by Colleen K
The pirate business just isn’t what it used to be.
| Strident ringing shattered the quiet of the plush office. “Alright, alright.” A woman muttered as she came into the office, “I’m coming already!” Reaching across the sleek glass desk, she grabbed the handset. “Blackbeard Inc” she answered, “Annie Gilly speaking.” Moving around the desk, she dropped into the leather chair behind it. She grimaced and held the phone away from her ear, the voice on the other end raging at full volume. The man’s angry words filled the immediate space around her. She caught the gist of what he was bellowing about. It seemed Captain Hook had lost his First Mate…again. She waited until he stopped to take in some air, and then swiftly cut in.
“I understand you’re upset Captain.” A note of false sympathy in her voice “But this is the fourth crew member you’ve lost in the last six months.” She tapped a key on the iPad that set in front of her. “Did he go the way of the other three?” Annie asked out of curiosity as she brought up the list of available First Mates waiting for positions in New Providence.
Now talking in a more contrite voice, Hook related that his missing First Mate had indeed been pirated away by that scallywag from Neverland.
“Ah…So Pan’s recruiting again?” Annie asked, making a mental note to let Blackbeard know. Peter Pan had been a thorn in the pirates’ communities for months now, pilfering crew from all ships. No one knew what he was up too, but the pool of crew for hire was rapidly dwindling. She frowned looking at the very short list of First Mates on her iPad. Only three names were listed. Hook was silent now, waiting for Annie to find a fifth First Mate.
“I have three names on our books. Would you like me to send them too?” She asked. Hook grumbled a yes and rattled his email address. Annie grabbed a pen from the bucket shaped pen holder on the desk.
“Can you repeat that, please?” Annie asked. She repeated as she wrote it down on a pad next to her iPad. “firstname.lastname@example.org, correct?” Hook confirmed it was.
“Alright,” Annie said briskly, “Let me get this list to you.” She paused, listening to Hook, “Yes, I’ll let Capt. Blackbeard know about Pan’s activates as soon as he returns.” She paused, listening, “I’m sorry, but I’m not at liberty to give his itinerary out.” Annie rolled her eyes as Hook continued to talk. When she just couldn’t stand it anymore, she broke into whatever he had been whining about “Oh I’m so sorry Capt Hook but I have another call coming in.” Her voice was overly sugary sweet. “Thank You for being such a loyal patron of Blackbeard Inc.” With that, she softly replaced the handset in the cradle of the phone.
Annie sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. She’d been running the recruiting agency for six weeks now. Alone. And where is that Freebooter Blackbeard? Annie thought, a scowl now marring her pale, smooth face. Off drinking grog and chasing rainbows looking for that next pot of gold! Leaving her, his First Mate, to run Blackbeard, Inc.
Walking across the room, Annie dropped into the soft cushions of the overstuffed leather sofa. The pirate business just isn’t what it used to be, she sighed as she reached for the TV remote. Too high tech now. CNN sprang to life on the 60-inch flat screen that hung on the wall across from her. Annie’s mouth dropped open, there on the screen, was the Jolly Roger, sailing into the port, Pan at the wheel. And hanging from the yardarm upside down, surrounded by the missing crew members, was Captain Hook.
Annie started laughing. She bet Hook, not the sharpest crayon in the box, was asking himself… Why the hell is the world upside down? So that’s what Pan was up too, she thought. Still chuckling, she rose from the sofa just as the phone on the desk started ringing. Reaching it, she picked up the phone, sinking into the chair…her chair.
“Blackbeard Inc, Annie Gilly speaking.” She smiled as she got back to the business at hand.
This was another writing prompt exercise from Ryan Lanz’s A Writer’s Path blog. Prompts were:
Write a scene with a recruiting company for pirates.
Begin a scene with this line: Why is the world upside down?
Include all of these elements into a scene: a bucket, a rainbow, curiosity, and a TV remote control.