sank into the sea like a boulder and the roiling currents swiftly carried me away. When I regained consciousness, I found myself lying on an uninhabited island. In a short space of time, I had become stranded Robinson Crusoe instead of infamous Captain Scourge. It was too demeaning.