Event DreadPoet Storytime -- Official Story Thread

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

  1. Kai Devlin

    Kai Devlin Sea Legs

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    #61
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
  2. CharlotteIronPhoenix

    CharlotteIronPhoenix Honorable Pirate

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    Thank you!

    As for the first part you quoted, I cannot entirely take credit. That is paraphrased from an actual speech attributed to Black Sam himself as recorded in "A General History of the Pyrates" published in 1724. I hated to change any of it because it is simply beautiful on it's own, so I tried to change as little as possible.

    "I am sorry they won't let you have your sloop again, for I scorn to do any one a mischief, when it is not to my advantage; d*** the sloop, we must sink her, and she might be of use to you. Though you are a sneaking puppy, and so are all those who will submit to be governed by laws which rich men have made for their own security; for the cowardly whelps have not the courage otherwise to defend what they get by knavery; but d*** ye altogether: d*** them for a pack of crafty rascals, and you, who serve them, for a parcel of hen-hearted numbskulls. They vilify us, the scoundrels do, when there is only this difference, they rob the poor under the cover of law, forsooth, and we plunder the rich under the protection of our own courage. Had you not better make then one of us, than sneak after these villains for employment?"

      [The merchant captain replied that his conscience would not let him break the law by becoming a pirate]

    "You are a devilish conscience rascal! I am a free prince, and I have as much authority to make war on the whole world as he who has a hundred sail of ships at sea and an army of 100,000 men in the field; and this my conscience tells me! But there is no arguing with such snivelling puppies, who allow superiors to kick them about deck at pleasure."

    As for the second, that part was actually slated to be cut. But I wanted Sam to have a happy ending darn it, so I rolled with it. In my research I found that there are a dozen different stories about how the story of Black Sam ended; most agree he drowned on the Whydah in the storm, but there are a few stories that mention a man matching his description being spotted in town after the storm. I swear I saw this particular ending I went with somewhere, but for the life of my I have not been able to find the original source since.
     
    #62
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  3. SunAndMoon

    SunAndMoon Sea Legs

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    That speech always makes me tear up a little. I love Black Sam, and I loved your poem.

    Any version of the story that ends with Sam and Maria being reunited is fine by me. <3
     
    #63
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  4. Horatio

    Horatio Honorable Pirate

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    The Heart, and Love's Grace were presented by Coron Ach at Valentine's Day Story Time, 02/12/2018


    The Heart

    My heart, possessed
    My soul, enslaved
    My mind now captured which once was free

    Flames consume me
    so embraced by yearning
    and so enfeebled by love so strong

    In my dreams I have seen you
    In my thoughts is your presence
    And, upon your face my aloneness looks

    Pour it out
    this blood of mine
    that flows not but by your willing

    The stream finds the sea
    The flower finds the light
    But I am alone in love’s ecstasy

    Can hope be an error?
    Can longing be despised?
    The flames consume me as I burn in this pyre

    At least I know
    that in this life
    the door to paradise is a human heart



    Love’s Grace

    As the moth seeks the light,
    let your heart yearn for fullness
    As the moth scorches in the flame,
    let your love burnish in the pyre

    Follow love wherever it finds you
    Seek its comfort and its pain
    When it beckons to you, reach out
    and yield to its consummation

    When it speaks to you,
    listen deeply to its message
    For the infinite is born of love
    and all creation stands on its pillar
     
    #64
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  5. Horatio

    Horatio Honorable Pirate

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    Love of Another was presented by Canon Bluefire at Valentine's Day Story Time, 02/12/2018


    Love of Another

    You were made to have need of another
    with passions, the depths to yet discover
    in a true friendship that does not smother
    but grows deep in pure love’s breathing cover

    Let your passion for your beloved bathe free
    in the warmth of the spring of truth and caring
    and through the vapors let your soul’s eye see
    that your heart succumbs to selfless sharing

    Provide the space within yourself to listen
    unto your hearts throbbing dance with your soul
    in a song of perfect kindness it will glisten
    in knowledge of the oneness of the whole

    And, in an extension of self you mesh
    in a release into one mind and flesh
     
    #65
  6. Sorrow

    Sorrow Swashbuckler

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    Overlooking the Baby

    There was once a lady who lived on a small Carribean island.
    She was the wife of wealthy importer, and they lived together in their villa with no servants and together raised their infant daughter.
    His business would often take him away to far away places, and the lady would spend her time alone, missing him and longing for his return.
    /search
    While he was gone, she would always wear dresses of blue, for that was his favorite color, and it would remind her of him.
    /sad
    One day, while her husband is away on business in Europe, a strange woman arrived on the island, a drifter named Korrigan.
    She was beautiful, with pale blonde hair and red lined eyes, and while the stranger made her nervous, the lady welcomed the newcomer to her island.
    Korrigan asked permission to stay on the villa grounds for a little while. The island's tiny tavern had no room for her, and she was looking for a place to make a camp.
    The lady immediately said yes,
    /yes
    for to refuse would have been rude, and the lady prided herself on her hospitality.
    That night, the lady watched as Korrigan made her tiny camp and prepare her meager meal, and she felt very guilty.
    So she invited her into the villa to share her meal, and the two began to talk and trade stories.
    Korrigan had once been a pirate but had eventually grown tired of it. Now she was traveling through the less populated islands of the Caribbean, exploring and learning and meeting new people.
    She was pleasant enough to talk to, but the lady was repulsed by her table manners.
    /no
    However, she figured anyone that had once been a pirate should be expected to have a few rough edges.
    /shrug
    Nevertheless, she was grateful when Korrigan returned to her tent outside.
    The days passed, and the two women become more comfortable with each other. Korrigan would ask the lady to comb and plait her hair, for it was too long for her to manage on her own.
    As she sat still beneath the lady's comb, she would sing the saddest songs with the most beautiful voice the lady had ever heard.
    Korrigan would try to help out around the villa, but she could only do so much.
    /help
    The lady's infant daughter would cry without relief whenever she was held by the stranger.
    /cry
    "She is such a fussy thing," Korrigan would complain bitterly.
    /impatient
    "Not always," the lady said, "but perhaps she is catching croup."
    /shrug
    Korrigan was fascinated with becoming a mother, and asked many questions about the baby and giving birth. About love and life with her husband.
    /hungry
    She would listen hungrily and stare at mother and child like a wolf.
    /bark
    "I was pregnant once," she said angrily, "but I lost the baby. It was not to be, I suppose."
    /sad
    One day, a letter arrived from the lady's husband. He was on his way home and should be back by the end of the month.
    /cheer
    The lady wasn't excited until she saw the date on the letter.
    /wait
    It had been sitting in Port Royal for weeks! That meant he will be home any day now!
    /celebrate
    She showed the letter to Korrigan, and the pirate smiled coldly.
    "It is just as well," she said, "as I need to go as well. We had a pleasant visit certainly? Come please," she asked, "and comb my hair one more time?"
    /smile
    When the lady's husband returned home, he found the villa empty.
    His wife and daughter were missing.
    /search
    Down by the shore, he found a woman's body rolling in the surf.
    /gasp
    On the docks of Port Royal, a young mother in a blue dress disembarked from her ship.
    Held tightly in her arms, her infant daughter cried and cried.
    /bow
     
    #66
  7. CharlotteIronPhoenix

    CharlotteIronPhoenix Honorable Pirate

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    The Cursed Blade

    Listen well to this cautionary tale my friends, of how greed be the downfall of man; of how unchecked desire leads to ruin and of what price must be paid for such greed.

    There once was a band of four friends, brothers under the Black flag who lived as they pleased, seeking adventure and riches.

    Now they, like so many of ye here, found hunting for cursed blades was a good sport, although nary one of them had ever laid eyes on one.

    They spent many a day of toil down in the Cursed Caverns of Isla Tormenta battling back the untiring crew of Davy Jones. Yet despite their dedication to the hunt, not one cursed blade had been found. Soon days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months; months without sunlight or the sweet caress of the Caribbean breeze on their cheek, as they only retired to the safety of their ship to rest at night.

    Patience began to wear thin among them, tempers flared hot and provisions began to run low. They would soon have to give up their search lest their strength fail them for want of good food and rest in more friendly locals.

    But! Just as all hope had seemed to flee their cause, the youngest among them discovered a grand chest ornamented with a gilded skull. The three others looked on as he broke the lock and opened the lid. With a joyous cry he lifted aloft a wretched looking sword; blackened steel encrusted with teeth of coral.

    "I've found one! I've found one of the blades!" He shouted in triumph to his friends. The smile on his face could not be likened to any other; there was an echoing CRACK throughout the caves and crimson bloomed across his linen shirt. He dropped dead still wearing that smile on his lips.

    His one time friend, Henry stood holding the smoking pistol and complete madness was written on his features. The body had barely hit the ground before he darted forward and snatched the sword from lifeless fingers.

    Barely had he done so when the other two tackled him to the ground.

    "For God's sake!" One of them yelled as they grappled with Henry, "what devil has possessed you?! You just murdered a man!"

    As they pinned him to the ground he faced the glassy eyed corpse and he was struck with terror, what had he done? Filled with animal strength that only fear for your own life brings, he threw the other two off and fled-- still holding the sword.

    "Curse him to the depths!" Snarled one of the two, Julian, "we have to find him!"

    "Agreed," said the other, Marcus, "we must bring him back to civilization to face justice for what he's done."

    Julian paused; he had not thought of capturing Henry to pay for his crime, but to take back the sword. "Of course. This cave is enormous however. It would be for the best if we split up to find him."

    Finding this agreeable, the two split up to hunt for Henry. Marcus could not believe what he had just witnessed. The four of them had been friends for years, enduring all manner of hardships.

    They had entered the life of piracy together, stealing from the Navy and living as freely as they pleased. But this venture to find these cursed blades had driven a great rift between them...

    Marcus gasped as something grabbed him from behind by around the neck, cutting off his air. He struggled, but they were too strong for him to break free of. As darkness overcame his vision, he thought of his friends and he felt sorrow for what had become of them.

    Eventually, Marcus' struggling ceased and Julian dropped his body to the ground.

    "I am truly sorry old friend," Julian said to the corpse, "but if I was between you and that sword, you would have done me the same."

    Leaving Marcus' body behind him, Julian continued the search for Henry.

    "HENRY!" Julian called out, "Henry where are you? Come away from hiding. Marcus and I have had some time to cool our heads. We know you didn't mean what you did."

    "What have I done Julian?" Henry's voice echoed off the walls, "I killed a man in cold blood. I murdered my friend."

    "Come out, I promise no harm will come to you," Julian coaxed.

    Henry looked out from behind a rock, “I don't know what I am to do.”

    “Do you still have the sword?” Julian asked eagerly.


    Henry looked down at the blade still gripped in his hand, “Aye. I don't know what I am to do with it either.”

    “Come here and let me see it,” Julian said.


    Henry walked over to him, “How can look Marcus in the face ever again? They were like brothers.”


    “You won't need to worry about that,” Julian told him.


    Frowning, Henry asked him, “How can that be?”


    “Because,” Julian looked up at Henry, no emotion shown on his face, “Marcus is dead, as you shall be shortly!”


    Julian drew his sword and swung, Henry barely jumping away in time. They parried back and forth briefly, but Henry had always been the better swordsman and Julian's mad thirst for the cursed sword made him sloppy. With a wrenching pain in his own chest, Henry drove his sword home into Julian's heart.


    Julian's eyes went wide with shock. He spoke no final words as he drew his last breath and gave up his soul to the other side.


    Pulling back his sword, Henry turned and fled as fast as he could. Bursting out of the cave into the sunlight, he was momentarily stunned by the brightness after so long in the dark. When the spots cleared from his eyes, he spotted a little sloop anchored in the shallows.

    "AHOY!" Cried Henry, "Ahoy! Please! Please help me!"

    The captain of the ship heard his shout and came to the gunwale, "what ails you lad? You have a look of madness about you."

    "Please sir I beg of you! Take me away from this wretched island!" Henry wailed.

    Narrowing his eyes, the captain asked, "what is it you carry there in your hand?"

    Henry looked down as though he we're startled to still see himself holding the cursed sword.

    "This! This cursed sword is the cause of all my ills! If you will not take me away, I beg of you to take it far away from me instead!"

    "Throw it here!" Ordered the captain and Henry quickly complied.

    The captain caught it easily. He studied it for a minute, then threw back his head and gave a roaring laugh.

    "What! What cause have you to laugh?!" Henry shouted angrily.

    "This is no cursed blade boy!" The captain shook his head, "tis nothing more than a rusty old cutlass."

    /sad

    A friendship irreparably broken and blood needlessly spilled, all for naught. Enraged by greed, they were blind to the truth and that truth is this:

    Greed will cause good men to do unspeakable things and leave them friendless for the trouble. So take a care all ye pirates gathered here, do not forsake your friends in favor of cold treasures.
     
    #67
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  8. Horatio

    Horatio Honorable Pirate

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    Shipwreck was presented by Horatio Stormchaser at Story Time, 3/26/2018


    Shipwreck

    Down on the beach, a peaceful, calm scene
    All calm, and quiet, and very serene
    Small waves lapping, quietly slapping the shore
    A relaxing of Nature from tenseness before

    Hurricanes blow through the isles by the score
    Twisting and turning ‘round strong-centered cores
    With towering tempest and deafening roar
    Of the isles these maelstroms have blasted and tore

    A victim of one lies out on the reef
    A war ship well battered beyond all relief
    Its scars from its battles leave one to believe, it
    Was abandoned and given a terminal leave

    Left to float or to sink as the gods would thus please
    Long drifting on tides and shoved by the seas
    Near finished before the storms took the helm
    Hurricane seasons could well overwhelm

    Overwhelm they did in blasting great wind
    And wind whipped up waves with froth that was skinned
    Torrents of water in bludgeoning blow
    Walls of great water to knock it below

    But buried it was not, it was cast on its grave
    The winds and the waves left little to save
    Tossed by the seas as rejected and scorned
    Foreign, not Nature, and not to be mourned

    Ran firm on the reef, a large coral thorn
    Back to the land from whence it was born
    A blast, a knock, a shock by all means
    Timbers to splinters, smashed smithereens

    As impaled on the reef it has a slight list
    At times it looks floating on skimming-low mist
    But float it will never, the hull is well shot
    And encrusted by barnacle, plundered by rot

    Topmasts hang broken, tangled in shroud
    Of utter destruction, as all have avowed
    The yardarms askew to which tattered sails cling
    The sails are all torn to rag strips and shred string

    Blocks, sheets, and stays are in tangled array
    In webs of despair and drooping dismay
    What’s left of the sails is weeping the mist
    All feeding the rot, one ship-sized black cyst

    Loadstone in the binnacle, wavering slight
    A slow rock to the deck as though nursing the blight
    The black wheel swings slightly to take up the slack
    The rudder moves not, it jammed in its track

    The cavern, its bottom, the holes in its sides
    Leave plenty of entries for evening high tides
    The picture slow-changes with all the wave crests
    For in the troughs to follow, the waves find new quests

    As it decays and succumbs to Nature’s strong force
    A thought is forthcoming in reflective set course
    Though originally a creation of Man’s strong, fit hand
    It is Nature, yet, that still has command
     
    #68
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  9. CharlotteIronPhoenix

    CharlotteIronPhoenix Honorable Pirate

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    The World Eater

    There once was a prophecy that said the end of all things would be wrought by the World Eater. An ever-hungering beast--nay a primordial monster older than the heathen god's themselves. It is said the creature was like a serpent, so long that it encircled the whole of the world and it slumbered beyond the horizon's edge.

    So to preserve themselves and their creations the Old Gods decided this deathless creature must be slain. They chose from their number one whom they conceded could not fail. His province has no word in our modern tongue, but he was the god of vigor and unceasing life. His strength was that of life that did not die and surely he could not fail.

    The smith god forged for him a mighty sword which was unlike any other made before or made since. It was so sharp it could cleave even mountains or oceans in two.

    Confident of his victory, he took a ship given to him by the ocean goddess and sailed beyond the horizon, the sun shrinking behind him until it no longer hung in the sky. He drifted in a windless place where the sky was endless night and the ocean was like a mirror of ink. There was naught to guide him by and even for the immortal god, it felt as though an eternity passed in that darkness. All about him was hushed and still, not even the prow of his ship stirred the waters. He perceived a great cold in the air though it bothered him not.

    A ripple broke the onyx water and slapped the side of his ship. At once the sound roused him to action and he leapt up to the bow of the ship. All was silent again for so long that the god decided he must have imagined it. He sighed, sitting down on the side of the ship.

    At once the water behind him roared upwards! The lively god sprang to his feet, drawing his sword out as he spun around. Behind him rose a giant shape; he could see it not except for it's outline, for it was so dark itself it seemed to make the blackness around it lighter. And the god, who himself could sense the thrum of life in every living thing, felt a gross queasiness overcome him, for where this serpentine shape loomed above him, he could feel nothing at all but a void that pulled at everything around it.
    The monster roared so loud it shook the timbers of the ship. The god gave his own war cry as the monster dove towards him. There was an almighty crash! The sword glanced off the World Eater's scales and made sparks which lodged themselves in the lightless sky. But the blade barely scratched the serpent and for the first time in his existence, the god felt fear grip him.

    Back and forth they fought, the World Eater lunging for the god and the god parrying it away with his sword. The ship pitched and rocked as the water churned but the god kept his feet. It seemed the battle would be doomed to continue for eternity, but the god misstepped and the serpent fastened it's icy teeth over the god's shoulder, swinging him across the deck of the ship. He hit the wood with a cry.

    Yet, as the god of deathlessness bled and his vitality weakened, so too did the World Eater's immortality. The god rolled aside as the serpent struck again and the god slashed at its hide. The World Eater shrieked and coiled back! But it struck forward again and again the god lashed out at it, catching it across the face with his sword. Blood like tar dripped from the serpent's snout and splashed the deck, making the timber smoke. In the water the blood of the lively god mingled with the foul monster's, making ribbons of red that twisted and took the form of smaller serpents.

    Still the immortals traded blows, the god again wounded, but the World Eater was struck more numerously and finally suffering from it's injuries. As the monster writhed in pain the wounds open and shut like little mouths screaming in agony. But the World Eater was not dead yet.

    The World Eater coiled back to strike, it's cavernous maw stretched open wide as the valiant young god charged forward with a fearsome cry. They met with a crash so powerful it shook the weakest of the infant stars from the heavens and it was if the sky was weeping stardust.

    For though the god's blood-streaked sword had struck home in the monster's skull, the World Eater's teeth had at last dealt the deathless god with a mortal wound. The god drew back his sword and the serpent fell into the ocean with a crash, the waves rushing to cover over its body. For a moment the waters churned, then returned to the stillness they had always maintained since the beginning, as if nothing had ever happened.

    The god staggered and he fell to his knees, his bloody sword falling into the sea. The World Eater Serpent would threaten creation no longer, but the deathless god drew his last shuddering breath and from then onward, anything that was immortal could be slain.

    And as for the god's sword...the god's mighty sword which could already destroy land and sea, it lay stained with the World Eater's blood and by the blood it was corrupted. For the World Eater was a monster without a soul. Its nature was in its flesh and blood. So by that blood, the World Eater lived yet. It's hunger lives on in that tainted blade, a hunger that craves destruction.

    There once was a prophecy.

    It said the end of all things would be wrought by the World Eater.

    And the World Eater's hunger continues to grow.
     
    #69
  10. ElizaCreststeel

    Wiki Staff

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    Ahoy Poets, Storytellers and Jokesters!
    dreads.jpg
    This coming Monday, April 23rd at 10:30pm EST - Dread's Storytime Returns to Barbossa's Grotto on Fragilles.

    Pull up a rock and listen to yer fellow pirate spin yarns, tell tale tales and perform feats of literary do! Dread has asked me to host this night, so if ye wish to partake, kindly post me a note so I can add ye to the proceedin's.
     
    #70
  11. ElizaCreststeel

    Wiki Staff

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    Many thanks to those who attended last night. Especially to our tellers,
    • Canon Bluefire
    • Meghan Treasurehawk
    • Kit Bluesky
    The next Story Time is scheduled for May 7th. Expect our resident bard, Dread Poet to return to the rock.
     
    #71
  12. ElizaCreststeel

    Wiki Staff

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    Old Doyle's Visit

    Doyle were a bitter sot, a soul full of rot
    If he'd met Lucifer, he'd spit in his eye
    He'd wronged me plenty, sins more than twenty
    Once striking me crown when his temper did fly
    /scared
    Came a pounding one night, I awoke afright
    Some lost soul seeking a shelter to dry?
    When I let them in, I sees it was him!
    Doyle hisself and looking fit to cry.
    /cry
    This once wicked man offered his hand
    "I hope ye'll forgive every wound and lie
    Knowing death be near, the spirits made clear
    I need to sets me many wrongs to right."
    /drink
    I poured him a drink, t'was gone in a blink.
    Soon followed by a whole bottle of rye.
    We laughed and drank, until clock bell clank.
    "It was good of you to visit," says I.
    /smile
    With weary eye, he looks to the orange sky
    And says, 'Oh how the time she did fly.'
    He took a last sip, gave his a hat a tip
    Then gave me a loving wink of his eye
    /wink
    'Fair winds to ye, son. I best be gone.
    I can hear them calling me nigh.'
    Turned the old bloke, like a whiff of smoke
    He was gone... with the morning tide.
    /gasp
    That night at the bar, I showed'em my scar.
    And shared how Old Doyle came stopping by.
    Silent grew the din, then said barkeep Quinn
    "Old Doyle were away at sea and he'd died."
     
    #72
  13. Sorrow

    Sorrow Swashbuckler

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    Village of Lost Hope

    We are all familiar with those times, when day turns to night, when the wind howls and lightning crashes without a cloud in the sky.
    The times when the barrier between our world and the beyond is broken, when Jolly Roger's power is greatest, and his dead armies wrestle from their graves and march on the lands of the living.
    /fear
    It happens everywhere within reach of Jolly's power. Some towns are fortunate, places like Port Royal, Tortuga, and the Padres,
    places where pirate and Navy stand together, shoulder to shoulder, and defend their homes.
    .They're called invasions...
    But elsewhere in the Caribbean, there are countless smaller, less fortunate settlements. They each must deal with the invasions in their own way. Some flee to the jungle, surrendering their homes to the walking dead,
    /flee
    returning only when Jolly's fury has been exhausted. Such as the unfortunate village in the Rat's Nest...
    Some villages stand and fight,
    /ready
    risking everything in the hopes that they can hold out long enough for Jolly's attention to turn elsewhere. Sometimes they are successful.
    Sometimes... well, the alternative is too horrible to consider.
    /no
    And sometimes, they compromise and make a pact with the Devil himself...
    /hand
    The village of Perdido Esperanza was one such place. A tiny settlement on a forgotten beach on a nameless island, it was no place a pirate would covet nor would Navy visit.
    When the skies darkened and thunder shook the tree tops, and that shadowy vessel slipped into their bay on shredded sails, they knew there was no one to help them but themselves...
    /help
    It was the seventh day of the seventh storm. Waves battered the shores below the village, having long ago washed away and shattered their miserable fishing boats.
    Nets and buoys were scattered everywhere. Many huts were abandoned, wrecked by the winds and rains and high tides.
    It was a miserable place, already long in suffering, but when Jolly's dread horn sounded, the women wept and the men trembled.
    /scared
    They all knew the unthinkable had to be done once again.
    /sigh
    "Oddball" Odd Larr struggled his way through the surf.
    Briefly, he considered rescuing his dingy from the waves but then changed his mind. The tiny bucket had carried him as far as it ever would and would no further.
    He grinned toothily at the memory
    /grin
    of the pirate ship aflame and taking on water, of the Navy victorious, of he alone making his escape within the Captain's dingy.
    "I'll fight fer gold," he chuckled to himself,
    /chuckle
    "but I'll risk me life fer no man, arr..."
    Now he trudged through the downpour, down the strand between shore and waves, trying to keep from being washed away, trying to keep from being battered into the jungle's trees.
    He could have sworn, as he was fighting to keep his dingy afloat, that he saw the lights of a village shining against the darkness of this island.
    But then that strange horn sounded, and the wind rose like a banshee, swirling the already driving rain into a maelstrom.
    Now all has fallen pitch black, and he couldn't see a thing. Pulling his soaked leather riding coat tighter around his throat, he cursed his ill luck and kept on moving.
    Soon, he came upon the wrecked fishing boats, the nets, and other clutter, and he knew a village was near. But this seemed a village empty of life.
    /search
    Its huts were shut up and dark. Its streets barren. Not a dog nor lamb nor chicken moved. Not a soul stirred.
    Odd trudged through the knee-deep mud towards the center of town, calling out against the storm to someone, anyone, while the downpour turned the streets into rivers.
    At the crossroads, he stopped before the village capilla, and his hand reached for the hilt of his cutlass.
    A ghost, a phantom hung there before its wooden doors, glowing white in the stormy darkness. Then it stirred and whimpered, and Odd caught his breath.
    /gasp
    Not a ghost, nay, but a child. A girl, no more than 12 years, give or take. A dark haired senorita in a white shift, a bloody cross painted on her forehead, now streaked and running from the rain and her tears.
    She cowered at his approach and screamed in honest terror.
    /cower
    She struggled to escape, and the clatter of chains rang loudly against the doors. She had been chained to the doors of the church.
    "What be this, little miss?" Odd murmured suspiciously,
    /confused
    looking about for signs of an ambush. "I'm just here for a bit of warm fire?" he promised, speaking loudly to the empty village and its silent huts.
    /thirsty
    "Some grog and vittles?" he called to the darkness,
    /vittles
    "A place to rest my weary head, perhaps?"
    /tired
    Not getting a response, he turned to the girl. "I'm not lookin' fer anything scandalous, savvy? Just someplace where I may spend a bit of me meager funds?"
    /coin
    He felt about for his coin purse and gave her a wink.
    /wink
    "Very meager, aye?" He gave it a tiny jiggle, and its few coins jingled. The child moaned and shied away, and Odd sighed.
    /sigh
    "This be the strangest ambush I have ever seen..." He leaned in closer and peered at her. Cleaned up, dried off, calmed down, she might actually be rather pretty.
    "And ye be the oddest bait I've ever seen..."
    At that, her eyes grew wide, and she began to shriek and struggle against her chains. Odd squinted and stepped back. "Now I don't think..."
    /sorry
    It was the squelch of mud behind him that caused him to turn around. Moving down the flooded path towards the capilla, a figure of maggot eyes and septic stench rose from the mud.
    It not so much walked as slithered. Rotten flesh stretched and snapped like jerky across mossy bones, a saber rusted and caked with grave soil held in its hand.
    Behind it were others, kin and brethren, so many others. "Bloody heck, just me luck..."
    Odd drew and swung as the nearest reached the capilla's steps, cleaving through bone and gristle, leaving naught but a clattering jawbone hanging from its neck.
    As it fell, he turned back to the girl, "I must apologize for the company I keep..."
    "Senor," the girl cried, "They come for me, not you!"
    /blink
    "If you flee now," she urged through her tears, "ye may still get away, senor! It be Sepultura, Captain of the Jolly. He comes for me now."
    Odd stepped back and stared. "Whaaat?"
    Again, that unearthly horn sounded, slicing through the storm. He turned and looked down the street. "Oh, bloody heck..."
    The next couple undead were stepping over the bones of their comrade. Beyond, scores of others were marching. Line after line, filling the running streets of the village with their disease.
    And beyond them was the shore and its storm swollen waves. And on those waters, a dark ship loomed, a decrepit sloop, its ragged sails and rigging glowing with a sickly blue nimbus.
    Odd spun, smashing his blade into the nearest skeleton, sending it tumbling into the arms of the other. A quick draw of his pistol, and he turned the ribs of both inside out.
    He turned and smiled at the girl. "Time to go, missy."
    /smile
    Wedging the blade of his cutlass beneath the bracket nailed to the doors, he gave a mighty heave and ripped the chains away. "So they put ye up here as a gift to ol' Capitaine Sepultura, aye?"
    She nodded quickly, glancing at the approaching horde. Odd grinned and struck a match against a blackened tooth.
    /grin
    With a flick of his wrist, he tossed a grenade over his shoulder. It bounced down the steps and exploded at the feet of the skeletons, showering the front of the capilla with smoking bone.
    "What's yer name, missy?"
    "Pureza, senor," she whispered, wiping her tears. "May I ask, why are you doing this?"
    Coiling her chains around his fist, he jerked her up to her toes.
    /grin
    "I'll risk me life fer no man," he leered, "but I'll fight fer gold, savvy?"
    /no
    She shook her head, "But there is no gold here, senor. We are a poor village."
    His mouth twitched. "Bloody heck. Just me luck. Let us just try anyway, shall we?"
    And so they fled, his pistol cracking like lightning, clearing the undead from their path.
    /flee

    (Cut because of length. For the rest, go to my Facebook note.)
     
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