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Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

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Week 185
You are on Week 186
Week 187

Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...

We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!

Story One Hundred and Eighty-Six Ends July 16th

"There you go, ma'am," Galvin said, handing the Bruce a large, brown box.

"Oh, thank you," the Bruce said, smiling from ear to ear as she took the box. "I'm sure Fluffy will absolutely love her new scratching post!" As the Bruce exited, Galvin the Chomby glanced at the large, Kadoatie-shaped clock on the wall.

"Ahh, it's finally closing time!" the Chomby said aloud, although nobody was in the small store to hear him. He began to scuttle around the room, putting things back in their proper places. Within minutes, the Chomby was ready to lock the doors and head to his friend's house for supper. As he withdrew the store's keys from one of his coat's many pockets, he noticed a small, crumpled piece of paper on the floor in front of the counter.

What's this? Galvin thought to himself, picking up the paper and uncrumpling it. As he saw what was on the paper, he gasped. Looking around to make sure there was nobody peering in through the window, Galvin pocketed the paper and locked up the Petpet Supplies Shop. Then, he ran as fast as he could to his friend's house, eager to show her what he'd just found...

Author: Major Spike! AAH!
Date: 06 July
...Panting from excitement, Galvin rang his friend's doorbell. While listening to the Meerca as she came to the door, he started hopping from foot to foot, impatient.

"Hi, Galvin," she said with a smile while opening the door to him. "What's up?"

"Merribelle, guess what I just found?" he blurted out.

"What?" the Meerca replied, catching onto his excitement.

"Wait, I can't say out here," Galvin replied, casting a suspicious look around him, "Let's go inside."

The two went inside to sit in Merribelle's living room. She sat down on a squishy purple armchair, but Galvin was too excited to sit. He started pacing back and forth, glancing down at his hand every so often to look at the paper.

"I was just about to lock up the shop, when I noticed a piece of paper on the counter. I went to go pick it up, and then I looked at it... Merribelle, I'd found a treasure map! Not just any treasure map, either. Remember that story we heard when we were kids, about the Lost Dubloons? Well, this is the map!!" Galvin explained, his voice full of rapture.

"Are you serious?" Merribelle asked, suspicious.

"Check it out." the Chomby replied, handing her the map.

She gazed at it for a few moments before turning the map over. She then flipped back to the front, trying to make certain of all of the lines and X's that crisscrossed the map.

"Well, it does look like the real thing." she finally agreed.

"Let's go look for it!" Gavin suggested...

Author: aquarious713
Date: 06 July
...Merribelle looked skeptical. "But, with all these X's, isn't it going to be hard to find every one of them? I mean, they're all underwater!"

"Then we'll only get a few," the desperate Chomby pleaded. "Please, Merribelle? We could be rich! You'd be able to expand your Neohome and buy gnomes, hundreds and hundreds of gnomes!"

While the prospect of simply being rich did not woo Merribelle, it was the gnome offer that won her over.

"All right," she agreed, "But there's just one thing, Galvin. How will we find these dubloons? We haven't got a boat, a crew, a compass... anything!"

"Well, then," Galvin said, snagging a copy of the previous week's Neopian Times from the Meerca's coffee table and flipping it to the classified section, "What do you say we spend a few Neopoints?"

Galvin tossed the newspaper to Merribelle, who looked it over for a moment before glancing back up.

"Galvin," she said to the Chomby, smiling, "Let's go get ourselves a crew..."

Author: cuddlymaggie
Date: 07 July
...Two hours later, the Chomby and Meerca entered Krawk Island's famous restaurant, the Golden Dubloon. Every Neopian knows Krawk Island is a seafaring place, and the best place to find a crew would be at the Golden Dubloon. However, the Neopians here didn't look like the sort one would find in the AstroVilla Hotel. No, they all appeared to be fierce, disgruntled, and hungry. Merribelle and Galvin traded nervous looks as they took a seat at a wooden table.

"G'afternoon, mateys!" said a Lupe, trotting over to the table, "Welcome to me restaurant, the Golden Dubloon! Yar, Captain Hackett's th' name. Come on now, grab yerselves a menu an' have a bite to eat. We have yer starters, cocktails, desserts..."

"I don't think they're here to eat, Cap'n," a quiet voice said, coming from behind the Lupe.

Captain Hackett turned and snorted. "Can't ye keep yer nose in yer own business, Raffer?"

The Lupe stepped aside, revealing a tall, brown Ixi who was dressed in dirty Krawk Island attire -- although most everybody else was, too.

Turning back towards Galvin, the Captain stated cynically, "Don' let him bother ye. Now, what do ye suppose ye'd like fer drinks?"

Galvin and Merribelle, however, were more interested in the Ixi than they were in having a drink.

"Excuse us," Merribelle said, addressing the Ixi, "But who are you?"

"Th' name's Raffer," he said, ignoring the annoyed glare of Captain Hackett, "An' judgin' from that map ye've got in yer back pocket, I think that the Cap'n and I could be helpin' you two out..."

Author: foireau
Date: 08 July
..."Well," began Galvin nervously, "I found this map in my shop. Its the map of the --"

"The Lost Dubloons!" cried the Captain, to both Galvin and Merribelle's surprise. "Well, we'd be glad to help!"

"Well," began Merribelle, "We came looking for a crew to help us find the Lost Dubloons, and whoever helps us gets a share."

"That's why we can help," laughed Raffer. He put two fingers into his mouth and let out a loud whistle.

"What was that for?" asked Galvin, confused.

"Us," came several voices from behind the wooden table. Galvin and Merribelle whirled around to see a ragtag group of pirates standing behind them. A Kougra and a Shoyru seemed to be helming the group, and they confidently walked up to the four Neopians gathered around the table.

"What ye be needin' us for, Raffer?" asked the Kougra.

"These two here are hunting for the Lost Dubloons, Skipper, and they need a crew," Raffer pointed at Galvin and Merribelle.

"Don't you need the map for that?" asked the Shoyru.

"That's the great part," smirked Captain Hackett, flashing an odd grin, "They've got it."

Skipper's mouth dropped in astonishment. "Ye found the map?" he asked. He shut his jaw and straightened up. "Well, count me and Blacksail in. Finding the Lost Dubloons is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!"

"We'll go brief the crew," said Blacksail, turning around towards the other pirates, "Attention--"

"What are you doing?!" hissed Raffer, grabbing the Shoyru and pulling him towards the table. "We can't split the treasure with so many pir..." The Ixi looked at the Chomby and Meerca, both of whom were staring at Raffer. "I mean, we'll take whatever share of the treasure we get," he said smugly. A lull followed in which both Galvin and Merribelle looked at the Ixi suspiciously, but before they could say anything, the Lupe stepped in front of Raffer.

"Erm, clothes!" he shouted, lifting the Chomby and Meerca off of their seats. "Ye be needing clothes! Yer gonna be pirates!" As Captain Hackett pushed the two towards the back room, he leaned back and whispered something to the Ixi, who then passed it on to Skipper and Blacksail.

"Prepare the ship," muttered the Ixi as the Lupe entered the back room with Galvin and Merribelle, "We'll only be needing supplies for four..."

Author: wildmiles12
Date: 08 July
...In the back, Captain Hackett ushed the two Neopians into a small room, which seemed to be a storage area of some sort. Trunks, dirty dishes, old tables, broken chairs, rope, cracked windows -- everything you would find at the Meridell Rubbish Dump. Galvin, Merribelle, and the Captain walked towards a large trunk in the middle of the room.

"Is this where get our clothes?" Merribelle asked excitedly. "I've always wanted to dress like a pirate!"

"No," said Captain Hackett, opening the trunk.

It was empty, and there seemed to be enough room for three people inside. After thinking about this for a moment, Galvin and Merribelle both knew what was going to happen, and they decided to make a run for it.

As they began their sprint, Captain Hackett reached back and scooped them up with only one paw. He threw Merribelle in the trunk and closed the lid, ignoring her shrieks and wails. Then, he bound Galvin's hands with rope and set him down on an old chair next to the trunk.

"Let Merribelle go! She didn't do anything to you!" Galvin yelled.

"Oh, I be lettin' her go -- I be lettin' her go to the Krawks!" Captian Hackett laughed as he began to search Galvin's pockets. "Now, gimme the map fer the Lost Dubloons, or I'll b'forced to do somethin' un-Captain-like."

Galvin stubbornly shook his head, but the Lupe just laughed and searched around Galvin's pockets.

"AHA!" laughed the Captain, "Finally! 'Tis mine!" He looked at the two helpless Neopians (or rather the one helpless Neopian -- the other was unfortunately locked in a trunk). "Y'know, I like ye two so much that I've decided ta let ye go."

Captain Hackett, in one swift movement, removed Galvin's bounds and chucked the small Chomby into the cramped trunk.

"O' course," said the Captain as he hoisted the trunk and walked out the door, "I'll be lettin' ye go in the middle of the ocean..."

Author: day_dreamer1472
Date: 09 July
...Galvin and Merribelle thrashed about wildly, gasping for breath in the cramped trunk. Captain Hackett didn't seem to care -- he whistled sea shanties as he strolled over to the ship. Eventually, the two Neopians felt themselves being heaved onto the ship's desk, much to their dismay.

"Don't struggle... all in good time; ye'll see the ocean soon enough," the Captain promised, sneering at the rattling trunk.

The Ixi smirked at Captain Hackett. "We're ready, Cap'n," he said. "Ye locked 'em up?" He nodded at the large trunk on the floor.

"Aye," the Lupe replied easily. "Eager to sail the ocean, those two." Muffled screams erupted from the trunk.

"Screamin'," agreed Skipper, appearing from behind the Ixi. He nudged the trunk with his foot and turned it over, laughing coldly.

"Galvin," Merribelle whispered, smashing into the Chomby as the trunk was flipped, "What are we going to do?"

The Chomby whirled around and glanced helplessly at Merribelle's face, hidden in the shadows. Cracks of light flooded through the trunk's lock. As Galvin looked out through the lock, he noticed that they were near the edge of the ship's deck. Suddenly, an odd look came over Galvin's face.

"Maybe..." Galvin said, looking around at the the interior of the trunk, "We could roll..." Outside, they could hear the voices of the pirates laughing as they prepared for departure.

"Galvin, what?" the Meerca asked, eyeing her friend suspiciously, "We could roll? How!? It's a trunk!"

"On the count of three," Galvin said, ignoring the Meerca and peering out through the lock, "I'll need you to help me push..." the Meerca and peering out the lock, "Push."

"Galvin, what are you talking about?" asked Merribelle loudly.

"Ye bein' quiet!" yelled Captain Hackett, kicking the trunk.

"One."

Merribelle pursed her lips and glared at the Chomby. "Galvin, this isn't funny -- push the trunk? What's that going to do?"

"Two."

"I said, ye best be keepin' quiet!" shouted Captain Hackett, pounding his fist on the trunk's top.

Galvin looked through the lock, then at the Meerca, and then at the edge of the deck, not that far away.

"Three..."

Author: cookiemunta222
Date: 12 July
...The Chomby bashed into the side of the trunk, stifling the cry that emerged on impact. The trunk rocked violently, but the single push wasn't enough. As he drew back to shove again, Galvin felt a shaking paw grasp his arm.

"Galvin... what are you doing?" Merribelle mumbled, "We have no idea where we're rocking into."

"Just push with me Merribelle, please! Trust me... if we have any chance to escape, it's this, so push!" He sensed Merribelle force a smile, and in the dim light of the trunk, he saw her shadow draw back next to him.

"Go!" Galvin shouldered the trunk again, this time with the help of Merribelle. The trunk loudly knocked over onto the wooden deck.

"What be all that noise?!?" Captain Hackett growled angrily.

"The trunk's movin'!" Raffer exclaimed. "We better move 'em to the store deck below, darn troublemakers. Or we could just be dumpin' 'em now," the Ixi said, raising his eyebrows eagerly. "With less weight on board, we'll reach our riches quicker!" He laughed, revealing his yellowing teeth, and jumped down from the empty trunk he was sitting on.

"Wait," the Captain ordered, "We want the ocean to be nice an' deep, or the Jetsams will go hungry today, an' ye know how they 'ate to be let down." He erupted with evil laughter, then motioned the cackling Ixi to sit again.

While the pirates plotted the demise of their hostages, the trunk tottered dangerously on the corner of the deck. Galvin hoped desperately that his plan would work. With his heart banging in his chest, like a bird fighting in a cage, he gave the trunk a final shove, causing it to fall over the edge. Merribelle shrieked as the trunk spun in the air and landed with a thud on the dock below. The lid popped open, flooding the frightened pets with light and fresh air, just like Galvin had predicted. He wasted no time in getting out of sight.

"Quick, Merribelle!" Galvin whispered, grabbing the hand of the startled Meerca and yanking her out of the trunk.

They heard the angry shouts of the pirates above, and Galvin quickly tried to construct a plan. Unfortunately, even though he did not doubt that the trunk's lid would pop open, he hadn't thought this far ahead. After dragging Merribelle into the water underneath the dock so that they wouldn't be spotted, he had to pause for a moment and think.

"How did you know the lid would pop Galvin?" Merribelle asked in awe, "What will we do now? They're going to find us!"

"Give me a minute, Merribelle," the Chomby answered, "I'm trying to think." The shouts above became louder, and Galvin's breaths became quicker and more frequent. He began to speak in a hushed tone, as if to himself. "We need to get the map..."

Author: heva666
Date: 12 July
"Get the map..." Merribelle said slowly. "And just HOW do you plan on doing that, when we're surrounded by deadly pirates?"

"I 'ear somthin'!"

Galvin covered his friend's mouth as he heard the footfalls of Captain Hackett. When he saw the Lupe from behind, with the map sticking out of his pocket, he whispered to the Meerca. "I'll pounce on him. You take the map and run!"

Before Merribelle could protest, Galvin lunged onto the captain, putting him in a strong Chomby headlock. "Get the map!" he cried.

Merribelle did as she was told and snatched the map, then turned to flee. Upon seeing that she was safe, Galvin tossed the captain aside and tried to bound away. However, ahead of him, he saw Skipper throwing a cargo net over Merribelle, trapping her. That's when Galvin then felt a stinging pain on the back of his head, just before everything went dark.

* * * * *

Galvin felt a cool sensation upon his brow. When he awoke, he saw a small Kacheek, who was wearing a red bandana, standing over him... a pirate!

"YOU!" Galvin cried, sitting up and grabbing the Kacheek by the scruff of the neck. "Where's Merribelle???"

The Kacheek struggled in the Chomby's grasp, fear showing upon his face. Galvin then felt a strong pair of claws ease him back down upon a bunk.

"Easy there, lad!" said a large Skeith, who was also dressed like a pirate. "We ain't yer enemies." He then turned the small Kacheek, who was rubbing his sore throat. "Huh, I reckon that seawater must've soaked his brain a tad."

Once he got his head straight, Galvin noticed that these two pirates were strangers. "Wait a minute... you're not Captain Hackett's crew!"

The Skeith bellowed out laughing. "HARHARHAR! Cap'n Hackett, 'e says! So that's who tossed ya inta the murky deep. Nah, matey! We be Cap'n Will's crew aboard the Shadow Jetsam! Call me Bishmael. And this 'ere be Quiet Pete." Bishmael patted the Kacheek on the shoulder. "Don't be thinkin' him rude for holdin' his tongue. The wee mate 'asn't spoken a word since he were a babe."

"I'm Galvin," the Chomby said, relieved to be in the company of friendly pirates. "Wait... where's Merribelle? MERRIBELLE?"

Before the pirates could stop him, Galvin leapt out of the bunk and ran up on deck. He could clearly see that he was part of a new crew and ship, but he didn't see any sign of his friend. "Merribelle? Has anyone seen a small yellow Meerca?"

"What's all this, then?"

Galvin looked up to see a female pirate Peophin, descending the stairs that lead to the helm. Bishmael and Pete soon caught up Galvin. "Many pardons, Cap'n," the Skeith said, bowing. "Our mate was just lookin' for his wee friend."

"Captain?" Galvin said, "You're Captain Will?"

"Captain Wilhemina B. Stronghoof, to be precise," the Peophin said, proudly. "Welcome aboard the Shadow Jetsam. Don't be alarmed by my roguish-looking crew. They're actually quite decent."

Bishmael chuckled. "Arr, I luv the way she be talkin'. So nice and proper-like!"

"In case you're curious as to your reason for being aboard my ship," Will continued. "We found you floating adrift, not far from my vessel. You had quite a nasty blow to the head."

Before Galvin could say anything, a Krawk called from the crow's nest. "Cap'n Will! The Sea Fang off the port bow!"

Captain Will took a telescope out from her jacket and peered over the horizon. "Captain Hackett! That miserable tyrant! It also appears they have a visitor -- a young Meerca tied to their mast..."

"Merribelle!" Galvin cried, snatching the telescope. Looking through, he saw his friend tied to the mast of the ship. "Oh no," he groaned. "This is all my fault! I wish I had never found that map..."

"Map?" the captain asked, placing a comforting hoof upon Galvin's shoulder. "What map?"

"The map leading to the Lost Dubloons. I found it in my shop and talked Merribelle into finding a crew and... now Captain Hackett's got the map AND my friend!" he sobbed.

To his surprise, Captain Will was laughing. "My dear boy, you need not worry... you're with the respectable pirates now! We'll save your young friend."

"But, the map..."

Captain Will winked. "Yes, he may know where the dubloons are, but he doesn't know how to get to them." To Galvin's surprise, Captain Will reached into her fine coat's pocket and pulled out...

Author: bitsy_dj
Date: 13 July
...a small, thin, blue-green candle. Its color seemed to ripple as it moved, causing the candle to look remarkably like the sea. The wick was the strangest part of it -- instead of being white or cream-colored, like normal candle wicks, it seemed to be woven with strands of gold and silver threads.

Will proudly extended the candle for Galvin to see. "This candle has been in my family for many generations. Let me tell you its story:

Long ago, my ancestors were the first to make dubloons... the first thousand ever made. Some designs that ended up not being used, and some of the first official dubloons, were packed away in a chest for memory's sake. That chest was hidden in the back of a large natural cavern, behind an ancient stone door. The door has just one key..."

"What about all the other places marked on the map?" Gavin asked, nervously eyeing the Sea Fang as it sailed off into the distance, in the direction of the legendary Lost Dubblons.

Captain Will smiled wryly. "The other markings are to confuse anyone who isn't supposed to find the treasure. However, I suspect Hackett somehow knows which is the right one. Now quiet, and let me finish the story."

She settled back into her story telling mode. "Now, that one key is actually in the cave, but it's in a place where no one can get it. There is rope holding the key in place, but the only way to get the key is to burn the rope. However, the rope had been woven with certain herbs, so that only a special candle can burn it." She fondly placed the candle back in her pocket. "Now, let's go save your friend, and see if we can't get those dubloons..."

Author: lauaed
Date: 14 July
...Captain Will then turned to the rest of the crew, who had conveniently busied themselves with other things while secretly listening intently.

"Bishmael! Quiet Pete! Raskin!" The Krawk who had been on the lookout up in the crow's nest turned sharply toward the Captain. "We're going to need several for this unruly task... it has never been, and will never be, easy to rescue one from the hands of Captain Hackett." Galvin shuddered at the way she said this, her voice wavering in a mystical way. Still, Galvin felt a spark of hope flicker to life inside him with her every word.

"Cap'n!" the Skeith called from above. "Land ahoy, an' it looks like Cap'n Hackett and his rowdy bunch have already landed!"

"Perfect..." Will muttered under her breath as she smiled mischievously. Galvin gulped. He wasn't looking forward to another encounter with Captain Hackett and his crew after his last one had turned out so horribly, but he would go to any lengths to save Merribelle.

"So, Cap'n, what be the plan?" Bishmael roared, as Will steered the ship with a desperate glint in her piercing blue eye.

"It's going to be dangerous, and it's going to take a lot of faith, but I think with this amount of wind coming in from the starboard side, and with the help of everyone aboard, we have a chance as good as any bunch of pirates out there. Now, here's what I'm thinking..."

* * * * *

In an amazing amount of time, the Shadow Jetsam reached, and dropped anchor by, the Sea Fang. "Now," said Captain Will, "Hackett and his crew are already in the caves, so we must be quick about things. Our first priority is to make sure that little Meerca is safe. Does everyone remember the plan?"

There we're several "Aye, Cap'n"s.

"Great," she said. "Let's go!" With that, Captain Will led Galvin and her crew into the caves...

Author: formelina
Date: 15 July
...Galvin peered around. Everything was dark and damp, with fungus on the walls of the cave. "Do you think we'll be able to get Merribelle back safely?" he whispered nervously to Bishmael. The Skeith hesitated.

"Cap'n Hackett will not be easily tricked, mate. It'll be 'ard to get the young lass back safely, aye, that be a promise. However, Cap'n Will be a smart lass; she may get the best o' that Lupe."

The young Chomby was not entirely sure he liked this answer, but he knew this was his only shot at getting his friend back. He knew they might all get captured and have to suffer Hackett's wrath, but he'd do anything for his young friend.

The cave, along with being filthy and scary, was a labyrinth. However, with the aid of a candle, it was easy to track the crew of the Sea Fang's footprints.

"Be sure ye don't go astray, mate," Raskin said. "Bad things happen to souls who get lost in these here caves, aye, we may never find yer poor self."

Galvin gulped and nodded, edging closer to Bishmael. He wondered what may be waiting for Neopets that wandered from their group. He just knew he didn't want to know.

"There be the cursed pirates, cap'n," Raskin said, pointing ahead. Captain Will and Galvin looked in that direction.

What they saw was a large cavern, where the pirates of Hackett's crew were assembled. Poor Merribelle was tied up, with two of the pirates on either side of her. In the center of the room was a string, which was tied to a key. The pirates were trying in vain to get the key off the rope.

"'urry up, ye scurvy dogs!" Captain Hackett said. "Cap'n Will and her crew will be findin' us soon!"

"Aye, cap'n," Skipper said. "We be tryin'. But this 'ere rope won't burn!"

"There be a secret to it," the captain said. He turned to the poor Meerca. "Did instructions come with the map, lass?"

The little Meerca was so scared, she could hardly reply. She opened her mouth, but no intelligible words came out.

"Answer lass, and if it be the right answer, yer life may yet be spared." snapped Hackett.

"There were no instructions, just the map!" Merribelle replied, trembling.

"Ok," Captain Will whispered. "We're going to have to do this quickly. Remember, the most important thing is to get that poor girl out safely. I think she's been through enough." The Peophin studied the pirates for a moment, and then turned back to her crew. "Ready now? One, two..."

Author: scooby1209244
Date: 16 July
"THREE!" Captain Will shouted, charging alone (as planned) into the cluster of pirates.

"Cap'n Will!" Hackett gasped as she pushed through the crowd, making a beeline towards the shocked Lupe.

"Righto, Captain!" Will cried triumphantly, closing in on Hackett. She pushed the surprised crew of the Sea Fang roughly aside, eager to reach her target.

Galvin hid behind a large stalagmite, as he had been instructed. The rest of Will's crew was crouching behind another rock formation, counting the seconds until their time came.

Just as Pete, Bishmael, and Raskin were about to perform their part of the plan, a shrill scream rang throughout the cave, piercing the air like an arrow. Forgetting about staying inconspicuous, Galvin poked his head out from behind the stalagmite. What he saw made the color drain from his face.

Merribelle, looking desperate and frightened beyond the point of tears, was being held around the shoulders by Captain Hackett, a malicious glint is his eyes. Worse still, he had a sharp rock pressed against her neck, and with the slightest movement, Merribelle's life could be snuffed out like a candle.

"Will! Captain Will!" cried the Shadow Jetsam's crew, except for Pete. The rowdy band sprang from their hiding place into the fray of pirates, who were fighting over...

Galvin gasped, his hands at his mouth. Captain Will had emerged from the tangle of pirates, and was being held by her hooves, incapable of getting away. She struggled mightily, thrashing this way and that, but burly-looking Neopets had her pinned tight. Galvin looked on either side of her, and saw that Pete, Bishmael, and Raskin were all being pinned, as well, against the damp, jagged wall.

Galvin felt like his feet were glued to the floor. It was over. Hackett would find him... it was all over. Galvin began to turn around, prepared to slink away out of the cavern, when a motion of Captain Will's caught his eye.

Will had stopped struggling, and now there was a strangely serene look in her eyes. She had flicked her tail a fraction of inch, and was now staring decidedly at the spot where Galvin was.

That motion gave Galvin the courage he needed. Captain Will believed he could do it, so... he could. Galvin felt as if a warm fire had been lit inside him.

He took a deep breath and whirled around, barely concealing himself behind the rock.

Captain Hackett was grinning maliciously. "Say goodbye, lassie." he hissed in Merribelle's ear.

"NO!" Galvin shouted, sprinting into the crowd of pirates. He felt a little stupid, as it was dead quiet and no one was moving, but he had one thing on his mind: saving Merribelle. His mind was focused on that one goal, and it rang as clear as a bell as he shoved Hackett to the floor and pushed Merribelle towards the exit, shouting "GO, NOW!"

Merribelle looked shocked, but stood her ground. "No way. I'm stay--GALVIN!"

Galvin's back had been turned to the Captain, who had crept up behind him, and now had him pinned to the wall. "You'll do, laddie..." He brought the jagged spike up to Galvin's throat. "I'll remember you when I get those dubloons..."

Galvin squeezed his eyes shut, preparing himself for the end. He waited, and waited, and... the end didn't come. Peering out of one eye, he saw an extraordinary sight.

Merribelle had thrown a large rock at Hackett, who was now lying unconscious on the ground. The bewildered Meerca looked a little shocked herself, but slightly pleased.

"Cap'n!" yelled Skipper. The Kougra rushed to Hackett's side.

"No, you fool!" shrieked Raffer, who had been pinning down Bishmael. "You just left Captain Wi--"

Raffer gulped as Captain Will towered over him. "I believe some retribution is in order," she said silkily, with a glint in her eye.

* * * * *

"That'll be some story for you grandchildren, Merribelle!" laughed Galvin, who was lounging beside the Meerca. The pair were watching the now-bound crew of the Shadow Jetsam being led out of the cave by Pete and Bishmael. Raskin was watching over them, back on the Sea Fang.

"Yup!" Merribelle agreed, still rubbing at her throat. Though there was no wound, she couldn't shake off the sensation of the rock against her flesh.

"Well, friends!" Will said cheerfully, wiping her hands on an embroidered handkerchief. "I believe there is only one thing left to do."

"What?" asked Merribelle, a confused look on her face. Galvin just grinned, and watched the captain face the withered rope that was swinging from the ceiling.

She took out the candle and lit it with a match from inside a deep pocket in her fine coat. Slowly extending her hand to touch the flame to the rope, she whispered, "All these generations..."

The flame touched the rope, and the entire thing went up in a ribbon of fire, causing the key to fall down with a twinkle. Will took shaky steps to the ancient stone door in front of her and, closing her eyes, put the key in the lock. With a mighty push she wrenched it open, then gazed upon the contents of the cave. "The dubloons!' she cried, rushing to pull the large chest out. She dragged it in front of Merribelle and Galvin, who were anxiously waiting for her to open it.

Will lifted the lid of the trunk...

And found a note.

Her eyes scanned the scrap, and a fiery look lit up her features. "Men... and women," she said, amending her statement as a smile spread across her face. "It looks like we're off to the easternmost edge of Krawk Island."

She passed the note to Galvin, who read it, confused. "Good job for getting this far!" the note read, in messy handwriting. "Now go to the eastern edge of the Island, and dig at the rock that looks like a ship's mast."

Galvin grinned. "Just call me Grubby Galvin," he said.

The End

Author: fearthejuliet
Date: 16 July



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