a pirate’s sole regret

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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.

 

the village children’s project

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Most people told them it would never work. The rest shook their heads and said nothing. “At least they are staying out of trouble,” was muttered thrice a day.

The kids ignored them and kept on working, testing ideas and calculating for every possibility. They carved grooves in the rocky surface to channel the wind and harness its power. They brought in soil to grow food on the top and in every crevice. The waves and the tides powered the engine.

When they were finished, the children invited everyone in the village to the launch. A handful of non-related adults showed: the type who liked to laugh at another person’s failure. They were disappointed.

The mammoth barge slipped into the sea, looking like any other cliff on the Bay. It puttered away under its own power, with a hundred cheering children on board, ready for adventure.

the crown of King Neptune

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King Neptune’s crown had been tossed away by an angry whale a century or so ago, flying through the air with all the confusion of any sea creature that finds itself to be an unexpected bird. It landed with a soggy thud in a forest near the coast, where it waited to be found. In the meantime it cloaked itself in moss, embarrassed to be naked in the air without any water to cover it up.