One, two, three, four…
In a matter of seconds, all of my friends faced our inevitable destiny. We didn’t have a choice, it was either face the man and his crew pointing blades and guns at us, or walk through the plank made of wood to make the jump of misery. It wasn’t long ago when my friends and I were sailing out at the Great Grass Sea, feeling the taste of freedom while the wind blew our crispy long hair mixed with the salty minerals of the water. We were out there, delivering the perfect amount of money and supplies our governor required in a matter of five days at his island.
Of course that was before we got attacked.
Out of the blue, a black ship emerged from the horizon, gaining our attention. The black sails, bigger than ours were covering the sun with his immense, broken pirate flag. The men watched us, yelling names and making sounds of war while they showed their weapons. We quickly went into a battle position as the captain used the wind to his advantage, trying to gain time to escape from their range. It didn’t take long for them to start firing at us, the sound of the canyons aiming at our ship right before blowing it up. Unfortunately, our ship wasn’t that strong and we didn’t have that much gunpowder to fight back. On top of that, our ship wasn’t that fast compared to them so, there was only one thing left to do.
The pirates swung themselves from their ship to ours, initiating a massacre that for them tasted like finding the greatest treasure no man could find. Some of them fired their guns at us from their own ship while others came and used their swords to slice our crew in half. I took out my sword and started fighting with a man whose left eye was missing and the area was replaced with a scar from another battle. The man wasn’t very skilled at sword fighting but he was a pirate, and pirates never play fair in a battle. He made a few steps back and threw me some barrels to block my way to him, so he could get time to run away. Once I made my way through the barrels I heard the sound of his already charged pistol at me. As I looked up, I found the pirate showing me a wicked smile as he tasted victory.
“It’s over, mate” was all he said before some of his comrades knocked me out and captured me along with the rest of my crew. After a while, a shot of cold water splashed against my face woke me up frantically as the pirates laughed. They were eating and drinking all the supplies we had in our ship as we stood in the middle of them tied up from head to toe.
I looked around to see where our Captain was. Hopefully, he was still alive, making an accord with their Pirate Lord to save our lives in exchange of the supplies. That was the most logical reason I think. But there was no sign of him, and my friends were either still knocked out, injured, or nowhere to be seen. I could only count eight of us, excluding me and the Captain.
Then the whole crew stopped laughing as someone came out from their cabin. I looked with hopeful eyes that my Captain was with him as well, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, a man dressed in a combination of black and dark red clothes emerged. His long beard spitting traces of smoke, his hair combined with dreadlocks and messy black and grey curly hair on top of his obviously aged face full of scars. On top of that he had a huge black pirate hat with two long, colored feathers. He approached us while drinking a bottle of rum before throwing it at us, breaking it into tiny pieces of glass.
“What do we have here? Broken souls findin’ tha will to live and prayin’ God we’ll show’em mercy.” He said while walking from side to side as we maintained our heads lowered while the crew laughed and cheered. Then he stopped at one of our crew members, who was obviously scared to death. “Ya’ wanna live?”
The man didn’t answer. The pirate took his gun and shot him at his chest, killing him instantly. “Only the dead don’t speak.”
Then he walked again, “Ya’ prayers have been heard, and because I’m a merciful soul I offer you….a choice. Join our crew.”
“Where is our Captain?” another man asked. “What have you done to him?”
The Pirate Lord smiled and suddenly went close to him. “Do ya’ wanna see him?”
Before the man replied, he was taken away by the Pirate Lord who took him from us and freed his hands and legs. “They made a choice! Let’s show ‘em where their beloved Captain is. To the plank!” he yelled as the entire pirate crew cheered. The man frantically tried to run away but he was surrounded by pointing blades and guns that closed any other possible way to escape. In a matter of seconds, the man was already walking on the plank, making steps backwards to his inevitable destiny.
“Call the beast!” said one of the pirates who threw a piece of bloody meat at the Sea. Once the meat fell on the water, everyone stood silent, waiting. Then the massive creature emerged. A gigantic Sea Salt Crocodile opened his mouth, showing his massive teeth as the pirates cheered with excitement.
“No! Wait! I beg you, don’t make me fall into the sea with that! I promise I will serve you!” the man said with fear as he kneeled before the Pirate Lord, who only laughed while a golden brown cobra emerged from inside his clothes.
“Nah, ya’ lads don’t serve me now. Besides, the beast has awaken her appetite.” He said while making a huge step against the plank, making the man tremble and lose balance before he fell to death.
“Let’s feed her!” the Pirate Lord yelled as he took his sword and pointed to the next prisoner who was about to face the same fate.
For the following minutes, the screams of pain, fear and agony of my friends could be heard between the pirates cheers of joy as the creature had it’s feast. I counted every second it took for each and one of my comrades to fall off the plank against their will. Each minute that reflected how my life was about to end at any moment.
“Now, for the last of their kind!” the Pirate Lord said while finally pointing at me, I resisted as the crew members dragged me out and pushed me to my final walk. Once I made the first step I realize that this was it, my legs and hands started to tremble uncontrollably and I started sweating.
“Y-you know…” I started stuttering. “…we could f-find another outcome to this.”
“So am I about ta’ hear ya’ last words?” the Pirate Lord mocked. That’s when I realized that there’s a few things a Pirate cares about, rum, his ship, women, and…
“That’s if you throw me off the ship. If you do, you could never find the hidden treasure.” I replied.
“Treasure?” said everyone while suddenly dropping their faces of joy. I sensed the Pirate Lord staring at me for a while before ordering me to turn around.
“What treasure are ya’ talkin’ about?” he asked.
“The hidden treasure no man could ever get. It is in a mystery island where no map could document about it, but it’s huge and full of gold and jewels so bright that could be mistaken by stars.”
“Ya’ makin’ lies out to save ya’ ass! No pirate has heard about that treasure.”
“That’s because no pirate has ever found it. It’s a sacred island where all the treasures of every ancient kingdom have been guarded. Every sail men like me knows about it because we serve our King so we must know when he hides his treasures in case there’s an invasion.” I explained, daring to make a few steps forward to the ship.
“Then why say it now? If ya’re so loyal to the King why tell us this?”
“Last moments I recall, I never got the chance to choose if I wanted to join your crew. You just went away throwing each of my comrades off the ship to die. I never told you if I was loyal to the Kling or not, you just assumed that.” I said while the Pirate Lord thought for a moment as he moved his hand to caress his beard. “Also I want to live. Do we have an accord?”
“Ya’ have guts. Remember that if all of this turns out to be a lie, ya’ won’t have a second chance.” he replied.
“I am a man of word.” I replied. The truth of this, is that everything was made up. There’s no treasure, no map, no island, nothing, so either way I’m screwed. The Pirate Lord opened his arms with a wicked laugh as he yelled to the entire crew my welcome, so now I’m officially a pirate.
Lord save me.
By: Carmen Angélica Figueroa Guzmán