A Pirate's Life for MeMature

“I said tell me your name you fool. Your father owes me too much to live and even though you may not know it, your name to me is just as precious as the old man’s life.

I struggled to steady myself as the ship swayed in the violent storm.

“Never you drunken bastard!” I bellowed against the crashing noises the sea made against the boat.  In reply he got a throwing knife out of his pocket and absent-mindedly tried to aim it towards the window. I glanced in the direction of the knife to see my dad through the window laughing dunk while telling a joke of some kind.

“I’ll put the knife away if you tell me your name. Or would you rather your father died?”

“You wouldn’t dare touch him, and you certainly wouldn’t dare touch me.”

The man laughed and out of the blue lunged at me once again with the pirate-like sword, but too late as I had misted once more. He laughed in triumph as the sword protruded from my chest. So did I. His face must have been completely confused then. How could he hear me laugh out loud when my lips hadn’t opened? When there was a sword supposedly stuck in my chest?  The image of me slowly started to fade away, leaving the shape of the sword stuck solely in the side of the boat and not actually in my heart. He turned around to face the real me and greeted the most well-deserved upper-cut a man could get. But he didn’t deserve to die. I watched in shock as I saw his flailing body turn to a statueresque corpse as he sank into the depths of the English Channel.

“Son.” My dad said from the door of the cabin. I spun around in surprise. Had he witnessed it? Did he now see me as a murderer, just like he was? I didn’t hear the cabin door open so I wasn’t sure. I gulped as I walked back in with him, ignoring the rain that had already penetrated my layers of clothes 5 minutes ago. He simply gave me a knowing look, like I could be considered as his equal now, like an actual son. No-one inside knew what had just happened outside, hopefully neither had my dad.

“Yo ho yo ho a pirate’s life for me!”

I’d just walked into a scene of complete ridiculous but nonetheless fun banter. My dad set up this weekend-long ‘get-away-from-the-nagging-wife’ type of boat trip round parts of the British Isles while pretending to be pirates with priceless ancient pirate swords and hats that my dad had collected from hand-me-downs. The whole set-up supposedly used to belong to a real pirate that had once existed called Smogbeard. It seemed a bit childish really, especially when I knew about each and every one of these criminal’s pasts.

”We're rascals and scoundrels, we're villains and knaves.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
We're devils and black sheep, we're really bad eggs.
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

We're beggars and blighters and ne'er do-well cads,
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Aye, but we're loved by our mommies and dads,
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.” 

The jolly-faced men that sat scattered across the mid-length, old wooden table laughed and cheered and smashed their beer flasks together. They were all drunk and cheered me on to drink some shots with them. For the next ten minutes of my life I managed to forget all the worries in my mind. How my dad was using this get-up to actually do some modern ‘pirating’ of his own. How my mother was struggling to look after my five siblings at home as dad’s money was inconsistent and unreliable. How I would have to keep a low profile back at university, pretend that nothing was wrong and keep my head in the books while the police discovered that a certain ‘ex-convict’ had been found floating in the North Sea. I drowned my sorrows away with beer and rum, coughing and chanting with my fellow criminals all the way home.

After I had parted ways with my dad, who gave me nothing more than a quiet respecting look as we bear-hugged it out, I called a taxi to take me back to university.

The distance from the docks to the campus was too much for me to walk in just one night and I needed enough time to sleep. Once I was about 2 miles away, somewhere in the city centre, I asked the driver to stop. He was a content man who liked to listen to his good music, but I couldn’t take it anymore, especially the beat to that last song. It reminded me of the songs we sang on the pirate ship, which in turn made me think back to how the man had spluttered and coughed as I had watched down helplessly.

No more. Plus I needed to take a walk, I was already longing for the salty smell of the sea breeze and knew that fresh air was the closest I would be able to get to right now. As I walked at a normal pace, trying to remain cool, calm and collected, I bumped into a very small, mature looking girl. We were bewildered for a short moment after the collision before I got angry and scowled at her.

“Watch it.”

Her eyes glared with intelligence as she studied me carefully. She raised an eyebrow at me, cocky and full of feminist attitude. That’s all I could see by looking at her and I decided I couldn’t care less about this situation.

“I could say the same to you.” I snorted at her, stifling a chuckle. No. Her hard determination to win this petty argument made me decide that I wanted to piss her off just a little more.

“We’re going to be here all night at this rate.” Another misconception, clearly not smart at all. I shrugged to keep up the charade.

“Maybe you should move then.” I replied.

“Whatever macho man. Look I’ll move if you tell me your name.” I frowned, hiding the panic in my thoughts. The same words my victim had used. Did she know what I’d done? Surely not, impossible.


“So I can go home and write it on my list of 'People-I-pissed-off-and-should-take-care-to-avoid-in-future'." My lips twitched. I was becoming shaky and had to hide it, had to get away from this ridiculous situation. But I couldn’t hurry this; I could stir up too much intrigue.

“Long list is it?”

“It’s growing. I don’t know why.” My shoulders instantly relaxed; clearly she wasn’t on to anything.

“I can imagine.” I chuckled to myself, thinking about how I was developing a list of my own. I think she took it the wrong way.

"Hey!" She exclaimed, "What's that suppose to mean?" I gave her my most charming and mysterious smile I could pull off. I decided I could trust her with my name, but my first name only.

“Jarod. Now will you move?” I still wanted to get away, to collapse on my bed, to forget about the night, the most dreaded night of my life yet. I didn’t bother to glance at her for a last time as I walked off hurriedly, not caring to know her own name, not giving a single glance to the past that I so desperately had to leave behind.

The End

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