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On a Ship, a Black Freighter

by Joachim Heijndermans   We be a happy crew once. There was rum, spoils, and women. So many women, all who stopped struggling once the cutlass touched their necks. We shouldn’t have taken her. If we’d known what she’d truly been. Not a lass, but— Now we sail. We sail on this demon of a […]

Vindictive Waters

by Ali House   The attack was swift and merciless. By the time the crew noticed the Jolly Roger, it was too late. Pirates swarmed the ship—sharp blades in their hands and murder in their eyes. Soon the entire crew lay dead on the blood-soaked deck. The unmanned ship was left adrift, with nobody to […]

Jonah

by Patrick Winters   They’d plucked him from the sea one evening, lashed to a barrel and floating along, unconscious. Once he’d stirred, he gave his name as Jonah, of all things. The men wanted to cast him back to the waves that instant; the captain ignored their superstitions. The ailment swept over them soon […]

The Greatest Treasure

by Nerisha Kemraj   John Smith’s greedy eyes beheld the moss-covered chest. There it lay before him. A lifetime of searching, and endless, near-death battles, brought down to this single moment. Word of King Ragnar’s lost treasure had travelled the world for centuries, and now here it was, his to own. “I am now the […]

The Key to Keeping a Secret

by David Green   “At last,” Bode cried. “The Fountain of Youth!” Captain Kenway nodded at his first mate, letting him step forward. They’d sailed for decades before hearing whispers of Bimini, and the fountain’s location. “Aye,” Kenway said, drawing his flintlock pistol, aiming at the back of Bode’s head. “Everlasting life. A secret I […]

Captain Purge’s Collection of Oddities

by Kelly Matsuura   “Kanami, darlin’, you’ll finally be whole.” Captain Purge tapped his boot on the slime-covered trunk with glee. Kanami’s head floated forward, her ratty hair brushing the trunk’s exterior as she gave it a fervent sniff. Purge shuddered. Once an enchanting princess, Kanami was now a curse to the ship. He never […]

Captain’s Justice

by Melinda Pouncey   Captain Harrington slept with a pistol at hand for both attackers and mutineers. He ran a tight ship, which caused certain…vexations. One night he woke to eerie silence. The door flew open and Pete Turley, the latest recipient of the captain’s justice, shambled in. Skin hung in tattered shreds from his […]

Price of Admission

by Michelle Brett   “Shall you give your hand or your eye?” There was no reply. The stowaway was too fixated on the knife at his throat. His limbs pinned to the deck by the unwashed bodies. The pirate continued, “You do want to be one of us, don’t you?” With widened eyes, the stowaway […]

Redbeard

by Tracy Davidson   Redbeard chose the wrong island to plunder, his ship the first to find it in decades. No sealife swam near, no bird flew over. No human walked its streets. Redbeard’s first mate was first to die, skin shredded by invisible talons. The second was turned inside out, intestines wrapping around a […]

Execution Dock

by Simon Clarke   Three tides washed over me before you covered me in tar. But still I see you sail by, laughing at me in my cage above the Thames. You see my empty eye sockets, the strips of putrefying flesh, the wind jerking my bones when there is no wind. A final resting […]