The love story and adventures of the infamous Capt.Brandy and her lover.
By Cali Costello
Dedicated to my sister, Alison, whose love for pirates got me started on this.
Authors note: I just started writing this, so it's not finished yet. I have most of the storyline in my head, it's just a matter of getting it finished! PLEASE REVIEW THIS! I need to know how I'm doing! Thanks! Enjoy!
"C'mon Brandy," says a sailor to me as a hand him his whiskey, "we just got in off of the ol' DOLFIN, and we went us some goo' ol' song an' dance!"
"Well sir, that does sound right nice to me, but I got me some more sailors to serve." Says I. "Wait just a few more minutes an' I'll be glad to."
Jeez, these sailors, I swear that's all they do is drink, swear and want dance. Not that I don't blame 'em, I love all those fine things, too, but I ain't obsessed with 'em.
My mother died in child birth, so all's I had was my father and a nannie. My father went a little mad, what with my mother dyin' an' all. He opened up this tavern, THE RED BOTTLE. I had nothin' much else to do, as my father had no money to put me through school, so I helped out by servin' the beer.
I've always been fond of song an' dance, so when I learned that the sailors loved it, I would give 'em some entertainment. They all enjoyed it, so pretty soon, I was doin' it all the time.
When I was 15, my father was killed by some disease, but there was so many of 'em in the part of town we lived in, nobody knew what it was.
I took over the establishment myself, with a few trusted pals. I was the main attraction of every sailor, and they oft' tol' me of my beautiful eyes, and how they could steal a sailor from the sea.
THE RED BOTTLE warn't much bigger than any of the other taverns in Bristles, but mine was the only really clean (not just spotless clean, but morally clean) one in town. It had cheap windows, aye, and the wood had once been a dark cherry stained color. The hard wooden floors were much older than they ought to be, creaking as every sailor strode by. The tables and chairs were old, too, and none of 'em matched one-another.
In the back of the tavern were a few spare rooms my father added, for once he had built it out of used wood, we sold the small house we had once occupied.
People thought very poorly of me. For I was only 15 years old and had a tavern of my own, and I bein' a girl to boot. But that never kept the sailors away, no sir, in fact, I think they thought more of me, bein' as I was so young and so unafraid.
The idea of pirates had somehow always appealed to me, but I never actually believed I had seen one. It wasn't until I became one myself that I realized pirates never (well, almost never) came to a port and said they were pirates.
It was a very dry, humid day when I first saw him. I remember it perfectly because it was one of those kind of days that, even though I was so busy with the tavern I nearly had no time to notice, make you feel wonderful, simply because it's beautiful outside.
It was so hot and humid outside that, after about five minutes out there, you felt like you just got out of a bath.
The afternoon sun was softly streaming through the smudgy windows. The little breeze that made the day bearable smelled of fresh oranges in the soft July air.
The tavern was most crowded, as a ship had just come in that morning, letting all the sailors disembark.
I remember serving the sailors the finest summer wine all day that I made personally myself, but most of them dirty sailors only wanted whiskey. They kept calling for song an' dance, but I kept tellin' 'em that they would just have to wait 'til sundown.
I was in the middle of giving one sailor his whiskey when he came in.
He was tall, not too tall, but about 6'2'', and he was muscular, as most sailors are. He had long black hair, down to his shoulders. His dark face was accented with a small, black pencil mustache and soul patch on his chin. He was tanned from many hours in the hot sun. His eyes were a dark brown, blanketed by long, thick eyelashes. He almost looked mysterious, as I had never seen him before, and I'd been workin' in that tavern a long time. He wore no hat on his head, which was a very strange thing.
I guess I must have been starring too long, for I heard, much to my disappointment, a shrill yell. I quickly lowered my eyes only to find that I had been so intent on watching this newcomer that I had been payin' no attention to what I was doin', resulting in spilled whiskey all over the sailor whom I was serving.
I quickly muttered my apologies and sped back to the kitchen to retrieve some rags.
When I went back, there was no sign of the mysterious sailor. I was very disappointed, although I had no idea why. I had never been so shook by the appearance of a man in my life.
At sundown, the men's roars got too loud to ignore anymore, so I got up on my little stage (it was really just a little platform, no higher than an inch off the ground).
I began into one of my favorite songs, The Mermaid of Atlantis. None of the sailors really enjoyed that one much, but they knew that had better let me sing it, otherwise I would stop altogether.
As soon as I had finished, there was a great applause, so great, in fact, that I looked up. In all my years at the tavern, I had never had that big of an applause.
Just then, I was so frightened, I nearly jumped off stage. There, in the way, far back corner, was that same mysterious man whom had been in my tavern only hours before. He was smiling a great smile that showed off his wonderfully white teeth, which was strange for a sailor to have such white teeth. He was clapping violently, and I do believe it was with him that the great applause started.
Like a big dope, I just stood there, not really knowing what to do. There was a lot of sailors calling for a drinking song, so I started singing Sail Me Down Whiskey River, which got a big applause.
At that time, I forgot all about the man in the back, and I started dancing with the song, which got an even bigger applause, if it were possible. Many sailors had told me I was the best dancer this side of England, but I don't know how true that is.
At any rate, when I was done singing and dancing about two hours later, my once pulled back brown hair fell softly passed my shoulders.
At that time, it was nearly closing time.
"LAST CALL FOR DRINKS, BOYS!" I yelled with what voice I had left. There's always a great big sigh when I call this.
I walked over to a table in the back, attempting to take last orders, when I remembered the man.
"May I have Brandy, please?" Questioned the dark man in a heavily accented voice.
"I beg your pardon?" I couldn't believe what I was hearing!
"A brandy, or do you only sell whiskey?" His eyes danced.
Oh, I thought, he means the drink. I trotted back to the kitchen and made Ella, the maid, serve the last drinks.
I didn't see the mysterious man for some time after that. I just did my work, not really paying attention to anyone. For some reason I couldn't understand, my eye was always pinned to the door, watching for him.
I never really expected to see him again. I guess that's why I was so surprised when I finally did.
It was a cool evening in October, a full 3 months since I'd last seen him. It wasn't very busy because most sailors sail on down to the Caribbean this time of year.
I had just come out of the kitchen when he entered. Luckily I wasn't as shocked to see him as I was the first couple of times.
I quickly took the whiskey I was carrying to the sailor who had ordered it. His name was Henry Raeburns. He was an old, rugged looking man, aged by time and rough weather.
"Henry, you've been livin' in these parts for some time, right?" I whisper to him.
"Yes m'am, for 'bout 15 years." Replies the rough voice.
"Who's that man that just walked in?" I motion towards the door.
He looks up quickly, and a blank expression fills his furrowed brow. "I don't know, m'am. I ain't never seen him before. Looks new to me."
Now, to any normal person, that might be real normal to see a man nobody in the town has yet seen, but here, it's really not a good thing if nobody can recall seein' anyone before, because here, everybody's seen everybody.
As I carefully watch him through the corner of my eye, he pulls a chair back and sits down, taking in his surroundings. This is strange, because every sailor I've ever seen has never been as interested in his surroundings as this new mysterious man.
I carefully approach him and, making myself sound bold, far from what I am, say, "Welcome to the Red Bottle, the finest establishment this side of England, home of the grandest song and dance! And who might you be?"
"Well, I'm actually just looking for some food and drink, no acquaintances or loud parties, thanks." Replies the dark voice.
"Oh," I say, my spirits falling. "Just one moment."
I bring him the travelers special, a platter of fish and cheap whiskey. He doesn't seem to care that I didn't ask him what he wanted.
After a few moments, he turns to me and asks, "Actually, I was looking for somebody. Can you help me?"
"I believe so," I reply. "I know everyone in town."
"I was looking for a Monsieur John Tallahousia."
I suck in my breath. What?!?!?
"Do you know him? I was told I could find him around here."
"How long ago were you told this, sir?" This is utterly impossible!
"Well, it must've been a few years ago. See I was detained by, uh, pressing matters."
"I see. Yes, I knew Mr. Tallahousia. He is...dead."
"What? You must be mistaken miss, you see, we had...business matters to discuss. Are you sure he just hasn't...disappeared from society?"
"Yes, I am quite sure," I assure him. "He was my father."
"Oh," he looks at me with surprise. "Do you know anything about his...uh...'secret life'?"
"I'm afraid he didn't have a secret life. You must be confused, sir." I quickly walk away. Obviously this mysterious man has no idea who my father was.
After that whole incident, I didn't see the mysterious man for a while, nor did I want to. Even though he was very much wrong about my father having a "secret life," it irritated me very much.
When he showed up next, a month later, I knew he'd be stayin' in this port for a while, as no sailors try to take up the roaring seas of England in November.
He didn't inquire about my father again. He just ate his food and drank his whiskey. Oh, and, of course, watched me dance and sing, but any sailor that comes here does that. Then he left.
He came to my tavern almost every night after this. We got to talking, and after a few times of seeing him, that feeling came back again. The one that made me all jumpy whenever I saw him.
Whenever he came in, he would always order a brandy and sit there and drink his fill and watch my show until I closed the tavern for the night.
One thing strange stands out in my mind though. Everytime I got up on stage the first time every night, the sailors would shout out requests for me to sing. One time, the mysterious man requested the Mermaid of Atlantis. It was strange because no one has every requested that song before.
"LAST CALL FOR DRINKS, BOYS!" I holler when I'm done for the night. I approach his table, and he turns his dark eyes on me.
"My name's Ryan Robertson. I thought you might like to know." He smiles.
It's funny, all this time (months, it seems) I've known him and talked with him, I never knew his name. But what's more funny is the fact that I never asked or even thought about it.
"Oh, my name's Brandy Tallahousia."
Why am I always so stupid around him? I already knew he knew my name.
"Do you want any help cleaning up? I don't have any place to be, so if you need extra help I'm your man."
Maybe it was the fact that he said "I'm your man" that made me so mad, because I clearly don't have ANY man, let alone some mysterious man off the street, or maybe I was just tired, but whatever it was, I let him have it.
"I clearly don't need ANYBODIES help, thank you very much, especially nobody as common and filthy as you! You think you can just waltz right in here and seduce me, but you're not! I can see right past your mysteriousness and romanticness, and I don't need YOUR help!"
With that I turn on my heel and leave him to see himself goodnight.
It wasn't for a few more weeks before I saw him again. He looked really depressed, and he didn't sit down at his usual spot. He actually sought me out.
"I wanted to apologize for my behavior the other night," he said, not looking at me. "I was a little affected by the brandy, and you looked really nice, and I couldn't help feeling sorry for you."
"Your apology is accepted. But please, if you're gonna be attracted to me in that way, please don't come back here again."
"OK, if it makes you feel uncomfortable, I understand. Good-bye." With that, he leaves my tavern.
I don't know why, but I am overcome with emotion, and I have to get the maid to take over for the night.
It was summer time again, and my tavern was fuller than ever, it seemed. The same sailors always filled my tavern that did last summer, and they'd tell me all their tales of recent trips, and pirates they had encountered.
By this time, I was almost 16 1/2, which was still young for woman to be running her tavern by herself.
Because of this, one night an officer came in. He was about 20, from what I could guess, with a long white wig and a royal red jacket. He had blue eyes, nothing memorible about them though, they were just a plain blue, not at all like Ryan's dark eyes, which surprised me that I thought about him.
"Are you Ms. Tallahousia?" He asked.
"Yes, I am. Can I help you, sir?"
"I was told I could find you here. May I speak with you, in private?" He askes.
I tell him yes, and fetch Ella to hold down the tavern while I speak with this officer.
"How can I help you?" I turn to him after we're out of earshot.
"Well, it seems that, all though you've been operating this tavern for about a year and a half now, you're only 16, and you are a girl. But despite that, we here in England feel that it is very looked down upon for someone such as yourslef to be running this tavern by yourself. It will ruin any chance you ever had with a good marriage."
"I don't mean to be rude, sir, but I don't plan on becoming married, so it doesn't really matter to me what others think." I reply.
"Yes, miss, but you are going to have to give up this tavern, unless you find a suitable husband to run it with you."
"What? This is absurd!" I say.
"I know miss, and we figured you'd say that. I myself am, in fact, looking for a young bride, and since you appear to not want to give up your tavern, I will take it upon myself to marry you." He smiles.
What?!?! Thinks I. What is he saying?
"I need some time to consider your offer." I don't know how I manage to look and sound so calm.
"Of course. You have until tomorrow morning." He makes a short bow and leaves.
I just stand there for a minute, trying to comprehend what just happend. I, of course, have no intention of giving up my tavern, it would end up being run by either a morally corrupt man who does not know what a fine establishment is, or by the man who just walked in here. But I have no intention of marrying him, either.
I take a deep breath, and as I look out the window, I see a familiar face walking by. I stick my head out the window and yell his name.
"Can I help you, Ms. Tallahousia?" Ryan has a look of pure dread on his face.
"May I please speak with you?"
"Uh, sure. Can you come out here?"
I don't even answer him, I just run out of the room and out the tavern, with Ella calling after me, but I just ignore her.
"I need your help!" I scream as I run to him.
"Uhh, OK. Just a few months ago you never wanted to see me again, and now you need my help?"
"I know, I was being crazy. I don't wanna fall in love, and you were making me! And I thought if I sent you away, it would help, but it only got worse!" By now, I'm full on crying, and he puts his arm around me. "I have to sell my tavern, or get married to the officer!"
"They can't make you do that! It's not a law, nothing will come of it." He assures me.
"Oh yes they can! If you don't believe me, just wait 'til tomorrow when old Mr. officer what's-his-face comes here to fetch me as his bride!"
"OK, um, well, I don't really know what I can do."
"Think of something! I need to keep this tavern, but I can't get married!"
"Well, can I think about it over a brandy, or am I still not welcome in your fine establishment?"
"Oh, come on!" I usher him in.
We decided that Ella would marry the officer, and then I'd put the tavern in her name. She didn't mind, she secretley told me she was in love with the officer anyway.
After that little incident, "running" (or co-running, as I was now supposed to be doing), my tavern become much more difficult to do, with the officer breathing down my neck every night. But the first week was nice, as Ella and him were off on their honeymoon.
It was my last night running the tavern myself before they came back, and it was a very rowdy night. I kept it open late into the early morning hours, singing and dancing for the sailors.
It would've been the best night for me, but Ryan came in and told me his ship was leaving port the next morning. I gave him a free meal and as much brandy as he wanted, but he didn't drink too much.
It was a sad night when I had to call, "LAST CALL FOR DRINKS, BOYS!" And Ryan left without a single good-bye or even a glance back.
It was about five in the morning when I was finally ready to lock up. I hadn't yet locked the door, because there really isn't need to. The CLOSED sign on the door usually tells people just that, and no one comes in. Except that night, or morning, as it were.
The door screeched open, and I spun happily around, believing it to be Ella and her new husband. I was very disappointed to see a dirty sailor.
He was covered in dirt from head to toe. He had long, dirty black hair and a greasy beard.
"I'm sorry," I told him, "but I'm afraid we're closed for the night."
"Oh really," he scoffed, "then why would the door be un-locked? Can you please tell me where I can find the daughter of Monsier Tallahousia?"
"I am she."
"Can I please speak to the owner of the estableshment?"
"She's out on her honeymoon. I am the only one here. If you have a problem, you best talk to me 'bout it."
"Good, then there'll be no one to hear you scream." And he hit me over the head with the butt of his pistol, causing my world to turn black.
When next I awoke, I had no idea where I was. I was laying on something flat and hard, and very cold. It took me a minute to turn my head, causing immense pain in my neck.
It seemed I was in some sort of prison. Nothin' can compare to the shock I was now in.
"Oh, you be awake, finally." Came a gruph voice. I couldn't see where it came from.
"Where am I?" I managed to murmer.
"You are in the brig of the ship The Crimson Tide, where you will be taken to Africa and sold as a slave." He laughs and leaves me alone, where I fade in and out of consciousness.