Art:Spooky Pirate Vignettes

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Spooky Pirate Vignettes was a familiar contest run by Bia in the Mariner's Muse section of the YPP forums during October 2005. Stories entered into this contest had to relate to both pirates and the supernatural; there was also a hard limit of 500 words. After a week of judging, Feegle was awarded an orange and black parrot for his entry [1], reproduced in it's entirety below. In addition, thirty-four runners-up were eligible to pick from a list of prizes that included:

  • Spooky Fishname sloop (Note, the adjective will be Spooky. You may choose the fish.)
  • Orange/Black shirt and pants outfit
  • Lime/Black shirt and pants outfit
  • Pumpkin outfit (hat, shirt, pants, shoes) (To note, this is an all orange outfit with a green hat)
  • Candy corn outfit (hat, shirt, pants, shoes) (To note, this is an outfit that will utilize White, *Orange, and Yellow colours from top to bottom.)
  • Three skulls (furniture)
  • Orange/Black flag tapestry
  • Lime/Black flag tapestry
  • Black/Orange sword
  • Feather trinket

Feegle's winning entry

The Price of Neglect

His vision blurred by tears of anguish and fright, Redbeard tripped over a small crate so out-of-place that it seemed destined to send him sprawling to the floor of the hold. An unearthly squawk came from close behind him, and he pushed himself to his feet, ignoring the pain in his knee and scrambling down a hallway in search of a reprieve from the unending, accusatory cry.

The corridor beyond was no sanctuary -- nowhere was -- and as Redbeard stumbled up the stairs, he could hear the source of the eerie noise following close. Quaking, he grabbed at a barrel of rainwater. Pulling it with a strength borne of desperation, he sent it tumbling down the stairs behind him, to smash against the floor, sending water flooding down the hall.

The cold shriek didn't stop.

Quivering with fright, Redbeard slammed the hatch shut, and he staggered toward the door to his cabin. The heavy oaken hatch muffled the unending screeches, and with a dull, fluttering thud, something began to slam into it from below. Despite the lack of words or shape, he could swear that the cry was almost condemnatory. Remorse tormented his being as he slammed the door to his cabin behind him, sinking to the ground and sobbing in immeasurable fear.

This was the third time it had appeared; the third night in a row that he had been pursued mercilessly through his ship by guilt made manifest.

Saniyah was the problem, he knew. He'd found her on Midsummer on one of his many trips to that hallowed isle - her bewitching beauty had immediately ensorcelled him. Rapture had filled his entire being when she had deigned to accompany him aboard his ship. During the days of sailing back to Diamond, they'd grown friendlier; by the time they had ported at Cnossos, they were nearly inseperable.

A crash came from outside as the thing burst through the hatch. Redbeard could not see it, huddled behind the door as he was, but he knew from its angry and severe cry that it would come straight for him. As he expected, the door at his back shuddered with a sudden impact and the sound of claws scraping on wood, and the piercing, eldritch shriek began anew. Reproachful, it echoed into the depths of his soul.

It wasn't as if Redbeard wasn't sorry for what he had done. She was gone, he knew, and nothing could bring her back. Guilt wracked him every day. If only he hadn't been apprehended by the Cnossos Guard, he might have been able to get back in time to save her...

Glancing up, he wiped the tears from his eyes and saw -- as he did every morning -- the birdcage that he still could not bear to clean out. The empty food dish mocked him, while Saniyah's cold body lay in one corner, colour fading from her plumage.


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