I'll never forget the first day I was introduced to the cruel, tyrannical Armada. I remember I was only five, but when I was told that my parents had been taken by those... those... monsters, the pain was so overwhelming that I almost got sick. Trust me, I had been a nice little girl--into dolls and kittens, but after my parents' disappearance, I fell into a different way. Piracy. My parents weren't pirates. They were good people. My father, however, was a merchant who did business WITH a pirate--an old family friend--the reason they had been kidnapped. I didn't know him, and I didn't care for him. I just knew my parents were gone, and it was the Armada's fault. So saying, I fell into a rebellious streak. I would either find my parents or avenge them. And so I became a pirate.
Don't get me wrong, I was probably the worst pirate EVER when I started out, but that didn't last. That's when I met good old Boochbeard. He trained me up to be a good, respectable pirate--looting, plundering, thieving. To be honest, I didn't find that much joy in it at first. My real passion was ships. I loved how they felt--looked--sailed. Boochbeard himself declared I would be the greatest pirate ever to commandeer a ship, after watching me maneuver various toy boats with such a skill that he was surprised.
Enough about my past--let's go to the present. Me and Boochbeard had gotten into a fight. I was thirteen years old for crying out loud, and, although he still taught me the ways of a pirate, he insisted I wasn't ready for REAL pirating. I felt I was. He was always off pirating while I stayed at home, practicing my pirate lessons. (Yes, even pirates have lessons.) Then it occurred to me. Why not prove to him that I'm a real pirate, good and true? (not literally. No worthy pirate is truthful.) So, I stole a shabby little craft that floated, and sailed straight through the seas. It was wonderful. I daydreamed avidly about how many adventures I'd have and how many ships I'd sink. That's when the great, massive, terrifying ship sailing right at me. I was so surprised I nearly fell off my boat; how could I not have seen it? But when I saw that it was an Armada ship, I rejoiced. YES! I FINALLY had my chance!
With amazing ease, I leaped onto the great battleship, leaving the shanty to float until it sank. I climbed through the hole where the cannon went and looked around. How would I take over the ship? There weren't many options. I was only one pirate. But then again, Boochbeard had always told me that, if you're a good pirate, you can do ANYTHING. I whipped out my cutlass, stalking through the reeking cannon deck. Then I heard a shout, announcing my existence, and I flew forward as fast as I could to evade any attacks. That wasn't a smart thing to do. I ran RIGHT into an Armada gunman.
The next thing I know I'm sitting in the dungeon with a VERY no sword, feeling a bit hungry, and a VERY bad humor. In fact, I was in such a terrible mood, that when I heard something start to say something in the cell next to mine, I shouted, ''BE QUIET!"
"You're awful touchy," shot back an amused voice.
I started at his reply. Yes, I was a big hothead, but I couldn't help it. It's how I was. "Sorry," I apologized, softened by his relaxed demeanor. "I'm just--I did something wrong, so I'm testy."
"Then by all means, release your pent up anger on me," he answered drily.
I felt my temper flare again, but coolled it--after a moment of concentration. "Who ARE you?"
"Egg Shen," he introduced politely, showing himself in what dim light there was.
"Darling Darby Declark," I replied. "I'm a pirate."
I noted a hint of a smile on his face.
"It's a perfectly good name for a pirate!" I shot back. "Don't look at me like that!"
"I didn't say it wasn't,'' Egg Shen shrugged. "It's just--I've never heard a pirate SAY they were a pirate. They prefer to keep their heads instead of--excuse my term--blabbing it to me in an Armada Ship." He emphasized "Armada."
I reddened when I saw the truth of his words. I lowered my voice to a whisper. "You don't think they were listening, do you?"
He was about to reply when a great big BOOM was heard just outside the ship. "Cannonfire!" he exclaimed, just as a great CRASH was heard just above us.
That's when I heard the muffled cry. "Boochbeard!" I cried. More cannonfire, shouting, and clanging metal. Then a big door opening just down the dank, dark hall, and a great form stepping in front of the light that shone through. "Boochbeard,'' I whispered as he marched down the hall--looking for a cell. MY cell.
"Declark,'' he said, relief flooding his voice when he found me. ''Are ye daft, lass? Loony in the head?'' his voice was quiet. I knew this meant that he was angry. Boochbeard may have been something of a vague father figure for me--when he was with me--most of the time he was pirating, but he was also my mentor. And I my stupidity was the reason he was here now. Gandry offered a soft smile for me as Boochbeard unlocked the gate. Boochbeard was generally a kind old fellow, for a pirate, but I could tell by his heavy breathing that he was about to explode.
I realized I would rather stay in this ship, a captive, then face the wrath of Boochbeard.
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