Just a Few Embellishments

By Natasha Blade

1 The merchant ship was slow, so it was not surprising that, once spotted, the pirate ship caught up with them quickly. The captain made a show of trying to outdistance them, but everybody knew it was hopeless. The crew just waited, not even preparing for a fight. The pirates boarded with no difficulty and started dividing the crew up, deciding who would be prisoner and who would be left with a sinking ship. When the captain got to the cabin boy, he decided this one looked less surly than his and gestured him over to the prisoner group. The boy shook his head in silent protest, so the captain took his arm and dragged him toward the other prisoners. Tears filled the boys eyes so he couldn’t see where he was going and tripped. He fell into the captain, loosening the man’s grip on his arm and knocking him over. The captain stumbled a few steps, tripped himself and fell overboard.

2 The crew of the merchant ship strove to outrun the pirates, despite the captains making it clear that they would never get away even if they threw their cargo overboard (which he strictly forbade, despite his first mates pleading). After a hard run they gave in and prepared to be boarded. The crew wanted to fight, but their captain manage to convince them that their survival was more likely if they didn’t. The pirates came aboard ready to attack, despite the white flag. They readied the dinghies and started dividing the merchant crew up; some to go in the lifeboats, some to be recruited as pirates. The pirate captain took place in the sorting and, liking the looks of the cabin boy gestured that he should be put with the recruits. The cabin boy refused to go, mulishly shaking his head. The pirate glared at him and started dragging him towards the others, intending to have him tied up. The boy started to cry and tried to pull his arm away. The captain stopped to threaten the fight out of the boy when the boy tripped, knocking him off balance. He let go of the boy to keep himself from falling over, but as he did, the boy savagely kicked him and he stumbled against the railings and fell overboard.

3 The captain of the merchant ships panicked more and more as the pirate ship drew closer, loudly encouraging the crews to make the ships go faster in one breath and then, in the very next breath, declaring there was no hope of out running them, so they should all just give up. The first mates did their best to ignore him and keep the crew from panicking, but it was rather difficult when the captain kept signaling the other two ships that they were to stop running so they could all surrender. After a chase that exhausted the crews of the three merchant ships, the pirates finally outdistanced them. The crews prepared to defend themselves, some of them even wanting to board the pirate ship, but the captain convinced them all to surrender. After all, they had given the pirates a good chase. Maybe they would appreciate not having to fight after such a chases as they had just gone through. Without resistance, the pirates boarded quickly and started divvying up the crews- some to be set adrift in a sinking boat, others to be recruited for the two new pirate ships. The pirate captain himself went through, looking for a cabin boy to replace the surly boy he used to have. There was one staring at the deck, not even raising his head when the pirate captain stood right in front of him. The captain decided on the second cabin boy he saw because {this one didn’t immediately start begging for their life.} He told him to stand by the other prisoners. The cabin boy refused to move; declaring he would rather die, then and there, then become his prisoner. The pirate captain took hold of his arm and forcibly dragged him toward the other prisoners. The cabin boy shrieked at a decibel high enough to shatter glass and bit the pirate’s hand. The captain let go in shock, and to touch his bleeding ears. The cabin boy, unaffected by his own scream, drew the captains pistol and cold cocked him with it, causing him to stumble over it and fall overboard. Everyone was frozen for a moment, then the boy, brandishing the pistol, loudly declared himself the new pirate captain.

4 The pirate ships appeared from the dark storm clouds quickly surrounding the lone merchant ship – giving it no chance to escape its doom. The five pirate captains followed their unconditional leader as they boarded the hapless merchant ship. The merchant captain fell to his knees, begging for his life, promising untold riches if he was spared. The captains ignored him, knowing that what they sought was already within their grasp. The crew was lined up and one by one, the captains each chose one to save and be brought aboard their ship. The pirates leader, in search of a new cabin boy because they kept running away or turning out to be young ladies in disguise, chose the first one that didn’t immediately start begging for their life. He gestured for him to stand up. The boy tucked his chin and glowered, but he obeyed. Then captain order the pirates to sink the merchant ship now that they had secured the treasure. As they were about to board his ship, the new cabin boy gave a hair-raising shriek and pulled his own weapon on him in the shock of the silence. The pirates all moved to attack when they saw their leader in danger, but the cabin boy froze them all with a terrifying scream. In high pitched voice the cabin boy-now-clearly-girl-in-disguse, demanded that he forfeit his position of leadership or die. Rather than answer, the captain, tired of loud females, jumped overboard.

5 The fleet of merchant ships sailed into the storm to escape the pirates, but instead of losing them, they were separated from each other, leaving a pirate ship to chase down each merchant vessel. After a mighty battle against the elements, the queen of the merchant ships was overtaken by the king of all the pirates. The pirate king himself boarded the merchant vessel and, one by one, destined the crew to their last swim. The merchant captain proudly refused to beg for his life as he was order to walk the plank. As he mounted the plank his daughter, the cabin boy, challenged the pirate king. Without giving him the chance to distract her with flowery words, she let out a Valkyrie battle cry and charged him with a cutlass. The pirate king, having taken a vow to never hurt a lady, was easily beaten and out of respect the pirates crowned the young lady Pirate Queen.

6 There was merchant ship that was captured by pirates, a long time ago – Yes. Before I was born. The fight between the crew was very short – almost as short as you are. The crew of the merchant ship all knelt on the deck, waiting for the pirate captain to decide their fate. Yes, they were worried the pirate captain was going to have them killed. The pirates were walking around, making sure that none of the merchants were hiding weapons to attack them with. Well, yes. They had surrendered, but sometimes people lie and the pirates wanted to make sure that none of the merchants were secretly waiting to attack them. As they walked around the merchant cabin boy suddenly jumped to his feet – no, he doesn’t die – he took the nearest pirate by surprise because, instead of attacking him, the cabin boy hugged him. If you would stop asking questions, I’d tell you why. The cabin boy hugged the pirate and everyone stared, not doing anything to stop him. Because this pirate was the most feared pirate, besides the captain, and they thought that if he had a problem with being hugged he could take care of it. No. I already told you that the cabin boy doesn’t die – or get hurt. After a long hug – during which no one got hurt – the cabin boy finally manged to – During which nobody got hurt or died. Is that better? Yes! Nobody in the whole world died or got hurt during the hug! The doctors say it was the most miraculous thing ever! The cabin boy started to cry – because he was happy – and – because he realized this pirate was his sister who had run away to the sea years ago. He was very happy to see her – no, she was horrified that he had recognized her. Probably because she had spent years making a reputation for herself as a mighty pirate and now no one would respect her – because there didn’t used to be female pirates. Do you want me to finish the story or not? She was so upset that he recognized her that as soon as he stopped hugging her she jumped overboard. No. She didn’t die either. A dolphin was waiting for her and swam her to safety. Because she was friends with the dolphins. Sure! And the sharks as well! All sea creatures loved her because she was willing to jump into the sea to escape her problems. The end and good night. No. If you jump into the sea you will drown.

7 Once there was a small fleet of very important merchant ships, owned by a very rich merchant. One summer day the fleet started their journeys as a group. They stayed clustered together, like small chicks, for the first few weeks of their voyage. Once they separated ways they enjoyed fair weather, though the ocean was starting to look very big. The captain of the richest, heaviest, ship was expecting to arrive to his destination early, due to the good weather. He decided to celebrate by having a private drink in his cabin. As he was about to start his third glass he heard the cry of pirates. Irritated, because he didn’t think it was possible, he marched out of his cabin, to meet his crew all preparing for battle. He snatched a spyglass from his first mate and, grumbling, held it up to his eye. His stomach lurched, for, sure enough, the ship flew the black and white flag of pirates. He blinked several times, convinced the wine was causing him to see things. When he looked again it remained the same. He stood frozen while his crew hurried around him under the direction of his first mate. When the pirate ship was noticeably closer, the truth finally sunk in and he started ordering his crew around, repeating many of the things his first mate had already told them to do. In a few hours, the merchant captain was sick with dread as he watched the rest of merchant fleet being herded together by other pirate ships. A few hours before nightfall the ships were crowded together, surrounded and outnumbered by the pirates. Many of the merchant crews were ready and itching for a fight, but the captains denied them, hoping that if they surrendered, the pirates would be more merciful. The merchant captains were rounded up and distracted by giving them the hope that they could bribe their way out of the predicament. The crews knew better and planned to go down with a fight. They looked to their first mates, waiting for the signal to reveal their lack of cooperation and attack. Some of the merchant crews had trouble being patience and one of the cabin boys, tired of the suspense, let out a bloodcurdling shriek and launched himself at a pirate captain, nearly causing his first mate to scream in frustration {anger?}. The pirate captain caught the cabin boy the throat and tossed him overboard without a second glance. The first mate hesitated, know worried to tell the crew to attack. He only wavered for a couple of minutes, because when he heard the first sound of rebellion he instantly led his crew into battle. They were hopelessly outnumbered and were subdued quickly, all the while the merchant captains were pleading complete innocence, saying they had no idea that their crews were going to cause trouble– in fact, if they were given a chance to talk to their crews… Angry, the lead pirate captain ordered all the first mates to be thrown overboard immediately, before any of the pirates could carry out his order he himself grabbed the closest first mate, dragged him the the gunnel and threw him overboard. As he turned away, a rock came sailing up from the sea and knocked him in the head. The captain stumbled and one of the pirates, curious, peered over the rail. His look of confusion caused another curious pirate to look as well. Then, one by one, at first, every one of the sailors was peering over the edge of the ships. The cabin boy was easily keeping herself and the first mate afloat and they were quickly being surrounded by fish-beings. Once the fleet of merchant and pirate ships was surrounded the ocean began to move. The fish-creatures began to sing – causing the ocean waves to knock the ships about. Every sailor; pirate or merchant, ran. The storm became so violent you could hardly see in front of you. Then the fish-creatures climbed on board. Within minutes they had tossed, dragged, or hurled every pirate overboard. As the last fish-creature hit the water the storm ceased. The fish-beings and every pirate was gone; leaving the merchants with crew-less pirate ships.

8 The captain discovered that his cabin boy was actually a cabin girl after it was to late to toss her overboard and let her swim to shore. A couple days after the discovery the captain figured that her being a girl was the reason she had never spoken and decided that he would never again accept a mute sailor – whether it was because he had lost his tongue or because he had taken a vow of silence! As the captain made this promise to himself he heard someone yell. He hurried out of the cabin, bracing himself for the worst. He was about to ask what had caused the alarm when his cabin girl ran past him, holding five knives and yelling “Prepare for pirates! Pirates are closing in on us!” Annoyed, the captain sought a second opinion from his first mate. Once he had concluded that pirates were indeed in sight he began to pick up on some of the panic his cabin girl seemed to spreading around as fast as she was distributing weapons. His ship, although made for more speed than most merchant ships, wasn’t made to out run a pirate ship and he knew it. The best options were to surrender and hope for mercy – no – beg for mercy. Or to go down fighting. He looked at his crew: already preparing for a fight – though they were most likely spurred on by his loud cabin girl. He wouldn’t give them the order to surrender. Especially since he didn’t think they would listen anyway. As the pirates started boarding the merchant crew attacked; led by their screeching cabin girl and partially deaf captain. The crews fought; the pirates more intent on taking prisoners than the merchants, though no one was fond of the idea of keeping the cabin girl around. It took a few pirates getting bitten before the merchant crew was subdued and the cabin girl finally restrained. The captain struggled to hide his grin when the pirate captain ordered three of his men to toss the she-devil into the sea while he stood a safe distance away from the cabin girl. His amusement faded when  the girl was thrown overboard with no more defiance than an evil smile. The pirate captain turned, a pleased smile on his face and sauntered up to the merchant captain. The merchant captain, having already used all his glares on his cabin girl adopted an uninterested look as the pirate started telling him what a mistake it was to choose to fight him instead of surrendering. As the pirate ranted, becoming more annoyed at the whole merchant crew the captain saw a head appear over the side of the ship. It ducked out of sight for a moment, then it slowly came back into view. The captain could feel himself pale as the cabin girl grinned. He deliberately looked away from the girl who had been very thoroughly tied up before being thrown over, looked the pirate in the eye and started insulting him in French. It was the only thing he could think of to keep the pirates attention from wandering and maybe see the cabin girl who was pulling herself back onto the ship and now had a tail instead of legs. The pirate captain glared and spat back his own insults in German. The merchant forgetting that it was a distraction and not an insult match insulted him in Spanish until the cabin girl knocked him out. Everyone, including the captain, who had forgotten about her, froze in shock. She drew one of the pirate’s own pistols and declared herself their captain and that they would now sail the sea and chase down all the other pirates. No one felt like contradicting her.

9 The merchant ships were sailing together for safety. It didn’t work. A secret fleet of pirate ships snuck up on them in the dark and surrounded them. The pirates boarded the ships one at a time. They got to the final ship. The crew didn’t even notice they were being boarded. They were chasing a girl around the ship. The pirates joined the chase. Together they finally caught her. The merchant crew realized they had been boarded. They blamed this bad luck on having a girl on board. They asked the pirates if they could throw her overboard before fighting. The pirates agreed. But they misled them. While the crew watched the girl get tossed overboard the pirates tied them all up. Sneaky pirates. The pirates had successfully captured all the merchant ships. They were pleased. A wind blew up. The pirates heard singing. There was an army of mermaids surrounding the fleets. The loudest singer was the girl that had been tossed overboard. The mermaids sang up a storm. The storm sunk the fleet. There were few survivors.

10 The merchant ship managed to outdistanced the pirates for several hours, but as the sun started to go down the pirates finally caught up. The merchant crew, not used to being boarded by pirates, panicked, making it easier for the pirates to take over the ship and tie everyone up. The merchant captain begged for his life, for his freedom and anything else he could think of as his crew was separated into two groups. Suddenly one of the pirates shrieked. He jumped up and down, pointing at one of the prisoners; gaining the full attention of both crews. One of his mates smacked him, effectively stopping him from making the shrieking sound. He pointed a shaking finger at the glaring prisoner and loudly declared that the cabin boy was actually a girl in disguise. The cabin boy objected to the accusation. The pirate moved towards her and she knocked him out with a hidden dagger. Everyone froze, then taking the attack as a confession, both the pirates and the merchants started chasing her. The two captains threw gold overboard, begging forgiveness from the sea for bringing a woman on the voyage while their crews tried to catch the girl. It took nearly ten minutes before she was caught and restrained, despite both crews cooperating to catch her. Instead of glaring, the girl bared her teeth at the captains, making her closest captors shift away from her. The pirate captain, not wanting to lose anymore gold, ordered her thrown overboard immediately. The sailors hastily obeyed, all of them crowding to the gunwale to see their bad luck sink into the ocean. Only, she didn’t. Despite being thoroughly tied up, she managed to stay afloat, still grinning up at them. Several of the men shivered, looking away, Suddenly, the sky was black with clouds and the ocean started to boil. The girl still smiled. Then, out of the sea, directly behind the she-devil, rose Poseidon. He folded his arms and frowned from under his bushy eyebrows. The girl smirked and waved. Poseidon took a deep breath and blew the two ships across the ocean and several miles inland. Then he took his daughter home.

The End

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More Stories by Natasha Blade

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