The rough day of work was winding down. Half of the riggers would normally have been down on the harddeck. But there was tension in the air so every seasalt was keeping occupied, minding their own business.That said, to a man (and woman) they were each looking at Scourge working at the portable forge. Fury and malevolence came off this man like waves of ocean spray as the sea pounds a cliff face.
With intensity and concentration the man in charge of discipline stoked the fire and fanned the flames of the forge on the starboard side of the top deck. A phoenix hot poker was being made to the ready.
Every pirate has an intrinsic understanding of the perils of his profession. The sea is dangerous and unforgiving. Life aboard ship is nearly the same. Pirates enjoy watching an occasional rowe , a fist fight, a beat down, or even a blanket party. If you shirk your duty or fuck up then all pirates understand that it was deserved for some red pain to seep out of you.
But this is different.
Buccaneers have been aboard ship with Scourge and Plugg for far less than a year, but they’ve seen this type of vendetta before. Even scurvy lads new to The Wormwood had heard tales of “Getting an Eye of Abendigo” on other ships, and that’s why there was so much tension. Was Scourge going to just give that little lout a face scar with the hot poker, or was he going to drive the searing point into the eye socket and hollow out a chunk of his skull in burning agony. Just the thought an getting an “Eye” made shivers run down hardened pirate spines. The cries of pain and agony are unlike most guttural sounds of death that they are long used to. No, this scream of pain strikes to the bone. It can be heard about a league away on a calm sea day. This scream of pain attracts sea monsters. This scream enters onto the winds, and comes back days later to be heard again by lads in the crowsnest. Pirates don’t like it, not one bit.
The tension mounts as 4 goons drag the stringy fourteen year old boy from below decks. His body limp from his ballsy but stupid ups-manship of Scourge hours earlier. He’d been tossed into a hammock to recuperate until it was time for The Bloody Hour. "Lemming"* was tied up to the Yardarm. Even his feet were bound in a spread eagle. All the while, the fire of the forge was stoked to a hot white heat. Scourge had a gleam in his eye, and a smurky snarl to his lips. But then, in the blink of a moment, a huge spray of seawater came roaring up from the starboard side as the ship must have dipped with the roll of the ocean and came towering down upon the forge, Scourge, and his croonies. The light wave of water doused everything but Scourge’s fury; which bubbled and boiled like lava. The veins in Scourge’s neck popped big fat and purple – large enough for pirates on the stern’s mast to see. Everyone waited to see him just explode, knowing that Lemming was probably just going to be flat out killed after all of this. But then something strange happened. Scourge just swallowed down all that hate like a dense pill. Witnesses could tell that he was still angry, for it held in his eyes. He reached to his side and grabbed The Cat at his hip. Uncurling it, he moved to position and whacked Lemming into unconsciousness.
With the tension over, movement in the ropes and sails signaled that things were back to the relative norm of a pirate’s life.
- Lemming or Louie Lemming for swinging from the boom gallow onto a mast and trying to climb up the mast to escape the whole crew of the ship. During his escapade -Many pirates thought – what’s he going to do, fall off the boat like a lemming.