We live by the tide rather than the sun when the season’s on. The world revolves around our nets and dragon bellows, catch sleep if you can, there’s a bunk on the bridge. Pee off the side, or pull up a bucket, we don’t spring for luxuries. Besides, urine attracts the dragons from the deep. For gear we’ve got a case of beer and a slicker. There’s a harpoon in the hold, but it’s best we don’t use it. Better to lure them away from the village, far as we can. Rumors say the dragons have a quota of three per village. No more. No less. That’s why we go out three per ship. Kiss your loved ones goodbye, we might not make it. But know if we don’t, they’re safe for the season.
The retired pirate stared out to sea, contemplating the events of his life. He mulled over his nefarious deeds, his terrible doings, and his piratical offenses with pride. They were the hallmark of a well-spent pirate’s life.
He’d escaped the plank more than once, battled with a sea monster and won, and stolen a baker’s dozen ships from the King’s armada.
Still, he’d also been far too bold to ever lose his heart, never had any children, and a lifetime of mistrust and paranoia made it hard to make friends. This made for a lonesome retirement, but everyone knows a pirate is not meant to live long enough to retire.
A splash in the water caught his attention. He watched the waves, his nerves on end and his fright real. They would never let him forget why he’d been cast from the sea. His one regret, the one thing he never could escape, was the day he tried mermaid sushi.