Mistica Chronicles

Welcome to Issue 34

Starshine Winning Entry

The old man sat, half drunk, on the bar stool with his weary looking face turned towards the rest of the bar. There was a curiosity on every face. Everyone was wondering what tales the old man had brought for them today. At the door, a bunch of kids, street urchins and young boys from good families alike, gathered with excitement written in their eyes waiting for the old man to start his tale.
The old man looked around the bar and his drunken eyes twinkled. “Everyone, I imagine, has heard of Capt’n Jack Skillow" he asked and of course everyone did and they yelled out in agreement. The old man looked around, satisfied that all his audience had heard of the brave Captain and smiled drunkenly. "Aye!" he laughed "So one an' all knows Jack Skillow here. And one an' all, I assume, knows how brave he is. Let me tell you fellas a tale of this brave pirate today. Get ready all of you, to hear a tale of bravery and of shrewdness; of leadership and of camaraderie. Get ready all, to listen to the tale of Capt'n Jack Skillow." This earned a huge applause and shrieks of cheers from the audience and once the screams had died down, the old man started his story.
"If you knew a pirate, like I do, you'd know that nothin' ever scares him. And one thing that you must know is that he loves challenges. Every single bit of 'em. Now our Capt'n here, he's no exception. He too once accepted a challenge and his quest to complete it is what this story is about.
“Well fellas, it so happened that Makoto challenged our Capt’n. Yeah, the sneaky anya that runs the lighthouse knickknacks and, I hear, a shop of illicit gains too.
"Now, what did Makoto challenge our Capt'n to do? He asked him to bring the sapphire hidden by the Kelpies in a temple on an island, seen and known about by no one except the Kelpies. 'And what do you want with the sapphire, Makoto?" Capt'n asked but the anya only snickered and said 'Bring it to me Skillow and you'll soon know. Right now, concentrate on managing to bring it in the first place.' An' so, the Capt'n set sailing to find the Kelpie island and obtain the sapphire.
"After weeks an' weeks of sailin' and battling the harsh storms that came his way, Capt'n Jack Skillow found the Kelpie island. But the island was surrounded by sharp rocks making it impossible for the ship to go near it. But Jack Skillow wasn't one to give up on a challenge. He took a boat and his first mate an' said he'd row his way to the island. They started to row an' row an' row towards the island. Suddenly, there came a big wave that rock'd the boat. 'Aye! The sea seems not too calm today, Capt'n!" the first mate said but Jack Skillow knew that there was somethin' more than just a stormy sea behind it. He got up and pulled out his sword, ready for a fight.
"Soon enough, a Quari, greater than you'd ever have seen, leaped up from the sea and lunged at the Capt'n's boat. The first mate was so scared, he almost dropp'd the oars; but he bravely kept rowing. The Quari lashed its tail at the boat but with one swift move of his sword, The Capt'n slashed its tail. It fell back in agony and the blood streaked the ocean. The monster, now enraged o'erturned the boat they were in and both the pirates fell into the water. But Jack Skillow wasn't one to be deterred. He leaped up and in a flash was on top of the Quari while the first mate desperately clung on to the creature's tail. The brave Capt'n unwound the rope tied on to his belt and swiftly put it through the Quari's mouth, successfully reining it. An' what came next, do I need to tell. He rode the Quari, with his first mate still clinging to the tail and safely reached the shore of the island.” there were loud cheers of approval from the crowd. Once the noise died down, the old man continued.
"Now, on the gates of the temple, stood two Kelpie guards. Jack Skillow confidently walked up right up to 'em and demanded 'I want your sapphire' The Kelpie guards looked bewildered "How did you ever get past the Quari?" they asked and the Capt'n and his first mate only chuckled 'Bravery an' brains, fellas.’ was their reply. 'But the sapphire is not easy to get. You must defeat one of us in a duel first and then answer the riddle placed by the second and only then will we give you the sapphire.' The Capt'n chucked 'Bring it on!'
The first Kelpie guard came forward to fight. He was a brave warrior. But after a lengthy duel, the Capt'n defeated him. Now, he had to answer the riddle. The second guard came up. 'What are the two things that even a pirate can't eat for breakfast?' Now, fellas this was difficult riddle for there is absolutely nothin' a pirate can't eat for breakfast but with sheer wit, Capt'n Jack Skillow answered it. 'Lunch and dinner, ol' fella.' he grinned and in moments the sapphire was his. Now it was time for him to return and show to Makoto, the sapphire as a proof of his winning the challenge.
"Makoto was countin' his earning from his illicit gains when the Capt'n entered surprisin' the anya out of his wits. He shuffled and hastily hid the money to face the bravest pirate of 'em all. 'Did you bring it?' he asked greedily. 'Aye! I did, Makoto.' he said showing him the beautiful sapphire he had won from the Kelpies. Makoto reached his greasy hands to get the sapphire but Capt'n moved it out of his reach. 'You think I'll let you take it so you can sell it in your illicit gains shop, eh Makoto? Well, you're mistaken. This sapphire will be taken to the Mistican Museum and as for you ol' fella, meet my mate.' Capt'n stepped aside to reveal Inspector Coppa. The anya was stunned and scared at this. 'Have I done something officer?' Makoto asked. 'You'll find that out in court Makoto.' the cop said as he handcuffed and arrested the sneaky little anya. "The old man ended his story with a snort of satisfaction and everyone cheered with joy. Capt'n Jack Skillow always won; no matter what.