Two ship crews, both alike in disposition,
In shadowed Squanderer’s Bay, where this story unfolds,
From old insults arise a perturbed mission,
Where privateer treasure lays in blood bound holds,
From Pirate Code ink of these two captains
A duo of course-crossed lovers escape their fate;
Whose curious discovery happens
Do with their stealth steal their captains’ estate.
The tempestuous voyage of their cutlass-scarred love,
And the persistence of their captains’ deck
Which, but for their quartermasters’ mutiny, none would move,
Is the few hours’ rambling on our wreck;
Those of you who wish a moment’s entertainment
We shall reach for your desired attainment.
Act 1: Scene 1
Squanderer’s Bay: The market center
Sanderson: Godfrey, I promise you, they won’t make us into clowns.
Godfrey: Well, duh, we’d be a clown posse and not privateer, and I’m contracted to the code.
Sanderson: Not what I meant, God. I meant, if they cross us, we’d snuff ’em.
Godfrey: Sandy, you might want to see a priest or an apothecary.
Sanderson: Someone pushes my buttons, I push back.
Godfrey: But you don’t wear buttons, at least none I’ve seen.
Sanderson: One of those Montgomery cutthroats pushes my buttons.
Godfrey: I mean, there are some fine-looking specimens on board. Button pushing doesn’t sound half bad, does it?
Sanderson: They’d steal my buttons and leave me hanging. Rather crowd the market stalls then share the throughway with one of Montgomery’s lackeys.
Godfrey: That’s rather nice, giving them some room to get by.
Sanderson: I’m not nice. Women are nice. Here’s what I’ll do. Montgomery’s men can stick to the street, and I’ll stick to her women.
Godfrey: Always fighting between The Black Albatross and The Crimson Blade captains. We just work for them.
Sanderson: When I’m captain, I’ll put the men in their place and play sweet with the women – I hear they like bananas.
Godfrey: Are we really doing the ‘banana in my pocket’ joke?
Sanderson: Well, I was till you ruined it.
Godfrey: The joke’d work if you had anything resembling a banana.
Sanderson: I’ve seen enough bananas around here to know mine’s a decent size.
Godfrey: Oh, aye. There’s those Lady Fingers that’d give you a run for your money. Oye, here comes trouble. Get out your knife and not your Lady Finger, mind you, lest you think that’ll make the Montgomery men skat.
Sanderson: It’s out. You initiate. I’ll protect your back.
Godfrey: And you’ll say you were there in my blind spot the whole time while cowering behind a barrel.
Sanderson: Don’t be scared for me.
Godfrey: Yo. You scare me.
Sanderson: Wait. Gov’ll have us if we go pointing bananas, I mean swords, at people. Let the Montgomery’s come over here.
Godfrey: Y’all tell me I have resting bitch face. Of course, they’ll come over. They always do if I’m around.
Sanderson: I can always flip ’em off. Keep it subtle, though. They’ll have to come over if your pretty face doesn’t do it. (Sanderson scratches his face/flips them off with finger used.)
Annesley: Shark bait, you flipping us off?
Sanderson: You’ve gotta be blind if you’re asking.
Annesley: Seriously? Are you a kid or just looking for a smackdown?
Sanderson: (whispered to Godfrey) Can I call this self-defence if I say yes and he attacks me?
Godfrey: (whispered to Sanderson) Nope.
Sanderson: (to Annesley) Uh. No. Not flipping you off. But I do have this atrocious itch. (scratches more vigorously)
Godfrey: Are you itching for a fight?
Annesley: Itching? I’ve bathed recently. You might look into one yourself.
Sanderson: We’ve got baths on our ship. Captain makes sure ours is just as good as yours.
Annesley: But not better.
Godfrey: (Whispering so only Sanderson hears) Tell him “better”. Here comes Cap’s man.
Sanderson: (to Annesley) I’d go with better, man.
Annesley: Sucking lies through your teeth will leave you in dentures.
Sanderson: If you got more than one knife on you and keep it sharp, pull the sharp one, Godfrey. I hope you’re just as good at thrusting it as the blunt one.
Bostock: (Breaks up the fight, swords scattering to the ground on both sides) Cool it, you idiots. You wanna get both of us under Gov’s nose?
Tyndall: You’d chip your blade against mere crew, Bostock. Here, turn around and let me show you what a proper fight looks like.
Bostock: You’re not helping here, Tyndall. Help me get these clam brains to put their blades away.
Tyndall: You want my help? Here, let me help you and all the Montgomerys into the sea.
Montgomery and Lutterell crews join in on the scuffle
Enter several Market Watch with muskets
First Market Watch: We’ve had it with you pirates, Blades and Albatrosses both. To arms men, cock and ready on my signal.
Enter Captain Lutterell in regalia with Sailing Master Luther
Captain Lutterell: Luther, where’s my sword? This’ll be great exercise.
Sailing Master Luther: Maybe gentle yoga would be better, sir. Doc will scream at you if you throw your back again. Why a sword of all things?
Enter Captain Montgomery with rapier and Sailing Master Monsell with cutlass drawn
Captain Lutterell: Because that pampered hen is here, and she’s got her little fencing blade out just ’cause she knows it pisses me off when people use those things.
Captain Montgomery: Lutterell, you eel shit. (Sailing Master Monsell stalls her) You’d best get your hand off my shoulder, Monsell.
Sailing Master Monsell: Don’t lower yourself to an eel shit, Monty.
Enter Governor with community leaders
Governor: (shouting at the crews and citizens) Freaking pirates! This is why we can’t get reasonable shipping here. You two (points at Montgomery and Lutterell) gain control of your men. Third time I’ve been summoned to break up one of your men’s rows because you two fight like cats and dogs. The Market Watch is sick of it. You can pay all your portage fees and taxes on time, better than many, but if I have to break this up again, you’re getting strung up where you can’t trouble the good people again.
Exeunt all but Montgomery, Monsell, and Bostock
Captain Montgomery: Bostock. Speak plain. What the fuck?
Bostock: Uh…? Well, you know Lutterell. Your crew was kicking his crew’s asses. Which would have been nice other than we were already on strike three with Gov, so figured I probably needed them to quit it. Then Tin-Tin shows up and just has to get involved. And one thing led to another, and yeah…
Sailing Master Monsell: At least it all cooled off before Roman showed up. Where is that moonstruck calf of a nephew of mine?
Bostock: Off wallowing in self-pity on the dockside. Feeding seagulls.
Captain Montgomery: He’s determined to make the ocean saltier overnight. Then he comes tumbling into the cabins at bloody dawn without a thought to any of the crew still sleeping. I don’t mind him being a night owl, but it’s getting worse if all he’s doing is coming back and sleeping the day off. He’ll never see daylight at this rate.
Bostock: Any idea why he’s gone all mopey on us?
Captain Montgomery: Good question. No idea.
Bostock: Tried talking to him?
Captain Montgomery: Me, Sailing Master, Josephina, the crew. Even tried getting him wasted at Madam Linley’s. He’s determined to be his own best friend, and quite honestly, if you aren’t nice to yourself, being your own best friend might be akin to being your own worst enemy. If you can pry it out of him, by all means, enlighten the rest of us. I need my quartermaster back to normal.
Bostock: (cracking knuckles) Speaking of the overseer of hell. Let me have a go at him. I’ll crack him like a bivalve.
Captain Montgomery: Good luck. Bring him back in one piece. Ice and whiskey, depending on who needs what, will be available if you can actually get him to talk. Come on, Monsell.
Exeunt Captain Montgomery and Sailing Master Monsell
Bostock: What are you building this time, Rome?
Roman: Oh jeez, it’s too early for this again, Bostock.
Bostock: Says the guy who’s been up since the moon rose.
Roman: Meh. Just have a lot of things on my mind. Something happen for Monty and Monsell to be here?
Bostock: They’re just off for a wander. Back to you, though, oh king of the dark. What’s troubling your tide pools?
Roman: If only I could stop the tides from rolling.
Bostock: Dude, you sound seasick.
Roman: Sick, maybe.
Bostock: Sick of love?
Roman: Maybe it’s masochistic.
Bostock: She a complete dom?
Roman: There’s this whole euphoria thing with this love at first sight business, and I’m just over here tired of being in it. (Sees signs of scuffle). A fight? Again? For the third time? Blades and Albatrosses just love themselves a good fight. Ironic, in a way. A love like that, don’t you think?
Bostock: Alright, Aristotle, when’d you turn from quartermaster to philosopher? I think that entails a pay cut.
Roman: You’re having a go at me.
Bostock: Dude, you’re deep diving on irony when it was just another crew spat because you’re all mopey about a pair of legs.
Roman: You ever been in love, Bostock? Straight up, it’s madness. Everything is a knife’s edge over an abyss. Especially when it’s a stupid one-sided crush. I should get going.
Bostock: Hold up, turtle dove. You can’t leave me hanging on this.
Roman: I haven’t been myself in a while, Bos. Feels like my brain checked out and has been circling the stars while my body and simpler thoughts are stuck here waiting for me to return.
Bostock: Seriously, who the hell are you so gaga over that you’re spouting romantics and philosophy?
Roman: You really want to know? You’re just going to use it to tease me more.
Bostock: I’ll keep the teasing to the minimum if it’s worth it.
Roman: You have to promise on the captain’s rapier you won’t tease me for this. I can’t take that at the moment.
Bostock: On her rapier, I promise.
Roman: She’s not a dom. He’s handsome to a fault.
Bostock: Then he must be a star.
Roman: A star would make the most sense of this situation I find myself in. You can reach for a star, use it to navigate by, admire it, and yet it will always be so distant from those of us who find ourselves swayed instead by an unrelenting sea on a deck too small.
Bostock: Then he finds himself amongst unreachable stars?
Roman: Those who flit around him are they themselves bound to the heavens, far above the reach of us mere mortals.
Bostock: If they occupy the heavens, and you occupy the seas, then find someone of the seas. Poseidon, Lir, Njord may occupy the heavens and yet found themselves overseers of our waves.
Roman: How do I move on from a star, from this fellow Bastion?
Bostock: By setting your telescope a little closer to the deck. There must be ones circling your orbit.
Roman: To lower my scope would only remind me of what I saw before me. Handsome men around here have a terrible tendency of wearing eye masks and becoming some swashbuckling loners thinking they’ll make a crew for themselves, and then you never hear from them again. No. Show me someone really up there, and then maybe I’d listen.
Bostock: You’re on.
Exeunt Bostock and Roman
Chapel Orahamm (C) 2022-2023. All Rights Reserved.
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