Not so long ago, in a world entirely unlike this one, there was a pretty young girl who lived a rather extraordinarily exciting life.
Not so long ago, in a world entirely unlike this one, there was a pretty young girl who lived a rather extraordinarily exciting life. Up until the tender age of about seventeen, she spent most of her time rolling her eyes, giving her father a, perhaps, undeservedly hard time and rocking involuntarily, in a very rhythmic sort of way.
Hmm? The rocking, you say? Well, she rocked, not because it was natural for her to do so, although that’s what she was inclined to believe after doing it for so many years; but she rocked, in fact, because the angry, rolling waves of the ocean didn’t leave her much of a choice. The fact of the matter was, she had become very fond of the ocean after living on it all her life, despite it’s ruthless cruelty. She was so at home there, that she often felt quite queasy at the mere mention of her father’s ship making port, and her thus having to venture onto the large, unmoving mass that was the earth. How unnatural, she thought, to have something be so solid, so anchored…so permanent. Luckily, her father only made port about every two to three years; only when completely necessary. This was often a joyous time for the pirates aboard, as they had the rare opportunity of wasting away their earned plunder and living like kings, if only for a night or two. The pretty young girl would hide away in her cabin aboard ship and try to avoid her father’s, and the other shipmates’ notice. However, he would inevitably find her and order her onto land to experience a small dose of living, of which she wanted no part.
On this particular day in the story, the father of the pretty young girl, Captain Madoc MacKay, (or Mad Mackay as his crew called him, despite his definitive lack of madness) was leaning against the bulwarks, looking out to the horizon. His daughter approached and took up a spot beside him.
“How do ye be feelin’ today, Father?”
“Good n’ hearty.” was his reply. His daughter knew better. She easily recognized the presence of weariness in his wizened and crinkled eyes. “Fill me mug with some grog now, like a good girl and be on yer way.”
“Cap’n!” The first mate, by the name of Reed, called out.
“Aye!?” Was the Captain’s reply as he swivelled around to peer down onto lower deck.
“T’is the boy! He be hangin’ from the riggins again!”
The Captain sighed audibly. “Arrr, the swab.” He mumbled under his breath as he walked around the mast to take a look at the situation.
Sure enough, as the rest of the mates gathered around, there was a distinct wailing that could be heard coming from the general direction of “up”. Everyone cupped a hand over their foreheads, eyes squinted, and peered upwards; everyone, that is. but the pretty young girl, for she knew what had happened and had no interest in it. About twenty feet above the deck, tangled and swinging by the ankle in the riggings, was Trevor, a young man who, needless to say, still had a thing or two to learn about being a pirate.
“T’is the third time in a fortnight, m’boy!” The Captain called up to Trevor from down below.
“Yes, I know….er, aye, t’is, Cap‘n.” He corrected his grammar quickly. Captain Mackay shook his head slowly. He then began issuing directions to some of the crew. “Let’s get the lad down! Handsomely now! Heave!”
Trevor Lichen wasn’t particularly charismatic, or intelligent or even very useful on board the ship. In fact, he was scrawny, was constantly getting himself into trouble and had a hard time lifting the cannon balls, not to mention when it came to pushing the guns around below deck during a pillage. You might ask what the boy was doing there in the first place. The crew constantly asked themselves that same question. The truth was, Captain Mackay wasn’t so rough and rapscallion as he would have himself believed to be; as a matter of fact, he had a soft spot for the fresh and fertile minds of young people. That is why, when Captain Mackay was last on land, he stopped while walking down the cobbled streets and pondered the boy sitting on a pile of crates outside of an old sailors inn. He looked so pathetic sitting there, forlorn and derelict.
“Are ye a sailor, m’boy?” He had asked him.
The boy looked up suddenly, frightened at the prospect that he wasn’t invisible after all. “No, sir, not a sailor, sir.”
“Do ye be a shop boy?”
“A shop boy, sir? No, sir, not a shop boy.”
“Then what be ye?”
“I’m sorry, sir?” The boy was becoming nervous and confused at the stranger’s keen interest in him.
“What do ye be doin’?” Captain Mackay said it loudly and slowly to the boy.
“Doing? Well, I…I’m nothing, sir. An outcast, that’s all.”
“An outcast, ye say?” The Captain slapped the boy on the shoulder and smiled broadly. “That be me kind of swindle!” The boy smiled awkwardly and seriously considered making a run for it. “Would ye like to be workin’ on me ship, m’boy?”
“Sir?” Trevor peeped.
“The name be Mad Mackay, Cap’n Madoc Mackay. Now will ye be wanting a position on me ship or not?”
“Er, yes…yes sir! I would be pleased to work for you, sir!” Trevor couldn’t believe his luck.
“Aye, the name is Mad Mackay, Cap’n, if ye prefer, but t’ain’t “sir”, now do ye hear?”
“Yes, Captain.” Trevor said rigidly, as if reporting to an admiral in the Navy.
“Ah, ye’ll learn, m’boy.” Mackay smiled to himself.
Unfortunately, that was almost a year prior and Trevor still hadn’t quite caught on.