A friend of mine and owner of the Fan Art Workshop Consortium (come on and join us if you’re a fellow artist!) on Facebook has been sculpting a pirate and started a short story tagging me to continue it. I honestly don’t even remember and didn’t check back to what he’d written because I had this idea that I had to go with instead.
Before getting to the writing, check out this super awesome work in progress!! All work and photos by Chris Thompson and copyrighted as such. Shared with permission.
Forgive any error in writing or research. I had 20 minutes to get the story down and different correct references down.
The heat felt as if it were sealed into the back of his neck as he stood there, mouth agape, unsure if he were seeing what lay before his eyes. The ocean’s soft waves could still be heard even though it was at least a stade away.
“Rotten… filthy,” he muttered, throat parched.
He was a wanted man, as are many pirates. By the Queen of Spain, his head was demanded. By England, William III wanted him dead or alive. The colonies weren’t safe to him either, as many a man had heard the tale of Cristofer Thomsun. He’d not been kind, he’d not been gentle and he’d not suffered a fool. No one crossed a man as ruthless and as bloodthirsty as the great Pirate Claythumb.
He’d been hunted.
His crew had died, one by one.
He’d nearly died of thirst… or starvation.
Maned by only him, he’d managed through the most hellish storms; surely the ungodly sirens and the great, fierce ocean beasts had come within a mere palm’s length from making him a feast.
What a bitter, tough, sour feast he would have been, he’d thought to himself as he pulled himself from the wreckage of The Bahbross, previously a beauty to behold. He’d consoled himself with the fact that he still had his spyglass, shovel and map… and the last two jugs of booze – one wine, one rum.
Now, fully out of supplies, he stood over the treasure site, sugary sand piled up in a crescent shape around him. It had been a miserable half day of digging. He stared down at the contents of the hole. X had marked the spot. But of this?
“A… a joke? A JOKE?” he rasped. His knees buckled under him, the spyglass slipping from his hand and, as if to add further torment to his last moments, he banged his head on the handle of his shovel as he fell to the sand. He barely registered the blistering heat through his threadbare clothing. His other hand clutched desperately at the stone-smoothed, sun-beaten map. It had never been sealed or weather proofed and so the lines had faded… but they’d still lead him to this.
The grave of another pirate lay before him, the ‘treasure chest’ lay atop ole Mr Skull and Bones. On it was carved fifteen stick figures.
His wife had given him the map. After he’d spent so much time with his crew, after pirating had become his obsession. She’d said she’d stolen it from another man at a tavern. Now he doubted the truth of this.
“15 men,” he croaked, falling into the grave, the lights behind his own eyes fading. “On the dead man’s chest.”
The wind blew the salty air around him, sand softly falling around him with the breeze. “Yo ho ho.”
The last words of the great and feared Pirate Claythumb, Cristofer Thomsun, who’s only crime was loving the pirate life too much.
My first intentional use of an allegory that I can think of HA! The “pirate life” he so loved is actually The Artist’s Life. There are several inside jokes and references in the story itself and I had a blast.
It might be a complete miss if you’re not a part of the group and that’s fine 🙂 It’s not meant for everyone, but it was fun, I wrote it and I wanted to keep it somewhere I could find it.