“ARRR!” Captain Scurvy growled loudly. The cameraman looked startled. “Sorry, I’m just warrmin’ up.”
PBS was doing a documentary about real-life pirates, and Captain Scurvy had agreed to sit down for an interview. Captain Scurvy was a somewhat tall man with a black patch over his left eye and a perpetual scowl on his face–even when he was happy. His wooden leg dragged a bit as he walked, and his scraggly beard could have used some attention, but other than that he looked the epitome of good health. And he was certainly dressed like a pirate–hat, filthy 19th-century coat, and everything.
“So, how did you get into piracy?” the reporter asked, crossing his legs as he fixed his unbiased-reporter gaze on the Captain.
“ARRRR, me mommy was in the business along with me daddy. I was born on that ship and will die on me ship the good’ ole Miss Susanne,” the pirate spat out between his silver and gold array of teeth.
“That’s very interesting,” said the reporter. “Where do you plan on sailing to in the future?”
At that very moment a light in the rows and rows of bright colors burst with a rain of glass. The whole room shook with shock and fear. The pirate jumped up at the surprise and grabbed his old have alive pistol and shot it in the air. A scream was heard from the above the camera crew.
The audience looked around in startled confusion. Was this part of the play? The pirate actor had disappeared and the feeling of fear swelled, causing panic to spread throughout the room. Play-goers started clambering over each other, in a rush to exit the auditorium.
Mark had a different idea; he hunkered down, eagerly waiting for the path to clear. He had trained for such a moment; and was ready to put his skills into action-now was his chance to shine.
He saw his opportunity and took it. Sprinting to the stage he slipped into the darkness; pausing to let his eyes adjust and then quickly, and heroically, made his way to the catwalk. It was in that moment he knew he could not turn back. He was here on a mission to save.
As Mark carefully and quietly crept along the catwalk, he thought back to the scene before the pirate had come onto the stage. There had been a shift in the lighting, so subtle that it seemed completely natural to the untrained eye. Mark, however, noticing the change, had instantly gone on alert. As he vigilantly watched the stage, he had caught a glimpse of what he was looking for. Seconds before the pirate/actor had disappeared- a shadow had made its way across the back of the stage…
It had been the forbidding shadow of a cloaked figure. Stealthy. Mysterious. If only Mark could find this person, he would be able to find the place where the pirate/actor had disappeared. Mark tiptoed silently along the dark stage, fists clenched, ready for a fight.
All of a sudden he was struck from behind by a hard object. He fell down, his head throbbing, but recovered quickly and returned to his feet. All those years of playing dodgeball in elementary-school P.E. were finally paying off. He caught the next object thrown at him–it was a detached mannequin head. “Gross!” he said, throwing it down and picking up the pirate’s prop sword instead. It was plastic, but it’s all he had.
The cloaked figure came out from behind a black curtain with a broomstick, swinging it wildly like a mad ninja from a bad martial arts movie. Mark, it turned out, was late for his niece’s birthday party, so he had little time for this cloaked villain’s shenanigans. Just like they do it in the movies, Mark came up with a brilliant plan in a fraction of a second despite his lack of knowledge of the terrain and physics in general. He sliced through a rope nearby with his plastic pirate sword, which caused a curtain to fall on his opponent, trapping him in a pile of fabric and dust. Then, he picked up the mannequin head and threw it hard across the stage. It hit a control panel that flooded the stage with bright light. Then he kicked a lever with his foot, which opened up a trapdoor, causing the bad guy to fall into the orchestra pit, still tangled in drapery.
There was a whimper from the inside of a prop treasure chest. Mark opened it to find the pirate/actor gagged and restrained. He had apprehended the evil man in a cloak, saved the kidnapped pirate dude, AND he still had time to stop by the store on his way to the party to pick up an awesome b-day gift for his cute little niece. He considered it a win and a most successful Thursday night.
Meg Ann Jex