So I was reading a book called Pirates Most Wanted (It's by the same people who wrote Dragonology, Egyptionology, and Wizardology) and I got to the page about Blackbeard. It's funny, but I kind of feel his death was… unfair. You'll get it. Just read.
Edited September 27, 2009 with the help of reviewers.
The ship churned in time with the waves of the sea, not visible to me in my hiding place. I held my breath as heavy boots clomped above me. If he looked down, I knew he would see me. There were plenty of cracks in those moldy stairs. I prayed my clothes were dark enough to blend into the shadows and my red hair wouldn't give me away.
Looking back, I know it was all my fault, really. It was my stubborn nature that got the better of me, as well as a bit of curiosity and maybe some passion. I'd always wanted to go to sea, and, well, after that argument with my father, running away seemed like a good idea. It's funny. I was worried about was getting caught by honest sailors. Now they don't seem so horrible. I hung around the food stores, so nutrition wasn't an issue. Everything seemed well.
And then came the pirates. And these weren't just any pirates. This was the crew of Blackbeard.
They swung aboard the ship with savage cries, carrying cutlasses in their mouths and freshly loaded guns in their hands. The crew fought boldly while I hid under the stairs immediately after the battle started. The pirates were here for the ship, for it was a sturdy boat, and not treasure, for there was little or none of that here. I assume it was over in a few minutes, but I didn't come up until long after that. When I finally managed a peek, I couldn't see hide or hair of the crew, but I did see pirates washing blood off the deck.
How long ago was that? A day? A week? A month? I've lost track of time. The ship I'm on now belongs to Blackbeard, it sails along side the Queen Anne's Revenge, and I have not the vaguest notion as to what he does with stowaways. Specifically female stowaways.
I've learned a lot about Blackbeard. You hear a lot when you stow away in the food hold. A couple of months ago he married a sixteen-year-old girl named Mary Ormond, and that she was his fourteenth wife. I hear the crew was getting rather tired of his weddings.
And I'm not saying this is fact because I'm not a superstitious person, but if you're ever stuck aboard a bloodthirsty, rum-loving killer's ship, you start to believe things. Some of the crew say there's a strange passenger on board. They say they've never seen him on board before. No one really knows who he is, but he's got a nickname. The crew calls him the Devil, and I have a feeling that they're not calling him that because of how he fights or whatnot because they don't know him, you see? I think they actually think he's the devil. And the strangest idea? After going through what I've heard about Blackbeard over and over again in my head, I wouldn't be surprised if he was in league with the devil himself.
"Hmm?" came a voice from above me. The footsteps stopped, and so did my heart.
Please, no, I prayed.
"What's this?" A hand grabbed my arm and pulled me out from under the stairs. I think I cursed.
"Why," the crewman muttered. "It's a boy!"
I breathed a sigh of relief. I had just been found and I breathed a sigh of relief, but I knew it wasn't that. He thought I was a boy.
I didn't say anything. I don't recall breathing, but I was dragged up the stairs and into the blinding sunlight. Everyone was shouting at once, and before I could even see clearly the sailor who had found me forgot my existence and ran off. Once I could see again, I squinted in the direction everyone seemed to be looking. In the distance, no, it was almost on us, there was a ship, and she was sailing straight towards the Queen Anne's Revenge.
Those were honest people who would help a troubled young lady get back to her home, surely? But again, they might not stop to question who I was. After all, a pirate had mistaken me for a boy, a dirty one that would surely be found on a pirate ship, so why would they not do the same? I didn't have time to ponder further as the approaching vessel drew alongside the Queen Anne's Revenge. Men flooded Blackbeard's prized ship bent on capturing, and likely killing, Blackbeard and his crew. The crew on my boat was already swinging over to fight.
A hand brushed me roughly aside shouting curses only the most seasoned of sailors probably knew. I stumbled to the side, catching my balance and turning to look at the man who had so suddenly bumped into me. I could only stare at his long, black dreadlocks falling wildly from his scalp in every direction. I could only stare at his big, burly posture that all but blocked my view of the other ship. I could only stare in utter shock at the infamous pirate Blackbeard as he rushed towards the ropes that were swinging armed, dangerous pirates to fight whoever was assailing them. I could only stare as he turned back, noticing me, I being the only one standing motionless on the deck like the the scared, wobbly-legged landlubber that I was.
"Come on, lad!" he shouted, his voice booming above the noises of battle. "You don't want to miss this fight, do ya?" With that, he turned away and swung himself aboard the enemy ship.
I was downright terrified, and before I knew it, my decision was made for me and I was alone on the ship I didn't even know the name of.
The battle raged on, and I watched. I had that feeling I was losing all sense of time again.
Then it stopped. Everyone stood frozen, and I saw why. There was Blackbeard in the middle of the deck, very recognizable, I might add. He was engaged in a fight of the cutlass with another man dressed in a uniform blue jacket of the raiding party. Both men looked completely mad, and neither seemed to be taking any blows. There was an exchange of words that I couldn't decipher, and the blue man's cutlass flew out of his hand. Blackbeard was smirking, and blue man was shouting at him angrily, probably something along the lines of "you cheated!" or "be a man and let me get my sword!", but of course Blackbeard would have none of it.
An ally of the blue coated man jumped out of the audience and slashed Blackbeard's throat. Blood spurted out like a fountain. I covered my mouth with my hand. This wound, however, seemed to have more of an affect on me than Blackbeard. He didn't even flinch. Someone threw the blue man a cutlass, and he cut Blackbeard again, this time on his arm. Blood gushed, and I think I saw a broken bone. Still there was no reaction from the ruthless pirate, and he fought on as if there were no wounds on his body. I could see it now. The blue man was afraid. He was afraid this pirate could not die. My thoughts drifted back to the devil story. Was it true?
Someone fired a gun at Blackbeard. He didn't do anything but fight on, but that gunshot was the first of five that were shot in a steady manner, one after the other, and all the while the two men were hacking away at each other. Blackbeard wasn't showing any pain, and he caused blue man to bleed heavily as well, but now more of his clothes were red than the color they were supposed to be. I, petrified but rooted to the spot, was very grateful I wasn't on that other ship.
Blackbeard staggered, and blue man took advantage of it. His sword went through Blackbeard's heart. I gasped. Was there really any way he could survive that? Maybe he was in league with the devil!
At first Blackbeard acted the same as he had before: his expression froze, then got calmer, and I realized Spawn of the Devil was dead. Victory cries rang out through the attackers, chanting the name of the Blackbeard's victorious opponent. What was it they were saying? "Menard"? "Maynard"? Yes, that was it, Maynard.
Robert Maynard smiled victoriously as he cut off Blackbeard's head for all to see, and I turned away and thought I was going to gag. Blackbeard's crew remained stunned. They surrendered immediately. I realized this was my chance to get them to take me home. I leaned over the edge of the boat and took in a breath to call out.
"Makes sense, doesn't it?" said an ice-cold voice from behind me. My breath caught in my throat. The world seemed to darken.
"A man like that," the speaker said, walking to stand beside me. He looked old, but not old, in a strange way. His head was held high in a seemingly arrogant manner. He chose to continue.
"A man like that," he repeated, "dishonorable. And he went down in a fight that wasn't even fair. Makes you wonder if there wasn't some sort of greater force involved." I realized I wasn't breathing and took in some air before I suffocated. The man gave me a brisk nod and walked away.
"Be seeing you, miss, oh, and you best get a shouting before they spot you," he said before disappearing from sight. I hoped never to see him again. Thoughts clouded, I shook off the feeling from that encounter and took in a breath to shout again.