Poor Daddy

January 11, 2008
By Andrew Bouman, Las Vegas, NV

On a ship bound for the shores of Barbados, Patrick, a young man of seventeen, sits shackled in chains awaiting his fate. Taken from his homeland, Ireland, by the British he must now be a slave to the Empire and work endless hours in the sugarcane fields. Dreams of banshees fill Patrick’s head in his sleep. He wakes up early this morning, and notices that it is particularly cold. On the deck above the captors roam about conversing as usual. Patrick overhears that it is the middle of September and they are nearly halfway to their destination. Patrick wakes his brother who is lying next to him. He shares this information with him, and they begin to devise a plan of escape with some of the other captives. They realize that it is virtually impossible to escape for many reasons. They have been shackled to the inner walls of the ship below the deck, and they are currently in the middle of the Atlantic.
Smitty, one of the other inmates, suggests that they slowly create makeshift weapons to attack the British when they arrive at the island. All of a sudden Patrick hears one of the guards shout, “Quiet ya filthy buggers!” Patrick let out a sigh of relief as he comes to the realization that the guard had not heard what they were actually talking about. It was nearing dark; the day had gone by fast. A small crew of sailors brought down the evening meal for the prisoners which consisted of small bits of leftover bread, trace amounts of fruit, and a small ration of grog for each prisoner. Patrick and his mates were joyed by the meal as they had not had food since the previous day. Shortly after dinner the men started to fall asleep. Patrick, however was consumed with the delusions of escape. The fact that the journey still had a month left was eating away at his morale. Another almost sleepless night for Patrick filled with horrible dreams left him shaken in the morning. Patrick grabbed for the little grog he had left, downed it, and tried for more sleep. Abruptly woken, Patrick springs to his feet as if startled by something. The others begin to arise from sleep.
The sounds of gunfire, the piercing clangs of swords clashing, and the pungent smell of gunpowder fills his senses. Canon fire sends planks of the ship and men flying. Patrick hears the horrifying screams of his captors just as a canon ball strikes the starboard side of the ship. Wood chips and huge spikes of wood and metal skewer many men around him. Some unfortunate guy was unlucky enough to be pinned to the wall by a large fragment of plank. Water begins to fill the brig. Patrick reaches for his brother. As Patrick pulls him closer, his body seems limp and cold. Blood flows down Pat’s body. He sees that there is no way to save his brother so he rushes to the opening in the ship. Now free from his chains, Patrick jumps out the side into the freezing cold water. His body goes numb as he swims faster and faster but seems to be going nowhere. He passes out from the cold on a fragment of wood from the sinking British ship.
Awakened from a pain in his arm he sees a large ship a distance away in the fog. Patrick’s heart almost sinks to his stomach as he glares at the flag in which the ship is flying. A skeleton piercing a heart with a dagger, it must be the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Blackbeard; A notorious and intimidating man. Patrick swam towards the ship with a shot wound in his arm. The Sailors hoisted him up and Pat said calmly, “Edward Teach’s I presume. “ “That she is!” grunted a scraggly bearded shipmate. A large man, tall in stature stepped down from wheel and approached Patrick. The shiny, flawless rapier on his hip mesmerized Patrick and the large man quickly drew his pistol and pressed it right against Patrick’s head. Patrick stares down the barrel of the gun in terror and quivers from the cold. They crewmembers start laughing and the large man identifies himself as Captain Edward Teach. He says, “Did I scare ya now laddy?” Patrick replies, “Aye.” “Well come now laddy, let’s have ourselves a drink, we’ve had quite the day.” Patrick shuffles into the dining quarters behind Captain Teach and sits down on an old rickety looking stool. The shipmates ask Patrick numerous questions about himself. They find out that he is a captive from Ireland bound for Barbados.
The sailors take him down to the armory to fit him with a weapon and some new clothes. Patrick feels proud; He is the newest crew member of the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Back up on the deck the sailors rejoice at the victory over the British slave ship earlier that day. The whole crew, drunk and merry. Patrick stumbles down to the sleeping quarters for a bit of rest and finds himself dreaming of his brother all night. The images of his brother haunt him in his sleep. He wakes with great anger and rushes to the captain’s room for a request. Patrick stirs Captain Teach from his slumber. The Captain held a knife to Patrick’s throat and warned him never to awake him from his sleep again. Patrick, being frightened, left the room with great haste. The sun arose in the sky and the Captain trotted out on the deck where he met Patrick. Patrick proposed an idea to Captain Teach. He wanted to continue to sail for Barbados and defeat the British captors when he got there. The Captain agreed to the proposal and the crew set sail for Barbados. Another day gone by with the seemingly endless sailing.
Once again the men drank and gambled all night long. Patrick, being a heavy drinker, found himself in the company of the Captain at a table in the mess hall. Patrick began conversing with the Captain about what happened a few days ago on the captive ship. Patrick explained that his brother had passed due to the cannon fire from the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Patrick became enraged as he realized that it was Captain Teach who had inadvertently killed his brother. In his drunken stupor Patrick swung at Captain Teach. He missed and pulled out a rapier to kill the Captain with. Other shipmates saw this happening and immediately apprehended Patrick. He tried to escape from their clutches. He was met with seven gunshots from musket and pistol alike, as well as the shiny flawless steel of Blackbeard’s sword. Patrick dropped the bottle of rum from his clenched fist and fell face down on the deck. He bled profusely until his body was completely lifeless, pale, and cold. The crew had to hoist Patrick up as they had done only a few days prior, and throw him back to the sea as they had found him. His body slowly sank into the depths on the cruel sea as the Queen Anne’s Revenge sailed away into the fog, bound for Barbados.

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