There I was. Sweaty: I scaled the wall of my mansion to get to the in-house gelato bar. Was the climb worth it? It probably was. Throat-caressing gulps of orchid-flavoured gelato ices are always worth it. Still sweaty, I reached into my pocket – huh, seems I had a pocket after all – and dabbed on a little lemon powder to quell the crimson of my cheeks. Well what do you know, the thing worked a charm. But how it itches the nose! God I can’t stand it anymore.
Something for the nose, please!
I sneezed a sneeze. So loud was the sneeze that orchid ices moaned and cracked! – into craggy halves. And for a moment, I thought I saw the 4th of July in the corner of my left eye.
I was pleased by how well the orchid ices, newly bite-sized, fit in my mouth, so I shook the fireworks away from my left eye, shook away the scandalous thoughts of the old twilight, and sunk into an armchair, moth-eaten.
My tastebuds were put to hard work. Thrilling. How they slaved to excite the whole of me. In between the smacks of my lips and the percussive cracks of the orchid ices, a river formed, melted by the warm wrap of my tongue. Ravel’s Jeux d’Eau dripped into my ears, and stroked me with its liquid demisemiquavers. Crush! Crush! Crush! Still my heart thundered on, to its own manic beat. The festival of orchid ices pirouette in the mouth’s swampy film of orchid purples, sunshine yellows and soft blanket of vanilla white.
A Harley Davidson vroomed in.
The gelato ices moaned louder than ever, and melted in fright at the sight of that rumbly mechanical beast.
As for me, I chuckled. Because there was a giant rooster riding the Harley. And it serenaded me. I was feeling bashful, blushful. No really. How often does one get serenaded by a big bird? One that croons a gospel rock song too, no less. Fitting if anything, for it was Easter Sunday.
The rooster shed its feathers and out emerged my friends: Peter, Jon and Antony. We laughed and laughed and laughed…. the orchid puddles danced as their purples, their sunshine yellows and their vanilla sprung out to the ragged tune of our joy.
24 hours later…
“Vicki me ‘earty, be yer ears all slayed by the olde seadragons? Oy tells you, the cap’n says to see ‘im. Sairs there be uh ‘im-urgency, sairs there be a storm a-brewin’.”
I groaned, and patted the weary accountant before me. He’s a funny one, all garbed in a onesie with hues of gold-tinged grey, with an abacus in a stale-bandaged hand and a slimy halliard rope in the other. Below me, the oak planks of The Piῆa Colada creaked.
“Sure there’s one, Two-Eyed Sam. I’ve heard this a thousand times. The only storm that rages in the captain’s cabin is the one that goes down in his –”
“AHEM Vix me saucy lass! Say, ne’er there be a bonnier sight for me old, sore eyes, ye –”
Ah speak of the bleeding devil.
“Speak of the devil,” I muttered at the sight of the unwelcome interruption who neighed before me. He was a stick figure with smudgy pecs. Literally, smudgy pecs. You could tell somebody tried to sketch in a parrot to his pirate ensemble but gave up in the process. One could still see a blurry smear of feathers forever floating on his right shoulder blade.
The pirate doodle huddled close towards me, so close that our noses touched, that the odours of yesterday’s rum snaked its way into my nose from his cavernous, rum-rubbed mouth. And oh! His mouth. His terrible stink pit of a mouth. To my wonder, it comes complete with a set of impossibly three-dimensional teeth. Hell, those 3D teeth were shiny too, with a strong diamond finish that stirred the pirate booty-lust in me. I hummed to the tune of Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend and eyed the shiniest tooth of the lot. I plucked it out with my fingers. And tucked it gingerly in my pocket, scowling as he winked. “Spare me the small chat, captain. What’s the emergency?”
“Arrr, but me bilge rat o’ a tongue be rollin’ with words when they’b in th’ presence o’–”
I eyed him once more.
The captain’s pencilled–in outline trembled in smudgy submission; he halted in his track of loquaciousness. Wise move. Severe–Eyed Vix, that’s what they call me.
“What is the emergency?” I repeated.
“Blackbeard, it’s Blackbeard, me lov’.”
All hearts on deck sunk on hearing the name. Shoulders hunched. Somewhere, a baby yelped. For Blackbeard: how the very name of this no-good buccaneer puts a shiver in the timber of our dry, rum-loving spirits.
The baby yelped once more, and so Two-Eyed Nick threw it overboard. There was no splash. That baby was Baby Nools. Baby Nools could have sprouted wings for all we cared. We didn’t care. We cared about Blackbeard and the nearness of our doom. Blackbeard: he was the bringer of pirate death, the squeezer of high spirits, the harvester of lilies in our livers. We feared him, and he – no one.
“W-what of Blackbeard, captain?” My voice faltered
The captain tickled that blurry smear above his right shoulder blade, tickled his favourite clump of stray hairs on the tip of his chin, he’d have tickled me too and I might even have welcomed that. But instead he bellowed: –
“Belay that landlubber talk! Two-Eyed Nick me bilge rat, retrieve ye me Baby Nools. Oy needs a splash t’feel awesome.”
That scurvy dog! He had forgotten all about Blackbeard. Sacrificing information on Blackbeard in a bid to feel… awesome. What a fuck-up. Oh the cheek! I wanted to shake the pencil shavings out of that bastard son of a doodle at times like this.
And I did.
The following day, a gloomy requiem hung above our ship The Piῆa Colada:
“Ding dong the cap’n’s dead
Savvy this buccaneers:
Ne’er make a lady mad.
Ding dong the cap’n’s dead.
Buxom beauties be wearin’ red.