Note: The fourth of the twelve shorts comes in shoddy prose! What the hell did I just write? Maybe even I don’t know…

 

Through the silent neutrino haze

Into the mind of Aleph’s maze

Out of the center of time and space

Straight to the heart of our incipient race

The mistrals carry it from coldest ice

Sweeping across the wastes so wild

Path sinistral, the road there lies

In the sparkling eyes of the feral child

Uptaken by the wily haste

Of newborn thought, the taste

Of stardust in the tongue

The windy blight that would here fall

The same as did before the call

Of demigods with lances long

For us to heed and lay all down

To salt the earth and raze the ground

In dark, convened the throng

To make it once again His place.

That’s Nice

Jeb thought the new stranger who’d rented out the old Spencer cabin out by Oak Road was… unsettling. Yeah, that was the word: unsettling.

Not only was he not at all bothered by Jeb’s grotesque facial deformity, which he took pride in and wielded like a Da Vinci wielded a paintbrush, but he didn’t seem fazed in the slightest by the smattering of rude swearing and insults he directed at the well-dressed man in lieu of cordial exchanges. ‘Do you want to die, city boy? ‘ Jeb would gander, to which he got a smile and ‘Nice weather ‘round these parts, isn’t it?‘ in response. ‘How ‘bout I rape that pretty face of yours and take a shit in your mouth? ‘ Jeb would stab with, only to receive a friendly chuckle, a conspiratorial look – the nerve! –, and ‘I bet you see all sorts of folks coming down this road, eh? ‘.

Jeb still did his job – he always did! –, because it was part of the way things were in this neck of the woods. You made sure the new strangers renting out the cabin got their gas fill so as that they would arrive without too much trouble at said cabin, while also making sure that they got riled up and creeped out. But it just wasn’t working with this one. That was another odd thing; this was just the one person, rather than the usual group of horny college students.

No longer glaring at the weird stranger – that unassuming smirk on the man’s face was making Jeb real uncomfortable – he finished pumping gas into the Oldsmobile and handed the keys back to the clean-shaven man with the neatly combed hair, keeping his head down lest he catch another flash of that perfect set of teeth smiling right at him.

Yer goin’ to that there cabin by the Oak Road, aintcha, boy? Yer gonna get fucked, alright.‘ Jeb ventured weakly, a last ditch effort, no conviction in his mild vitriolic jab. ‘I’m sure it’ll be a great time, thanks for the pump. ‘ said the stranger, still smiling, as he handed Jeb a twenty note and patted him on the back before getting into the driver’s seat and driving away, at a respectable forty miles per hour.

******************************************************************

Madame Lupescu only managed to hear the roar of the Oldsmobile’s engine in time to sprint into the middle of the road. How the hell did the car get to be so quiet? No matter, she was in place on cue for “the cursing” as she liked to call her part of the scheme. She loved being the crone, the old gypsy witch. She had come to relish the role and was quite likely the best at it, never mind that she was really the only one that ever played the role round these parts.

She braced herself for the inevitable hit from the vehicle as it came around the curve, closing her eyes, and heard the classic screeching of the tires and the driver hit the brakes – futilely, of course – as he was assaulted by the appearance of the old lady lost in the middle of the road. She was always good at the dying curse part, when the occupants would at times get down and out of the car to look that the dying woman, who would spit out the damning Romani verse that would mark them for certain, horrible death. Sometimes they didn’t get down, so she would have to reappear several times down the road, pointing her crooked, gnarled fingers at them, her face bloody and misshapen. She preferred the former, though.

The screeching stopped and she realized she was still standing in the middle of the road. She opened one eye and looked sheepishly in the direction from where the car had been approaching and saw no car. She turned around with a jerking motion in the opposite direction and saw the Oldsmobile stopped on the side of the road, then, to her surprise and confusion, the car backed up slowly.

There was only one person in the car, a nice looking man in his thirties, who asked her if she was ok and that he would like to offer her a ride to wherever it was that she was going. She simply stared at the man as her mind chugged and churned, her mental gears jammed with the sudden change in the norm of how these things were supposed to go. This just never happened.

He insisted after a few seconds and, before she knew it, she had somehow opened the passenger door and taken a seat. The man smiled as he might to a kindly grandmother and said ‘Where to, ma’am? ‘. It took her a few more seconds to gather her bearings enough to blurt out a staggered ‘J- Just a mile down the road is fine, s- s- sonny‘. Sonny… Sonny! What the hell is wrong with me? She thought to herself as sat there, brooding, glaring now and then at the stranger who never stopped smiling and would look at her kindly without flinching at what she knew were terrifying milk-white eyes and spittle-rimmed lips.

She was scared stupid, taken out of her element, and she simply didn’t know what to do. The stranger would ask all manner of pleasant questions, small talk, though he seemed genuinely concerned for her, which was, of course, most unsettling.

What was worse was that she would reply as if her mouth had a mind of its own, stuttering out the appropriate replies to the harmless questions. She wanted to wash her mouth out with brimstone!

A mile later down the road, which took too damn long given how slow the stranger drove, she got off and walked sullenly toward the entrance to her cave. She would be the laughing stock of the town, she was sure.

******************************************************************

Tommy, dressed in a mechanic’s jumper, a ski mask, and wielding a large wrench with a screwdriver tip soldered on the bottom end, watched as the Oldsmobile parked a few meters away from the old Spencer cabin. Odd choice of vehicle, he thought for a moment. Not much he could do with the spare parts there as his resale clientele was more particular to the off-road vehicles and gas-guzzlers preppy college students usually drove. His second surprise was that only the one person got out of the vehicle, the driver, and it wasn’t a college-age person but a man in his early thirties – or so it appeared to him.

The stranger went into the cabin with a small duffle bag he took from the back seat, then he return three more times for larger duffle bags from the trunk, which were clearly heavy given that the man grunted in effort every time he had to pick one up out of the trunk, which he then dragged into the cabin. Once the third and last of the large bags was in the cabin and the stranger did not return from inside, Tommy set about his business.

He inspected the car quickly, finding it odd that there was no sign of impact from where the stranger hit Madame Lupescu. Must be tough tin, this car, he thought. He pried open the hood of the car and was hit by a few juddering bolts of electricity from two sharp prongs that shot up from the engine and lodged themselves into his chest. He had little time to experience the jolt as he blacked out.

When he came to he was being given water from a cup by the stranger. With a start which nearly knocked the cup out of the man’s hand he jumped to his feet and slowly back away, eyes wide. He couldn’t understand what was happening. The stranger was smiling! Tommy had just tried to sabotage his car and the man was just smiling… after giving him freakin’ water for crying out loud!

He bolted. He couldn’t have done anything else at the moment. He wasn’t scheduled to kill anyone until after midnight, but, well, there was only the one person, right? He didn’t have to stick around. Surely one of the others would get him. Yeah, that’s right. Another of the crew would get him…

 

******************************************************************

 

Cooner was eager to get the party started, but he had nothing but bad feelings about this caper. First of all, he had only heard the footsteps of one person. One! And then there was all that dragging he’d heard, heavy stuff, like sacks or something, and no loud music or merrymaking of any sort! What sort of frat did these guys belong to?

Well, it was time to make an appearance, so he got up from his little hole under the basement stairs and proceeded to climb them. As he put his hands up to push the trapdoor open he found he could not budge it at all. He tried a few more times, pushing up with all his strength – which was considerable, taking into consideration that he was short in stature but dwarf-like and heavily muscled – to no success whatsoever. The hell…?

Fuck! He was trapped down here. Fuuuuuuck.

 

******************************************************************

 

Abboleth was deeply troubled. Incorporeal as he was, he appeared to be unable to get out of the damnable cabin. The current tenant had done something, but he couldn’t quite tell what. Salt, surely, but something else… this smacked of holy water and sacred geometry.

Well, he hadn’t been able to take his usual flight through the forested mountains and missed out on possessing the hillbillies – so he didn’t get his buzz on from their drunkenness and the sweet smoke of tobacco – and he was angry, to say the least. He was going to enjoy desecrating the flesh of this person, the defilement of his soul.

There he was, lying down to sleep… wait, was that a sleeping bag? Damnit! He wasn’t going to be able to do the bed thing! Brimstone and damnation! He liked the shaky levitating bed bit. It was his favourite. Very well, no matter, there were other ways to get business done.

He swooped down to break into the man’s body and found himself paralyzed, feeling a burning… how could he feel without any body? What the hell?! At that moment Abboleth noticed, for the first time, that there were chalk marks on the wooden boards of the floor. Shit! It was Solomon’s key… and was that the Roman Rite the man was reciting? Oh no… noooooooooo

Was the last he could muster to express as he was sent back straight to Hell. Great. Getting out again was not going to be easy.

 

******************************************************************

 

Morning had come, the dawn had proceeded with no screams or howls or bloodshed, and the sun had risen quite brightly. Around the Spencer cabin could be seen all manner of dismayed zombies, semi-visible spirits, and a few dejected lycanthropes. Inside the house the smiling stranger yawned, stretched out of his sleeping bag, and then poured himself a cup of coffee from the thermos he’d brought with him. He finished his cup as he read the psalms from a leather bound bible, a family heirloom, and nonchalantly prepared incense to burn. He was pleased with how things had taken place. Add another one to the count, one more notch on his bedpost, another place cleansed.

He changed without bothering to shower – there would be a motel down the road where he could do so –, hopped into the trusty Oldsmobile his father had bequeathed him, and drove off sedately down the road.

The spooks could only look on as he drove away. They avoided one another’s eyes – where there were eyes – and shifted away from the place, to find refuge somewhere deeper into the forests and mountains.

In her cave Madame Lupescu tried desperately to pry the image of the nice young man from her mind, that damnably bright smile burning her mind’s eye, and continued to fail. She couldn’t focus on anything else!

At the gas station Jeb felt the urge to travel, maybe see new places. The thought crept into his mind that he might be able to get some surgery done, some corrective procedure for his congenital deformities which, he thought with newfound kindness toward himself, were not so appalling if he smiled rather than frowned and glowered as he normally did.

Somewhere, a few miles down the road, Tommy was still running. He didn’t know when he would stop, or if he would stop. He just wanted to be as far away from that man as he could.

In hell, Abboleth was relegated to a menial task, corralling the souls of the newly damned. It really would be an eternity before he could get out of there again. With a sigh, he got back to poking fat corporate bastards in the butt-cheeks with a pitchfork. How quaint, he thought.

 

Horror Vacui

Mustn’t let the emptiness win.

Mustn’t let it be empty.

Mustn’t let the emptiness win.

Fill it. Fill it. Fill it.

Laura repeated the litany under her breath, like an autistic child focused solely on this quartet of verses as if it were all in the world worth focusing on.

Mustn’t let the emptiness win.

She toiled in the basement of her house, carrying the messy bits on her apron, held like a makeshift bag, as the bits dripped their fluids which ran down in rivulets down her otherwise naked body. She was old, wrinkled, skin sagging everywhere on her once-sculptural body. The wrinkles filled with the blood and offal of the bits like rills running down her copiously-varicose legs.

Mustn’t let it be empty.

She placed the remains of many different creatures, some of them even human, arranging them in such a way that the basement’s floor was no longer visible. The flooring had been ripped out weeks before, Laura had ordered this done on the recommendation of the handyman she normally employed, as there was need to replace said flooring due to some sort of rot seeping up through it from the ground below. It was then that she had begun to hear it in her head, the hissing noises.

Mustn’t let the emptiness win.

On the day the handyman came by to pour cement on the ground she snapped and pushed the man down the stairwell. His body was badly broken by the time he hit the basement floor, but he was still alive. She shuffled down the stairs and stuck a pair of scissors through the man’s left eye. It was what she instinctively knew had to be done. He had taken the flooring off and thus been the one who let the hissing out. His had to be the first blood offering to cover the ground and keep the thing at bay.

Fill it. Fill it. Fill it.

She’d been busy since then, taking what lives she could in what ways she could. Two girl scouts she had poisoned, three door-to-door sales men, a make-up sales woman, her lawyer, four neighborhood dogs, her birds, her cat as well as any other animal she could trap – raccoons, stray cats, anything – these had all been chopped and packed on the floor so as to cover the dirt of the basement floor in an effort to smother the hissing. That infernal hissing!

Fill it. Fill it. Fill it.

There was still so much ground left uncovered.

Fill it. Fill it. Fill it.

The doorbell rang. Good. She needed more.

Fill it. Fill it. Fill it.

Dream Surfing

Dream surfing. The very term evokes interesting and mostly relaxing imagery on its own, doesn’t it? Waves, be they water for the physical, or something other, oneirical. That’s what Carlos thought as well. He’d been turned on to this subculture, this underground world of dream-jammers, dream-hackers, what have you, back in college. He had been doing it for a good long time, nearly ten years to the day, and he had found the dreamscapes to be the stuff of wonders.

In the early days of his surfing he had found it hard to let go, to not so much to discern between a regular dream, a basic Alpha wave pattern, and a proper Alpha wave, a dream that taps into the subconscious fabric of the universe, but to release his natural abnegations to diving into the astral stream.

Carlos wasn’t sure about it being the actual, factual subconscious of the universe, but it was all fine with him. It was all very enjoyable, regardless. So he became a regular and eventually his persistence made up for his initial apprehensions. He became proficient, adept at astral travel, to the point where he found that others who had been veterans before he even came into the scene had started to consult with him on issues that inevitably arose every so often. The astral sea, after all, was a place of wonders, comely and otherwise.

He had found little untoward in his travels, and he knew himself to be lucky in having had such great fortune, but his exploits had yielded rather bizarre encounters. He often wondered if they were real or if they were only manifestations of his own subconscious. Perhaps he would never really know.

What mattered to him was the dive, the plunge, the sojourn into the recesses of the astral depths. He had found dragons, or beings – manifestations, perhaps – that claimed to be such creatures, long living in the astral plane where humanity could no longer hunt them. He had found creatures one might equate to angelic beings, but they were more often than not aloof and reserved, stoically watching, observing without showing emotion or intention. Stranger things, nonsensical beings, he had encountered all manner of visual configurations that made him wonder about the health of his own psyche… and he loved every second of it.

This night, however, proved different. He had gone in for the usual dive, his nights spend thusly for so long, and found a new vagary, a gossamer vein shimmering, calling out to him in a strange way, a magnetism he could not describe. He took the detour into this new, hither-to unexplored variation of the oneirical pattern, and found himself in a palace of wonders.

His astral eyes could scarcely believe what he beheld; unicorns, valleys of plants which fruit bore cherubs, bizarre little humanoid beings that carried said newborns into caves with busy grins, lakes of molten glass that flared with such ferocity he could feel his brain ache at the visual stimuli… it was too much to hold inside one simple, mortal perspective.

As he floated, drifting ever-so-noticeably in the astral stream, mouth agog at the majesty of it all, a being approached him from behind and spoke, its voice smooth as silk, sweet as honey, and thick as milk.

“Hello, Carlos. It is good that you have finally come. We have been reaching out to you for some time.”

He had been addressed by his given name before – one of the reasons why he thought the entire dream surfing experience might be an extension of his own subconscious – so he didn’t hesitate to answer back.

“Hello… whom might you be?”

“Io, that is what I have been often called,” the being said. It was fair-skinned and hairless, eyes solid white, vaguely human looking. “It is pleasing that you have finally arrived.”

“Um, what exactly is this place?” Carlos asked, knowing there was no need for overt etiquette.

“It is a place of wonder, forgotten of old by your people and long since been better for it.”

Carlos wasn’t sure but he thought he had detected a sense of threat from this Io when he had said that last bit, but he thought it might be apprehension on his part at the newness of his surroundings.

Io did not wait before speaking, “would you care to come with me? It is most important that you do.” He did not wait for Carlos and went ahead, propulsed through the stream. Carlos followed as best as he could.

After a short time they arrived at a marbled hall of some king, clouds surrounding it above and to the sides, seamless columns dotting the sides of the hall, which led to a large pair of doors of the same type of stone, fit for colossi to walk through.

As Io approached them they opened inward and he drifted right through, Carlos followed suit and stopped only as Io did.

After looking at Io’s visage, Carlos had come to recognize him. HE had heard descriptions of this being from other dream surfers throughout the years. He had often advised not to engage with this being in the various times when those asking for advised had mentioned a sense of both urgency and consternation. It was Carlos’ experience that the dream should only be relaxing and joyful, pleasant.

“You know who I am, do you not?” Io said, turning to regard Carlos with a wan smile. “You understand what I am? No, I see you don’t.”

A dawning sense of danger, of menace, overcame Carlos and he turned to head back to the enormous doors, only to find himself mired, his dream-limbs heavy and leaden, he was moving in slow motion and even the slightest of movements took a herculean effort to perform. His head felt the way limbs feel when they have gone numb and are only coming back into full awareness, an electrical current building up and keeping him static, useless. He looked in horror at Io.

“You will be staying, of course. What point is there in your return? You so like the dream, don’t you? Why ever go back?” the words were high pitched and mocking, the delivery a sentence of death. “You will find yourself useful in time. Until then, well, you can be whatever you want to be. You just won’t ever be back, the silver thread has been severed.”

With a smile Io moved on and Carlos remained static, glued to that spot, left to contemplate the reality that was now his. Was he now lost in a dream?

Was he now lost in a dream?

Was he now lost in a dream…

 

Grave Matters

Being a grave keeper wasn’t all that bad, all things considered. Decent pay, relatively little responsibility… a lazy man’s dream! That’s what Dun had always thought of his chosen line of work. One only really needed to keep one’s head straight and deal well with the long nights and a few teen pranksters now and then. Hell, most such pranksters ended up getting pranked by Dun, their tails between their legs as they ran away, faces white as ghosts. It was all good fun if one knew how to squeeze the drops of joy right out of it.

There had even been one time when some old coot had come rambling on about some fated day or another, something about Dun being the one to do some thingamajig or another. He was too drunk and it was still daylight, too early in his day to give a flying pig’s bladder about anything at all. The geezer had left some tchotchke for Dun, but he’d promptly thrown it away as soon as the old fart had gone. One gets to meet all sorts of types and characters when working the cemetery.

Now, however, the old necropolis wasn’t what it used to be. Funny, odd things began to happen about a week back and Dun wasn’t happy about it at all, no sir. He hadn’t dropped out of high school and run away from his family home so as not to have to deal with taking over the family business to simply end up having to handle responsibility elsewhere.

Will o’ Wisps, gas balls, whatever they called them, the stupid incorporeal things had begun to rise up from the graves. At first it was one here or there, Dun paying them little mind as he had seen some documentary somewhere about it, as he flipped through the television channels like he always did, and understood that the phenomenon was nothing to be spooked about. Well, he sure felt like making a strongly worded call to the folks at whatever channel that had been – if only he had actually paid attention to that detail – because the next night more of the darned balls of gassy light cropped up and, wouldn’t you know, they had begun to follow dun as he made his rounds of the graveyard. Like freaking dogs, they were, gassy light pups that doggedly tailed Dun as he wove through the tombstones. How would anyone explain that?

As if the wisps weren’t enough, cats had started to frequent the yard, lining up side to side to watch the goings-on within the cemetery. This wasn’t just a few strays, no, this was hundreds of cats just sitting there on their haunches, their eyes shimmering in the semi-darkness. It gave Dun the creeps.

Then just last night the dirt on one of the graves began to stir… that’s right, stir. Figuring it was some animal like a gopher or whatnot he used his shovel – no self-respected grave keeper could be without a shovel, he knew that much – to dig a little and help the critter out. To his surprise and horror it was the thoroughly decaying corpse that was, somehow, trying to gain freedom from the grave.

Dun was aware that he was a bit of an oddball and his reactions to things may not be what most folks would call normal, but he was pretty sure the dead were supposed to stay inside the grave. So he proceeded to chop the corpse into small pieces with his shovel until the writhing corpse’s bits were too small to have any effect other than squirming like worms.

No sooner had he begun to bury the jigsaw corpse when the two graves adjacent to the recently profaned began to show activity. The dead, by definition, were not active, so the subdued alarms in Dun’s brain began to make their own activity known to him. He set about treating these two new eventualities as he had with the first.

Familiarity with the phrase like pissing against a stiff breeze is something of a requirement if one is to properly understand the remainder of Dun’s evening and the sequence of events that transpired until dawn. For it was each coterminous grave after the one Dun had dealt with, each ex-living guest that dwelt inert in each such soil abode that summarily decided not to recognize that it was, indeed, no longer one of the living.

Dun wasn’t one known for perseverance, and so he simply said fuck it, and retired to his little hut in the cemetery, a trail of wisps right behind him. Once inside, he took a six pack of beer from the brown old, refurbished fridge and sat down at the small wooden table where he habitually ate his meals. He stared out the window at the necropolis and didn’t think much about the veritable horde of corpses that shambled and lurched out of their respective graves and out into the streets. He just couldn’t be bothered. Fuck it. He hadn’t dropped out of high school to have to deal with this shit.

Last Night I Dreamt I Was Paris

Last night I dreamt I was Paris. I dreamt I was that shining jewel of a city, indeed. Last night I was she, a body of stone, metal and bone. I was an ever sighing palace of earthly delights.

I dreamt I was that city, the Métro pumping blood like the main arteries, the cells each human, each animal stray, each insect, bringing me to life every single second of the oneiric fancy. Each step a sensuous caress, each word spoken mounting to a susurrous insinuation of lust that fell silken on my ears. Every corner and angle, each curving beam, each joining buttress, my corpus erogenous.

Though I cannot say I’ve ever been, I know what I know and I know what I’ve seen. Like turgid little appendages, the Barrière d’Enfer stood guard to the old wall of the Farmers-General, the senseless geography that last night was me made me dizzy with pleasure and knowing such glee. The lull of the evening as the darklings there feasted on women and men who had lost all that’s gifted. The rustling of rat-kin who steal and defile, my self-city underbelly seedy with style.

And the call of the old bones, the ossuary tunnels, within them the greatest of secret desires. More bones! More bones! More children defiled! More skin! More blood! More wood for the pyre!

Last night I did dream that Paris was I, and just like the sensuous city at night, I lived on the brink of the edge of forever, but never to see the white light of the fire that sings of the peace at the end of desire.

Banjaxed

Note:I felt like playing with pirate speak now and then and finally wrote the outline of this here number in September, 2012. It had been sitting as a rought draft for since and today I decided to polish it up a little and share it. Have at ye!

 

The sea was calm, though the Caribbean breeze was somewhat strong. The tops of the palm trees were waving under its caresses.
In the white sandy beach of the diminutive island sat an old, salty seadog and a middle-aged pirate. His many fetishes, jewels and gilded trinkets marked him as a captain.
“By Poseidon’s breath, this wind is a curse!” spoke aloud, the captain, to the winds.
The old sailor chuckled at this, his wrinkled, leathery face tanned dark from a life under the sun.
“Find it amusing, do ye?” the captain said with mock anger, “some company you are, ya scurvy bilgerat.”
“Ye missing the life, aye?” asked the old sailor.
“Aye,” sighed the captain, “I miss being on the account. The weeks in the Navy’s cages were long and getting to dance the hempen jig with a hempen halter did not take the sea out of me. Nay, it only made me long for it more fiercely than e’er before.”
The captain got up quickly, as if he were suddenly startled by some realization, “I even miss Salamagundi and Doughboy! Curse your eyes, old man,” he said, turning to the old sailor, “what good be me gold, buried yon copse, if I can’t sail the seas? What good be the tales about me spoils if I be left here, forgotten?”
The old sailor simply looked through squinting eyes up at the captain, as if appraising him, while the pirate paced back and forth.
“For days I have been here sitting on this cursed beach till me skin be leather and ye sit with me like the song of a dead man’s chest… I must sail again!” the captain’s exasperation eventually tired him. He sat down again, staring wistfully out to sea.
“I sailed since I was thirteen and took my first and only ship at 19, from the dead hands of Captain Blue Blade himself I took it, aye. For 29 years I have sailed and pillaged ports across the seas, amassing a trove of booty Morgan himself would weep on his mangy knees for. Had the Navy not found me I’d be in Asia, a pirate lord, the pleasures of the world mine to plunder as a guest to Ching Shih. Instead, I be here with your lights fixed upon me. Aye, what a fate the seas have given me.”
The old sailor stood up deliberately, walked to block the captain’s view of the sea, and squinting with a grin he said, “Captain Bartholomew Clarke. Ye were never a good man. Aye, you were as successful a pirate captain as will ever be, but you were never good. You went on account and never looked back and what fear your fancy name would not strike in a man’s heart you made sure your blade would. And what woman would not yield to your grog-laced words, you would ravage at blade’s edge, their gifts given lest they taste the endless darkness. Yon the gates of hell itself would you be carried were it not for my mercy, marooner.”
Captain Bart looked fixedly at the old sailor, his face paling.
“Avast ye, avast. You are thicker than most by leagues, ye foolish rat. From the day ye crawled out yon whore-mother’s bunghole you have been mine and I have claimed ye. The moment you were left to the sea’s whim by the Armada yer life came into my possession. Ye are no longer free; ye are mine till the day the kraken itself rises from the Northern seas.”
Captain Bart’s face became a mosaic of emotions, none fully taking hold as they fought to occupy the same facial space and he struggled with the realization of his situation, though he had long suspected he would not be free one way or another since his arrival at his secret island.
“…but… but I not be in yer locker. This cannot be…” said the captain weakly.
“You will stay here, like a lubber, ne’er to sail again, ne’er to roam. What stories would have been told about ye will be lost, forgotten, and your bastard children will ne’er speak o’ you.”
“I see…” resignation hung heavy in the captain’s voice, but he hung not his head for he dared hope for some reprieve, some caveat, a but.
“The world itself is me locker, marooner,” said the old sailor, then, pointing at the copse where the spoils lay buried. “And after all, this island holds all that ye ever loved.”
Those were the last words the old sailor had for Captain Bart, as he turned away with the tell-tale tremor of a chuckle shaking him, which quickly escalated to a madman’s cackle as he walked into the sea.