Captain Pigheart and The Scary Lady

Tis a tale o’ romance and thievery…

Night met us at the island, where even the moon turned a blind eye to our questing. Gaargh, not content with ye gloomy shroud, the clouds also tipped their chamber-pots upon us. ‘Tis just as well, for we’d been practising the noble art of piratical prevaricating and the downpour thrust us within.

I should explain how we came to be in this sodden land. Twere not through the usual drink, idiocy and greed. Y’see, we’d been visiting our old pal the King of Tarsus whose daughter were gravely ill. The king’s need were dire enough to outweigh me sawbones excessive keenness to wet his blades on the poor innocent. We spent an anxious night a-waitin’, with the anchor ready to flee.

To me great relief the princess lived, despite Gunther’s ministratin’s. In reward, the king granted us the pick of his famed Hall o’ Bullion. It were huge! We rested by a statue of a pirate captain engraved so finely ye could see the terror in his contorted face and the desperate grip on the plate o’ gold he held.

For a giggle, I laid me bottle of Old Scrotes Midnight Brew at the statue’s lips – as if he were drinkin’ it ye see! Ha har. As the first drop touched his lips, the figure began to rock violent-like, showering me with grit. There were a great groan and its stone jaw creaked open, and spake like a volcano blowin’ chunks.

The stone captain rumbled on and on about his exploits and the lasses he’d loved, though he finally turned to the details of his statuary and that lovely golden plate. “Seekest thou the isle of Gorgon. Treasure lies within, but turn not ye eyes upon the lady o’ the isle for she be most… bashful”. This plunged it into a fit of laughter so vigorous that he were soon naught but a heap of dust under a golden dish. Gaargh, twere a mite disappointing for he’d revealed little of use.

Ye sign over the Hall’s entrance were clear: ‘ye breaks it, ye buys it’. And so, a shiny platter and a sack o’ grit paid for saving the princess’ life (though not her virtue, gaaargh). Twas not till I scraped me breakfast of bubble and squid surprise off the plate that I espied the treasure map upon it.

And so we came to be standing, damper’n usual, in a murky cave. Having some bad personal experiences of poking into mysterious holes, I sent forth old Sam Knacker, the sail patcher. He’d scarcely tottered off before we heard a strangled scream – of the sort ye’d not wish to follow. Gaargh, twas not encouraging but I picked another of me expendable crew an’ we pushed him on ahead.

We found Sam round the bend, grey and rigid with fear. At least we’d truly found Gorgon. Sam’s granite fist still held a torch at a useful angle, brightening a broad chamber awash with untold plunder, tauntin’ us magpies with its glitter. Twere then I laid me eye upon a frightful vision – methought one of Jelly McFish’s more tentacular pals had crawled onto land. Its face were reptilian, and its hair writhed wildly as if eels’d infested its skull. It seemed womanly, though in the rough. Truly I fancied a good shriek and some girly runnin’ but I were mindful of me reputation. So I nudged Scurvy McMurphy towards her. Gaargh, their eyes met across the crowded cavern petrifying the lad mid-gurn. Then I noticed that the cave were filled with such figures – twere an ill vibe and called for a new plan.

Me crew were intrigued by the stonificatin’ and there were much disputing. All were agreed that curious rockipatin’ rays (‘tis Mick’s term) were surely transmitted by way o’ ye peepers. Gaargh, ‘tis here that me optometrical maimin’ by that malodorous octopus be finally a blessin’ for me monocular vision granted me grace against this demon. The plan were simple: I’d distract the crone whilst the lads robbed her blind – lest they be stoned blind themselves.

I returned to the cave bearing rum and a bucket o’ charm. In me most alluring tones I called her forth. Gaaargh, she were grimmer than Barry in the ship’s panto, but a swig o’ liquor softened her hiss. ‘Twere not long afore we were pleasantly conversing on matters from the military uses o’ whelks to the tragic loss of her sisters to some Greek feller. She’d been alone ever since with just her curse for company in this dank fortune-crammed cavern. Despite me instinctive revulsion, what with the rum an’ cushions me heart swelled for this sad creature, in whose eyes I saw not petrifyin’ doom but a glimmer o’ beauty deep, deep within. Her skin, while scaly were warm, although me fingers were numbed by her snappin’ mane. Yarrr, ‘twere a task for Captain Loveheart. I thought I’d lost me touch along with me hand.

We lay twisted in her silken sheets hissin’ softly to one another, when her eyes grew watery. Me heartstrings twanged as she sobbed that she were disfigured an’ ugly. She were no classic beauty ‘tis true, but I’d spent good money on far worse. I chanced upon a hand glass nearby, and held it to her face. She had time enough to whisper “Ignatius” before turnin’ herself to stone. Gaargh, I’d only wanted to show her the rainbows cast on her cheek by Sam’s torch. I lingered for a moment, then pulled up me britches and pillaged.

We filled the Grim Bastard with the Gorgon’s loot an’ steel enough for an armada. As for ye fossillated folk, the curse were not lifted so we flogged ‘em all to Polyorchid Paul’s Garden Chintz Boutique for a tidy sum.

Twere all grand until we found another map directing us to the island o’ Minos with its tantalizin’ labyrinth. Gaargh, the temptation were too great, and the ball o’ wool too short. If only I’d worn me bigger jumper.

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