Friday, May 9, 2014

Pirates Beware

The prompt:

You’re a pirate on a small pirate ship, that consists of only you, one other pirate and a captain. Recently you ransacked another ship and found a treasure map. After weeks of following it, you’ve finally found the island where “X” marks the spot. Write a scene where you find the buried treasure, only it’s not exactly the treasure you expected to find. 

My story (540 words):

Tis expectations, not cannons, that drown men of the sea, me wise mother phropheted some two score and four years ago when me set down to the water in search of a piratin’ job. For forty-four years, I held those words close to me breastbone and kept me expectations low. Twas likely those low expectations that caused me to be aboard a rickety ship one morning raisin’ me hand to go ashore. For inevitably the time arrives in a man’s life, and certainly a pirate man’s life, when ye is forced upon a decision: swim toward something or start sinking. Ye see, me mother, may she slumber in peace, was wrong. Ye can’t stand in one place too long ‘fore eventually, ye find ye are standin’ in quicksand.

Twas all these years of obeyin’ the captain, layin’ beneath the rails, partakin' in but not leadin’ the plunders that kept me stuck to this rancid cog for so long- a dinghy at most, big enough for one other mate, a captain, and the predictable parrot. Over the years, me noticed even the bilge rats expected better for theeselves, takin’ departure of this miserable yawl for the bigger ships. The ones that promised deep waters and vast riches. Ye take yer lessons where ye get them, I s’pose. Aye, them bilge rats twas how I come to be that day with me hand in the air offerin’ to step ashore whilst me mateys remained at the bow. Other pirates twas in the area and the captain did not liken to leave our vessel unmanned. For word was about- our wee crew had taken possession of the most coveted map on the seven seas. The four oceans too, but that didn’t sound nearly as poetic.

With the map in me pocket, I waded to shore. On me shoulders were the dreams of me captain and me mate- a bigger boat, a larger crew, more swag for grog and the pretty lasses at port. Me dreams were present too, but they were different than me mates. I had a yearnin’ to captain me own ship, sail me own seas. For once, I had me own expectations, and they were risin’ like a strong spring tide, pulled by some power beyond me reckoning. 

The map twas not difficult to follow, and soon me feet stood where X marked the spot. Sweat profused out me eyes as I dug towards me golden future beneath the sand. Me pockets felt weighty, as though they were already overflowed with the riches below-- 

Aye, in retrospect, if pirates had retrospect, the writing twas on the wall.

Me fortune never came. Nor me boat nor me seven seas. Me captain, in his despair, threw himself to the sea. Me matey and I spent the remainder of our days drowning our sorrow in drink and the occasional wench. Rumor has it the parrot took to the streets and spent the last of his life begging for crackers. Ye see, the map proved a fraud. For beneath the X twas no treasure, twas nothing fortuitous or even worth takin'- twas nothing but a picture already fadin’ in color.

Twas nothing but what modern day thieves know as the Mona Lisa.


  1. This was fun to read! I was rooting for the pirate since he the only one willing to make a stab at something more for his life! But liked the ending. A surprise ending1
    I liked the sentence at the end about the color of the picture fading!
    Thanks Lisa!

  2. Oh how cute!! LOVED IT, especially about the Mona Lisa, Lisa!
    Love you, Mom XO

  3. What a great little story! I could definitely see how disappointed a pirate would be to see the mona lisa! You are a great writer!! A skill I have never ever been able to master. My stories always ended in waking up from a dream!

  4. Aunt Pat! Good to see you here. You would root for the pirate. I'd expect nothing less. ;-)

    Shy, I have to fight against the dream sequence every time.

    Thanks Constance. Glad you liked it!