Gaargh, the view from the crab’s ichorous peeper-pockets was narrow, but directed me eyes onto the Queen’s bosomous bounty. I was content. But me contentment was disturbed by the hammerin’ at ye door. I attempted to better obscure meself behind the kelpen curtain and a hideous vase. Twas tricky, for me own limbs were ill-stuffed into the recently vacated crab shell; I scuttled as if recently scuttled.
The cause of me cuckoldish caution burst into the chamber in a rush of bubbles, thrashing his scaly tail behind him. Twas King Clam of the merfolk, fresh returned from his extermination of the Snorks (a peaceful but rightly despised cock-headed sea people), and was understandably ill-tempered to be find his bed-chamber locked, his bride within.
She, the queen, lounged negligently in a negligee; the negligible garment drifting alluringly in the current like the diaphanous tips of her fins. Not five minutes before she’d been demonstratin’ the ticklishness of her lady scales. I’d borrowed the crustaceous carapace from one of her personal guards, whose innards now quivered in the vase before me.
Delightful though me time in Queen Acacia Finest Tuna’s embrace had been, the return of her genocidal spouse spurred on me roaming spirit. Twas time for me to once more taste that sweet air to which me lungs’re accustomed. After tumbling out of Kemberton Shatz’ misshapen grasp I were taken deep into the cold darkness of the ocean. From beneath me I thought I heard the alluring ruckus of Murray Eel’s Planktones playing ‘Under the Sea’ and then… nothin’.
I woke, drifting on a bed of sea anemones with a pair of sea horses jammed up me nose. A mite alarmed I tugged ‘em out and immediately choked, for me lungs were full o’ water. With hasty reluctance I forced the spiny squirming beasts back in. Twas then, through the gills o’ the mer-nags that I caught a scent in me nostrils, one I’d not tasted for many long moons. A scent that put wind in me sails. A scent that made me drop anchor. Arr, that’s not quite what I meant.
The clam-shell doors opened before me. Twas my beloved merwench, the one I’d spent a moonlit night with on the rocks, while Mick serenaded us with his wails of pain. She’d aged not a day. Arrr, she took me in her fins as if it were only yesterday. I protested vehemently about me current state o’ matrimony in the softest whisper I could muster. Me conscience now clear I delved into her Piscean charms. As we later lay in a thin film of her natural oils I thought I must be the happiest man alive at the bottom of the ocean, me arms wrapped about this fine fish of a woman, croonin’ in that way she’s fond of.
She said to me, “Ignatius, ye noble soul, I’ve a surprise for ye,” (for they talks as do we pirates, tis part of the charm). From under the bed she drew a mermaid’s purse, which revealed its contents with a tiny wail. Me heart swelled at the sight of the wee minnowlad. “Be he?” I asked, “He be,” she replied, “But ye…” I started, “I be” she said. “Aaarr, but he be…” said I, “Aaarr,” she agreed; “Gaargh,” I concurred. He was the spittlin’ image of his mother, down to the fetching freckles on his tail, and had his father’s beard. Sad I was to leave him and his mother, but ye troubles of merfolk on dry land’re well enough documented by the Danes and Disney.
While the mer-queen distracted her mer-king with a cool swishing of her sinuous tail, with her eyes she undressed me once again. When the urgency of ocular undressing hastened, I realised it were a hint to be fleeing. I side-stepped from the room. Twas a smooth crabwise exit, exceptin’ ye the flailing of me spasmic crablish appendages. I’d almost escaped when the claw me arm wouldn’t fit in slapped the King across his dorsal fin. For effect I twiddled the crab’s mandibles in a cheeky manner.
Then twas the running for me. I don’t know if ye’ve tried to walk in another’s shoes, but try running in a hexapoidal crust with ye own limbs in gristled gauntlets, underwater. Tis a curiously clumsy drowned ballet, punctuated with coralline snags and stumbling. My spasmodic gambol were easily outmatched by the swishing of a tail. I was out of me element. I set meself into a spin and made more ground that way, battering the King’s merguards with my chitinous clubs.
I spotted a corral of fishy steeds and lumbered desperately for them. With a quick prayer for luck I slashed one of them free and punched it in the swimbladder. Twas more effective than I’d hoped: with a terrifying accelerative lurch we hurtled upwards in a deflatory spiral. So powerful were the launch that it tore the crab carapace from me, save for the claw with which I desperately gripped the unfortunate deflating fish.
The merfolk’s vicious tridents sliced past me as I struck the surface and fountained up in an explosion of fish and spume. I found meself tumbling down to land hard on a wooden deck. Loomin’ over me was the overly-gingered face of Grim Pitch (an ill swap for me merlass), who turned to Kemberton Shatz and muttered, “see, he be fine” before wrenching the seahorses from me nostrils. Me only possible retort were to vomit gallons of brine over the pair of them.
We set sail with haste, fearing predation from the sharp-toothed shark riding merfolk of war. In the distance I glimpsed the sparkle of sunset gleaming off the scales of me love as she dove once more into the depths. Gaargh. I’ve still the scent of her gills on me fingers.