Tag Archives: pirates

Meanwhile, on the pirate ship…

Doll heard Bart’s familiar footstep tap-tapping across the gangplank.  She wiped her hands on a towel and went up top to greet him, leaving the galley in the capable hands of Reginald the cabin boy.

Her husband was leaning on the gunwale, staring out to sea, his back to the harbour.

“Hello, love,” Doll took a step closer.  Bart did not turn around.  “Love?”

His shoulders slumped.  Flintlock the parrot flew from him with a squawk and flapped his way to the crow’s nest, screeching in protest.

“I tried, m’dear,” Bart seemed to deflate like a punctured bladder.  “But those scurvy dogs won’t give an inch.”

“But – but – what are we supposed to do?  How are we supposed to live?”  Tears sprang to Doll’s eyes.  It was Reginald she felt sorry for.  The lad knew no other way of life.  “You showed them your leg?”

“Aye, that I did, Doll.”


“They peered at it, asked how I’d got it, so I told them about that altercation with that shark.”

“And did they say you could claim compensation?”

“They said it wasn’t a work-related injury, what with us being on holiday in the Bahamas at the time, and because we had no travel insurance – well.  They did day I could sell it to an antique collector or some such.  Lovely bit of carving – they did say that, at least.”

“But – if you sell it, you won’t have a leg to stand on!”

“Told them that an’ all.”

“Your hook!  Did you show them your hook?”

“O’ course I showed them my damned hook, woman!  But when they heard how I lost my hand in a duel with French Peter, they said I should take the blackguard to court. Only I can’t, can I, seeing as how I sent French Peter to Davey Jones’s locker.”

“Your eye, then!  What did they say when you lifted your eye patch?”

“They – they laughed at me.”

“They what?”

“When I told them I how I come to lose my eye.”

“Scurvy landlubbers!” Doll seethed.

“Oh, come on, love.  It is pretty funny when you think of it.  Me only just having the hook fitted, then ol’ Flintlock shitting in my eye and without thinking I reach up to wipe it off and – well, you know the rest.”

He put his good arm around her and pulled her close, planting a kiss on her brow.

“We’ll get by, love.  We always do.  I’ll just have to do a few more raids, that’s all.”

“But how?  There’s no crew because there’s no booty to pay them with.  You’re only half the man you used to be.  You’re old – I’m old.  Why can’t we retire?”

“Because, my dear, as you well know, when he sank to the bottom of the ocean, French Peter took our treasure map with him.  That was our nest egg, our security.  I never thought of taking out a blasted pension.”

Doll gave up fighting back her tears.  “So, we have to go on working, do we?  Pirates until we drop.”

“Arr,” said Bart sadly.  “It ain’t such a bad life, me hearty.”

But even he did not sound convinced.

“Avast!” roared young Reginald, joining them on deck.  “Don’t cry, Doll.”  He patted the arm of the woman he had come to regard as his mother.  “I say we aim our guns at yon DWP office and blast it off the map.”

Bart tousled the boy’s hair.  “Belay that.  The Department of Work and Pensions has got offices everywhere.  We can’t attack them all.”

Reginald sniffed.  He put his arms around the pirate captain’s great belly.

“Look at us, lily-livered, yellow-bellied landlubbers,” Bart smiled.  “We’ll do fine.  I heard tell while I was in the harbour of the shiny new Royal yacht heading this way.  Plenty of plunder on that particular waste of public money.  We shall be set for life!  Now, up anchor, splice the main brace and set a course to intercept.  There’s life in this old sea dog yet!”

With that, Black-Eyed Bartholomew straightened his tricorn and took hold of the wheel.  The Saucy Susan set out to sea.

pirate ship






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To Do List

  •     Take a stroll around the deck
  •     Drink tot of breakfast rum
  •     Get wooden leg sandpapered.
  •     Agree course with first mate
  •     Set sail
  •     Elevenses – rum
  •     Put myself about a bit to strike fear in the crew.  Whipping arm could do with a work out.
  •     Get hook sharpened.
  •     Luncheon – rum and ship’s biscuits (sans weevils, I hope)
  •     Arrive at Ocracoke Island – take half a dozen of the scurviest dogs in jolly boat.  Remember shovels.
  •     Follow clues on treasure map
  •     Improve orienteering skills with a hip flask of rum
  •     Find spot marked X
  •     Get scurvy dogs to dig up the treasure
  •     Kill scurvy dogs in surprise act of treachery
  •     Bury treasure somewhere else
  •     Amend map
  •     Return to ship
  •     Set sail for home
  •     Stop off for rum
  •     General pillaging and plunder as and when.
  •     Send black spot to Mum


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Davey and the Pirates

Davey watched from his window.  It was past bedtime but he made sure he was quiet.  The moon was shrouded in chiffon clouds, a fuzzy ball of light, a blind eye above the bay.

The sea was choppy that evening and a bank of fog was creeping in from the horizon like something inexorable – the passage of time, perhaps, or the onset of death.

Morbid thoughts for a young lad, to be sure, but Davey had had a rough time of it.  He looked to the headland, a dark mass looming against the sky.  The lighthouse was dark; Davey had seen to that.  He had climbed up there that afternoon and smashed the mirrors.  He had pissed on the wick and made sure old Patrick, the keeper, was blind drunk with a bottle of rum Davey had filched from the tavern.

There would be no light across the bay that night.

The fog sped up its advances, spreading like a voracious disease, like a pestilence, just as the brigands had spread, feeding off the best men in the area – men like Davey’s dad.

Come on, Davey urged, as if the weather was liable to do his bidding.  How the boy had wished for it!  How he had yearned for this moment of vengeance!

The Gypsy Witch was due back from Jamaica.  Without fail it showed up on the same date each year, to press the best of the local men into service.  Those that refused were shot right there.  Like Davey’s dad.

It had been a tough twelvemonth, for Davey and his mother.  She had withdrawn into herself, leaving Davey to roam, to shift for himself and do whatever he liked.

What Davey liked to do was read.  And build model ships. And plot his revenge.

He lifted the model of the Witch and muttering incantations he’d conned from an old book, he twisted it this way and that.

Above the bay, the clouds cleared the moon.  And there, out in the water, silhouetted in the fog, the sails of the pirate ship lurched.  In that moment, the skull and crossbones of its pennant grinned out, as though daring the boy to do his worst.

Davey lifted the model high and with one last imprecation smashed it on the floor.

The next morning, debris washed ashore.  The Gypsy Witch had struck the rocks, it was said.  Old Patrick was asleep on the job. The locals combed the beach for booty and souvenirs.  But not Davey.  Davey watched from his window, watched his mother scrabbling in the sand for doubloons. Their money worries were over.

Behind him, in the fireplace, the old book crackled and curled.


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Adventure on the High Seas

Fresh off the boat and newly married to the Governor’s daughter, Dominic Drubbins finds his new life in the Caribbean thrown into turmoil by a pirate attack unlike any other. Enthralled by the dashing Sebastian, Dominic takes to the high seas but as he learns more about his enigmatic companion and the ways of the world, he comes to realise what must be done if he is to have his happy ever after. William Stafford, author of Leporello on the Lam, returns to historical fantasy with this action-packed adventure, a tale of piracy, derring-do and love.


The title comes from Shakespeare’s King Richard II:

“Not all the water in the rough rude sea

Can wash the balm off from an anointed king

Disappointed by the Pirates of the Caribbean films and inspired by the Cosmo Jarvis song Gay Pirates I wanted to write an adventure with romance and fantasy elements.

Get on board with Dominic and Sebastian as they navigate the Devil’s Triangle and the stormy waters of their own relationship.

The Rough Rude Sea is available now from Amazon,Omnilit, Kobo, and all good e-booksellers.

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