The sequel to "Where's the Captain?" below.


“Well lads, there we was, three days becalmed an’ that great tentacled beast off’n the port bow. I was at me wit’s end.”

“That’s no’ a long distance away, Cap’n Jack.”

“Shut up, Mad Steven! D’ye want the rest o’ me story or not?”

“You said there’d be rum!”

“Shut up, Bill Hook! Ye’ll get yer rum when I’m finished.”

“Never, then.”

Jack Bastord glowered. He had a good glower; several ships had surrendered upon seeing his glower. But these pirates were a tougher sort; he’d hired most of them himself. Finally he gave in.

“Busty Bob, pass out the rum rations!”

Busty Bob sighed. Just because he’d been born without family jewels (he told everyone he’d lost them in a fight) and had impressive breasts (his da said that was a ‘tea chest’, like a beer gut but caused by too much not drinking) and couldn’t grow even the thinnest moustache, that were no reason to treat him like a serving wench. But he’d seen the dark side of Jack’s temper, so he did as he was told. Someday people like Bob would be liberated, but not today.

“Now where was I?”

“Becalmed!” rang the pirate chorus.

“Right. There we was, becalmed. We tried everythin’: talkin’ about good weather, lettin’ up red smoke in the mornin’, whistlin’. But nunnat worked. Even Gutbuster Gavin fartin’ inta the mainsail wouldn’t move us. All that did was make the yardarm sag.”

Busty Bob brought drinks to the front row, taking a quick sip of each as he handed them out.

“We hadda come up with sommat. I was takin’ me morning exercise fightin’ off boarders...”

“We never had no boarders! Ye was just staggerin’ around an’ wavin’ yer sword!”

“Shut up, Tortuga Zeke! Ye may ha’ been there, but ye wasn’t there. Ye was too busy swabbin’ the deck an’ duckin’ yer head ta see anythin’.”

Tortuga Zeke lowered his head. “Aye Cap’n.” He knew better than to contradict Jack; after all, he wasn’t the first Tortuga Zeke.

“So while I was fightin’, I says ta meself, Jack, the reason we’re stuck is ‘cause we got no Cap’n. A ship without a Cap’n goes noplace. An’ we was definitely noplace.”

“Dint you frow the old Cap’n overboard, Cap’n?”

“No Mister Gavin, Cap’n Greenbeard walked over the side of his own accord. Four times. All that screaming about murder an’ mutiny was just ‘is way.”

Busty Bob handed Gavin his drink, taking a good swig before doing so.

“So I decided we needed a new Cap’n, an’ we was gonna vote. I passed around the hat ta’ take in names meself. When we was done there was only one name in the hat – mine. An’ that’s how I came ta be the Cap’n o’ the Bloody Shrike.”

Busty Bob downed a mug of rum, then used the dregs to polish Smilin’ Pete. When Bob passed out on top of him, the gleaming skull ended up buried in cleavage.

And Pete? He just grinned.