The Pirate And The Chicken

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story is a fantasy set on the sea in a world of pirates godesses and witches. In this kind of world anything can happen.

Submitted: March 31, 2015

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Submitted: March 31, 2015

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Chapter one:

Of Witches and Chickens

It was a beautiful morning with cloudless blue skies. A ship with the Title ’Sea Witch’ emblazoned on the side, (a name that would prove itself to be suitably ironic later) was silently gliding through brilliantly blue-green sparkling water that only the sea would ever possess, the salty air was overpowering the senses of the Eight men working on the ship.

But, the men on the ship did not care about the splendors around them as at the moment they were hard at work cleaning and checking sails all the normal things one could expect on a ship. Until in the quiet of the morning a loud squawk sounded through the air. A thing most opposite of what one would expect on a ship. The entire early morning bustle stopped at the emergence of this sound and the one that quickly followed was even stranger.

Many loud bangs sounded from the captain’s quarters as Captain James L. Smith himself flew out of bed, grabbed his coat, and proceeded to trip over everything in his cabin letting off a string of curses that I have the good sense not to write down.

James never was called anything but captain as he did not think his name was at all fit for a pirate.

The men stared in stark terror as captain’s door slammed open and a man in a pair of cream colored pajamas, a belt with a knife sheath, and a captain’s coat stepped out into the perfect morning air. The captain was also afraid but his men would never know, he steeled himself and looked out at his men his dark, sloppy hair falling over the eye patch that had covered his left eye from the age of twelve. Many stories circulated about how he lost it, but he would never tell. He enjoyed the mystery.

 

He scowled and said “We will prepare to greet disaster men the chicken squawked. But fear not for we will greet this disaster not as meek little mice but as the gang of ruthless pirates I know us to be. NOW PREPARE FOR BATTLE!”

 

The men shook off their fear and set about preparing the ship for the unknown disaster that lay ahead. The captain turned and walked to the treasure room where the demonic chicken lay in wait. Muttering under his breath and cursing the very day the stole the treasure from that witch and ended up with the heap of trouble he had now.

 

It was not nearly as nice a day when he and his men had landed on the witches island the captain would like to think he had a sense of foreboding the day they landed but in truth all he knew was he was about to come into some much needed wealth. After a long trek through the jungle he and his men found the hut, surprisingly very close to where they started, and charged.

The witch had a face that one might call beautiful had it not been so twisted by her evil. Her long silver hair matched her pale skin and gray eyes. Add the effect of the black flowing dress and cape that looks as if made of smoke she looked like a ghost, the pendant that hung from a gold chain around her neck was a gold pentagram stood as Just another sign of her evil.

She had seemed amused at the attack on her hut and put up no defense even led the pirates to the treasure. The captain was beside himself with joy he had been expecting some sort of trouble but this was too easy.

As she opened the chest full of gems and gold she looked at the men and spoke “This treasure does not come without curse” her voice was harsh and unpleasant, but one expects no less from a witch.

The captain grinned “there is no such curse” he said fully confident that the supposed witch had no powers considering how easily he and his men had obtained the treasure. He told his men to take the treasure and they closed the lid to the first chest, picked it and the other three up carrying them to the ship.

The captain turned to the witch “you really make a pitiful witch” he said. Then the witch leaned close to him and said “Don’t count on it James, I know more than you think, all the truths about you” she looked pointedly at his eye patch and did the creepiest thing she laughed or, well, cackled and said “enjoy borrowing MY treasure Captain, I‘ll retrieve it soon” the captain left without another word to the witch lest her poisonous words infect his mind any further.

As the captain boarded his ship he swore he could still hear her laughter. For two days the captain lived in fear allowing only his first mate John and his cabin boy Marcus into his quarters. When he finally was three days of fast sea travel away from the witches island he breathed easily and stared to enjoy his victory over the witch. For one day he was able to fully celebrate drinking, laughing, telling stories, the usual pirate celebration. It was on the next morning that the chicken arrived. And, quite frankly, at first it seemed hilarious.

Oh the poor witch! She lost her treasure and all she could send, her curse, was one measly chicken. The men deiced to cook it and have it for dinner that very night. Until in the kitchen that night the chicken squawked it was a small sound, not at all noteworthy, but three men died that night in the kitchen.

The one survivor, an orphan kitchen boy, said that the knives just fell the second the chicken made that noise.

Ever since then every time the chicken squawked disaster struck and the louder it got the bigger the problem, most recently it had been mermaids and luckily only two men were lost. Sadly one of the lost men had the compass on him along with most of the ship’s maps; the other was the only doctor on the ship. Now they were sailing blind, and had no doctors on board. So far the chicken had been quiet for weeks so this was surprising for the captain. But now he was prepared.

The captain stepped into the treasure room and saw the chicken sitting atop a pile of gold and jewels its blue eyes flashing, there was a golden bangle around its neck and any one would think the chicken was the ruler of the ship.

The captain snuck up behind the chicken and shoved a cover over its beak so the blasted thing couldn’t squawk anymore, it had taken him and Eric some time to make that beak cover, than shoved it into a cage. “Caused me enough trouble, you have” he growled carrying the cage out to the main deck if he had to face this disaster so would the stupid chicken.

Chapter two:

Disaster strikes

The men stood waiting for battle with whatever the curse had to offer on this day. The captain poked his head out of the treasure room chicken in hand. Now, he had a plan! The captain waved to his newest first mate, his last one had gone to the mermaids. He grinned, something he rarely did. Turning to his first mate he held out the cage with the chicken sitting inside placidly. “Hang this up where everyone can see it” he laughed “and if the chicken has any complaints, throw it off the ship!” The first mate, who was called grub on account of how much food he could eat, nodded and took the cage with one hand, unhappy to be so close to the bringer of the curse. Grub was a short, pale, fat man with no hair to speak of and as far as brains go, well, grub was the only name he could remember he had.

The captain watched as the fat man who had become his first mate waddle down to the main deck and hang the cage. His original first mate was his best friend; he had died of infection due to the curse. His Next first mate was the only doctor on board, another good friend. And now a dim-witted fat man was his first mate; No one else would take the job because of the recent high death rate. Hell even he had to admit his first mates had been dropping like flies.

The captain sighed and thought of his lost crew; at one point his ship could boast a crew of twenty, now it was halved. He could still see all the men he’d lost, both of his old first mates, one of the two kitchen boys, the cook and his assistant he still remembered drinking with them the day before they‘d died, and the blasted sail guy, plus four the seven rowers on the ship! If things went further south he swore they’d hit the lower cold lands!

A brown-haired, green-eyed boy walked up to the captain, the captain couldn’t place his name, it was the only surviving kitchen boy. “What do you want boy?” the captain growled.

“So sorry sir I was just wonderin’ what ya’d like fur me to cook ya tonight?” the boy, no more than twelve, was the only person with any cooking experience left on the ship thus he was appointed head chef, with all the ridiculous things going around this seemed normal.

“Boy there’s a disaster coming and yer asking about food? Yer worse’n Grub!” the captain exclaimed wondering just where this boy was supposed to be if disaster struck anyhow.

“’m sorry sir It’s just I ain’t got nothing to do.” the boy said and it was true at this point nobody really wanted to lose another cook, and the boy couldn’t do much anyhow, so he was told to say in the kitchen.

“Just make what ya can boy and get back in the kitchen” the captain said “we’ve a disaster comin’ and we need to be prepared”

“Everything looks fine to me sir. In fact not a cloud in the sky” the boy looked around himself seeing nothing amiss. But the captain did, it took him a second, but he saw it.

“What’s yer name boy?” the captain asked

“Jack sir” Jack said confused.

“Well young Jack I do believe I have a request for dinner after all and a task for you.” the captain stated.

“Yes sir?” jack said questioningly

“First your task, I want you to go in to the kitchen and tally all of the food we have left. Second my request for dinner use the food sparingly it’ll have to last a while” the captain said darkly.

“Yes, and why sir” Jack asked more than a little bit scared.

“Because the next disaster is for all of us and I do believe it is a Calm” the Captain said grimly no longer in a mood for smiling.

Jack gasped “sir it can‘t be” he said, not wanting to believe it.

The captain walked forward and called out to his men “Men! Put your weapons away, our curse has already started.” He gulped, “Our new trial is a Calm, we will have to row if we want to get to land.” At this statement the three remaining rowers stood up ready to argue. The captain raised his arm, “I recognize that without any land close by and no maps for navigation it is pointless to row and I won’t ask anybody to exhaust themselves”

“Then what can we do?” Eric, the resident sword master, asked.

“hope the curse runs its course before we run out of food. and come to terms with the fact that these may be our last days” The captain said, just the statement felt like a knife to his side.

“So that’s it we just wait it out! Is there no hope?…” a red haired boy shouted, it was his cabin boy Marcus.

“It appears so” the captain said and the knife twisted, this boy was fifteen and condemned to die alongside his twelve year old friend.

“I WONT LET THIS CURSE BEAT ME!! YOUR PIRATES HOW CAN YOU LET A LITTLE WITCH, A WOMAN, BEAT YOU?!?” Marcus yelled and ran off the main deck into the hallways of the ship. The captain stood on the main deck in shocked silence. The boy was right! He wasn’t just going to roll over and let a witches curse whip him.

“Men, I have a plan” he said “first, Eric. Grub. Meeting in my quarters in ten minutes.” Eric and Grub nodded. “Second, everybody find every fishing pole on this ship and make as many as you can then, hang them off the edges of the ship. When you’re done I want there to be fishing poles surrounding the entirety of the main deck. Now get to work men!!” as the men got to finding poles, their only chance at life, the captain walked to his quarters, he had ten minutes he planned to spend with the bottle of ale in his room.

Chapter three:

Hard Times Ahead

Jack walked down from the main deck to the lower level of the ship. A calm, he thought, wondering how such a horrible thing could be called something that meant peace. Pirate’s irony, he opened the door to the hallway leading to the kitchen and storage areas. He knew without looking that the food wouldn’t last long. But he started towards the storage room anyhow. “Hello little Jack” Grub said as he walked up to see his friend.

“hi ya Grub. What cha doin down here don’t the captain need ya?” Jack asked nonchalantly continuing to walk.

“Nah, the captain don’t need anybody” grub grumbled, “but on a better note what’s fer dinner?” with grub food was never far from the conversation.

“I don’t rightly know grub, what with the calm and all, we have to eat sparingly.” Grub made a face clearly not liking the sound of that one bit. Jack laughed, “Don‘t worry grub, as the head chef I will make it my mission to keep you men in food for as long as possible!”

Grub shook his head “at least we‘ll always have chicken.” he said grumpily.

Jack shivered he didn’t feel like going the way of the last head chef, that was the first time he’d ever seen a dead body, in truth he was quite terrified of that chicken, all the men were.

“I don’t think messing with that chicken is a good idea” jack said opening the door to the kitchen. “I enjoy holding my knives in my hands not my body.” Jack said eyeing the knives sitting on the counter warily. He immediately noticed that one of the knives was missing, it was the big butcher knife hard not to miss.

Grub sighed, “I best go see the captain.” Grub really didn’t care for his job like the other men he was very aware of the risks but he always dreamed of being captain plus first mate was a definite step up from nobody, even the land spotter had more status that him before his promotion, now all he had to do is wait.

Grub turned and walked back up to the main deck, Jack shook his head grub was a good guy, maybe not the sharpest knife but he wasn’t bad. Jack turned to the storage room and set about counting the food left on the ship, as he expected there wasn’t nearly enough food. Even cutting back, even with the recent loss of men, they wouldn’t make more than a week on this meager supply.

He looked outside, where the heck WAS Marcus; he supposed he’d have to run the food tally to the captain personally. Jack was going to have to hurry if he was going to get dinner started on time.

Marcus was one of the three boys that had been brought from the saint franks orphanage to the ship by Master Eric.

Marcus was the oldest by two years, and that was a good three years to Jack. Jack and his friend Tim had been appointed as kitchen boys and Marcus became the captain’s cabin boy.

That of course was the state of things pre-chicken, now Tim was dead along with nine other people, needless to say things had changed. Namely Marcus was supposed to be HIS helper, doubtless, Marcus was off in one of the many places the boys had found to hide cooling down from the shock of hearing that he was going to die, it was hard to blame him.

Jack hastily set some water boiling, soup tonight, and ran for the captains quarters. The captain was in a funk. He‘d gradually been getting drunker as the meeting progressed and the realization dawned on him. Not only had his clever plan for avoiding disaster failed, there really was no way to get out of this. He needed a stronger drink. The captain was sitting in his favorite chair in his cabin his council, or what was left of it, which was just him, grub, and Eric talking about what to do next.

When he’d told the rowers that there was a calm the three of them looked unhappy, three men to do what was only barely managed with seven?!? It sounded impossible, it sounded stupid and it sounded like the sort of choice an unworthy captain would make. The captain feared mutiny as much as the next pirate captain, perhaps more given the recent turn of events, but what was he going to do?

There was a knock at the door. The captain wanted to laugh, at this point who on this ship could possibly still respect his authority enough to actually knock? “Come in” he moaned.

“Captain Sr. I got the tally for you” Jack said. “Bring it here boy” The captain said trying to pull himself together and look like a strong leader. The boy walked to the desk skirting away from Eric and setting the paper down. The captain reached for the paper silently praying for good news. He was disappointed, god never liked him.

“Sr. can I go I gotta get the soup ready” jack said eyeing Eric and backing away trying his hardest to avoid him, the resident swords master did have that effect on the new kids. The captain nodded dismissively and the boy ran off.

Soup tonight, most likely soup every night, best way to spread resources, except water. Oh great, the captain thought, now I have to worry about people dying of dehydration too. No drink could be strong enough. Except maybe one… an idea came to the captain, a wicked, beautiful, perfect idea. And he was just drunk enough to do it. He took another large swig out of the bottle only to find it empty, oh well.

The captain stood “I think it’s time for our little friend to take a drink!” he shouted startling the two men sitting by his sides. The captain walked out laughing manically and heading for the chicken.

Chapter Four:

Chicken Invincible

 

The chicken sat exactly where it was set, in the same exact position, the captain was sure it hadn’t even blinked! That was one of the ways you could tell it was different, evil, it could just sit still and stare into your soul. The chicken turned and looked deliberately at the slightly intoxicated captain storming towards it and slowly, clearly blinked.

“You creepy, mocking, mind reading chicken!” the captain shouted “you wanna read minds?!? READ THIS!!!” he then proceeded to direct some particularly hateful statements at the chicken. The chicken blinked again, one might think it was enjoying this. “OH YOU!! Y-YOU, DO YOU KNOW WHAT I DO TO CHICKENS?!?!” at this point the captain was at the cage spiting and screaming at the chicken in a full, slightly-drunken, belligerent rage. Every man on the main deck was staring sure that, finally, their captain had gone mad. First mate Grub and sword master Eric were forcefully dragging the captain way from the chicken as the captain, red faced with rage, sent every way he’d ever heard you could cook a chicken, in full vivid detail down to the removal of feathers, right at the mind-reading chicken.

“LET ME GO!!” the captain screamed as his men pulled him further away from the evil chicken. “THAT’S AN ORDER” Eric was having none of the order stuff, but, the captain felt a loosening in his right arm, good ol’ Grub way to use to following orders. He ripper his right arm free and ran at the cage containing the offending chicken fully dragging Eric behind him. Adrenalin it does wonders. He ceased the cage and screamed “LET’S SEE HOW YOU FLY, AND THEN HOW YOU SWIM!!” and chucked the chicken cage and all overboard. You could hear a pin drop on deck as every man waited for the splash.

It came… The captain along with all the men on deck rushed to the side of the ship to watch the cage sink. Leaning over the side the captain could just make it out he sighed in relief, that was one problem gone. Then he heard it, a clucking sound, turning to his right he saw the chicken sitting on the edge of the ship staring at the water as if it was watching the cage sink too.

Not a feather was out of place it wasn’t even damp! Plus the beak cover he and Eric had worked so hard on was gone. The captains eye visibly twitched as the blinding fury and hatred for this one animal actually took his breath away, it was as if it was a physical, tangible, being, he saw red as he ripped his blade from its holder tearing his belt, and slashed viciously at the chicken. He watched the blade bend, snap, and fall into the deep abyss that was known as the sea.

Blinding fury turned into crippling terror and despair he stared at the chicken and fell to his knees broken and useless. Closing his eyes and falling forward he slipped away from reality into the land of dreams. All the men saw was the captain falling, what they heard was what one would imagine a man in a asylum would sound like during a particularly bad episode, and now standing around the captain was every man on the ship looking at the man who had fearlessly lead them to a witches island drool on the deck. Because of this no one saw the chicken disappear off the main deck and reappear in a kitchen cupboard; no one saw it make a nest.

The captain sat up and rubbed his head who ever thought drinking could solve all there problems had obviously never dealt with a demonic chicken. He rubbed the grass under his fingers surprised at how much he’d missed that feeling. He breathed deep, the air smelled like early morning dew. And then it hit him, they hadn’t landed, not in that calm, so why was he here? “Good question James” a lovely female voice said. And from behind a tree stepped a beautiful woman with long blonde hair, ice blue eyes, and a white gown. He didn’t care if he was dreaming or dead at this point the just didn’t want to wake up he swore in that moment it was like love at first sight“Thank you, that’s very flattering, but you’re not dead.”

“No fair I don’t get to know what you think about me” he said wanting the dream to play out.

“Well I think your funny, I think you’re tired, and I think your cute when your angry” the lovely lady giggled and settled down next to him.

“Well it’s not full on mind reading powers but I’ll take what I can get” he laughed “you know I haven’t actually felt this calm in a really long time”

“Well at least in your dreams I can bring you happiness” the lady said dazzling him with her fantastic smile.

“If I believed in love at first sight… awe to hell with it I‘ll just enjoy this” the captain stood up “let’s go for a swim.”

The girl grinned and hopped up “gladly. “

As they both walked to the lake the captain asked the lady what her name was.

All she said was ‘Annale-’ and burst into a wave of water that smacked the captain in the face with a frigid, salty, violence.

The captain woke up sputtering “why in the hell did ya wake me up I was actually enjoying me self.” The captain grumbled spitting out salt water.

"He’s alive” grub shouted and cheers rose up from all of the men. Which considering the size of the crew wasn’t all that impressive.

“I ought to have the lot of you hanged “the captain mumbled wandering woozily to his quarters to sleep off the raging headache he had.

Chapter Five:

She Won’t Win

The captain woke up at what he judged to be about three hours later, not that in his state he was all that good at telling time, he hadn’t visited Anna this time, too much to hope for, and he wondered why good things like her just didn’t happen in real life. He looked around; shouldn’t the cabin boy be here? Oh no, that’s right he’s most likely in the kitchen. The captain envied the two young boys on his ship, so young and versatile, his joints groaned as he stood up. He was definitely too old for this curse, and he was only twenty nine. Perhaps little Jack knew the cooks recipe for the drink cure… ok that was stupid, of course he didn’t but maybe it was written down in a book somewhere, at the moment the captain couldn’t remember if his old friend actually wrote stuff down. Well its best to be moving anyhow, the captain stood shook his head and walked outside. It was sunset he’d missed dinner by quite a bit. He doubted the availability of leftovers considering the circumstances, his first mate probably ate his rations, he thought grumpily. He wandered down to the lower hallway and turned for the crew’s cabins until he remembered his original mission was to go to the kitchen. Dang it, he WAS the captain! It is unheard of for a captain to get lost on his own ship!

He closed his eyes and thought about the layout of the ship, the kitchen was directly to his left he thought as he turned and stepped forwards coming within inches of smacking into Jack.

“Oh, captain Sr. I’m surprised to see ya here, I actually was about to come see you.” Jack said stepping back. He was going to check and see if Marcus was in his room, shirking kitchen duties once again, and then check-in with the captain about the cabin boys whereabouts if that failed.

“Why that’s funny, I was looking for you too.” the captain said, glad to have found the boy so quickly. “What did you want me for?”

“it‘s Marcus, I ain’t seen him since this morning” jack had been legitimately worried for hours and only just decided to go looking for him. Grub was checking all the little hiding places.

For some reason jacks statement didn’t fully register as a shocking realization washed over him “I‘m still in my night clothes!!”

“Yes sir, ya‘ve been in your night clothes all day” jack said confused as to how this had anything to do with Marcus.

“I have??” the captain said bewildered, surely he’d changed before the meeting.

“Yes sir, but Marcus-” Jack said trying get back on track.

“THIS MUST CHANGE NOW!!” the captain stated loudly and marched back to his room with Jack trailing behind.

After the captain had changed into attire more fitting for a pirate captain, and complaining about his lost belt and knife, he sat down, “now what is it you wanted jack?” He felt much better now heck the headache had receded and everything

“Marcus, sir…” jack sighed

“Oh yes the boy, we must look for him at once!” the captain said standing as grub came running in. the captain sighed, no respect.

“captain.” grub said nodding, “Jack, I looked everywhere ya asked I didn’t find Marcus”

“Then as I said we should go look” the captain said setting out with jack and grub to go find the missing boy.

The trio of searchers quickly found their way to Marcus’s room “why pray tell didn‘t any of yall look in here?” the captain asked thinking that this would be the first place to check.

“Nether Marcus or I like to stay in this room” jack shrugged “just didn‘t seem worth checking ‘till now”

All the orphans stayed in this room at one point. So did master Eric, all the time, none of the boys much liked to stay in the room.

The captain pulled the door open and wished he hadn’t. Crimson red blood covered the floor sparkling on the butcher’s knife lying next to the pale adolescent who was leaning against the wall. Next to the boys head were the words ‘She won’t Win’ written in what one could only assume was the boys own blood. Marcus had been found, and he most definitely was dead, a clear cut suicide if the captain had ever saw one.

Grub gasped and yelled, “Jack don‘t look!” But it was too late. Jack stared wide eyed at his friend, the knife he himself noticed had gone missing, and the long gash down the length of Marcus’s arm. He didn’t even notice his tears until grub handed him a extremely dirty handkerchief.

“t-t-thank you.” he said weakly wiping his eyes on his sleeve. He knew what would happen next he’d seen plenty of funerals during his time on the Sea Witch. This one would be no different. His friends new home would be the sea, ‘back into the arms of the lady’ as the captain said.

The captain sighed, is this what the boy had meant by not letting the witch win, not too much hope for his men if even this boy who’d seemed so strong this morning couldn’t help but end it. “Grub, rally the men it’s time for a funeral.” He said, “Do you have anything you want to say to him Jack?”

Jack shook his head,” he chose one death over another, it was what he wanted, I can’t do anything for him now.” Jack walked closer and picked up the knife “I’ll just go wash this…” He turned and left the room. After all wasn’t this just another curse caused death? Marcus wouldn’t take his own life…would he? Jack was more confused than ever all he knew is he couldn’t, wouldn’t, be at this funeral.

Chapter Six:

FOOD!

“WHAT DID YOU SAY BOY?!?!” the captains shout was heard all round the ship.

“The foods all gone sir” Jack said again patiently.

“Captain, we all knew this was coming…” Eric said shaking his head “perhaps not this soon, but we knew” the captain started to bang his head on the desk.

“have we caught anything?? Even one tiny fish?” the captain said hopefully.

“not one sir.” jack said sadly.

Great. Three days, three days the captain had managed keep these men in food and water. True one of he rowers had abandoned ship in the dark of the night, stealing a good amount of food along with the only row boat. But even then he’d thought they had enough food to last a little longer. “I‘ll go tell the men…something” The captain sighed and stood up “just go look for something jack.” he said and then walked out onto the main deck.

“he didn’t say what I was to look for.” Jack mumbled frustrated.

“I do think he meant food” Eric said. jack jumped a little when Eric spoke, not really out of fear anymore just blind habit. in the past three days he had to deal with Eric much more than he cared to due to the captains dwindling state of mind. Honestly the captain could have a mutiny on his hands any day of the week, and at this point gladly give up, but nobody wanted the position of captain on this sinking ship.

Jack got up “but I know that there’s none. I looked, I really did” he said.

“Then look again! I don’t have all day, just appear busy, or run and hide, at this point I don’t care, JUST GET LOST!” Eric shouted. Jack left that room in a hurry, ok so maybe he was still a little scared of the sword master.

jack stepped outside into the yet another stiflingly hot day at sea. he wished he’d stayed at the orphanage, not that he’d had any choice. And he saw grub standing near the side of the ship staring out at the water. He ran up to his friend. “Grub, catch anything?” he asked

“nope” grub said not moving from his post. in a way the famine was worse, he was far to used to having a meal at the end of the day. All the other men on the ship had gone through hard times even jack but not grub. he’d been riding a successful ship for some time and jack didn’t know where he’d worked before that.

“do you want to go look for food with me?” jack asked moving closer to grub.

“can‘t, gotta watch the poles” grub said dryly. Jack hated seeing his friend like this. He got up and walked away promising to come back, grub had no response.

Two days after that encounter Jack entered the lower levels of the ship, he would search the kitchens some more, he knew the end result of this search but still he needed something to do. He walked into the kitchen and looked around himself nothing no leftovers on this ship. He started opening the cupboards, turning up nothing edible, he got to the last one and stopped.

“what am I doing, there is no food why look we don‘t even keep food in these…” he said aloud and then he heard a clucking sound. The chicken? The chicken had been missing since the captain tried to attack it, most thought that that meant they would all die and the chicken had no reason to be on the ship any more. Funny the chicken had cause discomfort when it was around and when it finally did leave everyone was even more upset.

Jack pulled open the cupboard and saw the chicken sitting on a nest staring at him with its frosty blue eyes. But jack hardly noticed the chicken when he saw the eggs. enough for the whole crew food his spirits rose and then dropped again. the eggs were different plus he wasn’t to keen on eating from the curse chicken. he reached down slowly and grasped one of the strange eggs. it was slimy and green, he didn’t know a whole lot about eggs but he was pretty sure that eggs did not typically look like this. “but then again” he thought out loud “I’ve never seen the outside of eggs. we never had any on the ship and I’ve only seen these cooked at the orphanage, so lets see the inside of this.” the chicken didn’t seem to care that he had taken the egg so he got up and got a bowl.

Then the captain burst in his hair seemed wilder than usual “you, boy, get on the main deck we need ya- hey what ya got there?”

jack looked at his hand “oh, apparently the chicken lays eggs who knew” he said holding the egg out.

“huh, well not good ones, the blasted thing can’t even lay proper eggs” the captain said.

“I thought that too but it might be good on the inside” jack said.

“its not.” the captain said “eggs can be white, brown, and sometimes grey but not green”

“oh” jack said crestfallen. He set the egg and bowl down on the counter “what did you need me for?”

“on the main deck, I need ya to back me up!” the captain said in a panicky tone like he’d just remembered that he was in a panic. He then proceeded to rush out of the room.

“back him up?” jack said to no one In particular and followed after.

The sight on deck was horrific every man was standing around the newest dead guy and instead of paying respects and preparing to throw him off board the men were yelling for his meat. choruses of “he‘s already big enough to feed a crew twice our size for weeks” and “its time the big guy gave back some” rang through the air. The man who had died was grub.

“NO!!” jack yelled out, “have you men no respect you cant- I cant…” jack was stumbling across deck wondering just what he was going to do to protect his friend.

“you see men look at this BOY he can‘t do this, why would you make him” the captain yelled.

“it‘s just meat same as any, now don‘t e getting all sentimental over one dead fat man” a rower by the name of killer yelled out.

“you know what enough of this, I‘M THE CAPTAIN AND WHAT I SAY GOES!!” the captain was red faced now, this was not something that anyone should do.

Killer leaned in close to the captain “that fact is negotiable I will follow ya but not to death. So what is it gonna be? This dead man will be eaten anyway but you have your position to loose think of the crew…” he whispered.

The captain hung his head “sorry lad, it looks like this is it.” the boys sobs rung in the captains ears even as he turned away and returned to his cabin, the events that followed to gruesome to write down.

 

Chapter Seven:

Just pretend it’s beef

Just pretend its beef, just pretend its beef, JUST PRETEND- the captains inner mantra was broken by the rowdy laughter around him. He still couldn’t put that bite in his mouth, sadly it seemed he was the only man with this problem. To the other men this was a celebration, the first real filling meal they had enjoyed in a long time, never mind the mystery meat. the only man who seemed subdued in the slightest was Eric but even he was eating.

The captain put down his fork, and Jack of course the boy wouldn’t even come up. who could blame him. At this point the men on the ship had gotten drunk and started yelling out complements to the chef, no, the boy wouldn’t want to be up here.

` The Captain stood and the men cheered he told them he was going to make rounds and wandered down to the kitchen level of the ship. His real intention being to go see Jack.

The Captain stepped into the kitchen to see Jack vigorously washing his hands…still “hello jack, are you ok?” The Captain asked.

“yes I‘m bloody ok, Sir, just washing my hands. I never knew how much blood the human body had Sir, guess ya learn something new every day.” Jack said angrily, putting a heavy sarcastic inflection on the sirs. The Captain glanced at the blood coated kitchen there were knifes flung about haphazardly and the carcass was still on the table but now it was a sad mutilated mess.

“don‘t know why I‘m washing my hands I just have to get back to work busy, busy, busy. So if that’s all could you kindly get the hell out of my kitchen” Jack yelled at the stunned captain, the amount of venom in the boys voice was enough to put any snake to shame.

“why are ya mad at me boy I did nothing if I didn’t do this they‘d of just relived me of my post or worse, and ya‘d still of had to cook yer friend what did ya want me at do?” The Captain said getting a little mad himself what right did this boy have to blame him.

“STAND BY YER MORALS MAYBE?!?!” Jack shouted “so what if they‘d killed you anit nothing better going to happen by waiting we‘re all cursed I don‘t see how the position of captain on a sinking ship is something to aspire to!!” Jack gasped for air to continue his tirade.

“Tell me if it was some other man who had died would this have been as bad, I did what was good for the ship not just one individual can‘t you see that??” The Captain said.

“Of coarse I do!! Of course I do… Isn’t that the worse part, it would have been different, I wouldn’t have cared as much. I would have known it was our only way at food.” Jack continued to wash his hands “but, its not different, this is wrong and we could of done something. I suppose I'm lucky, at least I didn't become a monster like you!”

“well when you find that something tell me.” The Captain said and he walked out of the room.

Jack threw the soap at the wall resolving the his hands would never be clean the bar slammed into a metal bowl on the counter, it seemed like ages ago he’d set that bowl there, why was it there? In a moment he remembered the egg and the chicken, he started to walk towards the bowl.

Who cares if eating that egg would kill him he sure as heck didn’t, he took another step. He had the sudden realization that right now he was the best person to test this, a person who didn’t care, he took another step. If he was going to die shouldn’t it be testing the unknown? He reached the counter and cracked the egg open, the smell was worse than the sight of the sickly green slime that came out of the egg. Perhaps it would be better cooked he thought and with that he began the process of preparing the biggest decision of his life.

The second he swallowed the foul tasting food he’d finished preparing his head hit the table and he fell into a deep sleep unaware of the commotion outside. he dreamed of a very pretty girl who sang to I’m and told him fairy stories, her name was Annalisa.

Chapter eight:

The bloody lion

"Who in the hell dose that boy think he is! talking to me like that, i ought to have him thrown overboard for insubordination." the captain muttered as he marched above deck. he slammed the door and sat at his place watching his men enjoying the meal. and why shouldn't they first meal they had enjoyed in sometime. he looked at his food. and it dose smell ok for what it is he thought. slowly he took his first bite. it actually tasted fine, than he thought of grub, what even was his real name, why and how did he end up on a doomed ship. how did anyone. this was a man he was eating and he didn't even know his name. the captain got up and walked to his cabin he was going to sleep this off like a bad hangover.

The captain awoke with a strange feeling, was it dread? he couldn't place it. he looked to his left the brightness flooding his room from the window wasn't foreboding in anyway, the slow rocking of his ship also was calming. he looked to his right and glanced over the chicken sleeping on his bed to the glass of water on his bedside table and placed three things at once. one he was going to murder that chicken and two, his ship was moving. he vaulted out of his bed with the insane flutter of a shocked chickens wings. he grabbed his coat and bashed his knee into the table with out a care and burst out of his room.

"my god, its real..." he muttered and looked at the chicken that was once again next to him. "What no blasted sound for that one" he accused. the chicken gave a quiet condescending squawk. he glared at his worst nightmare now sailing closer to his ship. the third and final thing he placed, the most feared ship in the seas, the bloody lion, was coming straight for them and at a speed that no ship could mach. "i do believe that this is the end for us. looks like you are going to win chicken" the captain said

the captain looked around himself, his men lay around the deck sleeping he almost hated waking them but this was not his decision.

"MEN!! up everyone UP, danger approaches." the men stirred slightly, but nowhere near fast enough.

"chicken wake em up" the captain growled. the chicken squawked loudly the sound making every man get up real fast.

"Men the captain started again. this time its your decision, i know I've been a horrible captain over the past few weeks. i could of handled this whole thing a lot better. but now heading towards us is the feared ship the bloody lion, the one known for leaving no man alive. now we have been beaten and bloodied yet here we stand. we've lost people, people we cared about in order to survive. so i ask you what are we going to do, are we gonna fly our whites and roll over or are we gonna fight and go out as fearless pirates! lets hear it men."

the chorus of "WE FIGHT" rang in the captains ears and he smiled, for once he truly felt like the hero of his own story. until he herd the chilling laughter behind him. "oh please do that again, i really loved that speech. didn't you Leomaris?" a female voice spoke

"i found it a bit heavy on the heroics but yes it was quite enjoyable Miss Tiffany" a rough yet quiet voice spoke.

"read em their real choices." Captain Tiffany said.

"gladly, you can be taken prisoner and give up your treasure, you could fight and i could bite your heads off, or you could save me time and kill yourselves." the giant intelligent lion said as he and the fire haired woman stepped into the light. "but honestly, what fun would that be." he laughed.

"make your decision now." Tiffany said.

Chapter nine:

Eric's last dance

 

As the brave and fearless pirate captain John Smith hit the deck of this foreign woman-filled ship he thought, why the hell dose all of this happen to me? Is it truly wrong to covet treasure and riches? Have I been living my life as a sinful and evil person? Or dose god just plain hate me.

He assessed his surroundings he saw all his men bound in chains around him all except jack, he wondered momentarily where the boy had gotten to. The ship was huge in comparison to his. Sitting in front of the ships wheel there was a golden throne with red velvet cushions and the main deck looked to be the size of a grand ballroom.

“mam, we found this boy sleeping below decks with a dead body.” the hulking lion said as two of Tiffany's pirates pulled a terrified jack aboard the ship. “i assumed I was allowed the dead one but...”

“no my pet we have no need of the boy, do with him as you please” Tiffany said. Jacks eyes widened in panic as he struggled to break free of the grasp of the pirates.

“NO!” the captain shouted, “this will not stand, he is but a boy.”

“Quite the ailment, best to put it out of its misery” Tiffany quipped.

“how typical” Eric whispered.

“What, speak up if you wish to be heard maggot.” Tiffany scoffed

“I said how typical of a vile and evil creature such as yourself to feel the need to murder a boy in cold blood.” Eric said louder.

Tiffany marched up to Eric and pushed him to the ground, “it looks like we have a new play toy girls.” Tiffany placed her heel on Eric's back “you win oh noble swordsman, a man for a boy, a fortuitous trade.” Tiffany cut Eric lose and tossed him a sword, “are you a fan of gambling Captain?”

The captain looked confused “what sort of gambling?”

“A one on one battle, my best fighter against your little swordsman” Tiffany said, “if you win your crew goes free, if I win your crew will be slaves on my ship until you die or I see fit to sell you.”

“And the boy?” Eric said.

“The boy lives, no matter the outcome.” Tiffany said.

“I'm sorry, miss but I do not gamble with the lives of MY crew members, have your fun elsewhere.” the captain growled.

“I'll do it” Eric said.

“No Eric, you can't” The Captain said.

“Miss I have my own request, even if I die, the boy, keep him safe for me, please” Eric said ignoring his captain.

“my how noble, fine its a deal” Tiffany laughed “now for my best fighter, Leomaris, its time to play.”

Eric shook his head “I had a feeling that was her best fighter.” he mumbled. Eric shifted his weight and felt the sword in his hand he swung it a few times and spoke. “I'm ready”

Tiffany sat in her throne, “Than let the battle commence.”

Eric sprung into action lunging his quickest attack against the lion. The lion easily dodged and swung a claw slicing Eric's coat as Eric spun and moved out of range. Eric moved quickly around the deck slashing and dodging away from the fierce beast. This method went on for about ten minutes with neither party landing any real blows. Eric was sweating this was the hardest he'd ever fought. And he felt he was beginning to slow.

The captain marveled at the battle unfolding in front of him the lion and the man looked to be trapped in some sort of elegant yet dangerous dance. He watched as the battle seemed to move all over the main deck. Eric would spin and leap and the lion would follow slashing violently. It was right then that Eric landed close to Tiffany, that was when the battle changed. The lion launched from its current position rushing to protect and defend his mistress, in doing so he gave an opening, or so it appeared. Eric saw this and quickly moved to hit his target. The lion landed in front of Tiffany in time to see Eric's swing. He pulled his head back but Eric landed a cut above the lions eye, however Eric knew his error the moment he made it, in making that cut Eric left his side open, and he cried out as the lion with blood gushing out of the cut above his eye raked its claws across Eric's side.

In that moment the world slowed down for Eric and fell silent. He felt his sword leave his grasp, he watched his blood splash crimson against the brown deck and marveled at how wrong that color really seemed in the light of day, it was as if that color was to bright to symbolize the end of his life. He looked at his friend the captain moving to cover the eyes of jack, the boy he saved. It felt good to know that in is life he saved something. The boy looked to be screaming, but still Eric heard nothing. His knees hit the deck and his sword landing with a clatter and like that the sound came back. He heard jacks screams and the clicking of the claws of the real bloody lion as it approached him and he mouthed the words “I'm sorry” to his friend and the boy he'd saved.

The Captain covered jacks eyes just before the lion with with blood covering its face opened its mouth and roared “I WIN” as it ripped the head off of the noble pirate swordsman. Tiffany looked on the scene and grinned.

“Alright Captain it looks like I win the wager” Tiffany laughed, “lades but the men below decks, I'll come up with their jobs later.” “Also, someone, please bring a medic to take care of Leomaris.”

“Yes Sir” the crew replied.

With that some of the crew moved the crestfallen pirates below decks.

In those moments walking down to the door that would lead him to a cell The Captain caught his last glimpse of his friends corpse. And he whispered “goodbye my friend” as he for the second time in a week passed out.

Chapter ten:

The Captains confession.

“Captain...Captain...CAPTAIN! WAKE UP SIR!” The Captain awoke with a start at the sound of Jacks voice.

The captain groaned and said “I'm not asleep, I'm dead.” he than curled up next to his soft feathered pillow and tried to regain that blissful black void he woke up from.

“Captain, please come on we have to get out of-”

“STOP CALLING ME THAT!!!” The Captain screamed startling Jack and the feather pillow, chicken, that he was cuddling. He stood up in a rage “ I'M NOT A CAPTAIN IM NOT AND ANYTHING SO STOP CALLING ME THAT!”

“What do ya mean, Captain?” Jack was shocked and more than a little scared at this sudden outburst.

The Captain broke down, “can't you see, everything about me is fake, my accent, my skill, even the way I stand its all a lie.” he ripped the eye patch from his eye and yelled “this eye patch isn't even real! I CAN SEE! YOU HAPPY NOW WITCH AT LEAST NOT ITS ALL OUT IN THE OPEN!!!” he fell to his knees sobbing.

“Captain, it don't matter if ya look like a pirate or not.” Jack said trying to comfort the grown man even though it scared him, Jack didn't know weather to be happy or upset that nobody was in the room with them.

“I just had to say it you know, I mean everyone who knew is dead now...” the captain said “my name is James Smith and I'm the son of a farmer. This was never the life for me. I'm just done playing” he whispered to the floorboards.

The Captain felt a sharp smack against his cheek“That is ridiculous! Before I came here I was an orphan and YOU turned me into a master chef on a pirate ship.” Jack said, “ it don't matter who ya are or where ya come from all that ya need to be a pirate is the will ta be one!

“YOU are my Captain and YOU will always be my captain, I'm sure all yer men feel the same way, are ya just going to leave them?!?” Jack said.

“You know what. Your right!” The Captain shouted “and no pirate worth his salt would let a mere woman steal from him and enslave his crew!” he grabbed jacks hand and picked up the chicken “on this cursed chicken I do pledge to regain all that that woman has stolen from me and put my crew back in its rightful place!” he marched for the door and kicked.

There was a loud bang, “OH DEAR GOD!!” The Captain yelled as he crumbled to the floor holding his foot. “These are some pretty sturdy doors” Jack held back a laugh.

“well it seems we are going to have to make up a plan young Jack” The captain said.

Jack sat down next to him and nodded. “so what did I miss while I was out.

“well, the rest of the men are in the room next to us, and we are three floors below the main deck. Im pretty sure that the treasure is down here too plus I know that the kitchen in on the floor right below the main deck cuz we passed it, there should be food and some supplies there”

“Well young Jack, I think that the best plan of action would be to play along with this whole slavery thing until we can find a way to get everyone off this ship” The Captain said thinking, “I want you to be our little messenger. Tell the men when they need to be places and also I need you to get me a pretty good lay out of this ship. I want to know who stands where and every nook and cranny of this ship.

“so what do you say, are you willing to be my first mate?” The Captain asked the young boy.

Jacks eyes widened, “ya want me ta be yer first mate?”

“Who better to keep me on the up and up and standing by my morals?” The Captain winked, “I'm sure you'll be the best first mate I've ever had”

“Sir, I will do my very best” Jack said.

The captain offered his hand “Than its a deal.” Jack took it and shook. “And I now dub thee first mate.”

Chapter eleven:

working for Tiffany.

James moved quickly through the kitchen of the ship carrying a tray of seasonings for the head cook. He dodged a girl with mousy brown hair who was talking to an older woman, he caught a small snippet of the conversation “Yup it seems that were going to be making a stop at the Athenia port next,” the Older woman said. The young girl nodded and launched into how much she loved the air of that port. Jack kept moving this was the reason he enjoyed his job in the kitchen there was so much gossip if there was anything going on the kitchen was where you'd hear it.

Once he got to the chef he handed her the ingredients with a smile and said, “Is that all miss?”

The cook smiled back, all the girls seemed to genuinely like Jack, and said “yup, ye did good yung'un, now why don't ye go and get yer self a snack.”

“Okay Miss,” he said. Than Jack ran off to go get himself some food and sneak around the ship. He'd secretly been drawing a map of the ship for the past 4 days. As Jack wondered off he wondered how the Captain was doing.

The Captain stretched and wiped the sweat off his forehead. Since they had finally been released and assigned jobs The Captain worked as Tiffany's personal slave while the rest of the crew did typical cleaning and delivery around the ship. The Captain was tasked with cleaning Tiffany quarters and feeding Leomaris. Currently The Captain was delivering Tiffany her afternoon meal. He knocked on her door.

“Ms. Tiffany” he said

“Enter Slave” Tiffany said

“I've brought your afternoon meal” The Captain said as he stepped into Tiffany's room. “Today we have glazed ham and a salad with a jug of wine.”

Tiffany looked up from her maps and charts and nodded at a empty space on the table. “Just set it down right there” she said.

The Captain did as he was told and bowed to the women. “Anything else you want Mam?”

Tiffany sighed, “you know, having you as a slave is very distinctly boring. Entertain me as I eat oh fallen captain.”

The Captain glared, if it were not for his assurance that the lion would kill him he'd run that woman through with a sword as soon as possible. He gritted his teeth, “How would you like me to entertain you misss” he hissed. Usually when Tiffany required entertainment it involved dancing or being humiliated. Today was no exception, The captain spent his day dancing and juggling bottles while the female pirate laughed at her silly pirate turned jester.When Tiffany finally dismissed The Captain he was exhausted.

“You can't truly enjoy such pointless endeavors as humiliating one man” Leomaris said as The Captain left the room.

“It's not that I like it it's just that nice people don't get respect, I won't have my crew or ship disparaged as weak.” Tiffany responded, “I owe it to my crew to prove how strong we can be.”

“I understand miss, I'll do my best to keep you strong” Leomaris said.

“Until the end” They said in unison.

The Captain stepped out into the midnight air and leaned against a side railing of the ship “Working hard or hardly working aye James?”

The Captains head whipped around and he saw a short girl with long mousy brown hair wide green eyes and freckles. “Audrey? Is that you?” he asked. The name felt like memories of lazy warm days in his home town with his best friend. “What are you doing here, are you a pirate now?”

“Hardly, actually I'm here with a message and a Proposition from my master” Audrey said.

“Really who's that?” The Captain asked

“A beautiful powerful Mage, who calls herself the goddess of the sea, you may know her as Annalisa.” Audrey said

The Captain was shocked, “how did you come to be under her care?”

“It's a long story and I don't believe we have time.”

“Oh, well whats the request?” the captain asked.

“That you kill the beast of the witches curse, our vows allow us to never kill a living creature so we are unable.” Audrey said looking down.

“Well I'd love to but I have no way of doing it.” The Captain told his long lost friend.

“Ah but that's where the gift comes in, here take this sword, you can kill the beast with this.” Audrey said handing The Captain a silver sword “ we understand that this is not the simplest task so we are willing to compensate you, you will have your freedom along with the freedom of your men. And your ship will be taken safely to land. Just think about it. I'll stay near the ship, you have until midnight.” With that Audrey left.

“Well, that was strange.” The Captain said looking at the sword in his hands. “It really is quite the development.”

Chapter twelve:

The darkest night.

 

The Captain walked down to the lower levels of the ship that he and Jack shared. He stepped into the cell to see Jack excitedly standing by the door. “Captain, Captain, great news! I know where we're gonna land!” The boy beamed “With a little luck we could be off this ship in a week.”

“I have news too.” The Captain said. “It seems an old childhood friend of mine has popped back up, her name is Audrey, and she says that she can give us something to kill the chicken.”

“Is that even possible?” Jack asked

“Seems so, she says that her master is a powerful mage called Annalisa and has the ability to create a sword to kill the witches curse.” The Captain said.

“Well why can't she kill it than, why do we have ta do her dirty work?” Jack asked trying to think of where he'd heard that name before.

“Something about vows, but they are going to give us back our ship and food plus take us to land if we do it.” The Captain said. “Way I see it is its win win, we get the chicken gone and so do they.”

“Seems a bit of a big reward for something so small.” jack said pondering

“Ehh, I think they know that but just want to help us out” The Captain said.

“Honestly, seems fishy to me, but I suppose that we have ta explore every angle on the off chance they may be right.” Jack said.

“My thoughts exactly young man, we have until midnight to make our decision so I guess now we wait. Inform the men of the plan and get back here to wait.” Jack ran off to inform the men. The Captain sighed, if they were finally going to kill the chicken why do I have such a sense of foreboding the captain thought.

Near midnight Jack and the captain sneak on to the main deck to meet Audrey chicken in hand the men stayed behind to be sure that nothing went south. She is standing near the starboard bow. “were here.” The Captain said, Audrey turned and the chicken started to struggle squawking and pecking its eyes flashing a brilliant blue.

“You've decided?” Audrey asked holding out the sword.

“Yes we have.” The Captain grunted as he tried to keep a hold of the chicken. “Jack, get the sword” The Captain said looking to his first mate. Jack stared at the chicken, “Annalisa...” he mumbled “I met you once. It was in a dream...”

“Damn it boy!” The Captain went to grab the Sword and cried out in pain as the chicken bit him. All of a sudden he heard maniacal laughter from behind him.

“Audrey, who would of thought our little stow away would be you” Tiffany said her lion standing behind her in a vision of fierce power.

“Goddamn it woman, can't you see that we're busy!” The captain said as he tried to recapture the chicken.

“OK that's enough of this.” Audrey said as she cast a magic spell around the chicken containing it.

The Captain grabbed the chicken “HAH, got ya, ya fiend,” he marched up to Audrey “Okay, give me the sword”

“NO!” Jack yelled as he grabbed the chicken from The Captain “Shes lying ta ya, She don't work for Annalis


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