The Scrimshaw Pipe
by Mark Anthony Smith
I am not one to rock any boats but there's a dead Pirate in my bed. His chest is certainly not falling or rising like Galleons did. The man also sleeps like a dead fish with blue tinged lips and awful hygiene. It's hard to keep yourself to yourself in these kind and few situations. My carpet is covered in dried bladder wrack and bits of bite-sized, deep sea corpses. The pincers of crabs, an odd urchin and something with tentacles like Lovecraft's Cthulhu.
I have visited Hull Maritime museum a number of times and have never had the urge to leave with anything other than tourist leaflets and questions. The intricate whale bones,
were carved on long voyages to wile away the hours. Some of them, furnished in soot to highlight the etchings, are art. And they speak to me. When I say, speak, I mean lull by song. They are like sirens luring sailors to a rocky death.
So, I didn't think a Scrimshaw pipe would be missed. How wrong was I to take it? How shocked am I to find something that wants them back. The faint figure awakes with a
grimace. I doubt sleeping dogs will lie. The rotten figure rolls over and slumps to the floor. From sleep to an increased wakefulness, he gains strength and stature. I offer up the stolen artefact.
Yet, the Pirate thing slaps them from my hand and I feel sick. I am suddenly aware of my bowels. I offer entreaties as the bloated, toothless face opens it's rotting maw to speak. I'm gasping for air at the stench of dead seafood. The eyes are without life as it struggles for words. Then, like a shipwreck, it rasps, “Give me your future!”
Mark Anthony Smith was born in Hull, East Yorkshire. His writing has appeared in Musicians for Homeless and Be their voice. Future pieces will surface in Spelk Fiction and Detritus. Hearts of the matter is available on Amazon.