Story Go Round 03/15/2003, round 1, #4

Faces from Davy Jones's Locker

When Bobby bent close to look at the pirate ship, sitting serenely in the middle of the museum, he saw a face staring at him out of a porthole. And then it was gone. The toddler ran out from behind the model-mockup, and the parent who'd lifted her up chased quickly behind, corralling her again. But it had still been a shock...

Pirate ships had a way of doing that to him. He'd never figured out why. His therapist believed it was because he'd been born on one, but Bobby wasn't satisfied with the explanation. But then Bobby was never satisfied with anything unless it had cheese on it or could be summed up in a tag-line. Everything he ever needed to know he had learned from watching TV. He left Dr. Hurst's office in the middle of her next sentence and went back to home to Jerry and Oprah.

Life continued as usual until the day that Bobby woke to find the pirate ship parked in his front yard. It had algae dripping from the hull, the sails flapping gently. He gave his mom a stunned look, but she apparently saw nothing.

That night, he dreamed he was back in Florida, scuba diving. The water was warm and crystal clear, the waves peaceful after the storm. Then, he hadn't even thought about pirates. He'd been a boy, into dolphins. He wanted to be a marine biologist. At first, he'd thought the odd dark shapes in the sand of the sea floor might be nurse sharks, buried. But it'd been something else entirely: timbers...

"Arrrr," he heard a faint voice growl. "Come back to us, laddie." He awoke with a start, realizing the voice had not come from his dream. He saw a face staring in the window at him, a grizzly scarred face that seemed just possibly familiar. And then it was gone. The doorbell rang and he heard the mail man asking his mom to sign for a package. But it had still been another shock...

Things settled down in time for school to start. They stayed smooth until the day he used the john. He got his pass and settled into the stall, humming to himself. He was thinking about octopi, and making idle sucking noises. He heard the door squeak open and shut.

"Are ye in there, laddie?" a voice snarled.

His bowels froze. He'd never be able to go now.

"Oh just do your business, mate. Free up the head for another fellow - " He could hear the arrhythmic step-thump, step-thump, as the pirate paced with his peg leg outside the stall.

"Why are you here?" Bobby ventured, stalling for time -

Amber is purple; John is pink; Terry is orange; Habeeb is grey