Captain Pigheart’s Misfortunate Mate Adventure

Gaargh, a first mate on ship be often the subject of a crews’ dislike and moanin’. Ye might think it fittin’ then that my first mate, Billy No Mates was so naturally suited to such daily loathin’. Aye, tis convenient. But tis not the story entire, for Billy were once a man with a mate or two…

Billy’s been me first mate since the day I laid me eye upon the Good Ship Lollipop as she transported lucky orphans to a happier place. Back then it were just me, Cack Handed Mick (aye, he were once in possession of a pair o‘ paws) and an emptied tavern of recently incarcerated drunks, dead set on a few weeks in the sun.

Billy was a bright-eyed young lad who’d fled the circus with high hopes of swashbucklin’ romance and wenchery. He’d been much impressed by me and Mick’s pub-based posturing. Now we’d been stringin’ him along for drinks for some while and ye tab was growin’ fearsome in proportion to the shrinking of his purse. Twas time for action, of a hasty and ill-planned nature. Tis what we do best. Since it was carnival season twas likely we could half-inch ye vessel with the use o’ costumery and dramatic license. We enticed Billy into the role of diversion.

And so, we loitered by the docks beneath an assortment of reeking nets and lobster pots, awaiting young Billy’s signal (the ringing of a tiny bell). There came forth no peals of success and me belly rolled with a tolling of woe. Then we heard a terrible crash, and suddenly the incumbent crew took it upon themselves to flee their vessel, their leaps taking them into the harbour as much as onto the dock. Strange. With a hint of trepidation we unhooked ourselves from our hiding place and hurried aboard, casting off as we went.

On the mid-deck I stopped short in horror. Spreadeagled on deck were the wings of a vast ocean-going bird known to all mariners, an albatross. The creature seemed dead, which accounted for the former crew’s swift exit. I considered following them, but for two reasons: one, we were already adrift and two, the plainly human legs which even now twitched and regained their normal relationship with ye deck.

Not being blessed with seaborne know-how, Billy had selected the costume most like his own circus garb, bein’ formerly of the clowning trapeze variety. I’d thought perhaps a harbour-master’s guise, or an allurin’ nun. Instead Billy had chosen a harbinger o’ maritime doom.

He never washed the taint o’ bad charm from himself. Ye might think that the removal of the costume would be enough to cleanse him. Normally, aye. Yet Billy’s method of acquiring the albatross were both impressive and damning. He’d attempted to thieve a costume from the ladies with the giant papier-mache bosoms, but they’d caught him and chased him with knives up the tower adjacent to ye docks. But they’d not reckoned with his circus roots, for he sped up the tower and onto its roof.

As the unfeasibly proportioned women climbed up to meet him, Billy spotted the albatross gliding past. With a cry he leapt for the beast, and grasped it firmly about the neck. The albatross was unprepared for becoming a double act and nose-dived into the deck of the Good Ship Lollipop.

Gaargh, we were undecided, but after detailed analysis over how the luck of an albatross affects a ship, we concluded that since Billy’d plainly killed the beast in self-defence (though not from the bird) and the ship’d been a-dock and not upon ye waves at the point o’ impact, then at worst the ill luck’d reside with Billy and not the Lollipop.

From that point on he were Billy No Mates; a fine crewman but prone to whingeing about his bad luck. Tis a remote possibility that some o’ that luck may have rubbed off onto ye Good Ship Lollipop, for we have been somewhat prone to misadventure.

Merry Christmas to Ye, One and All (and all for one)

Ahoy me seasonal ship mates! Tis time once more to make merry and be-grog oneself till ye fall overboard with nary a snicker. Aye, tis time to take comfort from ye fellows in whatever way ye sees fit. Tis a time for piracy and the festive relief o’ what artifacts ye might find under the roofs and boards of ye neighbours. I were recently bemused by a rebuke of me piratical ways and lightening of such material burdens as ye might have.

Now mistakes me not, I’d not countenance the thievin’ from ye poor on Christmas Eve, for what might be the point? The very fact o’ their poverty makes their wares o’ no worth. No – aims ye for the gilden windows of ye elite – at the least ye can extract the liver-stuffed goose awaitin’ their silver-spooned teeth marks. So make a point of it this Christmas – steal from ye rich and give to yeself; tis almost certain that ye’ve earned it.

So – in ye manner of Christmas spirit (make mine a rum) here’s a smidgeon o’ cheer from ye unnecessarily affectionate pirate. Ye might hear the odd mewl from Idle, me ship’s cougar in the background. Feel free to share far and wide:

Ye Little Christmas Tale:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfJr9QVOP5o&fs=1&hl=en_GB]

In a spatterin’ of Christmassy cheer I’ve added ye most festive of me tales below for ye pleasure:

Should ye wish to read a-web…

For thems with a yearnin’ for alternate formats, ye shall find ye miracle o’ PDF here:

Captain Pigheart’s Little Christmas Tale

Captain Pigheart’s Polar Adventure

Captain Pigheart’s Accursed Christmas

And should ye be of Kindle-ish persuasion ye may email me and I’ll send ye the marvel direct.

Have a magnificently indulgent Christmas and I’ll gaaargh at ye in the New Yule.

Ye beloved Captain,

Ignatius Pigheart

Captain Pigheart’s Terrified Adventure

Greetings fellow Gentleman Ramblers, tis me honour and fortune to be regalin’ ye today with me adventures. Mind not the pistols in ye ribs; had ye but consented to listen ye’d not be at gunpoint.

We were, naturally enough, a-drink and adrift in a mysterious fug. Twas cloying and clung to me beard. From the densest o’ the fog came a dull roar and a twinklin’ sound such as ye might associate with frozen fairies tumblin’ to a floor o’ tiles. I made to alter our course but me peg leg’d been wedged in ye wheel as part of a curious game. We’d no choice but to boldly plunge deeper into the growling smog. Bolts of pink lightning sizzled into the seas about us.

Gaaargh, the ship and crew took on a bright pink glow, like when ye hold ye hand up to firelight and can see ye bones within (if it’s blackened ye’ve left it too long) and the very air vibrated around us. Time grew rubbery and stretched us about like the elbow skin of the world.

It ended with a soggy thunder and our elongation reversed with such suddenness that the limbs of some of me crew were permanently entangled. I had some trouble in detaching meself from Billy No Mates but twas nothing a quick slash could not fix.

Daybreak found the Lollipop twisting gently in pea-green water which lapped at the shore of an alien coast. Twas hot, humid and confusing. As me crew recovered their sea legs, if they could find them. Me first concern were the figurin’ of our position, for what maps we had were but the efforts of a child – never allow a man with no hands to do ye cartographin’. The presence of a number of enraged volcanoes was encouraging; perhaps we’d reached the pacific. Either way, it’d do us no harm to put foot ashore and see what could be seen from a height. Tis always possible we’d stumble upon lost treasure, or a map.

I permitted Barry to join me, and a pair o’ crewmen whose names I’d not yet bothered to learn, but who stood out for the brightness of their scarlet jerseys. Upon gaining the shore, we were immediately beset by insects of a frightful size and vigour. Barry forcefully batted a vast and mosquito into Red Jersey No. 1 (I’d made some effort to distinguish ‘em with numbers on their backs). Gaargh, its proboscis were huge (to echo Barry’s cry) and it wasted no time in burying itself in the lad’s face. Before we could stop it, the beast sucked the lad dry, and hung from his lifeless mug like massive bagpipes, so bloated that we were able to easily slay it. This were not an auspicious beginning.

Me fears were further realised by the immense roaring that penetrated our ears as we violated the ferny bush with our machetes. Twas the sort of noise that turns ye bowels to a seething broth, as Red Jersey No. 2 demonstrated unasked. Even Barry was shaken, but he’d spotted a future pair of boots and matching bag between the trees and urged us on.

Gaargh, I’ve seen a pair o’ creepy dwarf clowns clad in the leather of a single alligator, but this thing’d make catsuits for the whole crew. Twas like a heap of scaly elephants humpin’ a whale. Yet ye teeth, though huge were no sharper than the wits of me sailors. Mayhap this beast would merely trample us to paste.

So we crept nearer, angling to leap upon the dinobrute and stab it through the eyes. We almost had it when a low rumble behind us became a blood-curdling roar and the most terrifying thing of me life loomed over us. Its leg long teeth dripped drool into our hair and its rank stench filled our nostrils. With a snap of its claws it bounded over us and into our prey. Even Barry was sensible enough not to object. It proved a boon in many respects, for the leaf-munching proto-handbag was hardier than we’d imagined, ripping chunks from its attacker with horny toe-claws.

The giant tooth-master tore a strip of the other’s flesh clean off and victoriously tossed it into the trees above us. Barry was overcome with emotion, loudly declaring his delight as he seized it. He was too loud, like his tastes in fashion, and the vast beastisaurus, teeth gleaming with gore slowly twisted to regard us with hunger. Gaaargh, I felt no need to order a retreat; we ran as one, Barry’s new pelt flapping over his shoulder.

We dodged between trees as the slavering monstrodocus stomped hard on our heels, screaming furiously whenever we evaded his toothy embrace. Red Jersey No. 2 was sufficiently new to still benefit from a full complement o’ nature’s limbs and was outpacing ye captain most disrespectfully.

In a noble act o’ friendship I shoved Barry to one side, allowing our brightly caparisoned mate to distract the toothandclawedisaurus. One stumble was all it took and suddenly there was more red than mere fabric could provide. A terrible crunching and noisy gulping followed.

We used the lunch break to scramble into the dinghy and row for the ship like beaten slaves. But that damned beast was hungry still and lumbered into the waves after us. So hard were we rowing and bellowing to the ship to set sail that we barely noted the unusual waves fighting against the current.

We reached the ship as the fangster buried its dripping claws in the Lollipop’s deck, drawing the whole ship forth. It was a partial relief when vast jaws emerged from the frothing sea and clamped down on our terrestrial foe. The terrorbeast was dragged under the waves, tilting the ship until its claws ripped out and it vanished in an explosion of surf and blood. We climbed aboard with all haste as the roiling wake pushed us out to sea and back into the inscrutable fog.

We emerged from ye misty distension into our calm blue native seas. With a sigh o’ relief we discovered that we’d all get a new pair of boots; a noble sacrifice on the part o’ them Scarlet Jerseyed gents. I’d be able to share me experience o’ beastical mystery with ye Gentleman Ramblers. I’ve prepared a charcoal renderin’ o’ the beastie, which I’ve named for ye referential convenience, Ye Ignatiosaurus Scarletio Vex.

Greetings fellow Gentleman Ramblers, tis me honour and fortune to be regalin’ ye today with me adventures. Mind not the pistols in ye ribs; had ye but consented to listen ye’d not be at gunpoint.

 

We were, naturally enough, a-drink and adrift in a mysterious fug. Twas cloying and clung to me beard. From the densest o’ the fog came a dull roar and a twinklin’ sound such as ye might associate with frozen fairies tumblin’ to a floor o’ tiles. I made to alter our course but me peg leg’d been wedged in ye wheel as part of a curious game. We’d no choice but to boldly plunge deeper into the growling smog. Bolts of pink lightning sizzled into the seas about us.

 

Gaaargh, the ship and crew took on a bright pink glow, like when ye hold ye hand up to firelight and can see ye bones within (if it’s blackened ye’ve left it too long) and the very air vibrated around us. Time grew rubbery and stretched us about like the elbow skin of the world.

 

It ended with a soggy thunder and our elongation reversed with such suddenness that the limbs of some of me crew were permanently entangled. I had some trouble in detaching meself from Billy No Mates but twas nothing a quick slash could not fix.

 

Daybreak found the Lollipop twisting gently in pea-green water which lapped at the shore of an alien coast. Twas hot, humid and confusing. As me crew recovered their sea legs, if they could find them. Me first concern were the figurin’ of our position, for what maps we had were but the efforts of a child – never allow a man with no hands to do ye cartographin’. The presence of a number of enraged volcanoes was encouraging; perhaps we’d reached the pacific. Either way, it’d do us no harm to put foot ashore and see what could be seen from a height. Tis always possible we’d stumble upon lost treasure, or a map.

 

I permitted Barry to join me, and a pair o’ crewmen whose names I’d not yet bothered to learn, but who stood out for the brightness of their scarlet jerseys. Upon gaining the shore, we were immediately beset by insects of a frightful size and vigour. Barry forcefully batted a vast and mosquito into Red Jersey No. 1 (I’d made some effort to distinguish ‘em with numbers on their backs). Gaargh, its probiscus were huge (to echo Barry’s cry) and it wasted no time in burying itself in the lad’s face. Before we could stop it, the beast sucked the lad dry, and hung from his lifeless mug like massive bagpipes, so bloated that we were able to easily slay it. This were not an auspicious beginning.

 

Me fears were further realised by the immense roaring that penetrated our ears as we violated the ferny bush with our machetes. Twas the sort of noise that turns ye bowels to a seething broth, as Red Jersey No. 2 demonstrated unasked. Even Barry was shaken, but he’d spotted a future pair of boots and matching bag between the trees and urged us on.

 

Gaargh, I’ve seen a pair o’ creepy dwarf clowns clad in the leather of a single alligator, but this thing’d make catsuits for the whole crew. Twas like a heap of scaly elephants humpin’ a whale. Yet ye teeth, though huge were no sharper than the wits of me sailors. Mayhap this beast would merely trample us to paste.

 

So we crept nearer, angling to leap upon the dinobrute and stab it through the eyes. We almost had it when a low rumble behind us became a blood-curdling roar and the most terrifying thing of me life loomed over us. Its leg long teeth dripped drool into our hair and its rank stench filled our nostrils. With a snap of its claws it bounded over us and into our prey. Even Barry was sensible enough not to object. It proved a boon in many respects, for the leaf-munching proto-handbag was hardier than we’d imagined, ripping chunks from its attacker with horny toe-claws.

 

The giant tooth-master tore a strip of the other’s flesh clean off and victoriously tossed it into the trees above us. Barry was overcome with emotion, loudly declaring his delight as he seized it. He was too loud, like his tastes in fashion, and the vast beastisaurus, teeth gleaming with gore slowly twisted to regard us with hunger. Gaaargh, I felt no need to order a retreat; we ran as one, Barry’s new pelt flapping over his shoulder.

 

We dodged between trees as the slavering monstrodocus stomped hard on our heels, screaming furiously whenever we evaded his toothy embrace. Red Jersey No. 2 was sufficiently new to still benefit from a full complement o’ nature’s limbs and was outpacing ye captain most disrespectfully.

 

In a noble act o’ friendship I shoved Barry to one side, allowing our brightly caparisoned mate to distract the toothandclawedisaurus. One stumble was all it took and suddenly there was more red than mere fabric could provide. A terrible crunching and noisy gulping followed.

 

We used the lunch break to scramble into the dinghy and row for the ship like beaten slaves. But that damned beast was hungry still and lumbered into the waves after us. So hard were we rowing and bellowing to the ship to set sail that we barely noted the unusual waves fighting against the current.

 

We reached the ship as the fangster buried its dripping claws in the Lollipop’s deck, drawing the whole ship forth. It was a partial relief when vast jaws emerged from the frothing sea and clamped down on our terrestrial foe. The terrorbeast was dragged under the waves, tilting the ship until its claws ripped out and it vanished in an explosion of surf and blood. We climbed aboard with all haste as the roiling wake pushed us out to sea and back into the inscrutable fog.

 

We emerged from ye misty distension into our calm blue native seas. With a sigh o’ relief we discovered that we’d all get a new pair of boots; a noble sacrifice on the part o’ them Scarlet Jerseyed gents. I’d be able to share me experience o’ beastical mystery with ye Gentleman Ramblers. I’ve prepared a charcoal renderin’ o’ the beastie, which I’ve named for ye referential convenience, Ye Ignatiosaurus Scarletio Vex.