The Pirate I'm Not

The Pirate I'm Not

A Story by Exa Lectric

I once dreamt  I was a pirate. I was a Captain, who ran my own ship. My crew was a family who looked out for each other. We scoured the seas for treasures and knowledge. But then I woke up.

It was finally time. I had packed my bags and shut the door behind me. They wouldn’t know I wasn’t going to return until it was too late. The hell if they would marry me off to that b*****d of a prince. 

I looked ahead and marched on. I was headed to the docks. My maid informed me it was in port. If I waited until next time, there wouldn’t be one. Ahead of me I saw a large ship with two masts down the end of the docks. People were bustling around me, but I paid them no notice, my mind set, my eyes fixed on the vessel. 

“Move along miss, unless you be lookin’ for a good time;” one of the crew said as I stopped in front of the ship. He had a bandana wrapped around his head, but a few blonde curls peaked out. I doubted he was older than myself in years, but his eyes shown with wisdom of far off places I only imagined. A cord wrapped around his waist with a pistol tucked within it. Conveniently, his hand was placed inches from the handle, but I wasn’t intimidated. I had come too far to turn back now.

“And what would you say if I was?” I retorted. His eyes grew wide in disbelief and shock for a moment, then returned to their original glare. I smiled and stared back with one of those looks that you think sees right into your soul. That was a perk of growing up amid secrets and high society - one of a few I might add. I could probably count the benefits of my prior life on one hand, maybe without adding a thumb even. 

“I don’t think you’re quite what I’m lookin’ for. A bit too… Innocent. I’m not really the type for that;” he chuckled to himself at a private joke. His comment didn’t phase me though. I had expected something of the sort, and was prepared for the outcome.

“Good, because you’re not quite who I’m looking for either. I do believe your Captain will have an interest in me, and I’m sure he’d hate for you to keep me waiting any longer;” I bowed to him and removed my hat, my hair tumbling down over my shoulder. 

“Right. Wait one moment miss, I will get the Captain myself.” He rushed away into the cabin of the ship. At this point, the other men aboard stopped whatever they were doing and stared at me. I rolled my eyes. It was as if they saw a chicken with two heads speak perfect English. “Are you all going to just gawk at me, or will anyone invite me aboard my ship?” 

The three men looked at each other, unsure what they should do. Then one man stepped forward and offered his hand over the rail. “Welcome miss. Please, allow me to help you aboard.” I nodded and climbed easily over the rail, just out of the way of his extended hand. Then I heard footsteps on the deck as the man returned with who I presumed to be the Captain.

“Welcome, I hope my crew were polite. Would you care to join me in my cabin for a drink? It seems we have much to discuss.” I smiled and followed him below decks. I could feel the crew’s eyes on my backside as I descended the stairs out of their view. 

The captain’s quarters were very modest, but fashionable at the same time. He had a simple hammock to one side and a desk on the other with two chairs positioned across from one another next to it. He took a seat in the chair facing the door and motioned for me to join him in the other chair. I sat down and lowered my bag to the floor at my feet.

“I’m very sorry but you aren’t anything I was expecting you to be. You’re younger than I anticipated, and much too pretty. But nothing about you is what one expects I assume. If I may ask, I am very intrigued about your reasons for begin here.”

“My father used to tell me not to judge a book by its cover when I was very young. I never really understood what that meant, since I had never seen a book with a cover before. I had only seen maps and ledgers, you see.” I licked my lips as I contemplated how to proceed. “When he passed, I went to live with my mother in town and finally saw books. They hold such knowledge inside, yet the covers of the best books are simple leather. In fact, my favorite book has a leather cover, with a criss crossed binding on the spine to hold the pages together.”

I reached down into my bag and pulled out the book I was describing. “My father’s journal. Inside the cover, you see, he wrote ‘for my daughter and my son; so they may find each other again some day’ but I think it has the answers you seek that I cannot answer.” I handed him the journal and he carefully opened it to the first page with the inscription and ran his index finger over the two lines of script. I could see tenderness in his eyes.

“Thank you, sister. I have something I need to give you. It was from our father. He left careful instructions about returning it to you, and I believe this is the moment he was hoping for.” He opened the top left drawer of the desk and pulled out a metal box. It was made of silver and stood on four small legs made of gold. The sides and lid of the box were decorated with gold swirls and it had a small keyhole where the swirls connected. 

I pulled my necklace chain out of my shirt and held the key on the end, slowly leaning in toward the box. It unlocked with a click and I carefully opened the lid. We both peered over the edge, unsure what we would find inside of it. 

On top were letters. I took them out and unfolded one. It was about a shipment of some kind that had been delivered. I sifted through the other letters and found a small portrait hidden among them. It showed my father holding two small infants. I assumed the children were me and my brother. I also confirmed my assumption that this was my brother seated next to me. I had spent years wondering what he would be like. I wanted to know why we had been separated, if he would accept me, or believe my story, or hate me for coming to him. Maybe this box held the answers my brother couldn’t give me, much like the journal would answer his questions. 

© 2013 Exa Lectric

Author's Note

Exa Lectric
It's not done, but I felt like posting the first page or so I have written up.

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Added on December 28, 2013
Last Updated on December 28, 2013