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Cap’n Flint stood on the deck of his ship with his compass in hand, navigating his ship with an easy hand on the wheel. The seas were wide and blue, the sky was clear, and he felt at home. They had left Tortuga a few days ago, and the oppression he felt when on dry land was starting to lift.

Still, there were problems on ship. Ever since they left port, the men had been whispering about some kind of ghost. Utter bilgewater, he told himself. The men should know better than that. He’d had the entire ship searched from top to bottom yesterday to soothe their fears, but could find no reason for it. They were probably just being superstitious because he had his wife on board.

He glanced down at the compass in his hand, and adjusted their course a little. As he looked up, he thought he caught a movement in the corner of his vision. He looked around sharply. Nothing there. With a frown, he listened carefully. His hearing had been sharper since he lost his left eye, but all he could hear was the sound of the wind in the sails, the sea against the bow, and the men going about their duties. He was alone at the helm.

Or was he? A sharp noise behind him made his ears twitch. The sound of metal. His good eye narrowed as he whirled around. There was nobody there. Not a soul in sight.He must be going crazy.

“Too long in Tortuga,” he muttered to himself. “Need to regain me sealegs.”

He lashed the wheel in place and turned to check the deck more carefully. His eye caught a glint of metal against wood where no metal should be. He walked forwards and pulled it out. It was small, about the size of his palm, shaped like a star with sharp edges. It didn’t belong to any of his crew.

“That’s no ghost left this,” he muttered.

Cap’n Flint was not a man of tact or subtlety. He was not a man to consider his actions carefully. He drew his sword.

“To arms,” he yelled. “To arms, me hearties! Find the scurvy dog who left this star on me deck!”

The pirates rushed out, swords drawn, looking for the intruder.

“Where is he, Cap’n?”

Cap’n Flint strode across the deck. “He’s hidin’ like the cowardly blaggard ‘e is. But ‘e’s here. ‘E’s no ghost. Find ‘im! I’ll have ‘is lights and liver! I’ll keelhaul ‘im! Nobody sets foot on me ship without me say-so!”

The men rushed about the ship, searching the most likely hiding spots and finding nothing.

“Belay that noise!” Flint held up one hand for silence, still holding the star. “Be still now, maties.”

The men obeyed their captain instantly, instinctively freezing as if playing a children’s game. None would risk a flogging for being insubordinate.

The sea beat against the ship. The wind rattled the rigging. The men breathed heavily from adrenaline and exertion. But these were all familiar sounds to Cap’n Flint. He closed his good eye, sinking into darkness and listening.

A smile slowly spread across his face. He turned, throwing the star as he opened his eye, and a man in black fell from the rigging, falling face down on the deck.

Pirates rushed forward to turn him over. He had a mask covering his face, only showing his eyes. As he clutched at the star now embedded in his chest, those eyes betrayed his surprise.

Captain Flint strode over to the ninja and poked him with his sword.

“Poxy dog. Thought ye could hide out on me ship, eh? Taunt me with yer fancy stars? Ye’ll be sharkbait for that.”

The ninja screamed once as the pirates threw him overboard.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note- Well, if I can’t be silly on Talk Like A Pirate Day, when can I?  😛 )