Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words Blog Hop

Many thanks to Unicorn Bell for hosting A Picture Paints a Thousand Words Blog Hop!

Here's my entry: The Identity Crisis of Captain Wrath

                Moonbeams shining eerily through clumps of clouds, a flock of watergulls skimming the rim of the Western Edge, sails taut against the wind and the Dauntless racing along the sea  . . .it should have been exciting, but it wasn’t. Not for Captain Wrath, aka Douglas Cranton, Jr., who had made this voyage every night for the last three lunar years.

                He sighed to himself in his cabin, pouring over the passenger list. In the next few hours he had a burial at sea, a wedding, and a christening to perform. All of these duties, plus he needed to recite his stirring speech about the danger and excitement, the glory of life and death, and all that nonsense about living on the edge of the known world. It was all balderdash.  Out of all the cruise ship captain jobs available to him after flunking out of the Royal Space Navy, he had landed this one. At the time, it seemed more exciting than the pleasure cruises to the “Forbidden” Isles.

                Someone knocked on his door, and he welcomed the interruption. “Come in,” he said in a low, booming voice that he adopted for his job.

                “Sir, it’s just me,” said Telli, the cook, entering with a soft step and a discreet closing of the door behind her. Her face looked pinched with worry. “It seems we have a small problem with the wine we need for our three ceremonies and the finale speech.”

                Douglas groaned, and ran his right hand over his face with weariness and frustration. In his normal tone, he asked, “Would that small problem be Syparian Sea Slugs or Davies?” Davies, the first mate had a penchant for alcoholic drink. In fact, he had been transferred from one of the Forbidden Isle cruises due to his inability to say no to wine or women.

                “I think it’s the slugs this time, sir,” said Telli. “I put out the salt like you showed me and the beer traps . . . although I think Davies drank those.” She whined and cowered a little as she spoke, keeping in her role as cowed cook for Captain Wrath.

                “Telli,” he said softly. “We don’t need to stay in our roles in my office. I believe you did your best, as always.”

                “Oh, I couldn’t be too familiar with you, sir. You’re Captain Wrath when you’re on this ship, sir. Don’t forget that.”

                “I’m still Douglas underneath all this,” he growled, waving his hand over his ghastly makeup and heavy black beard.

                “Sir!” she said sharply. “We need a Captain Wrath, and I think, if you don’t mind my saying, that this job is far more enjoyable when you play your part.”

                He sighed, and stood, strapping on his double blaster belt, and his sword. Thankfully the blasted parrot had died last season and he didn’t have anything on his shoulder squawking in his ear.

                Outside his cabin, Doug took on the role of Captain Wrath for the sake of the paying passengers. He stomped in his heavy black boots, swore at the crew, and threw open the door to the ships’ mess with a thunderous bang. Once there, he slammed the door shut behind him, and then walked quietly to the wine cellar. The salt circles around the bottles were still intact. There were no slime trails, but there were little foot prints, and he thought he saw movement out of the corner of his eye.  He turned quickly, and overturned a few of the rum jugs in his haste, grabbing at a pair of legs.

                The little being struggled in his grasp for a moment, and then became quiet with affronted dignity. It appeared to be a very small man dressed in green. “Unhand me at once, you oaf,” he shouted squeakily.

                “What the devil!” shouted Doug, not even having to try for his Captain Wrath impersonation this time. He glared at the little man, and gave him a small squeeze. “I don’t recall any Leprachanarian on my passenger list!”

                Doug felt little pinpricks of pain on his ankle and looked down to see a horde of the tiny little people stabbing him with their tiny knives.

                “Stop, or I will stomp on you,” he shouted. “You’re all charged with trespassing, assault, and damages to Universal Cruise Lines.” Then with the hook on his left hand he fumbled with his com button. “Cookie, get in here. We have stowaways aboard,” he snarled. “Bring a sack.”

                “A sack, sir?”

                “We have an infestation of Leprachanarian trespessers,” he growled.

                “We’ll give you our gold,” said the little man in his hand.

                “I’m not falling for that one,” said Doug. “Your people are the reason I was thrown out of the Royal Space Navy.”

                “You’re Doug Cranton?” the little man peered at him, with a smile at the corner of his mouth. “That Doug Cranton?” He started to giggle.

                “I’m Captain Wrath aboard this ship,” snarled Doug. “Don’t you forget it.”

                “That’s right,” said Tilli, from behind him. She smiled at him, and then using a broom and a catchall bag, she swept up the other Leprachanarians in one swooping blow.

                “Nice work, Cookie,” Doug said. “Now, throw them in the bilge with the rats, and find us some drink in the cargo hold. We have paying passengers to attend to before the moon sets.”

                “Yes, sir,” she said, seriously, and then she winked. “Nice to have Captain Wrath aboard tonight.”

I had a much different idea in mind when I chose this picture, but Doug, aka Captain Wrath, kept popping in my head and I had a hard time sticking with anything serious. For me, the picture was more like a writing prompt, and the story took off in a different direction from that starting point. For more awesome information and to see some of the amazing pics for this blog hop, follow the link above and check it out.




Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I liked it! A nice blend of reality and fairy tale.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks Alex!

Huntress said...

Great images! I enjoyed how you gave the character layers of personality.

Huntress said...

Hope you are feeling better :)

Aldrea Alien said...

Loved this. ^_^

Charity Bradford said...

I loved Doug and Captain Wrath. How many times do we have to put on an act when we leave our room/homes? Loved the lighthearted fun with the hint of something heavier underneath.

Tara Tyler said...

must be a rough life to pretend to be a tough sea captain, i have a feeling the cruise ship is early, forced retirement for doug!

dolorah said...

LOL; that was hilarious. Well done with the world building, and engaging characters.


Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks Huntress!

Tyrean Martinson said...


Tyrean Martinson said...

THank you Charity!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, something like that. Doug's life didn't go in the direction he planned . . .

Tyrean Martinson said...

THank you Donna!

Angela Brown said...

One of the wonderful things about this blogfest is that the 1000 words can be a specific reflection of the picture of it can be for something inspired, like yours. Captain Wrath seems aptly named given is less-than-desirable retirement from the Royal Navy.

I really enjoyed this. Thank you so much for putting out there for me - erm - all of us :-)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Angela - Thank you! I really liked the openess of this blogfest too!

Joanne said...

Oh I loved it in fact I didn't want it to end. I want to know more...like do the little guys get out and cause more havoc!
Blessings, Joanne

Tyrean Martinson said...

Joanne - Thanks! I think they will.