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FIRST PRIZE: 10,000 Crowns

The Story of Reckless Scarlet Moone
By Elaina Littlejohn

Reckless Scarlet Moone was ever alert as she sat in her dank, mildewed jail cell with her first mate, Subodai. It wasn’t much of a surprise that the pair had managed to land themselves here, considering their affinity for getting into trouble of one sort or another. This was definitely not their first trip to the Armada Detainment Cell nor would it be their last, but what would change is the why that would land them here again.
               Reckless Scar and Subodai have known each other since they were nursing, both orphaned at the same time; both destined to remain Cap and Mate (their affectionate nicknames for one another though neither owned a ship) for all eternity. The two were cut from the same cloth though no common blood runs between them, at least from what they do know of their heritage…and the fact that he’s a giant horse…
               Scarlet shifts uncomfortably on her bench the leather of her protective over-clothes feeling heavier and heavier with each passing second. Subodai shoots her a curious glance, making sure there isn’t anything out of the ordinary making his Cap uncomfortable. He’s older and male but Scarlet, the fiery Bonny, was made to lead, the quality oozed out of her like she’d been sliced through. And even if she hadn’t been born to lead her own crew he’d still protect her just the same, as far as Subodai was concerned Scarlet is and always will be his kin. It’s in his Buccaneer blood to fight ruthlessly for what he wants, and keeping Scarlet safe is a must.
               Cap catches the concerned look of Mate and gives him a single, silent nod. Her ability to always seem to know what everyone around her is thinking is one of many reasons the pair believes she has Witch Doctor blood running in her veins along with Swashbuckler from her father’s side. Tracking down information on their fathers was much easier than one would believe considering their Pirate riddled family trees, but all they know of where they come from. Subodai relaxes slightly after confirmation that she’s merely uncomfortable and the silence seems to stretch on.
               Cap lets out rush of air from her lungs, closing her eyes and resting her head against the wall behind her. Trips to the Armada Prison are always long and boring, but they were usually out by now. Something big was going on she could feel it in her bones. It was always a strange sensation, sort of like Déjà vu, when the knowledge of a future event hit her, but with this new bit of information Cap was nervous. She wasn’t much fond of change and anything that might separate her and Mate wasn’t worth the gold promised. She was his and he was hers but only in the most familial sort of way…siblings.    
               Cap could feel the direction Mate’s thoughts were starting to turn, and though she too was confident that they could break out and disappear before anyone was the wiser, she was rooted to her spot on the bench. Despite knowing that they were supposed to be here, she couldn’t help the smirk that curled her lips to one side as Subodai flipped through plan after plan. She could feel his eyes on her and shook her head stopping his thoughts of escape.
               Subodai huffs out a frustrated breath as he got more comfortable having complete faith that Cap would never lead them into a situation they couldn’t get out of. Just as he began to close his eyes as well, there was a commotion upstairs, snapping both bodies to full-on alert.
               This was it, the catalyst that would change both of their lives drastically. But even more than that, after whatever happened they would have purpose.
               Mate sidled up so quick to Cap she was convinced he was part Swashbuckler too.
               Seconds later the pudgy Captain Boochbeard came hobbling quickly down the stairs, his peg-legged gait not appearing to slow him down at all.
               “There ye’ be!” He wheezed as he came to a halt in front of their cell. “Get the keys, Gandry!”
               Cap could feel Mate’s eyes on her again, this time awaiting her signal.
               She remained calm, so did he.
               “What this be ‘bout then, Boochbeard?” Cap asked him confidently.
               “This be us giving ye back ye freedom!” He replied as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
               “Aye!” She replied. “But why?”
               “You two be the ones to save the lot of us! Avery be askin for ye, best move quickly. The Armasa be after ye soon!” The old Captain rasped as he threw their cell door open and moved to the side.
               Scarlet gave a meaningful look to Subodai and the two made a quick bolt for the stairs.
               “He be waitin’ for ye in his quarters. Says he has a ship for ye! Follow your gut, Cap! Ye know what comes next.”
               And Scarlet did know.
               Once they made it to Avery’s, Cap and Mate would have their own ship and begin a whirlwind adventure that would take them places they’d only dreamed they could go.
They were going to save all of pirate world.

        “He calls this heap a ship?!” Scarlet rants as she kicks at the raft that sits before them and a slat of wood falls from one of the series of barrels working as floatation. Subodai does his best to cover his laughter. But the death glare he receives from Scarlet is proof that he could have done better.
         He chokes down the – now – barking  laughter that threatens to break free at the look on her face. Yes, it’s clear that Avery was less than honest about the state of their ‘ship’ but what would you expect from a Pirate as infamous as he?  However, if he didn’t calm her down soon, everyone within seeing or hearing distance would know one of the reasons why they called her Reckless.
“She’s no Galleon,” Subodai starts, ignoring the scoff coming from his Cap “but she’ll get the job done.”
         Scarlet rolls her eyes.
         Her mate was the calm one of the pair, quiet too. And on most occasions she was grateful for his philosophical way of looking at things, but this was not one of those moments.          
Scarlet’s temper burned hot as thoughts of retribution (or revenge) invaded her mind. Her hand wrapped tightly around the grip of her blade as she turned to make her way back to Avery’s quarters.
        Subodai halted her movements by grabbing her shoulders and spinning her ‘round so she was once again facing the offending wreckage.
        “She may not be the prettiest thing in the Skyway.” He said quietly in her ear. “But she’s ours.”
         Scarlet’s ears perked at those words and her temper calmed, slightly.
        “All we have to do is find Avery’s trinket and then…” Subodai trialed off, allowing Scarlet’s mind to finish the thought in whatever way would calm her.
         She arched an eyebrow as her wheels began to turn.
         Mate’s words were true enough, up until this point they’d had nothing more than the rumors that somewhere in the Skyways her parents had left her a ship. But until they found it this was all the transportation they had. Except for walking, but that wouldn’t get them off Skull Island.
Her temper simpered and without another moment’s hesitation she leapt aboard the raft and began a real assessment.
        There were no tears in the sails, and the construction was mostly sound. The connections from wheel to rudder were intact and both anchors were there. Considering its outward appearance, things could have been a lot worse. But as she stood in the middle of the raft, running her fingers lightly across the mast lines, Scarlet could tell that despite all its downfalls, this raft had heart. She knew that this little dingy would give its best to aid its passengers in any way it could. And for that she couldn’t help but love it as if it were the most elegant Marleybone Galleon in the sky.
Subodai cleared his throat bringing his Cap out of her own head. More often than not, she gets lost in it and if left there for too long will give a situation enough thought and end up right back where they started from…with Scarlet wanting to run her blades through Avery’s chest.
         “Permission to come aboard Captain?” Her best mate asked, one hoof hovering above the floor.
          Scarlet’s throat constricted and her eyes stung as she looked into the understanding one’s belonging to her companion. She made it a rule quite a while ago to never cry in front of anyone, the fact that  she’s quite obviously female hard enough to contend with in a world of pirates. But this was different.
          Because those words meant that this was real, that their lives do have purpose.
She gave a curt nod to her Mate, not trusting her voice to speak and he climbed aboard sidling up next to the only family he had.
          Scarlet removed the tie lines, raised the anchors and set sail away from the one place that had been both home and captor to them for the last ten years.
          She filled her lungs with the crisp salty smell of the open Skyway enjoying her first feel of true freedom.
         An idea occurred to her suddenly, and she smirked as she turned the helm setting course in a new direction.
         “Avery’s trinket!” Subodai shouted as he ducked out of the way of the shifting sails.
         “Aye. He’ll get it!” Scarlet said calmly, as the proof of her mischief deepened. “But what sort of crew would we be if we didn’t test out the Loyal Vagrant’s broadside abilities?”
          Subodai’s eyes widened as Scarlet pushed the raft to its limits, heading straight for an unsuspecting Cutthroat skiff. Guess all of the Skull Island Skyway was about to get its first glance at the other reason they call her Reckless.

SECOND PRIZE: 5,000 Crowns

Captain Avery: Life Before Today
By Bold Carlos Nightingale

  Captain Avery began his life as a baby who was born with a parrot, a sword, a patch, and a hook in case he ever lost a hand. He would play with them every day from the time he was born. He was born at Skull Island. No one really knew what happened to his parents when he was two.
  When he was six, he attended The School For Gifted Pirates. The meaning of him attending this school meant that he had the ability to attend all of the pirate classes. There was only one subject that he lagged in. The Witchdoctor class. He excelled in all of his other classes. This is how he doesn't use Witchdoctor magic to these days. He thought it was unfair, so he quit the class and replaced it with the advanced placement of a Swashbuckler. He thought the Buccaneer weapons were too heavy, but he still did good in that class. His best classes were Swashbuckler and Privateer. He thought targets were too far in the Musketeer class, but he still did good in that class also. This is how he doesn't use long-range weapons or bulky weapons. 
  As he grew he excelled each year of school, until he was chosen as a cadet for the battle against Darksoom, a distant world where all evil came from. He did most of the battling on ships, healed others, and did a little bit of the Musketeers' jobs. There were no Witchdoctors in this battle, since that was what the enemies resisted, so the Witchdoctors broke into hysterics. They did some bad pranks on the people who fought the Darksoom army. That is how Witchdoctors seem quite a bit evil to this day. 
  When the battle was won, the pirates of Skull Island named Captain Avery the leader of the Skull Island army.
  But that wasn't the end of Avery's adventures. 
  He even partnered up with most of the Spiral (even Merle Ambrose!), so that they would prepare for the next attacks from Darksoom...
  Meanwhile at Darksoom, where all of the defeated warriors lay, was a dark figure. It had long hair, a black widow dress, and a little spider by her side. "Hmm, how did this happen to my homeland? I thought these people were stronger!" the person shouted. It was a woman. She used a dark magic to create an army of Skeletal Warriors. The lady went to the lair of a man named Malistare. 
  At the lair, Malistare waited with his spellbooks of dark doings, and beside him lay a book called the Krokonomicon. He turned abruptly to the lady. 
  "Oh. Morganthe. What brings you here on a dark day? I'm busy preparing my wrath to that one wizard trying to prevent my doing of bringing my beloved Silvia back to life," Malistare said. 
  "Could I borrow a spellbook? I really need it to help my wrath of destroying the Spiral," Morganthe said with a hint of revenge in her voice. 
  "Fine, but use it with great care and make sure no one, even one that is evil, takes my book. I will need it back by the time AFTER I defeat the lowly whelp who defeated my minions with the power of the old man. 
  "Oh I'll take care of it, muhoohohohahaha!" Morganthe said evilly. That's when Morganthe disappeared in a second, followed by the arrival of four wizards, and the raging battle of Malistare versus the four wizards began. 
  Back at Skull Island, where Avery taught new pirates the skills of ship driving, many batches of new pirates came every second, every day. Avery even ventured out to the world of the Spiral to show new pirates how to battle enemies and dark armies, like the Armada, who came up during the Golden Age of Time, when a wizard rose to defeat them; to claim the treasure of Captain Gunn. 
  Then Avery got weary from his job, so he hired Boochbeard and his companion, Gandry, to do his old job. That's how you mostly hear Gandry or Boochbeard speaking when they give you help, or remind you something. 
  By the time the Archmage wizard had defeated the mighty Pendragon, and saved Avalon, the mighty Pirate found Gunn's gold and is now making a treaty with the emperor and the empress of Monquista.

THIRD PRIZE: 2,500 Crowns

The Chosen One
By James DragonCatcher

“Arrr! Invaders! Invaders!” screamed the pirates. They gathered their weapons and got into position, ready to fight for their lives.
Meanwhile, Boochbeard, the captain, went down to the bottom of the ship where the prisoners were kept.  He was up to no good. Along with him was his assistant, a monkey named Mr. Gandry, who was also the commander of the ship. Amongst the prisoners, Boochbeard noticed a young man in saggy clothes.
“Who be ya lad?” Boochbeard asked, unsure if he’s talking to the right one.
“Me name is Crazy Ryan Upham” the boy replied.      
“Boochbeard, that’s some crazy name he got thar…” whispered Mr. Gandry.
                According to Boochbeard, Ryan was the one they’ve been searching for. Mr. Gandry explained to Ryan about his parents. Ryan’s parents did not leave him behind; they were captured by the Armada, a group of pirates, wanting to take over the spiral!  Ryan understood and told Boochbeard that he wants to become a swashbuckler.
“If ye want t’ be a swashbuckler, ye gotta meet yer teacher. Come on, let’s get out of this smelly place!” said Boochbeard.
“Avast!” Mr. Gandry yelled, knowing someone is watching them. In a separate cell was an old monk.
“My name is Kan Po. I come from the world, Mooshu, a beautiful world where you can get fried rice.” replied the monk.
                Kan Po told Boochbeard that his life belongs to his master, Ryan. Ryan had no idea what was going on. He hadn’t known that some old monk was watching over him these past few years. Kan Po agreed to stay as Ryan’s companion forever. When they were about to leave, a wounded pirate barged in for assistance.
“Help! Cap’n, invaders upstairs!” the wounded pirate mumbled.
                Boochbeard, Mr. Gandry, Ryan and Kan Po quickly rushed upstairs and noticed they are being attacked by the Armada. The Armada leader, Deacon, was ordering his troops to attack.
“Shiver me timbers! Get out o’ me ship!” Boochbeard yelled.
“Aye Boochbeard, we meet again. Attack them!” Deacon commanded his troops.
                The Armada attacked Ryan and Kan Po. While battling, Ryan learned how to use his new weapon, given by Kan Po. Kan Po assisted Ryan by attacking two other members of the Armada. Ryan and Kan Po easily eliminated four of Armada’s troops. Eventually, more Armada’s troops invaded and Boochbeard had to help. It’s was an intense battle, but Ryan and his gangs ended up winning.     
“Garr! I’ll get ye next time!” Deacon yelled. Then he shot Boochbeard and left.
“Yarr! We won!” Boochbeard chanted even though he was injured from the bullet.  
“Well done!” Mr. Gandry congratulated them.
“Now let’s go meet Mr. Avery! He will show ye, yer teacher!” Boochbeard screamed.
The End!
Pirate101 Short Story Winners! Pirate101 Short Story Winners! Reviewed by The Fabulous K on Monday, September 24, 2012 Rating: 5

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