Event DreadPoet Storytime -- Official Story Thread

Discussion in 'TLOPO Events' started by Dread Poet Roberts, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Horatio

    Horatio Honorable Pirate

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    Ghost Ship, and Flying, Soaring, were presented by Ben Gone at Story Time, 9/18/2017


    Ghost Ship

    Deep is the night though lit by full moon
    Closed in as a blanket, the doldrums did swoon
    Wispy like waifs of low fog embrace
    Light stirring dark seas, this silvery lace

    Silence as silent as the ocean can reap
    For untold centuries, the secrets to keep
    The mists damp the sounds to a hushed, whispered muffle
    The small wavelets subdued so the clack just a snuffle

    Across the dying moon,
    -----Across this dead, glass sea
    Hails a ghostly-like ship, a specter glides free
    So yellow this moon dipping to the sea
    It outlines this ship, as black as can be

    No living hand on its board, to show it a way
    No life to be found to hold it in sway
    Adrift, it is, with no direction or scheme
    Deserted by all, or so it would seem

    No sound did it make but a creak and low groan
    No emotion or thought was found in the tone
    No breath did escape past the hush of the night
    Thus holding its peace, its weariness outright

    Mournful, despairing, its long journey past
    Gone are the glories of battles amassed
    Abandoned, forgotten, by its maker’s strong hand
    Left to the tides with none to command

    Long looking in silence for the port of its dreams
    No hand on the tiller, so lost as it seems
    No hand to guide to a last resting place
    No maker but human to bring long-lasting grace



    Flying, Soaring
    -a Petrarchan sonnet-

    Billowing! Billowing! —stretched taut the sheets,
    tensioning the blocks in vibrations singing,
    as the masts scrape the clouds while gallantly swinging
    and the helm is held steady as it windwardly beats

    Surging! —past brine in unfloundered feats
    with the spray flashing past in storm showers stinging
    while it surfs the waves that nature keeps slinging
    and frothy white foam hurtles past and retreats

    On snowy-white wings the ships will set sail,
    gliding smoothly across the rolled restless waves,
    as graceful as seabirds go soaring in flight
    And, with every breath that the wind will exhale,
    the prow meets the surge —in helms direction, it paves —
    as flying engines drive forward with power and might
     
    #41
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
    Sorrow and CharlotteIronPhoenix like this.
  2. Dread Poet Roberts

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    Neptune's Trident
    By Dread Poet Roberts 9/18/2017


    Neptune’s angry Trident swirls wind wrath and foam

    The seas an angry purple heading form my home

    Tossed and turned the monster eye

    Fates in the heavens to live or to die



    The rain stings upon my face

    Pierces the mountain protection

    Detritus

    The world shrinks as each shard ripped away

    A giant toddler enraged smashing everything in its path

    Flinging human sized legos into the air

    Shatters with a resounding snap and crash



    Instinctively I dive

    Beneath the mattress I close my eyes nightly

    My only respite

    Lashed against the train howls of the storm

    Bear down upon me

    Blood Orange the sky

    Now opened up in the roof above

    Vanished



    A thin line between heaven and hell

    The calm of the stars above

    Momentary respite

    A chance to feel

    To live

    In the moment before all is snatched away

    Violence in beauty most plain

    All that we see

    All that we know

    To the heavens they all go

    And we who are not vacuumed away

    By the wind and the fury

    Live to face another day

    The desolate landscape forever changed

    God’s winnowing hand

    As we ourselves are changed

    Released of the prison of things

    We live again and that is all that matters

    When in sweetness that last raindrop falls

    From Neptune’s Trident
     
    #42
  3. Dread Poet Roberts

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    Memory Mirror
    delivered by DreadPoet Roberts 9/18/2017


    Memory Mirror


    A proud looking glass am I,

    Sentry of morning hues

    Brilliant first rays of day

    Recording a multitude of memories

    Of all we do and say.a


    When first I met you

    So tiny and small

    I must have seemed gigantic

    Plastered on the wall


    My golden frame shimmers

    As you silently pay peek-a-boo

    Reflecting your smiles

    A new friend for you.


    I stood by as you matured

    Mom’s makeup and dresses tried on for size

    Too big for now

    But I witnessed the magic in your eyes

    Effervescent reflection transformed.


    All your hopes and dreams,

    Fill the corners of my frames,

    I revel in your images,

    And quickly passing fame,

    Each wish a shooting star,

    So brilliant and so alive,

    Silently recorded in my silvery reflection.


    The dress fits perfectly now,

    As you prepare for that big day,

    A doorbell ringing in the distance,

    To take you on that big date.


    Worry not I whispered to you,

    He’ll like you just the way you are,

    I’ve stood here for watchful years,

    Calming all of your hopes and fears.


    A new face in the mirror today,

    A bride in white,

    A groom in black,

    Together you stand,

    A thousand new memories ready to be born,

    I go with you to this special place,

    Silently recording all you say,

    Memories of a new family started on this day.
     
    #43
  4. Horatio

    Horatio Honorable Pirate

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    The River Styx was presented by Canon Bluefire at Story Time, 10/2/2017

    As Dante has said:
    “O Muses! O High Genius! Be my aid!
    O Memory, recorder of the vision,
    here shall your true nobility be displayed!”
    The “Inferno” not staid…

    The River Styx

    Oh, humans so bold and so fearless,
    so clever and cunning by name,
    listen well and do not be careless
    of a story that would rankle the sane
    in a plummeting thread of afflictedness;
    an eternal perturbation of pain…

    Four black horses, with chariot drawn,
    heed their masters desire and wish,
    and slog the ground where demons spawn
    in unyielding frenzy with their tails a-swish
    Feared and loathed is the sight thereon
    where Hades rides; and hopes all squish

    A well-traveled road, to the jaws of the portal,
    of dusty desolation through a waterless maw
    Then, through to the river for bound souls immortal,
    a journey for the darned, who cannot withdraw
    And there stands a demon who has cause to chortle,
    and thus stands a sight inspiring feint hearted awe

    Foul in garb and abhorrent in sight
    and nourished on anguish without a care
    Haggard and unkempt, this bearded fright,
    with untrimmed masses of rat-nested hair
    Hellfire burnished and tempered vile blight
    Poxed skin stretched thin, where bone is not bare

    The bones that extend beyond your sleeve,
    crooked in intent and silent in might,
    point at me as though to thieve
    and steal away with darkness of night,
    and leave me lost to moan and bereave
    with utter destruction, my souls great plight

    And so, greedy Charon, your care for a coin,
    a coin you require of travelers to ferry
    across the Acheron and later Styx, enjoin
    with no time to question, ponder or tarry
    A demon allowed no soul purloin,
    with the judgment of the darned,
    …you must be merry

    The woeful sounds on the Acheron’s bank,
    of those you cast glazed eyes aflame
    and will not ferry (as though a prank),
    beg to cross and end the shame
    of being undead, and sourly dank,
    and visiting the living as though to maim

    Haunting the earth for a hundred years
    as a phantom specter of tortured distain
    in a ghastly limbo of torrid tears
    as loved ones curse with quiet refrain
    The debts well paid and not arrears,
    dreaded ferryman, release the pain

    And so, the Acheron, which many shall gain,
    the river of woe, begins its stiff draw
    to the hell-burnished proper of Hades’ domain,
    to the land of desolate abominable flaw
    Loud is the howling in hideous pain
    to which grief ascends till the senses go raw

    Opportunists once absorbed in a self-centered vein,
    condemned for their crime and punished for their pursuit,
    of not good or evil, but intense personal gain,
    are now chased by wasps who swarm to pollute
    and cause blood and vile pus to flow freely and drain
    and drip from fingers and toes in befoulment acute

    Around and around will they stumble and fumble
    and rise up again in the most certain of terms
    But, as they blister and boil, their stomach shall rumble,
    and their throat shall swell closed as their vomit affirms
    the spoil of their innards as they cower and crumble
    and disassemble to the glee of squirming maggots and worms

    But for those who would not linger here,
    compelled by Minos command and fate,
    those with wrathful and sullen sneer,
    shall ferry the Styx, the river of hate
    And gleeful Charon, who with vision clear,
    sees the blights that yet await….
     
    #44
  5. CharlotteIronPhoenix

    CharlotteIronPhoenix Honorable Pirate

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    Ghosts of the Cove Presented by Charlotte Ironphoenix on 10/02/17

    Tonight I share a tale from my own adventures. Mark you well what I say and know that every word I speak is truth.

    I remember it was when I was a young girl, a new sailor still with raw hands, that I first heard the stories of Raven's Cove. Of how after three days and three nights of the East India Trading Company and Jolly Roger's armies fighting, the island was laid bare, the citizens slain and naught but ravenous ghosts and ruin left in their wake. Possessing a curiosity that is both unfitting for a woman and unhealthy for the heart, when I came into command of my own ship I eventually desired to look upon this island and see it for myself.

    Asking for the heading at the King's Arm, I was nearly laughed out of the tavern. Aye they told me it was death to go to that place alone. But I was advised that if I went through with my madness I should go in the day and leave the place well before nightfall.

    Though I left early in the morning before even the bakers had risen from their beds, Raven's Cove was still a long ways away and it was noon before I reached it. I rowed my little dingy from my ship to the ruined wharf and from that first step onto the gray, rotted wood I was filled with dread.

    The place is as dark and grim as all the stories say. I was greeted by human bones at a destroyed barricade by the harbor and for a moment I considered leaving right then. But I did not. I went forward, my footsteps crunching in the dirt seeming impossibly loud, but aside from the quiet thrum of the ocean and the throaty croak of distant ravens, there were no sounds but the ones I was making.

    Yet still I was careful to stay as quiet as possible, ever wary for whatever thing might lay in wait around the next corner. I explored the abandoned town, astounded by the eeriness of a once lively place now barren of life. It was a clear warning of what would happen if we pirates failed against Jolly Roger. For a moment I saw Tortuga quite clearly, the buildings turned into charred husks, the streets empty except for the bodies of the slain and the ravens that were picking their bones clean.

    It is not a sight I ever wish to see again.

    I turned around the corner of a building and with a restrained shout I came face to sword with another pirate. He had a weathered face and half mad eyes,

    "You aren't a ghost," he didn't put the sword away as he said, "why are you here?"

    "I am only exploring," I said to him, "I wanted to see for myself the place that is so forsaken that not even Jolly Roger wanted to keep it."

    He took a few steps back, "Suit yourself. No one will save you when the Red Ghosts kill you." He turned then and ran off in the direction I had come from.

    A chill climbed up to my neck. Were the stories really true? I had never seen a ghost and had been told often as a child that they were naught but fantasy.

    God condemn me for my bloody curiosity. I was warned, fervently, that I must leave Raven's Cove before the sun set and it was nearing dusk now. But I would not be such a good pirate if I was a coward easily scared by only words. I made the decision to stay.

    Secreting myself into a hiding place by the ruin of the jail, I sat down to wait, my loaded flintlock tucked into my sash and my naked sword laying across my lap.

    And I waited.

    A fog crawled through the rocky crags that the town of Raven's Cove had been built into and the moisture made my clothes stick to my already clammy skin. I had never seen such a darkness as the black that filled that place and the moonlight scarcely touched the ground. It almost felt suffocating, as if the night was pressing on me, trying to smother me with it's inky mantle. Yet out of the black I saw a faint glow forming, fiery red but transparent.

    And then I heard the wail.

    Such a sound I have never heard! It turned me to ice on the spot. I doubt I could have roused my body to move if I had tried. My eyes were glued to the eerie glow. The red light hovered as if it were a mist, drifting aimlessly about. All was fine... until it started to hover slowly towards my direction.

    An electric jolt of fear shocked feeling back into my body and I jumped to my feet. In my panic I took out my pistol and shot the thing once right in the middle of it. The ghost screamed and I saw that it's empty eyes were locked on me as the mist coalesced into the shade of a man.

    "You shouldn't be here," he moaned.

    I turned tail and ran as fast as I could, all thought of fighting gone as my pulse thundered in my ears like a ship's broadside. I heard the outraged ghost shriek again right behind me, far, far too close.

    In my mad haste I did not mind the placement of my feet. I tripped over something and fell, only to find myself laying in the withered lap of a bony corpse, it's face forever frozen in it's dying scream from where the still embedded blade pierced it's heart.

    Again the red ghost howled and I knew I was caught. In a second I rolled over so that I could at least face my death with dignity as the wraith fell upon me.

    The bones next to me flared blue and an icy chill swept through my body. I blinked away the light in my eyes and found a second ghost standing over me. With a screech of pain the red ghost stopped as the second specter swung a phantom cutlass through it.

    I did not stay to question my fortune. I scrambled back on hands and knees, grabbing up my sword from where it had fallen in the dirt as I fled. In the pitch black and my blind fear I did not find the way back I had come. Like a cowering dog I dove into a crumbling building and hid myself inside a barrel.

    I sat there hugging my sword and quaking at the bottom of a half empty cask of what smelt like rotten salt cod, wondering what to do. Assuming that I wasn't followed, the safest thing certainly seemed to be sitting there and waiting for sunrise. Unfortunately, the blue glow creeping over the top of the barrel seemed to disagree with this plan.

    "You that braved these cursed shores by night, fear me not." I heard a reedy voice say.

    I certainly did not trust the voice but I was discovered all the same, so I slowly stood. In front of me was the blue shade. I could make out the features of a middle-aged man with a placid face, but by the faint glow I could also make out the shape of the room right through his form.

    "You came here not seeking treasures nor to weigh your strength against tortured spirits. Why come then?" He asked of me.

    Somehow I found my voice behind the lump of fear swollen in my throat, “I... I wanted to see. To s-see if the stories were true,” I swallowed, “it's worse than I imagined.”

    The ghost stared me down, “Take heed this warning and spread it among the brethren pirates. The power that Jolly Roger sought was not here.”

    My breath hitched, “but... the cursed blades...” I whispered. All the stories said that was what Jolly Roger had been after when he invaded Raven's Cove.

    “A distraction... a means to an end, aye, but not what Jolly truly wanted. Do ye think for a moment, that if Jolly Roger desired their power that badly, that if he feared their strength that much, then he would have let even one leave his hands? No. The power of those blades... it lays not within the metal they were forged from, nor the curses they carry. “

    The shade continued, “Their true power lays in their ability to cause discord among the living. For is it not so, that since their discovery, many a pirate has done nothing but search them out and quarrel with his brothers over them? Even the terrible price of wielding one has done nothing to dissuade many a man from desiring to own one. I fear Raven's Cove may have had the best fortune in the Caribbean. Do not let our deaths be in vain. Heed this warning. The cursed blades are not the end.”

    “But what does Jolly Roger want then?”I asked him quickly.

    “The power of the Heathen Gods. Not just the power over life and death, but the power of creation and destruction itself.” No later than he finished speaking did the ghost wink out of existence.

    I sat there in the dark then, mind churning with thoughts until the dawn broke over the island. I am only one pirate, so I come to you all to share this specter's message. Sharpen your steel and ready yourselves, this be the calm before the storm. Too long have we turned a blind eye to Jolly Roger. Ye can be sure he is ready for us, we need best be ready for him.

    /bow
     
    #45
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  6. Sorrow

    Sorrow Swashbuckler

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    The Wishes

    /bow
    An old pirate sat in a darkened room.
    The air was thick with smoke and the scents of burning herb and spoiled meat.
    He stared down at his hands and saw they were wrinkled and old,
    covered with callus and thick with muscle,
    /hand
    They were stained with blood,
    both very fresh and very old,
    as were his palms, his fingers, and beneath his nails.
    /primp
    His fingernails belong to a working sailor,
    chipped and broken, caked with pitch and tar.
    He held a child's rag doll in one hand and a lock of auburn hair in the other,
    and the sight of both brought him great sadness, though he knew not why.
    /sad
    His old body ached from age and abuse.
    /tired
    His ribs, from where they were once shattered by a musket ball.
    His back, torn by the lash countless times.
    His soul, cursed by voodoo and sin.
    His throat, stretched and scarred by a clumsy hangman's noose.
    His lungs wheezed with sickness,
    and his face was damp with tears.
    /cry
    His skull ached, and old blood had soaked his scalp,
    making his hair thick and sticky.
    But strangest of all...
    he had no memory of who he was
    /frown
    or how he had come to this darkened space.
    A rattle of bones caused his head to turn, and he saw a dark woman step around him.
    She was stunning in her mature beauty,
    her hair was as grey as crematory ash,
    her silver eyes glowed with knowledge and power.
    Her burlap dress was stained with blood and potions and other more terrible things.
    Her body was adorned with necklaces and jewelry of bone and twigs and dried flowers.
    She leered at him, knowingly, expectantly.
    /wink
    "Who are you?" the old man asked, his voice sounding tiny in her presence.
    "Ah be Mamah Tombrose, meestah," she replied, showing no surprise by his question.
    "What am I doing here?" he cried.
    /sigh
    "Ahhh," she sighed. "Thees be the kine o' quest'ns man comes ta Mamah Tombrose fer answers, aye?"
    /grin
    She grinned broadly, and her teeth were stained red, their enamel engraved with runes.
    She extended her hand, her finger pointed at his heart.
    Its nail seemed unnaturally long and sharp.
    "Now, fer ya THIRD weesh... Wha it be?"
    "Third wish?" The old sea dog was baffled.
    /confused
    "How can there be a third wish if I haven't had a first and second?"
    /nod
    "Ya 'av 'ad tow weesh a'rea'!" the vodou witch said with a smile,
    /smile
    "but yah SECON' weesh was fer me ta return ev'rythin' ta the way it was befo' yah had yah FIRS' weesh...
    Tha' why yah kin rememba' nathin'...
    Ev'rythin' be the way it was afore yah made ANY weesh..."
    He raised the hand holding the lock of hair and touched the wound on his scalp.
    Pain blazed through his skull anew.
    /laugh
    She laughed at the pirate.
    "So it be yah ha' one weesh lef'."
    "Very well," said the old pirate through his tears.
    He looked at the child's doll in his grasp.
    One eye was missing.
    Her dress was dirty and stained with blood.
    Some of her hair was singed.
    "There is one thing I wish. I wish to remember."
    /cackle
    "Ah hah!" said vodou queen laughed.
    Extending a hand, she blew a cloud of brown dust into his face.
    As she disappeared into the darkness of the hut, the memories rushed back on him.
    And her last words hung in the air.
    "Ahh," she said,
    "An' that had been yer FIRST weesh too..."
    /bow
     
    #46
  7. Horatio

    Horatio Honorable Pirate

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    Ocean Adventures, and Sail Away, was presented by Ben Gone at Story Time, 10/16/2017

    Ocean Adventures

    Out of the swirling, dark mists, a faint, distant light;
    a glistening shining through vapor-soaked air.
    A flicker, as banks of fog slowly wafted past.

    Our ship, rocking slowly to the quiet creak
    of the chain and tackle, in peaceful rest
    in the envelope of darkness surrounding us.

    Our own lanterns hooded so that light shown
    outward, and not to blind us. The warm and wet mist,
    eddied as slowly as only a vapor can,
    swirled around them in clouds of obscurity.

    But, then a stench crept through the night,
    although no sound protruded beyond
    the gentle lap of becalmed, still tide.

    And, though rocking comfortably,
    as in a warm cradle,
    our skins began to crawl
    with steadily rising unease
    as though the beginnings of an ugliness
    was to overtake us.

    If there be such a thing
    as peaceful dread
    then that is what
    came over us.

    But, then…
    a foghorn…

    as a tramp steamer slowly passed.


    Sail Away

    Setting sails on a setting sun,
    all coalescing to a large, orange One
    Billowing slowly to a gusting, light blow,
    the sails carry the ship in a gently-held tow.

    Parting the waves, sent rolling past,
    steady is the helm, being held fast.
    Striving for destiny on a distant, lone shore
    —adventurer’s compass, forevermore.

    The smell of the salt, the shish of the sea
    free to the horizon as far as can see.
    A bubbling froth of sparkling white foam
    rides with the ship, but fizzes back home.

    The deepest of blues on sea bedded deeps.
    The span of the skies the albatross keeps.
    Immersed in the elements spent on your making,
    a refreshing light tonic now free for the taking.

    Betrothed to the sea, the shore left behind,
    the quest well clears the winds of the mind.
     
    #47
  8. Horatio

    Horatio Honorable Pirate

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    SEA WITCH was presented by Ben Rotten and Bad Apple at Story Time, 11/01/2017

    SEA WITCH

    A night as dark as the devil’s keep
    The stars not showing, the mists run deep
    Damp and heavy, cold and dense
    But nothing to foretell what would happen hence


    On the masthead, a flashing glow,
    though not unusual at night
    But this not the usual glow,
    the color a ghastly white

    St. Elmo’s Fire as usually seen is
    blue in color, hissing mean
    But never a sinister sight
    —No spirit-candles were seen

    An ooze of bright effluence
    dripping down to the deck
    A crackling, popping, hissing,
    with breathing—down the neck

    The crew did wonder at this encounter
    That this was mischief, there was no doubter
    For nothing about it boded so well
    The devil’s own work it might well foretell


    Then spawned from the light
    a dark shadow was rent
    A vaporous cast, a
    catastrophic portent

    Dark hair and dark skin
    from what you can see
    But, then, the white highlights
    brought substance to be

    A featureless dress
    covered by cloak,
    deep-hooded and long,
    could be seen in the smoke

    Eye sockets deep,
    foreboding and dark
    Large pools thus hollowed for
    dread eyes, oh, so stark

    Eyes flashing wildness with
    malevolent intent
    Snarling teeth bared
    Carnivorous the scent

    High, stern, round cheeks
    Cavernous, strong jaw
    Hungry for feast
    Voracious the maw

    Filling all voids
    Everywhere she seems
    Jealous mad rage
    Joyous, she screams

    She hovers about
    for victims to find
    The heavy air billows, as
    she glides on behind

    Her size seems to vary
    to fill up the space, and
    with it her strength
    with which she’ll embrace

    We’d heard of this witch, this afflicted malaise
    Its unwholesomeness wanton, a fire in her gaze
    Of jealous intent there is little to doubt
    Of human virtue, wanton to rout


    Once, quite human and considerably fair
    The gods did rejoice in her presence, with care
    But vanity overwhelmed, her vainness amassed
    Then the gods realized, her mischief surpassed

    For all of her beauty no virtue was found
    They told her she was hideously unsound
    She’d tricked them and deceived them for favors to spare
    And now that they knew her, the devil may care

    She was cast to the underworld to burn with a flair
    But with her powers, she would not stay there
    Occasionally she managed to find her way out
    Then, revenge on the humans, their virtues stamped out

    Of the fires of hell henceforth she came
    To the seas of the earth to put out the flame
    Of the land and the heat she avoided with care
    Singed as she was, with pain she’d not dare

    No thoughts of redemption or changing her way
    Only thoughts of destruction would hold her at bay
    No cage could confine her she couldn’t traverse
    Her victims she’d find them with a scourge and a curse

    Humans she blamed deep down in her core
    Her insanity thinking she’d even the score
    And bathe in the blood, the flowing red gore
    The gods would have humans to rejoice in no more

    YES, let jealousy’s befoulment garner her soul
    Let humans stand aghast and take fast the toll
    YES, venomous the poison of obsession complete
    Cringe will these humans in appalling defeat


    With the gaze of a demon
    she freezes her catch
    Of mortal humans
    there is no match

    Her shriek of great rapture, the
    gratification of terror
    Unsatiated revenge,
    appeasement an error

    No halt, or pause,
    or thought to amend
    The witch is well driven
    Man’s heart will she rend

    No real attention
    No cause to reflect
    No thought for kind mercy
    It’s time to collect

    The ship well stands dark in
    a cloud of emotion
    Strung high as the fires;
    ecstasy’s devotion

    Of the men on the deck,
    she catches with ease
    No thought to run,
    they stare in a freeze

    Their brains did not freeze
    them in shock at her sight
    For they were already
    petrified by the light

    Their eyes glazed over
    without a sound
    The screech of the witch
    was well nigh profound

    The fast-beating heart,
    the target to tear
    The seat of all virtue,
    too much to bear

    With quick-driven thrust
    her greed-driven hand
    drives under the rib cage
    with efficient command

    Blood-thirsty long fingers,
    with ravenous nail,
    cut through the tissue,
    the heart to avail

    The warm heart she clasps
    It beating like thunder
    It palpitates in fear
    as she pulls it from under

    Accentuated pops
    Arteries asunder
    Well stretched beyond
    any rigid wonder

    Blood showered the deck
    as the heart was ripped out
    She ate it still beating,
    her craving devout

    Where once there was forty, now there but one
    Of fine standing men, just one left undone
    The boiling, vile feculence; depravity still here
    And probably will be ’til dawn’s light is near

    My journal I leave here for all who would see
    The only one left on this cursed ship is me
    By the grace of the gods I’m still of sound mind
    A long-journeyed sailor, the last of my kind

    addend -

    How frivolous we take of the mores of the past
    Thousands of years these developed to last
    How brazen we tinker with traditional norms
    Not fearing the onset of emotional storms

    By grace and integrity we stand tall and true
    A gift of the heart from each one of you
    Comes honor, discipline, and humility in thought
    Thus love can transcend on a base that’s well wrought

     
    #48
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  9. Sorrow

    Sorrow Swashbuckler

    Joined:
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    Ship of Souls

    It is said, a ship with a death in it can never be bought or sold.
    It can only be borrowed from the dead.
    In a remote part of Boston harbor reside the ships no one has use for.
    Derelicts, hulks, and unwanted prizes.
    There, a brig is anchored, an ancient, dark wreck in the black water.
    In the early evening, a young sailor pulls upon the oars as the Ship's Master steers.
    "She was decommissioned to a private owner," the Master says. "Once it was a pirate vessel before it was captured by the Navy.
    But the current owner purchased it before they could scuttle her."
    The boy looks over his shoulder as the brig draws nearer.
    "What's to be done with it?" he asks.
    /shrug
    "The owner hopes to refurbish her and set her free once again. To a pirate lord, he hopes."
    The Master takes a swig of run from a flask. The Boston night is chill.
    /thirsty
    "He calls her the Ship of Souls."
    Climbing on board, the Master takes the boy to the Navigator's cabin.
    Table, chair, bunk. A chest for his few possessions. A bag and jars with a few days' food and water. Some books.
    "Make yourself comfortable, boy," the Master says. "It's an easy job. Keep your lantern lit, so others know you're here.
    "Don't start no fires, and don't let any get started. Make sure no looters or vagabonds come aboard.
    "I'll be sending workmen out over the next couple weeks to make repairs. If you see anything amiss, let me or them know."
    /nod
    The boy wanders the ship's decks and cabins. It is old but seems well cared for at first glance.
    But a scratch at the varnish reveals deep rot beneath.
    It creaks and groans on the harbor's waters.
    Its anchor chains grind against each other like bones.
    The hawsers snap and pull.
    Strange knocks echo through the cabins.
    The boy tries to write letter to his sweetheart, but his lamp extinguishes.
    When he manages to light it, he finds his ink well overturned. Ink spilled across the desk and onto the deck, fouling his pages.
    /confused
    Was there a rogue wave in the harbor? Odd, that he didn't feel it.
    /shrug
    It was there, the death. On his first night he felt it, but he could not see it.
    Not yet.
    /no
    In his explorations, he finds one especially large cabin, nearly as large as the Captain's.
    And especially dark. It seems no light can pierce it, and the boy becomes uneasy exploring it.
    Against one wall, he finds a patch of mold growing on the floor.
    As the days pass, the patch grows.
    No work crews ever come, but the next time the Master returns, bearing food and water, the boy reports the patch of mold.
    The Master seems unconcerned when he inspects it. He pokes at the mold and then wipes his fingers off on his trousers.
    "It's cosmetic versus structural. Ugly, but shouldn't affect her seaworthiness."
    /frown
    "What is this room?" the boy asks.
    "This was the owners' cabin, reserved for their use when they were aboard.
    "This ship was built a hundred years ago, twas to be a gift from a shipwright to his new bride.
    "They hoped to sail to the New World and start a merchant concern in the Caribbean.
    "A day after their wedding vows, they disappeared, having never set sail even once.
    "The townsfolk and dock workers must have shook their heads and wished them well. Some people are just not suited for life at sea.
    /shrug
    "And so the ship laid in estate until it was sold for a pittance to a pirate captain, where she served her captain well.
    /nod
    "So this cabin was never occupied by the owners. During the life of the ship, it served as storage and occasional lodging for honored guests. Nothing more.
    /sigh
    "I'll have workmen come. They'll remove this bad wood and replace it."
    And so the Master left again, leaving the boy alone with the ship and its memories.
    The boy is drawn to that cabin. Deep in the night, when he cannot sleep, he finds himself standing before it.
    At times, he thinks he sees a white figure standing in the darkness of that cabin. But he never dares approach.
    /search
    The walls and windows of this ship are as thin as bones. Almost as if one could walk right through them.
    Is that what happened? Did she fall through the walls when the candlestick crushed her skull?
    Did her new husband seal her up with wood and let the mold grow over her?
    /curious
    Rains come, and the patch of mold grows.
    The workers the Ship's Master promised never come.
    Sometimes the boy wonders if the Master has forgotten him entirely.
    /confused
    How does one forget their own death? It is such an important thing.
    Who would kill a loved one? So recently wed, so young and beautiful?
    /sad
    How could such a thing come about? Memory is a tricky thing.
    /agree
    One night, the ship's silence is broken by knocking, and the boy rises to investigate.
    /search
    In the darkness of the great cabin, he sees an even deeper darkness on the floor.
    Where the mold had grown, the deck planks have been pulled up and neatly stacked to the side.
    He peers in the darkness under the deck and sees curled bones shrouded in a rotten nightgown.
    The skull is crushed like an egg shell. Beside it, a heavy bronze candlestick.
    The boy is shoved, and he tumbles into the hole.
    He struggles, trying to free himself, but his limbs become tangled in the old bones, as if they clutch at him, holding him down.
    /scared
    Dust and ancient rot fills his senses.
    Then the planks are placed over him, and he hears the nails driven in.
    He struggles. He struggles.
    He struggles.
    He is still.
    /tired
    The next day, the Master rows to the ship to check on the boy, only to find he's absconded from his post.
    Once again, he must hire another.
    /bow
     
    #49
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  10. Sorrow

    Sorrow Swashbuckler

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    There Was Once a Girl

    There was once a girl,
    she was held by her mother,
    amid screams and fire and smoke.
    The world rocked and tore itself apart.
    The ocean rushed in through shattered wood.
    Her mother cried and held her close.
    She pressed herself against her as they clung to a scrap of wood,
    and in the distance, their ship burned angrily before slipping beneath the waves.
    Her mother wept and whispered prayers and promises.
    Her arms were strong and held her tightly.
    Until they let go...
    /sad
    There was once a girl,
    she sank beneath the blue depths,
    feeling the icy cold clutch her flesh.
    Down, down, further and further she sank.
    The weight of worlds pressed down upon her,
    and the darkness grew heavier and heavier.
    Her lungs ached and burned,
    her ears thundered with the beating of her heart.
    Her eyes grew dim.
    Then she felt cold arms fold around her,
    and dead lips press against hers...
    /sleep
    There was once a girl,
    she stood upon the wave tossed rocks,
    bare amongst the rain and lightning,
    arms outstretched to the passing ship.
    The storm lit her slight frame as she beckoned.
    Drawn by her cries,
    the sailors shouted and pointed and raised the alarm,
    but when their ship neared for the rescue,
    savage reefs reached out to tear at their hull.
    And when they sought refuge in their long boats,
    slender arms rose from the waters, to claim them as well...
    /hungry
    There was once a girl,
    she lived in darkness,
    she drew in the innocent with the pretext of rescue,
    she held them as they struggled
    and watched them drown in terror.
    Her big sisters laughed with sinister glee,
    as she presided over their feasts,
    and they eagerly reminded her that
    while her mother's arms dropped her,
    it was theirs that caught her
    and gave her life.
    /sigh
    There was once a girl,
    she had a dream of swimming in the deep,
    with gossamer fins and rainbow scales.
    Round about, round about she swam
    until she found herself in a bowl,
    and a woman stood nearby looking down upon her
    with dark skin and grey hair and flashing eyes.
    She smiled as she drew a doll through the water
    with seashell eyes and seaweed hair.
    The girl could not resist and grabbed at the doll,
    but when she did, the woman laughed and yanked her from the water.
    /laugh
    There was once a girl,
    she one day saw small ship approach her reef.
    She stood upon the waves with outstretched arms
    and watched it lurch and jump across the rocks.
    The sound of rending wood rang across the sea.
    She slipped into the water and sped towards the wreck.
    She embraced the boat's only occupant and sank into the depths.
    Helpless in her grip, the woman clutched a doll,
    with seashell eyes and seaweed hair.
    As her sisters rose to the feast, the girl looked into the woman's face
    and saw her mother.
    /gasp
    There was once a girl,
    and she had to make a choice.
    /bow
     
    #50
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  11. ElizaCreststeel

    Wiki Staff

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    icy lead trigger
    desperate lone figure
    huddled in darkness
    behind rain-soaked stone

    fear lingers wet
    in the smell of sweat
    in the taste of blood
    in the desperate gasps

    distant footfalls crack
    pupils ripple black
    mind screams PANIC
    lips only pitifully murmurs

    billow of staggered breath
    sharp ring of steely death
    a splash of crimson dew
    echos across grey brick

    glint of silver light
    gleam of teeth clenched white
    cold metal cleaves deep
    into yielding flesh

    wispy steam billows forth
    vengeful blade no remorse
    eyes glaze and mouth agape
    pounding heart...
    grows...
    faint...
     
    #51
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  12. Horatio

    Horatio Honorable Pirate

    Joined:
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    Two Foes was presented by Coron Ach at Story Time, 11/20/2017


    Two Foes

    Two warring chiefs, a tribal grudge,
    a score to settle sore
    These neighboring clans of seafaring folk
    all had been to war

    And now that fragile peace was made
    with English and Scottish lords,
    the clans of all the Irish coast
    had taken up their swords

    The galleys they manned to settle disputes
    had one sail and many an oar
    And swiftly they fell to battle it out
    to end it at death’s door

    These galleys they sailed had swivel guns
    placed between these oars
    And matchlock muskets and arrows and darts
    enough to even the scores

    One caught head-on, the decks were raked,
    from bow to stern they tore
    This one then swung dead fast abeam
    and their guns let loose a roar

    Many holes appeared in sail and gear,
    and shrouds and blocks did fall
    And masts were splintered and men were shredded,
    so effective was small shot and ball

    A child did stow on board one ship,
    deep within the hold
    The son of the captain, one warring chief,
    only six of years, all told

    A Gaelic son, a leader born,
    with kindness at his command
    With flaming red hair and freckled face,
    well he bore the brand

    The boy was famed throughout the land
    for his courage of friendliness
    But a little warrior brave and true,
    his father would say, no less

    By his own, a child of charitable goodwill
    with honest upright sheen
    To all near clans, friend and foe alike,
    his spotless innocence well seen

    The child did finally run up from the hold,
    his concern for his father born strong
    But not only this, but the noise and the sound,
    foretelling that something was wrong

    On the deck he did scramble, so blindly aghast,
    the sight on the deck was abash
    He stood in a stupor, the crew tried to shield him,
    as the galleys were going to clash

    A broadside was bore, both sides set the roar, and
    the child’s head was fatally smashed
    He fell to the deck in a pool of red blood,
    and to him his father thus dashed

    The father and crew stood deathly dead still
    at a sight that they could not abide
    A tiny frail boy of innocence well loved,
    a wooden sword and shield by his side

    The captain father did close his eyes
    and with his hair he did rend
    And opened his mouth as if to wail
    For his mind, nothing to mend

    Silence did settle upon the deck, and
    the colorful clan flag was struck
    The white flag was hoisted in silent distain
    In total distress they were stuck

    The father did lift the child of his blood
    above his head straight armed
    To show the captain of the other ship
    the child had thus been harmed

    The captain of the other ship did see
    of what great harm had come
    He would rather have been blessed with hell
    than seen what had become

    Loud he howled in rage and grief
    for a boy who would make all proud
    The wound was far too deep to bear
    The gods should not have allowed

    He ceased the action and struck his colors,
    and raised them upside down
    A sickened ship in great distress
    A dirge in funeral gown

    The crews did stand and the ships did part
    in a bitter, strangled weep
    They never were to engage again
    Their hearts were burdened deep
     
    #52

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