Event DreadPoet Storytime -- Official Story Thread

ElizaCreststeel

Wiki Staff
Every Tattoo Tells a Story
Tats.png

Poke. Poke. Poke.

A rainy afternoon, a few pulls of rum, and coins in the pocket are not a good combination for a sailor with nowhere to go.

So it happened Archie Fine found himself hunched over a chair, staring at the floor. Even after proper numbing from his flask, the methodical pokes of the tattoo needles from Beth Daggerskull was wearing on him.

"How does - one end - up here?" Archie asked between jabs.

Here was the Secret Trading Outpost, not much more than a musty cellar beneath a shop on Tortuga. Despite it's clandestine location, the few merchants had a regular flow. But, it was still cramped and windowless.

"How do you mean, sailor?" she jabbed, followed by a needle jab.

"I seen your work. You could have a fine proper shop," said Archie.

Poke. Poke. Poke.

Beth gritted her teeth, hearing THAT question again. She leaned forward and held out her palm. Archie's eyes beheld a dark blotch in the center of her hand.

"The black spot..."

He shifted in his seat, but Beth planted a hand on his shoulder.

Poke. Poke. Poke.

"How... how did ye get that?" he stammered.

Beth sighed.

"Why do you think I'm here? Where Davy Jones' can not reach. Happened long ago, when I was still a small lass. Fleeing to the New World wasn't easy for a young orphan girl, so I took the guise of a boy aboard a whaler."

Poke. Poke. Poke.

"I sharpened harpoons, scrambled up rigging and swabbed decks. Then, came the day when our look-out called down. We watched as a dark form crested the black water. The men cheered. Surely, it was a large finback whale or a maybe a humpback. Surely, it were big enough to earn our fortunes."

Archie was silent.

"As ship's boy, I had to remain aboard. So I climbed all the way up to the nest to watch the hunt. But, it was there I saw something that stopped my heart. Weren't a whale at all. Something even larger, it's shadow shape massing beneath our boats. I yelled til my lungs burned but the boats were too far. And the harpoons found their mark."

Poke. Poke. Poke. Beth paused to dip her needle.

"There came an unearthly groan and the beastie's massive tentacles exploded out of the water and smashed our longboats to splinters and tossed grown men about like dolls. Before the captain could come about, the monster began to drag our ship under. The hull crushed in it's grip. As we were being pulled down, I leaped into the depths."

Archie gasped, then turned back.

"So, how did ye escape a hellish beast like the Kraken?"

Poke. Poke. Poke

"I paddled the icy water to our last long boat and crawled inside. Behind me, the ghostly Flying Dutchman rose from the waves. Quite the frightful sight it was. You could hear Jones bellowing about punishing any who hurt his beloved pet. I lay in the boat, crying and clutching a harpoon some poor soul left behind. Soon they were gone. All hands lost, save me. Davy's black spot burned into my palm, cursed as the rest of my crew."

Beth pointed to a curious crystal bottle.

"That harpoon I held was covered in black ink from that beast along it's blade. Black as pitch.I saved it and kept it. Many of my best art drawn from that ink."

Poke. Poke.

"Finished," she said.

Archie paid and admired her handiwork in a mirror. Tentacles emerging from a skull. Satisfied, the half-drunk sailor left. Beth sipped a drink then poured a bit on the black smudge on her palm. And it washed away with the grog.

"The black spot?" Smugglin' Sam asked with a chuckle. Hands freshly cleaned of Davy's "blot", Beth grinned.

"If it makes them sit still and shut up long enough, I'd tell'em I was the Queen of Sheba," she said with a laugh. "And he'll have a fine tale to tell when some sot asks where he got his art."
 
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Sorrow

Buccaneer
The Gentleman's Wife

There was once a wealthy exporter from Port Royale named Louis Vegas.
For many years, he lived his life and ran his business alone, until one day he decided it was time to marry.
So he sent for a woman from the colonies named Bonny Castle, whom he had never met, but that did not matter to him.
Love did not matter, nor her beauty. All that mattered were simply her kindness, faithfulness, and ability to bear and raise children.
When Miss Bonny arrived, he was surprised by her beauty.
/primp
The drawn portraits they had exchanged by mail had not done her justice!
She likewise seemed pleased by his gentle manners and the financial prospects of his business.
/coin
They were married within hours of their first meeting,
/dance
and his villa was filled with music and food and celebrations.
As the wedding night wore on, they danced and held each other, and to all appearances, seemed pleased with their selections.
/sigh
As the days passed, and he introduced her to his world, they became closer.
"Why did you choose a colonist wife?" she asked one day.
"Because I see the changes happening there," he answered, "Tidings of the future, and I wish to embrace them. Rather than wallow the stagnant morals of the old world, as they do on our island here."
Senor Vegas found that his new wife was prone to nightmares and had a strong independent streak, but she seemed to embrace her new life with gusto, enjoying all the pleasures of her station and wealth.
Fine food, the best wine, nights on the town, theater and concerts.
/drink
/vittles
She seemed happy, and Senor Vegas was confident they would have a long life together.
/no
That is, until the day she disappeared, along with all of his material wealth, as much as one woman could carry.
/coin
Louis Vegas was destroyed.
/cry
His wealth could be replaced, eventually, as he still had his business, but his heart was broken, his life was in ruins, and he descended into the deep darkness of drink and dreamed of revenge.
/hiss
He paid bounty hunters, pirates, and merchant captains for any news about her, and eventually, he followed her trail to La New Orleans
where he found her wooing another wealthy man and heard him speaking to her of marriage.
/angry
So that night, Senor Vegas crept into her bedroom, pistol and dagger ready, and he confronted her.
Pistol to her head, she didn't beg for her life. Instead, she confessed her crime and expressed regret.
/sorry
She told him a tale of how a terrible and ruthless pirate...
her lover...
/sigh
had learned of his quest for a wife, and arranged for her to answer that search.
/sad
Senor Vegas wanted to pull the trigger,
/yes
/hiss
but looking into her eyes, he found he could not.
/no
For the first time since she left, the emptiness of his life was filled by her eyes. Instead of killing her, he embraced her.
He told her that from that point on, she had no past. And her only future was as his wife
and his only love.
/sigh
However much he loved her, Senor Vegas was also no fool, and once betrayed, he did not again trust quickly.
One night, he followed her from their villa, and he saw her meet her pirate lover in secret.
He heard them plotting his death...
He saw the pirate hand her a packet of poison.
For the second time, for the last time, his heart was broken.
/cry
Later that night, after she returned to the villa, he told her to prepare tea.
She brought the tea to him, and they sat together in his study, his tea served in his favorite cup. He took it up and inhaled its steam.
/thirsty
He tried to detect a faint bitter tang to its odor, but he wasn't sure...
"If I ever lost you, my life would be over," he said to her, "There would be nothing left to me but to die."
She seemed surprised by this,
and maybe a little sad.
Her cheeks blushed like roses, and she would not meet his eyes. She drank her tea and encouraged him to do likewise.
/nod
/sigh
He looked at her sadly as he raised his cup.
"There is no other love but you in my life," he said, "You are my wife.
You will be my wife forever.
Until I die."
And he drank the tea...
/sad
/sigh
I ask, is there salvation for one such as her?
That is for you to decide, my friends.
For after he spoke, and drank his share, she wept.
/cry
For it had been her own tea she had poisoned.
/bow
 

ElizaCreststeel

Wiki Staff
Were late December, and despite the warm Caribbean sun and clear skies, Fletcher Beakman's mind was on snow falls and fig pudding. As he tended to the stacked crates on the Port Royal docks, the elder Welshman sang to himself:

"I saw three ships come sailing in,
on Christmas day on Christmas day.
I saw three ships come sailing in,
on Christmas Day in the morning."

A gaggle of children thundered up and down the Port Royal docks, rattling the timbers. They chased even the hardiest gulls away. Their shrill voices made Fletcher cease his duties.

"Idle hands and impish minds are the devil's playground," he thought. And knew it best to keep a wary eye on this little crew.

Sure enough, the rowdiest among them fell to temptation and hurled some empty bottles into the bay. Innocent enough, but not long after, items being flung into the drink for sport soon escalated. It were only Fletcher's hollering that stopped a crate with one of June Greer's prize hens in it from meeting an early demise.

"Over here, you ragamuffins. What if Father Christmas were to see you going on so?"

The name Father Christmas was alien to them as if he'd spoken Gaelic.

"Aye, Father Christmas. Tis almost his time. He come celebrating our Lord's birth. And sometimes has gifts for special children."

One meek lass spoke up.

"There's no Father Christmas here."

"What do you mean?" said Fletcher, a bit stunned.

"My mum makes a goose for Christmas dinner, but there's no holly or greens," said a boy. "And no Father Christmas."

"Least you have a goose," the girl said.

"And there's no snow," said another child.

"What's snow?" said the boy.

Despite, Fletcher's best efforts to explain what snow was, it can be a lot harder when you can't show them. But they all agreed that Port Royal looked none too festive being only days away from holiday. The children mindfully fished the flung objects from the water and as quickly as they came, rambled into town. A new mission upon their minds.

That night, he returned to his meager room and Fletcher dreamed of Christmas at home in Wales.

"And all the angels in heaven shall sing,
on Christmas day on Christmas day.
And all the the angels in heaven shall sing,
on Christmas Day in the morning."

Beakman wearily rose on Christmas Eve. In the spirit, he poured himself a little rum before setting off to work. When he stepped into the street, a sight greeted his eyes. Greens and reds colored the shops and houses. Bright ribbons festooned over the streets. Garlands hung from doors. Then he saw some familiar faces, the devilish little imps he'd met before.

But now they ran along the cobblestone, arms full of wreaths fashioned from fronds. On the beach, mounds of sand had been formed into snowmen, even with gloves and scarves. They made their own Christmas. And the townsfolk themselves showed good cheer to them.

The docker worker felt a lump in his throat when he smiled. His work that day felt light as a feather. That night, Fletcher Beakman didn't seek out a tavern, he visited Bargain Billy and the peddler was a happy man indeed when they finished business.

That old sea village sparkled Christmas morning and the children awoke with the sun. They sang and laughed as they ran through town, admiring their handiwork and shouting "Merry Christmas" at the houses. When they reached the docks, they didn't find old man Fletcher Beakman there. But a thick-built, strange man in his stead. He wore a long red coat and an odd fur hat; his face covered in a fluffy beard. His eyes brightened when he saw them.

"Father Christmas?" they asked.

"Aye! And look what a festive marvel you've made! I had to come see such a place. Thank you children, for keeping Christmas!"

He laughed heartily, so hard it looked like his belly moved. If it did, the children heeded it no mind.

"Tis truly a sight our Good Lord would be pleased to see," he bellowed in a gruff voice.

The stranger opened a large sack and gave each child a pocketful of candies, some trinkets or toys and either a pair of new shoes or a proper hat. Then, he bade them farewell, heading into town toward the boarding house. The children wished ol' Fletcher could have seen and heard Father Christmas sing as he left them:

"I saw three ships come sailing in,
on Christmas day on Christmas day.
I saw three ships come sailing in,
on Christmas Day in the morning."

"And all the souls on earth shall sing,
on Christmas day on Christmas day.
And all the souls on earth shall sing,
on Christmas Day in the morning."
 

ElizaCreststeel

Wiki Staff
Ocean Born Mary

This be an old folktale from New England, where many such yarns of sailors and pirates persist. This is a tale the folks up in Portsmith like to tell about Ocean Born Mary...

Some years ago, an Irishman named James Wilson and his young bride Elizabeth left Londonderry. James had been granted a parcel of New Hampshire land. And they set out to start a new life and a family.

But, as their ship neared the colonies it attracted the attention of a pirate galley. And it fell under attack. The fear and commotion was such Elizabeth, very much with child, went to labor!

The ship was forced to heave to and boarded by a band of vicious pirates, led by a bold but young man not yet twenty. Don Pedro was dark, handsome, and ruthless. After looting the vessel, he ordered his men to kill all aboard.

It was at this fateful moment, Don Pedro heard the newborn's cries from down in the hold where the passengers had fled. He ordered the ship's captain below. Seeing the bright-eyed infant, the cutthroat's heart of stone melted.

Don Pedro said to Elizabeth: "So beautiful. She's looks as does the portrait in our family home of my mother, when she was a child."

He become resolute.

"If you name this child after my mother - Mary - I will spare the lives of everyone on this ship." Elizabeth hastily agreed, frightful of what horrors they faced.

Don Pedro sent one of his men back to his pirate ship. When the pirate returned, he carried an armload of gifts. Don Pedro even gave Elizabeth a bolt of green silk embroidered with gold.

"One day this is will be for Mary's wedding dress," Don Pedro requested.

Then, he and his men departed without a word or further blood spilt.

Ocean Born Mary grew into a lovely, spirited young woman. Some years later, wearing a green silk gown, Mary married a local man named James Wallace. They had five children, four sons and a daughter. But not long after, James took ill and died. Mary was left to work the farm alone.

In that time, Don Pedro not even 40, had retired from the sea and built himself a splendid manor home in New England. But he never forgot about little Ocean Born Mary and Don Pedro sought what became of her. Soon, he heard tell of a young widow whom fortune had spared from pirates, but now weathered a different storm.

Don Pedro went to see young Mary. He offered to bring her and her widowed children to live in his grand mansion. He gifted Mary with a stately coach and four horses, in which Mary would often be seen riding around the countryside. He raised her children as his own. In time, she and Don Pedro wed. Then one by one, the children grew up and moved away.

One day, Mary saw Don Pedro and one of his retired shipmates carry a large trunk out to their orchard. Don Pedro came back to the house and they never spoke of the matter. But late one night, he told Mary the truth.

"I were the pirate who nearly slayed your family all those years ago. But, it was you that warmed my cold blooded heart, Mary. When I'm gone I ask only that you bury me in the orchard, where I've left you one final gift."

Another year later, Mary came home in the evening to a dark, empty house. She found Don Pedro stabbed to death with a cutlass. As he asked, Mary dug up the orchard to bury the former pirate and found a horde of his ill-gotten gains.

A final present to his Ocean Born Mary.
 

Shamus The Brute

Site Founder
Moral of the ^ story: all good things come to those whom are kind to others (and hopefully too, if yer first or last name begins with the letter ‘M’ [i.e., Scary Mary, Johnny Manziel, Patrick Mahomes, etc.). ;) Great story! Thank ye.
 

ElizaCreststeel

Wiki Staff
Don't Count All That Glitters

"Get up, you lazy girl!"

Delilah Dunsmore jolted awake in her cot. Her small room still dim in the dawn haze. Dust played in the single sunbeam just over her head.

Her mistress, Perla Alodia kicked at the rickety bed frame once more for good measure.

"I opened my door five minutes ago! There's work to be done!"

There was always work to be done. After all, it was just the two women running Perla's Jewelry and Gems. Well, Perla sold the trinkets made by some local tin smith and Delilah did everything else.

This morning, as every morning, Delilah brought in wood, started a fire, made tea, then cleaned. The whole house was merely four rooms, but Perla always found something for her to clean. She paid for a servant and she planned to get the full use of the girl.

Separated by a single wall, the two could be no more different. Perla always dressed in her finery, hair coiffed and her perfect English seasoned with an educated Spanish accent.

Delilah, in her only a shift of clothes and unwashed hair tied back, only speaking if spoken to. And then, it was in a soft, timid but bitter voice.

It was nearly midday before any customers visited. A wealthy merchant was spoiling his wife and Perla fawned over them and their soon to be spent money. So much so, that she made her other customer patiently wait.

A sailor, nay maybe a pirate, by his scruffy appearance and sheathed sword. But, he wasn't brusk or rude. Maybe, he could be the one, Delilah thought.

She moved her sweeping close to the door edge, waiting for his eye. When she caught his gaze, she smiled at him. It was a practiced smile. A weak smile with sad eyes to look lost and hopeless. As he turned back, she looked away.

"Miss?"

"I will be there in a moment!" Perla called. "The girl cannot help you."

By now, he was looking after Delilah, who had stepped away. She made a slight simper and her shoulders sagged.

"You alright, Missy?" he asked.

When Delilah turned to him, her eyes were perfectly wet. Again, the feeble smile.

"I'm fine, good sir."

"Ben. Ben Shaw. And I hates to see such a lovely lass brought to tears."

She nodded and wiped her eyes.

"Sorry to trouble you, good sir. It were only that it has today been a year I've been servant to Ms. Alodia. I still have two more years til my debt is paid."

Ben gave her a handkerchief.

"I know others who paid their way with service..." he said

Delilah dabbed her eyes.

"I shant cry again, sir. My man's debt must be paid."

The young pirate took Delilah's hand.

"Your man? Some dog sold you into service?"

"I shouldn't speak of such things... but yes. He were a fine soldier he was. And were loving man when he weren't to drink or taking to strike me. But he always had bad luck at the gambling tables."

She sniffled.

"He brought me here. And I nay seen him again."

Ben Shaw's eyes narrowed.

"Who be this man?"

Delilah paused, as though she feared saying the name but it took all her will to keep silent a few more moments.

"Sam... Samuel. He be one of the Black Guard in the Quarry."

"Maybe, I'll go have a word with him," Ben said.

She gripped his strong hand with both of hers. His eyes fell into the dark pools of hers.

"Oh no, sir! You mustn't. I wouldn't want you to be hurt. I will serve out my time here..."

"I wouldn't have you toiling another day. Such a wretch."

Delilah swallowed and her smile this time was brighter. Her gaze deepened.

"Samuel... he knows where the Black Guard has a cache of gems. More than enough to pay off the debt to my mistress... but he were always loyal to the company."

Ben nodded slowly.

"Delilah," Perla called, "Leave that man be!"

The pirate kissed Delilah's hand, tipped his hat to the jeweler and went on his way.

Perla strode across the room, her eyes daggers. She was tempted to strike the impudent girl.

"What did you say to him? Why did he leave?"

Delilah shook her head and went back to her sweeping. That afternoon, as she worked the servant girl hummed to herself. The seeds were planted. Her revenge would soon be at hand. That night, she dreamed of the pirate avenging her enslavement. Poor Samuel pleading for mercy. The gems pouring into her hands and leaving Perla's shop far behind.

"Get up you, lazy girl!"

Delilah jolted awake as Perla kicked her small cot.

"Pirates plundered Beckett's Quarry last night," Alodia announced. "Tied up that good for nothing Samuel and robbed the cache."

"Did they?" Delilah asked, trying to hide her grin. "How horrible."

"I just gave them a fair price for those gems and sent them on their way. I should make a pretty penny."

Delilah's eyes went wide. Her mouth fell agape. Perla couldn't hide her own smile.

"Now, get up you lazy, stupid girl. There's work to be done."
 

ElizaCreststeel

Wiki Staff
The King's Shoes

Andrew Bowdash was the King of Tortuga, or so he told everyone. He loved being king. Everyone in Tortuga knew Bowdash their "king", and Andrew liked that.

Every morning when he walked outside, dozens of people greeted him - they waved hello and called his name.

"All hail the King of Tortuga - Andrew Bowdash!"

But Andrew had been king for a long time, and Tortuga now had many more pirates. As time passed, more and more people didn't recognize their "king".

One morning Bowdash was walking when a woman he did not recognize stopped to greet him. "How good to see you!" she sang, and Andrew smiled.

The woman gushed. "You're looking fine today!"

"Thank you!" he said, relishing the compliment.

"I hope you'll come for supper soon," she said, clasping his hands in hers. "I'll send the invitation to your wife," and she waved farewell.

Andrew stood there, shaking his head. He has no wife. She had mistaken him for someone else.

This upset him terribly and he went to the Faithful Bride to drink. Some asked why he was so sad.

"I am the king," he said resolutely. "Everyone should recognize me!"

"As Tortuga's proper King, you - my good sir - must be recognized!" Captain Jack Sparrow proclaimed. And so, Captain Jack and other drunken patrons talked and thought until at last they came up with a marvelous idea!

"You should make a pair of gold shoes! No one else on Tortuga wears gold shoes, savvy? Everyone will surely recognize you now!" the wily captain proposed.

Bowdash went to the cobbler with a stash of gold. And the shoes were truly regal when finished. When Andrew put on those shoes, he was once again a happy man. But the night before it had rained hard, and the streets were filled with mud. After Andrew had walked a short way, his gold shoes were soon covered with mud.

"Hello, Billy!" called a woman from across the road.

"Fine day, isn't it, Henry?" said another.

The king was distraught.

"We must protect those gold shoes of yours," Captain Sparrow decided. So, he had the cobbler make a cover of leather for the gold shoes.

But now nobody could see the gold shoes, and when somebody called, "Solomon, how are you today?" the king nearly burst into tears.

This time, the captain said, "We'll cut holes in the leather. The gold will shine through, and everyone will recognize their king!"

When Bowdash saw what Sparrow had done, he exploded. "If I wear these hole-covered shoes, I'll look like a beggar, not a king!"

"Then, I have the solution!" Jack shouted "You wear normal shoes upon your feet and the gold shoes on your hands! Everyone will know who you are!"

The King of Tortuga was pleased with this idea. He put those golden shoes upon his hands and marched proudly into the street. Everyone recognized him wherever he walked. Everyone waved hello and called his name.

But, they felt awkward and he could no longer shake anyone's hand. Or wave to passersby.

"These shoes are an annoyance!" Bowdash pronounced. "I cannot greet my subjects!"

"Truly tragic," Captain Sparrow said, "Perhaps I could act as shoe holder for you while you do."

"Good morrow my people!" The "King" of Tortuga cried out. Soon, he was shaking their hands and waving to the citizens. And he didn't miss the gold shoes until Jack Sparrow was long out of sight.
 

ElizaCreststeel

Wiki Staff
The Contract
113896

Some year ago on some nameless spit of sand, a stone's throw from Outcast Isle I'm told, five surly pirate captains held themselves a conference.

While business was good, and each had plundered more than a fair share, they each feared the other. After all, a pirate's greed holds no limit.

"Gentlemen!" hollered Billy the Bilge Rat, which drew a growl from Sally Snow. He nodded. "Gentlemen and lady, we're all here under parley to discuss a truce."

After a couple of puzzled looks, Billy sighed.

"A cease fire. Amongst us five."

"And you propose what?" Sally asked.

"We make an accord, here and now," replied Billy, "We each picks a portion of treasure and buries it here, on this sand heap."

"To what end?" demanded Lugger Louie.

"If any of us attacks any of the others, ye forefeits your portion to the rest."

After some bickering, each captain agreed to the terms. Each went to their ships and returned with a small locked chest. The whole lot were placed into a hole and buried.

Five copies of a map were made and each captain bid the others a wary farewell. The pirates returned to the sea to continue to ply the sweet trade.

And the trade was good in the months to come, but alas so were the Navy's efforts to stop it. In time, two of the captains were killed in action.

Billy the Bilge Rat was captured by the Black Guard and given fair trial, followed by a first class hanging.

And poor Lug Louie's rot wood galleon was swept under in a hurricane off the Carolinas.

Two years to the day, Sally Snow and her first mate waded out of the surf and onto that forboding spit of land - her map in her eager hands. She had honored the contract, but now it were void.

She tossed away the pile of stones and they dug into the sand with greedy zeal. Once the first mate's spade clinked on a chest, Sally gave out a belly laugh and she scooped them out with her bare hands.

But, one by one, as Sally opened those chests, she found - nothing.

"Those thieving dogs!" Sally spat! "Cheaters, the lot of them!"

But, then she laughed.

"At least ye get yer own chest back," said the First Mate.

And still Sally laughed more. She laughed until she plopped down on the sand and held her aching ribs.

"You think I trusted those scurvy swine? I left mine empty, too!"
 
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