Aye, Aye Captain
Note: This is my entry in Yubbies Prompt Contest. The five prompt words are bolded within the story. Also, I feel this piece needs some work - any suggestions or tips/critiques? Enjoy!
Fifteen minutes was enough. Fifteen minutes was all I had; it had to be enough. If everything went well, I would be on me way to a new life. If not, I'd be swabbing the deck for a good month or two. I shuddered at the thought. No, don't think negatively. Captain is a fair and just man, he'll understand.
I nodded, reassuring myself. "Yeah, he'll understand..."
Carl through his head back and let out a good, hearty laugh. "I heard what you's gonna do." he started.
Carl took a moment to laugh again, then shook his head at me. He was grinning like a mad man, which he was one anyway. "It'll never happen. You know Cap'n. When the countdown buzzed, all hell would break lose."
Glaring at him, I replied, "No, Captain stays true to the rules, Carl. Unlike someone I know."
His big ole smirk turned upside down quick as the seas. Though, his face was still tinted pink from all his chuckling, making him look like an angry clown. He stuck his slender finger right in front of my face and glowered at me. "I am not no 'Carl' anymore. Carl's a little wimp. I am not a wimp. I am Redbeard now."
Rolling my eyes, I swatted his forefinger away. "I don't have time for your baby games. I have a meeting."
I started walking away towards Captain's quarters. Stopping in mid-step, I turned around and mentioned one more thing. "Oh, and Carl? You may be bigger than me in size, but I outrank you. Know your place, Sparklebeard."
I had turned around and left before I could see his reaction. He was probably pissed off. Too bad. I knocked twice on the big, wooden door and heard a brief muttering. I took that as a 'come in'.
"Captain," I nodded once.
"Ah, Tristan. I have been waiting for you." he drummed his finger across his desk. Surprisingly, he had recently taken a shower. Dirt wasn't caked under his fingernails, there wasn't a lot of sand clinging to his dark brown facial hair, and his skin was close to flawless. However, he did smell of the salty ocean air, mid in with a dash of his naturally masculine scent. He wore those two like a cologne daily. If it wasn't for his smell and his clothing, he could pass for a regular guy. Maybe a good haircut and a little shaving, too.
With my hands behind my back, I stood straight up. I was incredibly tense and nervous. Surely, he could sense it. "My apologies, Cap'n. Carl-" I started.
"I don't want to hear your nonsense. I am not going to waste my time and listen to that. Now sit."
Okay, maybe he couldn't pass for a regular guy. For only being twenty-eight, he was awfully stern. Then again, being born into the pirate life would do that to a person.
"Yeah, sit!" Captain's parrot, Jaws, croaked. The small amount of feathers he had were in chunks, stuck together and weathered. His beak had numerous dings in it. Then there was his talons, sharp as ever. Altogether, he was one scary looking parrot.
I sat down in the chair in front of his desk, directly across from Cap'n. "You're getting old, Jaws. Not looking so hot."
Captain slammed his fist on the desk. The single motion made the entire room vibrate and the sound was terribly loud. The others probably heard it from the deck. I expected him to say something after that, but he sat silently, staring into my soul.
Ah, he was already in a good mood - not. We sat quietly for a few seconds. "Sorry," I muttered, breaking the slience.
He cleared his throat and reached toward the buzzer. The dreadful timer that would make or break my life. I felt myself wince just at the sight of the thing.
"Let's get to business. You know how this goes. Fifteen minutes, Tristan. " he asked as he polished the timer with a semi-dirty cloth .
"Are you ready?" His voice was deep and intimidating. It seemed like he was stating a fact rather than asking a question.
I nodded. "Yes..." I tried sounding confident, but it came out more like a whimper. After how many years of pirating have I faced everything without a mere trace of fear? And now I couldn't even confidently attempt resignal to my Captain. How could I even consider myself a pirate? Man up, Tristan!
Captain wound up the bird-shaped timer exactly on the number fifteen. It seemed like it took eons for the tick to land on that treacherous number. My breathing had turned ragged. My heart was beating so fast I was sure it'd explode before the end of the meeting.
"And... Go,"Captain set the timer down, crossed his arms, and leaned back in his chair.
My heart skipped a beat once he said that. Go, Tristan, go. Start talking. I opened my mouth, and off we went. "I would like to resign, Captain. I don't wanna be a pirate no more. I have served my purpose, loyally, for a while now. Since we were boys! You and me were just nine when Captain Fir took me in. Course, you've been in the business forever now, but you were born to do so. I was not. And now-"
Captain's eyes were as cold as the Atlantic ocean. "Are ya sayin' you weren't born to be a pirate? Then why're ya here?"
Instantly, I regretted saying that last line. I was a little grateful for it though. I opened my mouth to protest, but he wasn't hearing any of that.
"Course you were born to be a pirate. You've stuck by my side for what, nineteen years now? If you weren't cut out for a pirate's life, I woulda kicked you out myself years ago. Ya hear? No lousy person would serve as my first-mate. Now, proceed."
I was utterly speechless. Even though he spoke as if he were insulting me, I knew he wasn't. No matter how tough and scary he was, I would always know what lies under all of it. His hands were now on the table and he was sitting straight up. He had gotten himself so worked up that his face was flustered.
Breathing out a small laugh, I continued. "All right, Cap'n. So, my reasoning. I love being a pirate. I really do. But we're getting older. I want to settle down and start a family. Have children to carry on my legacy. Yes, children. Those little ones who make messes along the walls with their oil pastels. I want that, don't you?"
I paused for a minute. Trying to catch my breath. I glanced at the timer and saw that there was six more minutes. Time really flew. As I caught my breath, I studied his expression. Nothing had changed. He still had his lips in a firm line, his eyes bottomless pits of cyan. And his signature look - intimidating.
I took one last deep breath. "Rihanna. Remember her? We used to play together when we were young. Yeah, I've always had my eye on her. I saw her the other day, and we're going to have lunch on Sunday. Can you believe it?"
I looked down at my hands in my lap. A wave of warmth washed over me just at the thought. Once I looked back up into his eyes I noticed they had changed slightly. They weren't as emotionless as before. I hoped that was a sign that I was getting through to him.
"And if you release me, I'll be moving into an apartment. You could visit. Maybe by then, I will have won over Rihanna with my good looks and killer personality. I already saw a place I liked. I'll have to get in touch with a real estate agent soon; before someone else snags it. That's why I am asking you to let me go, today. I'll need to get started as soon as possible."
I took one last short pause, taking the opportunity to sneak a peek at the timer. Two more minutes. "So, Captain. What'dya say?"
Now all I had to do was wait. Wait and hope for the best. For the entire two minutes, the room was silent. Not that great of a sign. He was waiting for the timer to go off. Then he'd have my head for supper. My hands were constantly busy. I'd run my fingers over the rough spots on my palms over and over again. Waiting, waiting, and waiting was all I could do.
The sound of the timer vibrating across his oak desk took me by surprise. So much that I almost jumped, but I caught myself before I did. I expected Captain to jump out of his seat and cause a commotion, but he didn't. He remained calm and collected. He steadily reached toward the timer and shut it up. Every move he made, I winced. Anything could happen now.
Out of nowhere, he pushed himself out of his seat. He walked towards me and I scrambled to my feet, much less elegant than him. We were now face to face. It was a good thing we were about the same height - six foot - otherwise it would have been awkward. He raised his left hand and I braced myself.
Take it like a real man, I instructed myself. He was going to smack the stars out of my eyes. I had seen him do it plenty of times before. This time, I would be the one recieving the blow. What a weird change of events. His hand came at my face quick, and I turned my face to the right.
I was so sure he was going to knock me out, but I hadn't felt a single touch. I looked towards his hand and saw that he had stopped mid-swing. His hand was awkwardly in the air, like he was a stiff robot. His face shown conflicted emotions - confusion, anger, and sorrow. A recipe for disaster.
"Captain? Are you all right?" I asked, immensly puzzled and concerned.
In a flash, his previos emotions vanished. It was like he was frozen, and he just melted. Instead of a smack to the face, he placed his hand on my shoulder. He now had a grin on his face and a sparkle in his eyes. I furrowed my brows and my lips formed a straight line. What had just happened?
Captain examined the look on my face and broke down. He let out a deep, rumbling laugh, completely unexpected. I hadn't heard him laugh like that in a while. Of course, I couldn't keep a straight face with him practically crying from all the laughter. So, I joined him.
I didn't even know what we was tickling his funny bone, but I didn't care. By the time we settled down, we were both on the floor, side by side. Having a good ole time.
"What's so funny, anyway Cap'n?" I dared question.
He let out one more chuckle and replied, "I'm not your Captain anymore, Tristan."
I raised my brow and looked at him questioningly. "What do you mean?"
"What, have you forgotten my name already?"
"No... It's Seth. Why?"
He tilted his head down and gave me a 'are you serious' look. I shook my head and narrowed my eyes. "What are you on about?"
Then it all came together like a straw to a berry. I gasped and jumped up, my eyed wide open and a smile creeping up on me. "Are you serious?"
"So, Rihanna, huh?" he stood up and smirked.
I punched his shoulder playfully and shook my head again. "Yeah, whatever man."
He starts walking to the door and turns to me, "C'mon. Since I won't be eating you for lunch, let's go get something."
There he goes changing the subject again. Instead of saying so, I walked up to him and exit the room together. "You heard that..."
"Not very hard with your guys' loud mouths." he nudged my shoulder, pushing me to the side.
Pushing him back, I snorted, "Look whose talking.