Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tall Tales and High Seas
The words for this week are:
A piece of eight, weighing down his pocket, a treasure he found while rummaging through the old boxes up in the attic.
Some people would not believe him if he mentions it or even if he shows the proof. What do they know about pieces of eight anyway? They probably would think of some useless tokens like the ones they used in that silly pirate film. At least that Bird Captain showed a bit of sense amongst the nine Pirate Lords as he did have a coin charm for his “piece of eight”.
He used to dream of pirates and ships and sailing off to the high seas. Of fair maidens and nosy parrots and cranky mates. Well, maybe not much of the latter but certainly a lot of the former.
How he looked forward to the stories told by his Uncle Jeremy and those are the days when he barely slept. He would stay up and will himself to listen and hungrily absorb the tall tales and outrageous claims. Some of his uncle’s story seems ambiguous and can be interpreted any way by the listener. But he chose to believe each one and the great adventures he’s been on as a pirate.
But as he grew older, he started to doubt his stories. He started to think that his Uncle is just making outrageous claims without any facts to support the same. But he still listens to the stories and adventures just because they are as entertaining as they were before.
He continued to make his way through all the other boxes left alone for years, the thick dust a silent witness to their abandonment. In one of the dilapidated box he saw an old and thick journal of sorts that seemed to belong to his Uncle. It listed nautical details and courses taken during his travels, of events that happened in the ship and outside of it. It then started to dawn on him as he read the journal that here is the proof he was looking for. As he flips through the pages, a letter fell through and landed at his feet and he was surprised to see that it was addressed to him.
His excitement was boundless as he tore the envelope open and extracted the piece of paper within.
My dear Warren,
I can see in your eyes the gradual loss of belief in my stories. And who can blame you? You only have the words of a raving old man to take and believe in. I found in you an enthralled listener that made me look forward to going back home. No matter where I was, I always thought of you my nephew and of how you will enjoy my adventures. Much as I want to bring you in my travels and show you my life, I never want this life for you. It is a life that is full of uncertainty. But for a person who cannot be tied to one place like me, it suited me very well. I did meet a lot of honorable men, simple men who would die for you and fight till the end. And that my nephew is not something you can find easily.
Now, as my days grow shorter and the end comes nearer, I leave you with a gift. I leave you my piece of eight. You can choose to take this and accept the leadership I’m giving you or turn your back on this and go on with your merry life. I am not saying this is what I want for you but I have seen you grow into a good man and I believe you’ll make the right decision for yourself.
Do not mourn my passing nor be sorry for my final state. I had a good life and traveled and enjoyed the company of many a great men.
With this, I leave you my love and my legacy. What you do about it is a decision that's yours to make.
With Great Hope,
He pocketed the letter and was surprised with the tears falling down his face. He didn’t realize that he was crying. And as he walked out of the room in the attic, he knew what he had to do.
The feel of the wind on his face is an experience he’ll never give up. It has been years since he saw his Uncle Jeremy’s piece of eight. And in all those years, he has traveled the world’s seven seas and different oceans. He has met men of honor and men of simple means. These are men who'll die for him without question.
He put on his black hat and shouted, “Let’s sail off me maties. Arrrr!”
And as he feels the ship move in rhythm, he plays with the piece of eight on his right hand. He knows his Uncle Jeremy would have approved.
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