Captain Pigheart’s Theological Adventure

Gaaargh, after months of plundering an’ the holing of many hulls, we was looking forwards to the King of Tarsus’ hospitality. In appreciation of the great man’s patronage we’d prepared a chest of lacquered limpets to brighten his cave o’ fancy tat.

The King’s a capricous fellow at the best o’ times, but the town had an oddness to it as we sailed in. The fishing boats that normally plagued the harbour were gone, and the Tarsian flag’d been crudely daubed with a violent pink squid.

The lads were in dire need o’ bathin’ and duty-free shopping, so we docked anyways. We’d scarcely shaken the salt from our beards when we were accosted by a swarm o’ pink-clad clergy folk. They boarded the Lollipop and officiously rooted through me cabins. Rage grew within me, and I expressed meself through the medium o’ a crossbow bolt. The rosy little friar tumbled off the pier with a satisfying splash, but it slowed the slew of ‘em not a jot.

Yarr, they confiscatered me booty and dragged it from me ship – we could not contest it, for me hasty shot’d caused them to direct their arsenal upon us. To break the awkward ice, I enquired after the particular nature of their faith, for their robes were more lurid than Barry’s snog-a-hog skirt. The mad-eyed monks dropped to their knees, waggled their arms and made ‘ooblie-oo’ noises. I were unsure how to respond so I smiled politely. Their bureaucratic brothers gave me a receipt for me tithes and a fistful o’ hysterical pamphlets before flouncin’ off.

Twere highly irregular; I feared there were either a new King in town or our normal crazed one had dived off the stern of his sanity. The King‘s enthusiasms are both a blessing and a curse for his subjects. Well I remember his order that we all wear live jellyfish for their prophylactic effect… twas an unhappy but pregnancy-free week.

Our anchors were locked and me cannons impounded, all on ye King’s orders. Gaargh, I felt more impotent than the operatic eunuch gibbon who tidies me cabin. I’m distrustful o’ priests with pistols, so I dispatched the young simian to investigorate the state of the Kingdom. Off he scampered, chittering in his gibbous tongue, arms a-flail.

There were little for the rest of us to do but drink rum an’ play deck games. The lads’d lost interest in curlin’, and had found favour in the ancient game of Hopscotch, or Hop over ye Scot from which it derives. We took turns to hurdle the inebriate mass o’ Hamish McMuffin, a man prone to ire and deep-fried squid rings. Barry had tripped over the slumberin’ Scotsman and were being battered about the deck when me freakish cabin-lad returned.

Gaaargh, I’d neglected to send a crewman with the gift o’ speech, so we endured an hour o’ monkey-mime to learn that an evil Greek (be there any other kind?) named Testicles the Canker had tainted the King’s mind and taken over the Kingdom with ‘is Church of the Gibbering Cuttlefish. The leaflets showed much leaping on furniture and evangelising of an inventively ludicrous nature. We’d actually encountered one such band of loons swimmin’ with cuttlefish in hopes of saving them from killer whales… they’d not been blessed with success on that occasion.

Testicles’ first edict were the executing of all budgies guilty of gnawing upon the holy husks ‘twixt the bars of their cages. He then embarked on a campaign to educate ye fishermen in the preservation of the sacred cuttlefish. Ye Tarsian fisherfolk be none too bright and after pickling their catch, dungeon-bound. Gaaargh, I be a fan o’ neither zeal, nor learnin’, plus the lads were most aggrieved at bein’ unwhored, so we made our plans with care.

A great storm cast its shadow upon Tarsus that night. We raided Barry’s wardrobe for dresses and body-stocKings of general pinkitude and sneaked ashore. As we slew the dock-guardin’ dullards I noted that the lads had acquired somewhat more ladies’ garb than was strictly necessary for disguise, though the glitter were awful sparkly in the lightning flashes.

From ye palace could be heard a vigorous hooning between the thunderous rumbles. We crept forth in alternate pace with the clouds’ discharging. The vision that forced its way into me eye as I peered into ye window’ll stay with me till I die: ‘twere an undulating mass of pinkish people, frottin’ tentacularly in foamy excitement. Yarr, the sight were queasifying – like a room full of amorous octopi. Even his majesty were thrashing limply with the rest of ye deranged devotees. Gaaargh.

We leapt into the flock of fools, unnoticed at first. I think it were the stabbin’ and stocKings what gave us away in the end. The monks soon ceased to turn the other cheek an’ their faith faltered in the face o’ steel borne by such crudely caparisoned corsairs – as Barry bemoaned: we’d not taken the time to accessorise properly. Me gibbon’d brought a jar o’ pickled squids and were adding to the hysterics by flingin’ them into the crowd.

Yarrr, one slimy squid slapped the King out of his religious reverie; enlightenment be a grand thing to shine in a man’s eyes. The King seized his favourite sword and set to a fine swashbuckling duel with the Hellenic heretic Testicles. Barry discovered that ye could tell the real monks from the press-ganged locals as the latter were mainly trying to escape from the cuttley-tryst we’d disrupted. Them we spared (if we’d not already slain ‘em) an’ mopped up the last of the molluscy monks.

The evil Greek fought on, face flushed in the manner of his favoured cuttlefish. With a dramatic spurt the King castrated him to polite applause, since we’d no desire to unhinge him further. It seemed the King were in the pink once more, for he ordered the monks stripped and their fine silks hung in the courtesans’ quarters whence he bade us all retire.

Around midnight, when the storm’d passed, I heard Testicles a-wailing for his, um, testicles, and were soon joined by the sympathetic tones of me gibbon. ‘Twere quite a castrati lullaby, for I fell sound asleep. Of course the next morning I awoke to find meself securely knotted to the mast of me ship. But that be another tale and never did dim the memory of me night in a King’s harem – gaaargh!

Captain Pigheart’s Heroical Adventure

Gaargh, I awoke half black, half red, and all hurtin’ with the sun glaring in me eye. It took a moment to detach me face from the tarry deck; ‘twould be a long day of rippin’ pitch from me beard. Ah, tis the sign of a fine night’s revel in our latest victory, which I’ll relate to ye now followin’ a brief summary of the events leadin’ to it. The wicked Admiral Kneehorn’d seized the Good Ship Lollipop and her crew, casting me to the whims of ye ocean. I’d washed up on the pitiful isle of Merkin and acquired a serious opium habit.

Some days before, meself, Umberto Phlapjacquet and me shipload of poppy-perplexed puffers had heroically fled the isle o’ Merkin aboard the Sirrup o’ the Sea. Arr, ‘twere an ill name for a pirate ship, but it’d serve till I’d found a way to rescue me crewmates. In the meantime, I were mainly hoping to toot on me poppy-pipe and spend a blissfully delirious day in Mistress Squidlington’s all-singin’ all-dancin’ Cockle Club.

Yarr, me slothful plans were disturbed by Umberto bellowing about some mutatered turtle to starboard. Bless his heart, Umberto had mistaken the raw, pustulent flesh of me old chef Monty McBuboe drowning in the sea for a turtle’s crusty shell. I was delighted to have me leprous pal back in the galley once more. The rest of me crew were not so keen, but being unused to the pirate life they’d little appetite anyway.

Monty’d been booted overboard by Kneehorn for fear of pestilence; twas entirely justified – he’d been voted Plague Vector o’ the Year by Scabs and Spots Quarterly for five years running. He brought news of me lads fate: Kneehorn was taking them to his notorious prison island, the Bastard’s Fate, where hangin’ be ye only respite.

This were the spur I needed to kick me poppy habit and be-Captain me ship once more. First: herbal yoghurt drinks to purify me body. Gaargh, I’d rather suckle on Monty’s buboes. Second: shiver and retch to pass the time. That night Monty and Umberto whisked away our supplies and doped ye fishies, so they’d bob eager-like to the surface. Aarr, it were a source o’ no little contention and sadly led to some of the lads desperately gnawing the fishy spines for a taste o’ poppy and choking t’death on them tiny bones.

Me cravings faded, as did me dreams of one day singing baritone alongside Murray Eel and the Planktones. I were heart-broke when Umberto revealed them as drug-fuelled delusions. Yaarr, me naturally irritable nature resurfaced like an ill-weighted corpse. I seized the wheel once more, an’ spun ‘er portwise for Kneehorn’s vile isle. Alas, me crew were but little recovered. Their whining and poor bowel-mastery’d caused me t’evict a number of the drooling wasters already; perhaps they’d make it back to their crotch-cochetin’ isle, should the fishin’ lines to which they were tied somehow snap.

I’d a plan to re-take me crew, a daring rescue requiring swashbuckling, valour and excess cannon-fodder. I directed Monty to brew up some war-juice – a venomous cocktail of rum, brine, rotting fish and a sprinkle of opium to arrest the addicts’ attention.

We slipped in under cover of night for there’s little honour in being seen and slain by light. ‘Tis far nobler, an’ may I say more fun, to come upon ye enemy from the shadows. We dosed up the crew and despite its foulness they gulped it down. Clearly, the time spent sucking on me hempen ropes had paid off. They were a-twitching with the lethal juices and when one bit off his own hand we knew it was time to attack.

Me scurvy and psychotic crew swarmed up the walls and fell upon the soldiers with a savagery unknown to the sober, belying their formerly kittenish weakness. I bade Umberto pause, lest our beserkers mistake us. They were an excellent diversion and I cast a short prayer of longevity upon them before slipping into the jail.

The guards were losing at dice when we ran them through. At least their day could get no worse. It were a simple matter to free me lads once we had the keys that is, although it took the promise of new shoes to extract Barry from his cell. They were in a sorry state, but we pressed arms into their hands and shoved them down the drains.

The roar of battle echoed through the sewers as the crazed wastrels threw themselves at Kneehorn’s soldiery. We sprinted from the tunnels and climbed aboard the Sirrup, shakin’ the filth off as we went. The huge gout of flame that followed us caught Kneehorn’s eye and he directed his guns towards us.

Thankfully Monty were manning the deck still. We heard a SPRANG, a startled scream and the fleshy THWAP of the cabin-boy slamming into the Admiral. Gaargh, bless that catapult, though god only knows why it were on board. We let out a ragged cheer and loaded the next comatose crewman into the net. We soon found that if we set light to the poor buggers they exploded on contact and soon did for the Admiral’s fleet.

There looked to be only a few of me raving troops left, so I let me emancipated mates pick ‘em off with crossbows. Arr, ye may think me callous but I were sparing them the agonising death than Monty’s concoction guaranteed.

Gaargh, they be happy times in me mind, I’d granted me wig-makin’ pals a heroes death and no longer suffered their sickliness and lackadaisical ship-sense. Me satisfaction were only slightly overshadowed by the astonishin’ new prices laid upon our heads by the somewhat vexed Admiral.

We left the Bastard’s Fate to burn and broke out the grog to mull over the naming of our vessel, mindful of its cost in both blood and booty. And so the Grim Bastard embarked on yet another miscalculated adventure.

Billy No Mates’ Reluctant Mate part 2

Gaaargh, the island were filled with noisome and disappointin’ly tasteless simians. Despite their unwholesome natures they’d a strong family structure which I’d admire were I not from a broken and lovelorn home. Arrr, but enough about me. Ye see, when we crammed ye brutes into barrels for our amusement they went all tribal on poor No Hands Mick and nicked off with his prosthetic mitts. Ye only other pair were the fine silver twin fists inlaid with gold. Mick’s lost ’em to Billy in a gruellin’ game o’ Slap Me Knackers (originated by Old Sam Knacker the Sail Patcher) some days ago and they were now hid in Billy’s stash ‘neath him and his primate playmate. And so, on to ye plan…

A Tale O’ Brief Lamentation

Gaargh, tis a day of woe for ye naturally cheery crew of The Grim Bastard.

Me pet albatross, Peregrine, was tragically immolated in a freak slave-brandin’ accident.

Twas the fault o’ no man. Peregrine’d often shown a peculiar fondness for nuzzling up to ye fortune- and freedom-free passengers we sometimes carried.

Billy No Mates (envious o’ Peregrine’s pal-making skills) postulated this as an attempt to pluck at their man-eggs in an unspecified avian plot.

I suppose ye hottened coals might’ve struck the bird as in need of nestin’.

As the mad old thing dove upon them his beautifully varnished wings caught light. We’d only just shined him up, so’s he’d look his best at the Pirate Pride swim-off next Tuesday. Gaaargh.

O’ course he were not content to simply smoulder away, oh no. He flew in a sparking arc through me sails and crashed blazin’ into me good rum.

Now I’ve got to glue feathers to Neville, me tortoise or I’ll never outshine Captain Aaaarsbeard next week.

Tragedy Strikes Mistress Squidlington’s All Singing All Dancing Cockle Club

Gaaargh, tis oft surprising to an optimistic pirate such as meself with what swiftness a pleasant evenin’ in ye bar can descend into carnage. Twas such a night what took two of me young and enthusiastic mates and cast ‘em into ye shallows.

I’d personally rescued Kemberton Shatz and Grim Pitch from the smoulderin’ ashes of their orphanage home. There be no need to go into details o’ how it came to such incinerating – these things happen all ye time. Arr. They adapted easily to a life at sea and showed an impressive resistance to scurvy and cutlass points.

At length they were permitted to scurry about free o’ chains, and naturally visited Mistress Squidlington’s All Singing All Dancing Cockle Club, one of the Grim Bastard’s favourite hostelries. Twas perhaps a freedom they were unready for. Ye nudified wenchery and debauched sea beasties quite blew their tiny minds.

By the time the rest o’ the crew arrived Kemberton were half buried beneath a heaving mass o’ engorged jellyfish while Pitch provocatively sashayed with a sweaty porpoise. Twas a sight to gladden’ me eye and we cheered ‘em on.

Gaaargh, so fond were our enjoyment o’ Mistress Squidlington’s diverse entertainments that we noted not the attention we’d drawn with our young pups. Ye see, the Cockle Club were cunningly located within a cave giving access to both ye land dwelling folks (of which ye people be an example) and to ye denizens of ye deep (of which a vast and hungry squid be an example). The free entrance be a blessin’ upon trade up to the point at which it turns ye customers into a meal for ye swim-through visitors.

Me example of a giant squid were not as specious as ye may have thought, for one of its species did indeed rear its bulbousness from out of ye pool and with thrashing tentacles it devastated the joyful evening.

Tis hard to know whether the cephalopodous assassin sought out Kemberton Shatz and Grim Pitch for their own sweet juciness or if twere the briny sheen they gained in the Cockle Club that made ‘em so appetising. Gaargh, it took a whole week to find suitable replacements for them.

Ye Damned Beast

Ye ocelot bounded out of the bush, seized me fine tricorn brim and dashed off into the grass. Ye first time twas endearing but the cursed half-deer half-aggravating vermin had been playing this game for days.

Though I’d attempted to blast the thing’s skull from off its neck I’d so far fallen short. Oftentimes I’d fallen in a river. At length the brute’d return it and prance gaily about. Gaargh, how I long to eat the creature.

De Gashe – Origins

The son of an offal miner and a milliner, Franklyn soon learned that people are like gloves stuffed with organs. If you remove the organs, you can wear the glove. He was destined for a life in either career, but like so many young people of his generation he was spared from early labour by his parents’ class aspirations.
Cruelly denied an opportunity to develop chimney lung he was sent to an Academy of Competence in the local borough. There he learned little but graduated with a plethora of qualifications, none recognisable to employers.
Engorged with ignorance, Franklyn undertook a world tour of Europe, embracing art, history, culture and night life. During this adventure he learned the value of the fairer sex (omitted from his school curriculum), and was inducted into a number of influential sects. Mysteries were revealed to him by way of near fatal intoxicants and implausible rituals. 
He returned to England a different man; the real Franklyn lived on, in a tiny amulet worn about De Gashe’s neck.
His first murder was committed on the site of a now fictional genocide site, triggering a catastrophic wave of temporal destruction which annihilated his own reality and flung De Gashe into a future.
Thus ripped from his own time by the unseemly portal, De Gashe travels back and forth through the universe at the whim of fate, a deity or some devious scoundrel with a button. Perhaps one day he will discover this.
In the meantime what can any Victorian gentleman with a penchant for blades and intoxicants (and an enviable collection of rings) do except seek such such divers entertainments as the world has to offer.

The Blissfully Brief Tale of Luckless Larry and King Clam

Me mate Luckless Larry owed his utter limblessness to levellin’ a drunken accusation o’ cuckoldery at a polar bear. Twas unwise. Nonetheless, he survived his maulin’ and were later installed as the figurehead on The Good Ship Lollipop. There he became legendary, though he suffered further when we forgot to feed him. O’ course when she sank that was reputed to be the last of him.

Tis true that he were rescued from the sinking ship by a drastically unattractive merwench and thence conveyed to the King’s cavernous court. However, rumours that his ill luck were turned about by winning a chess contest against King Clam have since been quashed. He amused ye courtesans with his dextrous features until one day he crushed a sacred prawn with his earlobe thus incurrin’ the King’s wrath.

He was sentenced to be made into one o’ the King’s garden-sized chess pieces. And so he spent much o’ the year stacked up in a shed, to be brought out only long enough for the party guests to grow tired with ye game and return to the barbecue. As far as I know, his attempts to escape came to naught and he resides their still beneath a broken deckchair, sad and useless. Unlucky, gaargh.

Captain Pigheart’s Paternal Adventure

Gaargh, as I sit here with a pot o’ crude coral rum and me peg leg restin’ on the table behind me, I’m minded to recall a day most dear to me black and twisted heart. The sun were bright in the sky, silhouetting them gulls what wheeled overhead. The sound o’ me playmates laughter were on the breeze, along with the endless clack o’ buttons in their bins. Twas just one more idyllic day at the Merciful Monks’ Manufactory Orphanage.

I’d been left there as a mere babe, with all me limbs, wrapped up in a pirate’s hat. I’d only just mastered the sewing o’ buttons onto ladies unmentionables, but in time I’d be skilled enough to stitch boots of high fashion for gentlemen. The sunny day were barely visible through ye high windows, but ye summery atmosphere were suddenly split by a tremendous thunderin’. No, twas not the portly lad chained to me left, for smoke were rising outside and the walls shook more than were common.

Midst the screaming and the sharp tang o’ something I’d one day know as gunpowder there came a hammering at the door to our workshop. The doors flew inwards. A man stood between ‘em, wreathed in smoke with pistols in both of his fists. His beard were tassled with the skulls o’ mice and sea beasties and his eyes had a glaze o’ madness upon ‘em.

Gaargh, twas the first time I’d ever laid eyes upon me father, Captain Abraham Seaflange. He made an impression I can tell ye. His eyes fell upon me, which explained the glaze. As he pawed the ground hopelessly his hands fell heavily upon my fine pirate hat which dwarfed my child-like head (tis true, as a child I had the head of a child).

With a roar, Seaflange seized me up and ran blindly through the workshop. He was strong in head and hand; he used ‘em both to smash his way out, towing me behind him like a dinghy. After some time and with the aid of me youthful sight he took me aboard his ship, The Vision of Ugliness.

He’d heard tell of me birth and subsequent vendin’ to the merciless manufacturing monks, but could not bear the thought of his blood engaged in such drudgery. Me heart swelled with belonging and warmth, not least on account of ye rum the Captain had tipped into me to dull me squallin’. He was to teach me all I know about piracy, but first we had to escape the monks’ blockade.

Twere the monks’ last desperate effort to prevent me father leaving with their best button stitcher, the bulk o’ their wealth and box o’ ladies fancy goods (me father’s a mean multi-taskin’ captain). They’d piled ye orphans into boats and punted ‘em into the harbour’s mouth. Aaarr, they’d misjudged me piratical papa who ploughed through their plaintive cries, dashing the boats into shark sized smithereens.

In later years we’d lose legs together and go a-whorin’ in exotical ports but just then I were gazin’ at the mismatched buttons he’d jammed into his eye sockets and wonderin’ if he’d need ‘em stitched. Gaargh, I loves me father, the noble Captain Seaflange for he made me the pirate I am today.


It had been my considerable misfortune to share a snug with a trio of post-adolescent pre-intelligent vermin. Cheerfully engaged in their inane banter, the soaring pitches of their execrably formed discourses began to inflame those sensitive portions of my soul.

To be frank, I was overdue in sating that part of myself most comfortable when extracting the kidneys from some wailing street creature. Indeed, I was only passing the time before catching my train to the city (where I aimed to indulge my cravings without arousing suspicion).

It was only by chance that I was seated so close to these purveyors of prattle with their relentless stream of failed similies and repetitious drooling.

To gain myself a moment’s peace I withdrew my favourite lady-filleter and placed it on the table with a well-practiced thunk. I discovered that this, in combination with an avuncular smile was sufficient to settle the wretches into a nervous silence; perfectly adequate for my drinking needs.

Though it might delay my journey, there was an alley with convenient drainage at the rear of the tavern. All I now needed was to lure one of the mis-brained youths outside. However, at that precise moment my guinea pig began to vibrate alarmingly.

Captain Pigheart’s Assassination Adventure

Gaargh, I remembers the days when I could raise a telescope to either eye without raising a cruel chuckle. Twas back when I could still lay both me eyes upon The Good Ship Lollipop in all of her stereoscopical glory. We were just embarkin’ on our course of piracy and step one was making the ex-Hope Foundation vessel sound more fearsome, like ‘The Scuttlin’ Crab’ (puns’re popular). Or ‘The Tumescence’; twas an excitin’ time.

To pay our way we dipped our toes into the business of assassination. Gaargh, ye excess of sibilance and sociopaths were likely to provide a range of joys. Piracy lends itself to a certain level of violence in any case, and it’d embellish our fledgling resumés. We slashed, shot and stabbed our way through the unpopular classes, losing the odd hand to incompetenth or mocking a thpeech impediment. Tis just part of ye job.

The last assassinatory assignment before we set sail on the seven seas was the bed-time bucket-booting of Albrecht Wifesister, hotelier and breeder of cousins. I carefully selected me team from the least damaged or drunk of me crew. That left just me and Hamish McMuffin to break into the notorious Hotel de la Confiture Noire. I were doubtful of his use, since his girth scorned the traditional use of windows for accessing ye prey.

Indeed, even the patio portals proved too narrow and we were forced to ring the doorbell impatiently. Hamish disarmed the surprisingly well armed bellboy, rearmed himself with the lad’s firearm then strong-armed his way through the armoured door and into the hotel where he promptly tripped over the antique armoire. There he also slew the harmless old man guardin’ the coats: a noble death. By some miracle neither guards nor guests burst forth to challenge our subtle entry, despite Hamish’s impenetrable Glaswegian honking and booming about the place like angry geese with sinusitis.

The carpets leading to the stairs were a pattern of webbed fingers. Twas a pretty hotel, the sort suitable for honeymoonin’ cousins with an interest in the fruits of their loins sprouting into the fearsomely similar fellows in the paintings be-hanging the walls.

We crept up the stairs. I crept up the stairs; Hamish’s vast mass over-stressed ye banisters which popped out from the stairs, showerin’ the hall with splintered wood. Twas the fortuitous sharpness of them flying shards what gave us early warning of the misshapen oddities sneaking up on us. From our reviewing of the artwork in ye foyer we easily identified them as Albrecht’s kin. Gaaargh, twas like fighting a gang of yokel fist-monsters. ‘Twould be an honour to shorten this family’s line.

We fought them off, or rather Hamish did, since his bulk were impassable. I contented meself with tossin’ obscene vases at the ab-featured elbow-faced crowd. At last they stopped their twitching and we continued our ascent with a mite more caution.

After some elementary educational errors, we burst into the rightly-numbered suite with our swords all pointy and poised. The room was dramatically spattered with blood, the decorative work of the man in black whom Hamish had squashed in bursting through the door. Despite our bloodthirsty readiness we found Mister Wifesister lying in the bath, unbreathin’, his mouth stuffed to burstin’ with human toes.

“There’s been a murrrrder” cried Hamish, redundantly. Using our keen deducin’ minds, and the empty bag labelled ‘toes’ in the pocket of the squeezed man by the door, we concluded we’d still a fair chance of claiming our fee.

To remove any confusion we left the Hotel de La Confiture Noire with flames lapping at the roof. We retired to the ‘Bared Rear-Admiral’ tavern. There we received our bounty, and while indulging ourselves, we learned that the peculiar inbreeding of the isle oft produced men with an excess of toes but left ye ladies with a plurality of bosoms.

Gaargh, ye could take a man’s eye out with them things.

Franklyn de Gashe – The Simian Entertainment

After several week of intensive work in my laboratories, I’d decided to take the afternoon off to imbibe sweet smoke and brandy. But after only an hour of dawdling in my drawing room I’d felt a need to have my buttocks more securely clasped and I adjourned to my club. Once there I swiftly re-seated myself in my favoured leather chair bounded by the great hearth on one side and the collected works of Alan Derriere on the other.

I was drifting into a pleasant insensibility when a hubbub ruffled the club‘s atmosphere. At best its members are a somnolent bunch and so anything breaching the murmur of private discourse sends a ripple through the smoky peace. I risked a peek. There was a clamour at the windows where the sunlight fluttered erratically, casting satanic shadows into the room. Engaged, despite my languor, I joined the group squawking by the window. I was halfway through a witty remark when the panes crashed inward, followed by black mass of panic.

And then the flying monkeys fell upon me. The air was filled with their angry whooping and fiendishly accurate faeces flinging. They were my greatest success and failure together in one terribly malformed hybridisation. I’d sought only to equip myself with the perfect manservant, companion and pet. I was surprised to find that once more, science had not done exactly as I asked.

Using my considerable powers of reasoning and mastery of the empirical method I had expended the majority of a local menagerie in my experiments. The only creatures that proved compatible were the humble barbary ape and the majestic goose. How my heart swelled as the brute barked, sneezed and immediately brewed a perfect cup of lemon tea. So flushed was I with triumph that I foresaw a brave new future of mankind and goose-ape ruling the earth hand in claw-wing.

After a short apprenticeship Mister Tribblings, for such I had be-monickered him, took to experimenting alone at night whilst I slept, supervised by the moon and the fitfully active medical waste I’d inserted into his expanded cranium. To my great sadness, the beast was afflicted with a melancholy whose bitterness he turned upon me, for reasons I struggle even now to grasp. For did not his fur and feathers almost grow together in a convivial manner? Even the wing grafts had eventually healed with a minimum of residual weeping and infection.

However, I was unaware of the animosity which grew every time I gently chucked him on his beaky chin or explained how all of his kin had died when I forgot to clean my knives. His nocturnal activities continued in secret until Mr Tribblings was ready to unleash the flapping horde which now plagued me.

The club members fought back with typical Britishness, tutting and brandishing a jumble-sale’s worth of weaponry at the squalling apes. For the most part this was unsuccessful. The gentlemen were soon overwhelmed by the superior wielding capacity of the winged monkeys. The intruders took advantage of their flight to equip both hands and feet with tools gleaned from the laboratory. The rate of damage to my priceless equipment was growing unacceptably, and the wall of leisurely fodder between the monkeys and me was shrinking alarmingly.

It was clear that I would be required to participate. With a view to such activity I finished my glass and extricated myself from beneath the bar-billiards table; immediately there came a howl of triumph, and Mr Tribblings himself flapped into view. I snatched up a cue, and offering a brief apology to the club’s sportsmaster – one Joshua Ballhugger (briefer still when I spotted his head gaping wordlessly on a futon), snapped it down across my knee. Realising my error, I unscrewed it instead. Favouring my bruised thigh, I stood with bipartite ball potter at the ready.

We duelled for a time, Mr Tribblings and I, as I batted away his brutish implements. The nail studded thighbone went first, followed by the footful of dermis penetrating needles. Using the ancient techniques taught to me by the monks of Alermo da Quim I battered the monkey into the baise, and used the shredded cues to fire the billiards rapidly at his skull, stunning the treacherous ape.

With a drooling-level impairment in place I mounted the brutish renegade and took a firm grip of his wings. Mr Tribblings lurched beneath me as I tried to control him with my thighs squeezed tightly about his chest. Somehow he lurched into drunken flight, careening off the bookshelves and light fittings. I managed to wrench one of his wings free of its sutures and the flight ended abruptly, as the halfwinged ape crashed into a gramophone, the winding handle puncturing his jaw.

At first I thought him dead, but his angry rambling continued, accompanied by the mournful yawing of a slow-turning gramophone record. The very action of his jaw was engaging the device’s machinery, and the more enraged his denunciations the faster the handle ground round and the more manic the tune. The rest of the hybrids were easily subdued once they’d finished savaging the more elderly club members.

Mr Tribbling’s evil plan had been foiled, and the club had a new attraction: the mono-winged ape was installed in a cage on the ground floor and wound up by passers-by to produce the unholy music and accompanying spasms which so entertained them. In time Mr Tribbling’s reluctant contribution to the club’s funds outweighed the damage his creatures had wrought. He died shortly afterward from a combination of sepsis and brass poisoning. His bones (with gramophone intact) now occupy a display case in the club’s museum. He was the monkey who ground his own organ.

Captain Pigheart’s Gastronomical Adventure

Foul winds and Captain Aaarsbeard had driven us out of our comfort zone into a running sea battle. We’d valiantly discharged our balls into Aaarsbeard’s stern till there was naught left but a flaming ring upon the waves.Though victorious, our own portside resembled a whore after happy hour, full o’ holes with seamen falling out. Our sails were in tatters and we limped along until we ran into a smashing reef. Away we swam, and dragged along them souls still bafflingly unable to swim, to the island which the reef encircled.

It were the kind of island where a man longs to bury his treasure. Alas, me gold was now being colonised by humourous octopi who amused themselves by hurling coins at me splashing crew.Now I knows ye may be afeard for the safety of meself and me crew and yet ye should worry little, for this maroonin’ lark is bread and butter to us pirate types. Ye forestation were lush as Eve’s own lady garden before she choked on the serpent’s apple, so we’d not want for sustenance. In time we’d assemble a rude craft to take us back to our wives and other foes. In the meantime we rigged shelters and foraged amongst the local flora for spit-roastable fauna.

I must confess it were a tasty isle with such rare delights to me tongue as I’ve rarely had to me loins. Gaaargh. Each beast tasted sweeter than the last, none more so than the friendly monkeys with the imploring eyes who hopped into our laps.

Understand this, we’d not planned to munch on ‘em, for cute they were with their plushness and appealing blinketing. Twas fate that pushed them twixt our teeth, for they were unwise in the ways of me men. Through excessive petting one grew over-excited and bounced into the fire where it was immolated with an adorable squeak. Why, it would be churlish to waste its accidental encookination… Monty McBuboe served the long-tailed sweetmonkey coiled on a bed o’ forest cabbage with a garnish of amphibious foreskin.

Gaargh… After that we hunted them rapaciously, desperate to cram as much of their divine flesh into us as possible. Every day me and the lads’d rise, with increasing difficulty, and go monkey-crooning.

Whilst out on ye hunt, by which I means casually hooting and herding the keen little beasts into a sack, No Hands Mick were pounced upon by one of the lemurian lunches. The little snackle-ape took exception to the tone of his croon (Mick were apt to ignore me schoolin’s) and it snapped at him with unusual force. Luckily Mick had lost both hands in a tragic oyster incident so when ye monkey latched on, twas only to wood and brass, granting Mick the freedom to bounce it off a rock. It rebounded into First Mate Billy no Mates’ arms, with whom Mick’d been reluctantly saddled.

The stripe-furred ingredient landed in his arms akimbo, its huge pain-filled eyes bored into Billy’s own and as it twitched convulsively, young Billy saw a possible friend at last. He ran back to camp, ignoring Mick’s hungry bellows and barricaded himself in his shack where he stuffed the beast fat with desperate friendship and fruit.

Meanwhile, our epicurean spasms made us rotund and liable to roll into the sea where we’d bob like apples till rescued. And worse, we’d devoured almost every living thing on the rock. And in further worsening, the food was fighting back. We’d found old Archibald Flim-Flam lying in a ring o’ monkey dung, his spectacles speckled with blood and his bones picked clean. Me cankled crew spotted the last vanguard of them gibbon-goujons above him, but no amount o’ hurling their weight at the tree could relax their delicious digits’ grip.

We’d grown short of plans (and breath) till one day as we lay walrusine on the sand, Billy No Mates emerged from his shack, cradling that piteous and well-stuffed monkey like a dead twin. Hamish noted a likeness twixt its big blue eyes and strippled fur and the devilry that spat at us through the canopy. And so a ploy congealed twixt me ears: we’d use Billy’s tufted moppet to lure out the last of his kind and furnish ourselves with another meal. (After which we really must attend to the matters of ship-building and escape.)

Billy took some catching, for he’d grown thin while the floppy ape grew fat on his doting. Twas an effort just to stop me peg leg from sinking up to me hip, let alone run about. But at last we pinned them both down and, to placate Billy’s pleading, tied ‘em together in a pit beneath the monkeys’ tree. I’d no desire to eat the sickening beast for it mainly shivered and slavered whenever Billy hugged it, whispering into its ear.

Me and the fat lads waited in the bushes, attempting for quiet but falling foul of various gastric ailments and the need to chew on anything nearby. Thankfully the howling of the monkey, or Billy (twas hard to distinguish ‘em) veiled our greed nicely.

The sweet simians showered us with bum-berries and abuse in the chittering tongue they employed instead o’ English. Once they’d beaten us off they seized the baboony babe and Billy and buggered off into the bushes.

Gaargh, we found Billy No Mate’s bones some days later. Ye could tell it were him since he were missing. And also his skull had the same look of pathetic friendlessness as when it were clad in skin.

So that were it, no more food. We turned at last to ship-building and on each other. I’d found a handy conch shell and I used it to summon me men. We used dice to make a simple choice, for we’d found that delicious though ye monkeys are, they’d found an even finer meal in us.

Guest Blogging Action

Hi all, Just wanted to let you know that Nick Tyler (alias Captain Pigheart) is writing a guest blog for Creative Nottingham over the next two weeks – he’s nearly halfway through.

If you want to follow it – head for this link: THIS LINK HERE

The blog entries so far:

Q & A

Day One – It’s late…

Day Two – MissImp

Day Three – What is Improv Comedy Anyway?

We hope you’ll enjoy it!


Creative Nottingham Guest Blog

Learn more about ye fine Captain Pigheart and his less interesting alter-ego on Creative Nottingham‘s guest blog. It was lots of fun to do…

23rd August 2010 – Introduction, stuff I do

24th August 2010 – MissImp – improvised comedy

26th August 2010 – what is improvised comedy?

27th August 2010 – improv war – show preparation

29th August 2010 – improv weekend, September’s looking manic

31st August 2010 – bring out the pirate!

1st September 2010 -writing pirate

3rd September 2010 – publishing pirate and links round-up

Ahoy me hearties! ~



How be ye, ye fine merfolk? Tis me fondest hope that ye be a-baskin’ on a rock in the middle of the ocean, awaiting a charmin’ pirate to whisk ye off ye tail and show ye a fine piratical time.


Well, tis all grand for meself, Ignatius. Yarr, it’s been some time since I last pestered ye in a friendsome and solicitous way. This year there’ve been many excitin’ developments which I be keen to share with ye, if ye can stand it.

Ye First Matter

Ye captain’s got a bold new website (aarrr, tis a proper one) at which ye’ll find more adventures than ever before and a vastly improved manner o’ seekin’ ’em.


I do hopes ye’ll be having a good poke around me hold:


I’ll be addin’ all manner o’ goodies over the next few months (alongside ye current groupings of tales, YouTube clips and delightful Pigheart artwork) such as character tales and biographies for all them as are fond o’ Barry/Sharon, No Hands Mick, Hamish McMuffin and the like.

Ye Second Matter

Due to popular demand (from at least one or two of ye lubbersome folk), me tales are being recorded as audiobooks in such as manner that ye can download ’em at will, for a frippery o’ pennies (I promise ye’ll never have to pay more than the price of a mug o’ beer).


There be three so far – ye ever-popular tale o’ mermaid bewitchin’ romance – The Mermaid Adventure, The Lost At Sea Adventure and The String Along Adventure – ye can download ’em all from here: They’re also washing up on iTunes, Amazon and all that sort o’ thing.

Tis a most excitin’ development and is keeping the Captain most amused. I’ll be recordin’ tales and uploadin’ ’em as often as the day turns night (yarr, that’s not a contractual obligation).


In the meantime, please be checking out ye site and sounds, and if ye could share this with ye friends and enemies I’d much beholden to ye.


For now, farewell….


Ye good friend and ruthless pirate,

Ignatius Pigheart

The King’s Cross Entertainment

I alighted at Kings Cross, exhausted by my enforced convalescence in the country. The presence of Doriana my cousin’s young daughter, charged with nursing me in her mother’s absence, had kept me abed for weeks. Still, a change is almost as good as a rest. London’s toxic atmosphere was a tonic to my replenished organs, infusing my blood with its murky oils.

I’d planned to take a carriage to the nearest brothel in accordance with my own traditions. To know a city’s whores is to know the city. But the sight of an hobgoblin tickled me onto a diversion. He was skulking past mountains of luggage on the platform’s edge. The fellow seemed normal but for his legs, which were so truncated as to bely the speed at which he scuttled past the last of the disembarking passengers. I have a fascination with the freakish and he fit neatly into my Case of Intriguement. His unwholesome facial hair attempting to escape his chin and cheek by clinging to the woolen scarf and hood which enshrouded his lumpy skull. Startling eyes attempted to climb out of his face, subtly aglaze; perhaps more promising than my intended diversion.

I followed him obliquely, taking time to read the Times and the pornographic graffiti as he scurried through the station. Pausing beside a peeling Cadbury’s advertisement he seemed rather like the pixieish child depicted there, though grotesquely mangled. Then he bared his frightful teeth and ducked through a chained doorway. Allowing him some headway, I slipped through the forbidden exit behind him.

There followed a dark corridor (ever the route to bliss), dripping darkly about my boots. Stubs of candles guttered hazily in the gloom. My quarry had slipped out of sight. I sensed that this subterranean realm could hold a treasure greater than the Cave of Methylated Spirits or the Fungal Palace of Leeds. The tunnel seemed endless and its dampness became entwined with a smell I assumed to be from fish oil candles. Promising…

Abruptly my passage was blocked by the emergence of two shadowy figures and their rather obvious clubs. I scarcely had time to comment on the pairing of a burly thug and mincing goon before I was beaten into a violent slumber.

A greasy orange firelight pushed at my eyelids and the ill-educated chanting of Londoners thrust their way into my ears. Reluctantly I split my lids to find my view occluded by an over-tufted moon waxing out of its breeches; my gaze was fixed until it shuffled away. I was bound to a pillar in a cellar thronging with the refuse of the capitals misbegetting population. Da Vinci would have been horrified by these digressions from his golden proportions. Bestial would be too kind and I suspected I was witness to the birth of a new species. Or possibly several. I can scare enumerate the variations of hue, limb and facial architecture.

Oh, I’d also been stripped save for my decency-maintaining cravat, and smeared with the fishy waste their culture was based upon. Whilst I am used to disporting my talents at a dinner party, I rarely find myself with quite such attention upon me as was weighed upon me in that dank cavern.

Indeed, as they waved their stumps and webley appendages I recognised in their manner the frothy spasms of spiritualism, here hijacked by the gutter-tongued cockneys. The hobgoblin I’d followed from the railway beat his way to my side and in a passable imitation of English brought order, or at least a grunting silence to the gathering.

They brought forth a chalice of some frothy liquid, intending to force it down me. I’d a powerful thirst by this point and cheerfully tossed it back, to the sub-trolls audible awe. The fluid foamed in my mouth tickling my teeth with its narcotic buzz. Now here was something new – not a poison as I’d feared it might be. Witnessing the horde also guzzling away – more a liberating liqueur.

Suddenly freed from my bonds I gave in to the intoxicants urging and scampered, hooting like an elegant baboon. The crowd capered with me, at the hobgoblin’s signal. Feeling a little delirious I clambered onto a rude dais and began a mighty oration. Its exact subject eludes me now, but my invective and imperation were loud and clear. Quite what decisions I’d made I shall never know, but I led that horde of manimals out of their troglodytic meeting place, proudly bearing one of their trouty braziers, into the midst of the English public.

The Times informs me that we razed much of the British Museum and tainted the rest with our disdain for anatomical perfection. I apparently lead my convoy of ugly into a freny of vileness when we gatecrashed a gathering of the gentry. It’s possible they took us for clowns or a theatrical troupe seized with success or despair at our latest show. By all accounts it was a fine afternoon. We occupied a shopping arcade, performed unelective surgery in Harley Street and stole all the clotted fudge we could find.

The police responded according to their nature by clubbing wildly at the fray, harming beast and man equally until both parties fled. I myself awoke under a railway arch, the cloven feet of a dwarven girl clasped to my chin. What an exciting return to the City, but I figured I ought to quit London just as swiftly despite the rebellious thrills I’d tasted. Ah, Doriana’s freckled cheeks beckoned once more.

Captain Pigheart’s Exquisite Mermaid Adventure

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.

Captain Pigheart’s Buoyant Adventure

Yarr, it were a beautiful day and the sun were beating down upon the Grim Bastard and her crew of stalwart bastards like a sea otter opening a crab. The seagulls were screeching their scavengin’ lullabies. Ye may think ‘em coarse and tuneless but in comparison with the whingeing of me crew tis an operatic bliss.

The current complaint was a distant relation to a possible navigational error, which might, if pushin’ came to shovin’ came to a runnin’ through, be laid at me foot. So far I’d managed to divert blame to me helmsman , Abraham Lambkin on account of his being a cloth-eared fool (this is no general term of abuse; the poor lad had suffered terribly in a crow’s cage and covered his aural shame with a pair of fetchin’ lambs tails. Now this sound-proofing plus his habit of rocking back and forth in therapeutic motion makes it difficult to be sure ye directions’ve pierced his skull).

Anyways, due to me misplaced faith in our lug-free helmsman we’d been reefed for some days. In the initial surprise and annoyance I’d loudly declared me displeasure and hurled the youth overboard, his lambs’ tails flapping in the breeze. Ahar, the lad’d landed on ye sandbanks and continued his protestations from below. Lambkin proved surprisingly deft at avoiding me pistol shots. Gaargh, I was gratified when Mick doused him with chum from the fishing barrel. That brightened the mood and we all watched the seagulls divebomb the lad and peck him with vigour.

Gaargh, despite our mirth, it were somewhat chilling to see him tossed about. No doubt it reminded the boy of his earlier ear trauma, for he curled up and sobbed as the seabirds flung him fro and to. The lad’s plight stirred me imagination, for if a pair o’ gulls could lift an urchin off his feet (these were the mighty gulls ye may have heard of), then twere a near certitude that many hundreds of ‘em could raise the Grim Bastard…

And so we dragged Abraham back on board and dunked him in the chum bucket. This time we lassoed the gulls when they went for him (allowing for the odd peck to keep them amiable), and tied each one to a fresh length of rope. In their fury, the birds strained to escape, pulling ye ropes taut.

In time we felt a lurch beneath our feet, and strung a few dozen more for good measure. At last we achieved the air, and the seagulls hauled us aloft. Up and up we went, till we were sailing along at perhaps a hundred feet above the waves.

And so we lie about the deck, under cover naturally, given the squawking shite-hawk horde above us. And so the complaining comes down to this – where the devil are the birdies taking us? We’d neglected to consider a means of directing the feathered fiends; perhaps it’s time to start shooting at them.

Captain Ignatius Freeheart

Ahoy ye beauties,

Tis the season o’ being a decent sort o’ pirate and in demonstration of me general jollity I’ve decided to spread me word to ye in an entirely FREE manner for the followin’ week.

Aye, ye’ll find two of me most favourite full-length and most popular audio adventures for free only on this week:

“Free?” ye says, “what, from a pirate? No doubt he’ll be extractin’ me blood or somesuch fluid in recompense.”

Nay, or at least not for now. Ye’ll also still find the two shorter tales, The Amphibious Adventure and Adventure at Mistress Squidlington’s for free, but they be always free o’ charge.

Tis me greatest hope that ye’ll find ’em a pleasin’ earful and might consider a perusal o’ t’others.

The only thing I asks of ye in return, me beloved crewmate, is that ye spread the name o’ Captain Pigheart wheresoever ye go, be it into the tavern, ye business meetings or a dingy brothel. And also (I be a pirate after all), would ye perhaps be so kind as to offer a tiny, preferably favourable review..? Me cutlass is awfully sharp – tis just a reminder.

Join me crew on Facebook or Twitter for more endearin’ly piratical tidbits.

If ye cannot be arsed with ye listenin’ affairs and prefer to have ye tales passively forced into ye eyes – me two latest adventures’re The Exquisite Mermaid Adventure and The Buoyant Adventure. Read ’em, love ’em.

Until next time, I am ye one-eyed servant.

Captain Ignatius Pigheart