We rounded the corner of the paragraph, and were ready to sail on. “Hoist the Mainsail” I called out, and the big square sail flapped in the Manilla breeze. “We’ll soon be in port” said the First Mate, “and I’ll be ready to buy the crews of both ships enough rum to drown them all!” The cheer was heard from the other boat – they were looking forward to this adventure tale coming to an end.
The following breeze filled our sails, turning them from [X] to )X) and we started to make headway. Our watchman, high in the crows nest could just about make out that welcome sign that we at journeys end. But it was a bluff – and instead he had to call out “watch out, we’re heading for the edge of the page!” For our merry band, this was terrible news – would some of us be orphaned as we headed over the edge?
Just when I thought it really couldn’t get any worse, we saw the proud bow of THAT ship. The scourge of the literary world, the ship’s bow festooned with broken and captured wordprocessors. We knew what was coming – and then we saw the ribbon flying from the top of the mast with those four characters so prominently displayed:
The devil’s smiling face and the cross beneath. It was the Literary Pirate. “Stand to and prepare to be plagiarised” came the call from that black hearted captain. We knew that along the sides of his ship, Royal Typewriters had been adapted to throw all manner of characters at us. Our two boats weren’t as heavily armed, at best we knew we could fire a few full stops and possible a couple of commas at them – but they had armed their typewriters with colons and for full effect semi colons as well so they could continue the barrage without too much delay.
What to do? We couldn’t be split up as we headed ever closer to the bottom of the page – and yet, with the excitement and adrenalin that comes from such engagements we knew that we were starting to pick up pace, moving faster and quicker before the first salvo came out. Could we just open fire first…
Our three cannon balls hurtled towards them; the semi colon was already loosed from the enemy. Some of the missiles – whizzed over our heads and we had to duck down to get beneath them. But then he started to play dirty when dollar signs started to whizz towards us $ $ $ as well as having pointy bits on either end we knew it could be expensive to continue this battle.
: : : : : : : The barrage of colons was getting too much; then the First Mate had an idea. He called out to the Literary Pirate, “You can take our words, put your own name to them”. The Literary Pirate smiled, the riches would be his. We lowered our sails and allowed his crew to come aboard. They plundered us fully and completely until we were left without any vowels aboard to make fresh sentences. He smiled at us and tipped his hat. We smiled and waved back.
As we watched his boat sail off into the distance, we suddenly heard the cry of the beaten man. He hadn’t realised it until he looked at the documents, but he had just regained his own authoriship. We had boarded him first and stolen all his ideas whilst he wasn’t watching.
“I see it” cried the Navigator. “Stories End!”
Author note: They say the pen is mightier than the sword; I think in both cases it is how they are wielded (and who finds out that they were wielded at all) that makes all the distance. Without going into details, I had been accused of being a Literary Pirate earlier in the week and whilst I did what I could to rectify the situation it did rather play on my mind.
I think I quite like the idea of the Literary Pirate’s symbol: >:)X if only because it takes an existing agreed emoticon, adds a little bit and presents the results as its own… I have a feeling that Charles De Grue (the Black Crane from some of my other stories) may use it as his signature… 🙂