“So there I was, in a ridiculous sombrero and a mustache with no idea why I had decided to talk to these crazy amigos in the first place. Then they asked me to sing. ‘No problem,’ I thought. ‘I love to sing’ I thought. I did a little ballad I learned as a kid in Marleybone. And they had the nerve to tell me that my voice was no good. Me, when my foster-father called me Melody because of my singing voice. Me, when people used to claim I had the sweetest voice in Marleybone City! I had just spent hours trying to impress some second rate musicians who couldn’t recognize talent when it was staring them in the face.”
Ratbeard laughed, again. He always did when he heard that story, never mind that he was there when it took place. Some crewmembers are just impossible. Audrey, the young pirate I was telling the tale to, smiled, and then tried not to, which made me laugh. She was new to Skull Island, and wasn’t sure how to react to the tales people told here.
“So what about you? Had any great adventures yet?” I asked.
She shook her head. “I only just got here. I’ve learned a few basic charms, but that’s all.”
I shrugged. Coming from Marleybone, I knew next to nothing about magic. Give me a good sparkshooter any day.
“All right then, how about I tell you about the giant turtle I summoned in Mooshu. Or the Church schism in Monquista. Over banana seeds of all things.”
“I thought bananas didn’t have seeds,” Audrey said, looking confused.
“That’s exactly the point. Some monks think they used to, or something like that. I try not to get too involved in the politics.”
“But I heard you started a war between the Armada and Marleybone. And worked for the opposition in Monquista. The stories make it sound like you do a lot of politics.”
“Yeah, and it never ends well. Pirates like us are better off plundering and exploring. Oh, and getting into ridiculous situations that make good stories.” I didn’t mean that, not really. It was just that I had heard recently that that war I had started was going poorly for Marleybone. Now the Armada was destroying my home. Usually I love having the ability to make a difference, but I had really erred in starting the war.
“I think our captain needs some cheering up,” said Lucky Jack. “Ratbeard tell us about one of your jobs with Catbeard, that’ll do the trick.”
“Which one?” asked Ratbeard, “I’ve done a few with that dirty, double-crossing cat.”
“The fourth one, that’s my favorite,” said Bonnie Anne with just a hint of a smirk.
“Aye, it would be,” Ratbeard growled. “Alright, as you all know, after the debacle in Flotsam, I had sworn to never work with Catbeard again, and I thought the feeling was mutual. So imagine my surprise when he came asking me for help. He said he’d had a tip about some treasure being shipped into Port Regal from Mooshu. I figured he meant gold or tea, typical stuff. Like a loony, I agreed t’ help him capture the shipment for half the profit.
‘So we set a trap for the ship, ambushed it just inside the entrance to the storm gate, where it’s hard to get reinforcements. The whole plan went perfectly, the crew surrendered, and we loaded the entire cargo onto Catbeard’s ship to take it back to the lair and divide it up.I shoulda known it was too good t’ be true.
‘When we got back to the lair, Catbeard let me break open the first crate t’ start picking out my share o’ the loot. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and found the whole thing filled with pickled herring. So I went t’ the next crate, and it was the same. Every single blasted crate in the entire shipment was filled with pickled herring! I can’t stand the stuff, and Catbeard knew it. He’d tricked me inta helpin’ him out for free. Blasted cat.”
We were all laughing by the end of the story. Even my gloomy mood had been dispelled. Lucky Jack had just launched into a tale of his own when another young pirate walked up to our table.
“Excuse me, Miss Destiny Fisher?”
I smiled up at him, “That’s me, though I prefer to go by Melody.”
“Alright Miss Melody,” he said. “Captain Avery sent me, said he needed to see you right away.”
“Of course,” I said, standing up. I turned to my crew, “I’ll be right back, don’t wait for me.”
When I walked back in a few minutes later, the entire crew stopped talking and looked up at me expectantly. I grinned at them. “Pack your bags folks, we’re going to Marleybone.”
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