The winner takes it all  Part II

By Kai Blin

Captain Angus leaned against the door of his cabin and smiled. His men had fought well. Although their opponent was only a single lousy fisherman, the boarding maneuver had been brilliant. "Roger and Bones, what a team", he thought. Yes, he really was the captain who would rule... Harsh laughter disturbed this pleasant thought. He looked up to see some of his pirates standing around the big tub that was strapped in between the two masts. He could hear the men yelling. "Hey, sweetie, all I want is a kiss" said one of them, Angus couldn't recall his name. No use shouting then, Angus figured. He quietly approached the men, who still fixed their whole attention on the tub. Angus watched as the man, yes, Pete, that was the name, grabbed the creature in the tub at by shoulders. The creature shrieked and struggled. Angus watched the little fight and smiled as he thought of the gold the wizard would pay for a living mermaid. Meanwhile, Pete was pulling the mermaid's lips closer and closer to his mouth.

Thorbjørn woke as he heard the clunk of a boarding hook landing next to him. "Oh no, not again!" he thought. His head still felt as if a group of trollish drummers were having a jam session inside of it. He tried to get up and cut the rope, but he couldn't move his limbs. He heard the familiar cry of "Charge!" and the thumps of feet landing on his deck, somewhere behind him. A voice said "Hell, what happened here? " "I'll be damned. Someone beat us to this boat!" another voice exclaimed. "Look, this one's still alive." a third voice added. Steps approached Thorbjørn. One of the pirates kneeled beside Thorbjørn's head and looked into his eyes. Thorbjørn looked back into the deep blue eyes of a pirate. "Hi" she said, throwing back her head to stop her dark blond hair from sliding in her face. "Glad you're still alive." To her fellow pirates, she said, "He's so cute, can I keep him?" "Nah, you know the Cap. Fierce Pirates, no prisoners, Small." The female pirate, who was only a girl, looked angry. "Can't you talk the Cap into it, Dizzy?" "Dunno" the third pirate replied. "But you're the first officer!" the girl protested, "If you can't talk the Cap into it, who can?" Dizzy looked at the second pirate. "Dolphin, " he said, "you've been sailing all five seas with the Cap, what would you think?" "I'd think you forgot the Duwesian half-sea. There's five-and-a-half seas to this world." Dizzy looked surprised. "I've never heard of that one." Then he saw Small trying to hold back a laughing fit. "Hey, you did it again Dolphin!" he cried. Dolphin interrupted him, "No, honest. Try it. All the Cap can say is no." "OK boys," Small smiled, "Gimme a hand." They heaved Thorbjørn, who was to weak to struggle, up and aboard their ship.

Sheyla tried to get free of these hands that held her shoulders like a giant clam. Inside her head, her mother's voice gonged, "Thou shalst stay away frome these humans, deare, they will kill you! " Sheyla winced. But the first one she had met had been so sweet. Every time she thought of him, she felt pain puncturing her heart. He had even tried to defend her. She was sure those monsters had killed and eaten him, as it was told by the old and wise, eaten one of their own kind. She shuddered. The monster's face was close now. Surely it was trying to eat her, too. It would see what a fight the princess of Quethai-Hluuth could give, Sheyla decided. Lowering her fishing teeth, she ceased struggling. Then, with a quick surge forward, she bit into the creature's nose, digging her pointy teeth into it, and retreated quickly.

Again Angus' thoughts were interrupted by a yell, but this time it wasn't an amused one, but a really painful one. He looked up and saw Pete holding his hands in front of his face, blood streaming down between his fingers. "Ahrg, my nobe!" Pete screamed "I'll get you..." He grabbed for his saber. But Angus was faster. He shouted, "Pete, hold it! We need it alive! I told you it's dangerous!". Pete and the others jumped as they saw their captain in their midst. "Jolly! Come here, on the double!" Angus demanded. "You're personally responsible for ensuring that no one comes near this creature." "Aye, Aye, capting!" Roger said.

A bucket of water splashed into Thorbjørn's face. He had passed out again. "Hey." Thorbjørn looked into the girl's face - what was her name? Ah yes, Small - She brushed his hair back and smiled at him. "Try to get up." Dizzy, holding a bucket, said. "Better for you if you look fit to work when the Cap takes a look." That sounded sensible, so Thorbjørn tried to get up. It worked. He needed Small's help, but yes, he could get up, just in time; as he straightened his back against the mast, the captain's door burst open. Thorbjørn looked straight at the 'Cap' and swallowed.

To be continued....