Gaaargh, we’d been at sea some while and the lads were growin’ crazed as a hermit crab in an undersized shell. Sean ‘the tool’ O’Toole was bein’ especially tiresome, wailin’ about his engorged manly bits an’ his need for a spot o’ lancin’. The lad were not quite the Casanova he hoped for; he’d merely grown infected after humpin’ a manatee. ‘Tis natural for a bleary-eyed sailor to mistake a half-tonne sea cow for an amiable maiden when he stumbles across one on the sloop deck.
Our hold’d been a bestial mess since being commissioned to gather a hoard of maritime wonders for the King o’ Tarsus. We’d gone a mite overboard in our freakish fauna fishin’ and had a shipful of odd-legged amorous octopi and the like. We’d even snagged a downy-breasted siren! The feathery wench’d been gagged by ‘Not Got A Shell-like’ Charlie who were immune to her mesmerisin’ song; the king’d reward us handsomely for the mythical bird-lady, especially if no man’d plucked ‘er.
Ye traditional pirate pastimes’d worn thin and the lads were reduced to a half-heartedly tauntin’ ye menagerie. Their gripin’ were clamberin’ over me breast so I shoved Charlie into the lovin’ mollusc’s seven-legged embrace to amuse the crew and retreated to me cabin with a tankard o’ whale ale and distant screamin’.
Me boozy snooze was disturbed by me pirate-sense a-tinglin’. Gaargh, some danger were near and likely related to the bangin’ tune piercin’ me looming hangover. I groped for the door, mistakin’ at first the fine Grecian statue with the delightful cleavage. I paused there for an extra grope or twain. Yarr, it’d been some while since I’d tweaked more’n her stony teat.
When I opened me door the thump were accompanied by an enticin’ ‘oo-oop, oo-oop’ as if some tropical bird’d been unleashed on deck; unlikely given the crew’s appetites. In the ‘cumulatin’ gloom o’ dusk I made out the giant form o’ Hamish McMuffin beatin’ an old barrel, his kilt swishin’ with an alarming freedom. The patter o’ me old renegade snares matched the moanin’ o’ Sean O’Toole as he gingerly tapped his bulgin’ bongoes. Slap in the middle of the deck pranced the siren, enchained yet unstoppered, chirrupin’ that eerie whoopin’ into the mix, shakin’ her feathery behind and be-stirrin’ me crew. The sea-witch’s tweetlin’ sent an intoxicatin’ thrill up and down me spine, ticklin’ me cogitatin’ orbs.
I felt a powerful urge to join me lads in their tribal bangin’: gaargh, we’d already yielded to the siren’s charms. Our only hope were to outdo her spell. I directed First Mate Billy No Mates to break out Monty McBuboe’s emergency store o’ sea-slug tequila and cockle shots and distribute ‘em to the crew. With the pirate percussion growing I hurried back to me cabin a-tremble with excitement.
I tossed back me mattress and unlocked the oaken chest beneath. ‘Twere bequeathed to me in case o’ dire need by me father, Captain Seaflange, of whom me last memory be his toothless grin after pinning the tail on a real donkey at me ninth birthday, and his consequent fatal head-hoofin’. I popped the lock to reveal phosphorescent crabsticks, a single white glove and a whistle exquisitely carved from the face of a mermaid. Gaaargh, thankin’ ye pa.
The atmosphere were electric when I returned to ye deck: we were sailin’ into a storm. The first raindrops spattered onto the planks, syncopatin’ with ye frantic beat as I handed out ye crabsticks. Lads o’ various disfigurements abandoned the tame hornpipe to chant ‘big fish, small fish, cask o’ rum’, blazin’ neon whirls about ‘em with their glowin’ crustaceous canes. Barry’d donned his silks for the occasion and so Sharon were gyratin’ enthusiastically in ye brig.An’ then the storm tossed in her own beats, rollin’ filthy bass notes through me rigging. The dance’s intensity grew with the wind whistlin’ through the sails while Hamish’s hammerin’ drew schools o’ dolphins to circle us, yakkerin’ rhythmically.
Yarr, I felt like me time’d come at last. I burst into the heart of ye dance and threw down me own piratical shapes. Ye’d be amazed at the breaks ye can achieve with a peg leg to pivot upon. The lightnin’ flashes strobed across me crew, renderin’ us all to jerky puppetry. From without our manly beatin’ came a soarin’ vocal chorus – the angelic sound urgin’ us onwards and inspiring’ Monty MCBuboe into a euphoric rantin’ so fast as to be near unintelligible, showerin’ us with digital breaks from ‘is leprous limbs.
As I dodged his flyin’ thumb I noted the horde of voluptuous yet ornithine ladies engaged in boardin’ me ship. The siren wench’d summoned her pals and in spite o’ me good sense I couldn’t help wagglin’ me glowstick invitin’ly. The lads let out a cheer as their dainty toes hit the deck, their unearthly wailin’ blendin’ harmoniously with the orchestral hues of a ship’s galley played by its tone-deaf crew.
I peeped me whistle in chime with the beguilin’ bird brushin’ her bushy plumage ‘gainst me. As if hypnotised they joined with the crew in an ecstasy o’ ‘starfish, jellyfish, what the devil’s that?’ Gaargh, we danced through the night, by which I mean both ye upright and horizontal tangoin’.
Gaaargh, I awoke spittin’ out feathers and cuddlin’ a huge and crackin’ egg. It took a moment to realise me crow’s nest’d been redecorated with a fetchin’ interweavin’ o’ riggin’ and odd limbs; at a quick count o’ legs I figured me crew’d struggle to win the next Twister death match.
A shadow were cast over me as its mother descended upon the nest bearin’ the flailin’ deformity of Sean O’Toole. The siren’s arrival met perfectly the splitting of the shell, a slimily feathery head poppin’ free in time to engulf the Tool’s danglin’ nethers. ‘Tis a wincing form o’ nourishment, but at last Sean’d served a purpose.
Twas clear that me seductive groovin’ had saved at least some of me crew from the sirens’ song, for I could hear their shufflin’ below. Like any proud father would, I peeped me whistle encouragin’ly at the fine young fledgling. Perhaps I’ll name him Polly.