My #fridayflash this week is also a Christmas gift for a very dear friend, whom I have to credit and thank, among countless other things, for the character of Captain Nefarious Deeds. I swore to him a long time ago that one day I would release Capt. N.D. and P.J.R on the world and make us a fortune...well, here goes nothing!
'A Christmas Truce' -
From The Chronicles of Capt. N.D. & P.J.R.
When she felt the first missile explode behind her on the deck of The Golden Cutlass, Princess Jolly-Rogered of the Isle of the Seventh Sea was truly livid. It was almost Christmas! He had promised her, faithfully, given his word! There would be a truce over the festive period, and from a man of such reputation and standing as the great Captain Nefarious Deeds, one had a right to expect that his word would be kept! There was such a thing as honour, even among pirates!
She turned on deck, a look like death in her eyes, and met his, mocking her from the balustrade of his own vessel, The Grinning Skull, as he drew it alongside The Golden Cutlass.
“Captain,” she said, feigning sweetness, as she tipped the three-cornered hat she was accustomed to wearing, politely, in his direction. “I warn you now, I will spare no effort in returning fire if you do not desist. Your actions are in clear breach of the Christmas Truce.”
The Captain threw back his head and laughed deeply at her bravado, his hands set on his narrow hips and one, booted foot resting high on the ship’s railings.
“Oh, but my dear Princess, I disagree.” He smirked, cocking his head patronizingly, as though he pitied her impending fate. “We agreed a truce, purely to allow our men below decks to make merry! I made no promise of my own engagement in such base customs.”
With that, he reached down beside himself and came up with another missile. Grunting with effort, the Captain hurled it on to the deck of the Golden Cutlass, where an explosion shattered it into a thousand pieces, several of which narrowly missed the Princess.
With a little squeal, Princess Jolly-Rogered dove behind the nearest barrel of rum, taking a moment to catch her breath. That was close! There was no denying it; the Captain had a good aim. She stretched her hand around the side of the barrel behind which she sheltered, felt for her own missile, and drew it to close to her chest. But so do I!
Squeezing the projectile in her hands, she stood swiftly and unleashed it, sending it crashing across the deck of the Grinning Skull. The Captain had to move promptly to avoid its path, but hopped away, unscathed, with all the grace of a galley cat.
Annoyed, the Princess retreated behind the barrel again, as a tirade of missiles flew back in return, smashing into her makeshift shield. They came so thick and fast that she was sure the Captain must have had hours to prepare them. Pieces exploded continuously over the top of the barrel and showered down on her head, or skittered around it, spraying at her feet. She gathered her own missiles as quickly as she could, reaching around the barrel, and stood periodically, when she dared risk unleashing them on the opposing ship!
The Princess’s strategy, she told herself, was quality, not quantity. Her missiles were bigger than the Captain’s. She only had to hit him once, squarely, and she was sure he would give up.
This in mind, she hurled another huge projectile at the Grinning Skull, with every ounce of strength she could muster, and dove back behind her barrel to listen for its heavy explosion. A yelp told her it had skimmed its target, but the Captain was undeterred, and her action was met with a second wave of frequent, smaller missiles.
Princess Jolly-Rogered felt her blood boil as the Captain’s assault showered her with shrapnel again. Mustering courage from her irritation, she lobbed a few small pellets of her own, to occupy the Captain as she prepared a gigantic missile. Should it hit him, it would surely put an end to the skirmish.
And then it stopped. There were no more missiles from the Grinning Skull for at least a minute and a half. Did I hit him? The Princess smirked wickedly at the thought. With one of those little things?! Her heart soared. Of course I bloody hit him! I’m not captain of this ship for nothing! In her excitement, she forgot herself and stood, prepared to gloat gleefully at the Captain’s fate. She scanned the deck of the Grinning Skull, but he was nowhere to be seen. Her eyes narrowed, the trick dawning on her, and she turned, panicked, but it was too late. The Captain stood up at the opposite side of her barrel-shield. She moved, but his arm shot out, grabbing a handful of the front of her shirt.
The Princess squealed as Captain Nefarious Deeds pushed her back against the tall mast of her own ship, his knuckles pressing on her collarbone, and a menacing look in his eyes.
“Captain, please!” She protested. “Our truce?! Tomorrow is Christmas Day!”
Grinning, he raised his arm with what was surely another missile in his leather-gloved hand, and poised it, just above her head. The Princess cringed, making herself small in his grip, waiting for the cold, hard force of the blow. He leaned closer, smirking. The Princess closed her eyes and…the Captain kissed her, firmly, right on the mouth!
Princess Jolly-Rogered was incensed! Her mouth fell open and she raised her chin, meaning to quip something scathing…and then she spotted what he had been holding above her head. If it was possible, her temper flared hotter. Fucking mistletoe?! The Captain smirked.
“Where, my dear,” he said, “would be the fun in a Christmas Truce?”
She shoved him hard then, raising her back off the cold rugby post, and making sure her friend landed squarely on his back in the snow. Payback! Nice and wet and cold!
He lay there a moment, and the university pals stared at one another, unsure if the game was over. She wiped the mock anger and defiance from her face, along with the remnants of countless snowballs.
“Well, at least it wasn’t mud this time?” He grinned, raising an eyebrow. She laughed.
“True,” she said. “But I’m just as cold and wet!”
“Enough pirates for today?” He asked, holding out a hand for her to help him up. She took it, pulled, and swung an arm around his waist as they began to walk across the snow-covered sports pitch.
“Enough pirates!” She agreed. “I’m not in the mood for rum! How about a pint instead?”
Happy Christmas, Captain! With love, as always, P.J.R. x x x