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“We shall pick them off one by one!”
Chapter 8: The Gang’s All Gone
After we ripped the map we reached land and went our separate ways. Three years later I was on the back porch of my father’s mansion sippin rum from a flask. I got drunk almost everyday. I was livin a good life.
Rapp Scallion quit the piratin business as well. He decided to take up his second passion in life. Opening and managing a hot dog stand on Scabb Island. It eventually grew into a small franchise. He would send me occasional letters to update on how he was. We went by aliases incase the letters were intercepted by the wrong hands. We took our first two initials and made up different names, for example he was Rupert Stuffnpluff and I was Herman Tailormaid. Nothing extremely fancy.
Rumm Rogers, like me, was enjoying retirement by being a raging alcoholic and eating toast. We took to calling him D.W., which stood for Double Whatdapiratesay. Course I never herd much from him. When I do most of the letters read:
You Son of a Bitch,
I is to complain about your facilitated……….pocket watch is broken…………. I like to eat toast……. 25 pieces o’eight?!……….
And then it’d trail off the page. Actually he’d start screaming about how bad his hangover was but there may be children here so I’ma gonna censor it.
Young Lindy had the worst of us all he snuck off once for a week and when he got back he had lots of money but he was shaken up so badly he couldn’t even tell us what he was up to or where he had been. He started a pastry shop at the end of town. Unfortunately he got robbed more than he got money in.
For three years we lived like this until he caught up with us. Young Lindy was the first to go. He closed down his shop after going bankrupt and gave his deadbeat cousin his map piece. He joined the circus and was pretty happy there. Until he got word that the junk shop that opened in his old pastry shop had bought the map piece. He went mad and shot himself out of a canon during the performance. Though some say: “It was his best performance.
A few months after Lindy’s death Rumm was struck. He was taking a bath and was jolly and drunk as usual he had a toaster that was next to the tub. It mysteriously slipped and fell into the tub. He died instantly. He still had his piece in hand and some say he still does.
One night at least a month after Rumm I was sleeping when I was awoken by a loud ‘BOOOOM!’ It came from the direction of Scabb Island but I was so tired I jus’ didn’t care. A few days later I got a letter from Rapp. It was charred but still read able. It read:
Dear Herman Tailormaid,
He has returned seeking the lives of us all. He has ruined the Youngster’s life and the Youngster killed himself. He has gotten D.W. as well. My suggestion to you is to flee the Caribbean entirely. I will do the same tomorrow. I hope we meet again and if not it was a pleasure working with you, sir. If you will excuse me someone is at the door of my hotdog stand claiming he has a lit cake for me.
I folded the letter and put it in my pocket. I immediately went inside and packed all of my belongings. Among these belongings was an accordion with the initials H.T. engraved in it. It was a gift from my father. I would never return to the Caribbean again. I went to the shipyard and bout the fastest ship. I wrote a letter to my granddaughter explaining that I would never see her again and to take care of the object enclosed. I put the map piece in the letter and sent it off to Melee Island. I bought a little racing boat with one man living quarters in it. I arranged my stuff around. I hung the letter on the wall to remind myself why I was fleein. Just the part “He has returned…” As soon as my ship was ready I hoist anchor and untied my ship from the dock and I was off. I was too day sailing when I decided I need to settle one last score before I left for good. I pulled in to Phatt early in the morning. I docked my boat and headed off. I found her in the library. It reminded me of the first time I met her. She looked up at me and said, “Can I help you sir?”
“Maybe, see I’m looking for an old friend whose mother worked here,” I replied.
“My mother worked here but I don’t think that’s any of your business. Now, if you are quite done I have lots of work to do,” she huffed.
“Oh, Elli, I think you can make time for me,” I replied.
“How do you know my- Who are you?” she asked adjusting her glasses “Horatio! Oh my goodness what are doing-” she stopped short. “I’m still angry at you.”
“Why? What did I do?” I asked.
“You ran out on me and married that tramp from Booty Island. For years I asked myself Why? What was wrong? Did I come on too strong?” she began to rant.
“Elli, I’m sorry I…”
“You what didn’t know? I actually spent my life hoping for you to return. Eventually I gave up!” she screamed frustrated. We sat there staring at each other for a long time. She broke the silence by saying “Why Horatio? That is all I want to know. Why?”
“I had respect for you, Elli. When I saw you at the bar I lost it all in one fell swoop. I had lots of things running through my head, ideas that were dashed. Plans erased completely. Then I was scared, Elli. I’m sorry it had to come to this.” We sat in silence again. I turned and my ragged pants scraped the floor. “I’m leaving in an hour. I’m fleeing the Caribbean possibly to never return. I came here to settle the score with you then be off. Goodbye Elli.” I said and left. I’m not sure what she did then because I didn’t look back. I went to market and resupplied the ship. I went and got some food before I set out. I went to the dock to leave. As I was hauling things on the ship a fog rolled in and a woman moved through the fog. It was Elli. She walked up to me.
“Elli what are you…” before I could finish my sentence she walked up took off her glasses and kissed me. Afterward she turned around and stared back into the fog.
“I’ve been waiting thirty years to do that,” she said putting her glasses on, “You had better come back Horatio T. Marley or I’ll never forgive you for it.” I smiled and got on the ship. The fog engulfed her as I sailed away waving. I couldn’t bear to tell her that I could never come back.
About three weeks passed and I was out of the Caribbean for good. I couldn’t help turn and watch as the last island in the Caribbean sunk beneath the horizon. I wiped a tear from my eyes and turned to steer the ship.
For six months I traveled the world. I had no idea what all was out there. I visited Madagascar, Kenya, India, China, and finally I made it to Australia. It was there that I spent three months. I became a regular in town. I’d mostly visit the pub and tell stories. Well one day I saw this poster for a boat race. Now, I don’t like to brag but I’d the best damn boater there ever was. So I figured ‘Why not?’ I signed up for it and was informed that I had two weeks to prepare.
I spent the majority of those weeks preparing my ship for the race. The night before the race I was in the pub getting stone drunk. There was a man there, he looking down in the dumps. Fellin sorry for the poor fella I decided to chat with him. Turns out he was and Australian businessmen. What was his name now? Groggy…Fozzy… Ozzy! Ozzy Gangrel that was his name… I think. Anyhow, to cheer him up I told him my stories of traveling in the Caribbean, from the Three Headed Monkey to The Ultimate Insult. He seemed intrigued by these tales. He smiled and said thanks. He was even nice enough to pay for my next twelve drinks… I think.
Well, the next morning I showed up at the boat race not rememberin a damn thing about the night before. We set off really early. Our course was once around the reef, The Great Barrier Reef that is. Around noontime I was ahead and was kinda loafin around when there was a disturbance out side the door. So I opened it up thinking it was seagull or sumtin. Unfortunately seagulls are my worst nightmares because that was what was behind the door. Standing almost seven feet tall and spectral was the ghost pirate LeChuck.
“Hello Captain Marley,” he said coolly.
“Took ya long enough! Almost four years to catch up. What took ya so long,” I said trying not to hide that I was nervous.
“Well I was busy with your other mates. But that is a long story and ye don’t want ta hear it,” LeChuck stated.
“No, please do tell I got time,” I responded. I figured the longer he was talking the longer I had to figure an escape plan.
“Well, if ya insist. I’ll start with Lindy. He came to me begging my forgiveness. So I ensnared him into my false trust. I gave him money to start a business. Luckily he did and lucky for me it was in the wrong end of town. I’d steal a little money from him each night until his shop had to close for bankruptcy! Then I got him a job with the circus. I had to get rid of him now that I was done torturing him so I put a spell on him to make him go insane.”
“You cod!” I yelled. I was angry but still intrigued.
He laughed and went on, “Next was Rumm Rogers. I knew he took baths and ate toast n the bathtub. So one day his toaster ‘mysteriously’ fell into the tub. I killed him off and as a bonus I left his wife a widow and his son scarred for life, heh.”
“You murderer!” I yelled. This was getting worse and worse.
“Ah! But the best is yet to come. Rapp Scallion, or Rupert Stuffnpuuf I think you called him. Why do you look so surprised? I’ve been intercepting your letters for ages now. The name code wasn’t hard to figure out, except D.W. I did have trouble with that one. Anyway I had a lit cake delivered to his house since he had the tendency to leave the gas on. Need I say more? KABOOOOM! Ha Ha!” He laughed.
“You bastard it was you?!” I yelled angrier than ever. I suddenly realized he wasn’t here just to tell me this. I was next. He smiled broadly. He knew I knew. “So how are you gonna do it?’
“With you it depends. Promise me Elaine’s hand in marriage and I’ll let you go,” he chuckled.
“What! I…I…Even if it means death I can not let you have her,” I said. Even death looked better in that situation.
“Oh, I was hoping you would say that,” he chuckled and moved toward me. Personally I’d rather not relive the hour afterward. He opened a whirlpool of spectral proportions. My boat was headed toward it. He disappeared. I attempted to steer out of it but I was too weak. Suddenly a ship approached. I had forgotten about the race. It was fast approaching mine.
“Hey over here!” I yelled and the ship fast approached the back of mine. I was saved! As it got closer I recognized the driver. It was Ozzy Gangrel and he had an evil grin on his face. He bumped my boat and sent me down to the depths. I saw many things flash by. Fist it was just blue, then I saw dad, mom, Hernandez, Elli, Daphnie, Zak, Jennifer, and Elaine all around me. All I could think was ‘I have failed, I’m sorry. All the faces merged into LeChuck’s gruesome face laughing and staring down at me. It all then faded away. And then there was black…