An Ode to Babashe
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Th' sea be massive. Isn’t mighty uncommon fer inexperienced pirates t' lose thar grip on direction. By direction, I’m nah natterin' about findin' yer way… that be th' easy part. Every pirate knows t' follow th' stars. Wha' I be natterin' about be th' direction o' yer heart, direction o' wha' we find most important t' us.

Let us get down t' th' subject at hand. I’m sure ye aren’t here t' hear me babblin' about destiny, determination, desire… 'n other crap like that. Y’ae here 'cause o' th' title o' me tale, aren’t ye? Quite an enticin' hook int’ it? Let’s jus' say I was quite th' fisherman back in me day. Enough jokin' around. It’s time t' get serious. An Ode to Babashe. Except it really isn’t much o' an ode… but more o' a bone-rattlin' tale o' a young lad grasped within th' clutch o' a wench’s love. Except we aren’t natterin' about a wench, but a fiery lassie seductress from within th' gates o' Davy Jones' locker… but aye, th’ love ‘twas real no doubt.

Our tale begins on a fateful night on th' Arabian Sea. Back in those days I was but only a deckhand. Me work was simple. Scrubbin' th' canteen floors 'n loadin' barrels; I reckon I was pretty good at it… but I digress. Well th' cap'n o' th' ship, I know't his name 'twas Rougefoot, was in search o' a loot in these waters. See, Captain Rougefoot had heard tales as a lad bout’ a fountain o' gold. In fact, everyone had heard tales about th' fountain, but damn Rougefoot was th' only one t' believe it t' be true. Me ole cap'n was an idiot, but then again, so was I. I must 'ave been 14 or 15 when we first set off on th' great Arabian Sea. I remember that day like 'twas yesterday. Th' sky was green, as if ye were standin' under a great banyan tree. However, we payed no mind 'n dropped th' sails. Th' other deckhands told me green clouds meant that a tornado was nigh, but they assured me 'twas fine—tornados don’t blow out in th' sea they told me. Then it started t' rain… 'n fuckall 'twas like standin' under a waterfall.

It stormed fer wha' seemed like days. What’s worse be that we hadn’t seen th' sun in all that time; jus' th' fuckin’ green clouds 'n rain so thick ye could’nat see 5 feet in front o' ye. In th' midst o' all th' action, aft mast snapped in two. Then in wha' seemed like a miracle at first, th' storm nigh-on immediately cleared up. But this weren’t no miracle but a curse. Nah only had th' rain stopped, but th' wind too. Th' sea was as calm as a midsummers day 'n we weren’t movin' a fuckin' inch. We were stuck. I helped lift th' fallen mast wit' a few o' th' deckhands. I remember cryin'. I hadn’t known these two lads, but that dammed mast knocked th' fuckin' guts out o' them. At least they went out smartly… nobody could 'ave survived that. Captain Rougefoot said a few words 'n then ordered that we throw th' two lads o'erboard. I wanted t' refuse, they deserved better, but I understood. Sickness be a fate worse than death out on th' sea.

That night I had a dream. I was standin' up t' me knees in a body o' seemingly endless water. It felt like I was walkin' fer miles 'til I saw a figure in th' distance. 'twas a lassie wit' beautiful red hair. As I approached her, I noticed that she had nah hair, but hairs o' fire 'n ember. She called out t' me. “Do nah be afeared, I be Babashe, Queen o' Flame.” Her voice was as beautiful as sprin' 'n her eyes demandin' 'n seductive. As she embraced me, th' water turned t' blood 'n I could hear th' screams o' me crewmates. 'twas horrible. I screamed fer it t' stopped as she squeezed me tighter 'n tighter 'n—I arose.

Three days. Three fuckin' days. We had seen no change in wind nor a single wave in th' sea. We hadn’t been prepared fer a long trip 'n th' supplies were dwindlin'. Even worse, th' crew was beginnin' t' grow restless. I heard natter o' scuttlin' th' cap'n. Been up in his shillin's doin' jack-all one said. Another saw th' cap'n sneak a crate o' grub in thar. I hadn’t known wha' t' believe. At grub we were served half o' wha' we normally got. This further angered th' crew. One o' th' deckhands jumped up 'n knocked th' lights out o' one o' th' cooks 'n began grabbin' wha' grub he could. Chaos ensued. Thar was naught th' higherups could do t' stop th' angry hoard o' starvin' crewmates. I didn’t know wha' t' do… I jus' sat thar 'n ate me stew… shiverin'. I didn’t wants t' die. Another couple days o' this 'n we would 'ave all be dead. At that point I nigh-on envied those two dead lads. They wouldn’t 'ave t' live wit' wha' was next t' come.

In th' midst o' th' fight fer grub, th' door bust down. 'twas Captain Rougefoot. 'n by Christ we wouldn’t 'ave recognized 'im if he hadn’t had his hat on. He was horribly burned from head t' toe… his face whas boil'd t' a prune. Suddenly th' crew stopped in thar tracks. 'twas I alone who approached th' cap'n. He was still breathin'. Afore I could ask who had done this t' 'im, th' fore o' th' ship had suddenly caught ablaze. Me 'n th' other deckhands flooded through th' doors 'n onto th' deck, fillin' buckets o' water wit' hopes o' puttin' out th' fire. But wha’ever ‘twas we tried th’ fire stood ragin’. Then out th' corner o' me eye I saw… wha' seemed t' be a flamin' tornado off th' starboard bow. Th’ crew they ran to th’ edge o’ th’ ship ‘nd went out screamin’. Damned sky turn’t red ‘nd many a men jump’t o’erboard. Th' tornado jus’ ripped right through th' deck. Th' crew laid horrified. Thar was naught they could do. Th' tornado then appeared above th' ship like a great flamin' angel 'n begain t' descend upon th' deck. Countless deckhands were cast up into fiery deaths, screamin’ n’ holerin’ like. They were boilin' like th' stew fer grub, but fer some reason I was nah affected by th' pull n’ heat o' th' tornado. I could ‘ear me mates say’n thar final pray’rs for they were ripp’d apart. Then afore me eyes th' tornado manifested into some lassi… 'twas th' Babashe.

She was singin'. By Christ 'twas beautiful. She looked exactly like she did in me dream, 'n I thought she was gorgeous. I knew somethin' was terribly wrong… I mean me fello’ deckhands ‘ad been burn’t alive, but I ‘twas entranced noneth’less. Again, she told me: “Do nah be afeared, I be Babashe, Queen o' Flame.” I stood up whence I had fallen. “O, Babashe. I be nah afeared,” I told her. She came fourth t' embrace me. As she did, th' rest o' th' crew melted away, screamin' as they went. Thar blood filled th' sea. Fer a moment I thou’t I was in fuckin hell. It troubled me somewhat, but this seductress had me in ‘er grasp. “I reckon I’m in love,” I said t’ her. She grinned a big grin 'n kissed me. Aye, ‘t hurt but felt most right. 'Twas at this moment I had found me true love. Like magic, th' flames on th' ship were put out. “Wot ‘twas all that mess for,” I ask’t her. “Killin thos scallywags like thar’?” Aft a few minutes o’ silence, Babashe replied, “Ye wer ‘th only one who could’av save me.” I wasna’t sure wha' she meant at th' time, but then like magic, th' torn planks 'n bolts were floatin' about. It wasna’t long 'til th' ship was completely fixed 'n ready fer sailin'.We had planned t' sail away together, but all good thin's must end. Nearin' th' edge o' th' calm spot', Babashe had grown worried. “Goodbye me love,” she told me. ‘Twas confused, but this had been th' last words I heard out o' her. Jus' as we sailed up o'er th' waves, Babashe melted into th' sea.

Lookin' back, I understand now why Babashe ‘ad chosen me. I was th' youngest on th' ship. I was th' easiest one t' fool. If Babashe was th' Queen o' Flame, then she would 'ave wanted me t' be th' King. But she ‘ad been trapp’t. Trapp’t in th' that lit’l calm spot in th' sea. On those fateful days oh so many years ago, a Queen ‘ad been separated from ‘er King.

Me name be Captain Rougeheart 'n today I shall sail again. I’ve gathered meself a crew 'n today I be settin' out t' find me long-lost love, me precious Babashe. A wench I be strung t' by faith. T’ anyone who reads this… wish me luck.

Th' sky be green today.

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