Morris sat under an old, dead tree at the base of Boot Hill. It was late at night, and the elderly man was finally done with his usual work. He was actually quite relieved-digging graves and burying the dead was much of a burden on the old man.
Morris was a grave-digger, working day and night at Boot Hill and promoting all of his time to the place. He owned a nice little house in Santo Pollo, but he hardly ever had the time to go there, since he had his own little decaying shack at Boot Hill’s base. When he was a boy his family moved almost all the time, so he was pretty used to never visiting his house in Santo Pollo. Perhaps he should just sell the house to the Frogerales?
Morris shook his head, shaking all thoughts out of his mind. He actually didn’t care much for the house at all; in reality, he felt quite at home among the spirits and ghosts of Boot Hill. Some might say it was because he was an old man far past his prime, but Morris knew the real reason-it was because of the Phantom Violin.
The Phantom was a mysterious stranger of the sort, cloaked in a shroud of an outfit with a tattered cape. The mystery stranger never showed his face, but the man’s eyes (compared to the night sky) were pure white, as if he had no soul. Morris had no clue who this stranger was, whether he was alive or a ghost, and whether he “lived” at Boot Hill or came each night to visit a grave. But one thing about the man that was obvious was his musical talent.
Each night, at the summit of Boot Hill, The Phantom would bring with him a shining green violin, almost as pure of color as the Phantom’s eyes. The Phantom would stare at the moon for a bit, as if seeking inspiration, and then begin to play. The man never played the same song, ever, and his music pleased the restless spirits of Boot Hill, for on some nights Morris could faintly hear the ghosts dancing and a few even singing.
Whenever there was a full moon however, the Phantom would retrieve a bright red rose from his coat pocket and place it on the ground at the summit, possibly on a specific grave, before playing. Perhaps he lost someone dear to his heart, if he even had a heart…
As Morris was recalling his memories, he finally heard it; the soft, gentle music of the violin, slowly rising and increasing in both volume and pace, the rhythm changing from a slow, depressing ballad to a mythical-sounding song of folklore. Like Morris had predicted, the song was completely different and unlike any of the other songs the Phantom had played on previous nights. Morris wondered if the Phantom was, perhaps, a hero like El Toro or any one of the Magnificent Seven.
As the song picked up volume Morris saw ghosts rise up from their graves, stretching their bony arms and turning their heads towards the summit. Some of the ghosts, men and women, joined hand-in-hand and began to dance, twirling and spinning and laughing. The spirits of a deceased mariachi band rose up and began to play along with the Phantom and his violin, and the song became more upbeat and cheerful. As soon as it reached midnight, the ghosts returned to their graves, leaving the Phantom to play his instrument alone.
The Phantom stopped playing his green violin and put it back into its case. He turned his head and tipped his highwayman’s hat towards Morris, and then walked down the opposite side of the summit, out of sight.
“What I wouldn’t give to find out that man’s secret identity,” Morris said to himself. “I know the history of every grave and person buried here on Boot Hill, but the identity of the Phantom…that I may never know.”
Morris shrugged and unlocked the door of his shack and headed inside. He wasn’t going to live for much longer, so he might as well live out his last few days to the fullest.
The next morning, Morris awoke coughing and tired more than he had ever been before. He sighed and put on his leathery gloves and tall boots, put on his wide-brimmed hat, and headed outside.
He tied a handkerchief around his mouth and nose to keep out dust, and wielding his shovel he climbed 10 feet up the hill and began digging. Sometimes Friar Cluck would ask him to come and bury someone over in Santo Pollo, since some of the Frogerales were charging citizens money when their relatives would pass away. Morris would wait while Friar Cluck held a service before respectfully burying the dead.
Quite a few times Don Rodrigo would attend, and Morris might sometimes speak with him and tell him about the Phantom. Don Rodrigo seemed rather interested in the stranger and often asked if Morris ever visited the graves at the summit.
Morris had visited the graves at the summit many times, but he could never really find the one that the Phantom placed a rose on; it would just vanish and only appear on nights with a full moon. Don Rodrigo would thank him for any information that Morris gave him and would leave a bit early, and then the service would be over.
Morris continued digging until the hole was deep enough to fit the coffin in. The people at the morgue had sent the coffin early in the morning before Morris was awake, so Morris carefully placed the coffin on the edge of the hole and pulled it down into the grave. Morris often sculpted dirt stairs made of hard-packed clay for him to climb in and out of graves when burying coffins, because he was the only one who worked at Boot Hill, and the coffins were mighty heavy.
Morris climbed out and began scooping dirt back on top until the hole was filled up completely with the coffin buried inside, and he sighed. The entire process took 4 hours, but Morris was used to the back-breaking work, and by the time evening had arrived Morris had buried 5 dead. Working all by himself was hard, but Morris’s time in Cool Ranch was almost over, and then he wouldn’t have to worry about hard work anymore.
Night came slowly but also rather breezy, and tumbleweeds were bouncing everywhere and tumbling off of the island. Morris sat under the dead tree and watched the night sky with weary eyes. He was feeling extremely exhausted than normal, and Morris knew what that meant. His time had come, but he couldn’t go yet-he had to find out who the Phantom was.
The night was still young, so Morris had not much time before the Phantom would come. It was a full moon tonight, so the Phantom would lay down a rose on the same grave that he always visited. Morris took his time climbing to the summit-if he ran he would have no energy and would pass away unsatisfied.
When Morris eventually reached the summit, he leaned against a lightning-struck oak tree that was as decayed as his shack. Morris panted and wheezed, and when he looked up from where he sat, he saw the Phantom kneeling down at a lone grave. The Phantom removed a single rose from within his jacket and placed it on the grave, and then bowed his head.
“So…you’re the Phantom,” Morris coughed, standing up and walking over to the Phantom’s side. “You’re the mystery violin player, coming up here each night and playing for the spirits?”
“That is correct,” The Phantom replied, standing up and removing the violin case from its sling over the Phantom’s shoulder. “Only I don’t play for one spirit in particular; I play for all of them, to honor the dead.”
Morris stared down at the grave where the rose lay. “Who’s grave is that?” he asked. “Is it someone you love?”
“Actually, it is my long-lost love,” the Phantom answered. “She died a month ago, a victim of a bandit attack. She never knew my identity, but what she didn’t know was that she and I were childhood friends. Now she has died and I never got to see her. I visit her grave and play at the summit of Boot Hill each night, to honor her and remind her spirit that I will always be here by her side.”
“And that leaves me with…one…last…question,” Morris said, feeling extremely weak. “Are…are you a ghost or are you alive?”
At that moment Morris’s legs gave out, and the Phantom helped him over to the base of the lightning-struck tree. He helped Morris sit down against the tree’s sturdy trunk and slid the elderly man’s eyelids shut. Morris had passed out, and not long afterwards he would pass away.
The Phantom stood by the old man’s side and removed his violin from its case. “I apologize dearly sir, but I can never tell anyone my identity. I am the Phantom Violinist, and that is all I will ever be.”
The Pirate101 Fan Fiction Archive is where we showcase the wonderful Pirate adventure stories of players like you! Please read our game fan fiction submission guidelines to submit your Pirate story. You must include a Title and Character Name for Author. If you are under 13 years of age, ask your parent or guardian for permission to send us your story.