May / June 100 Word Anonymous Challenge 2024

Private Ear, agent of the WIPO
…Plagiarism, copyright infringement, non-declaration of royalties, patent theft - all considered crimes as heinous as their maritime ancestors.

We document in silence, as politicians and speechmakers quote each other, distorting the rules they have created to control idea creation, journalists proudly quoting others' borrowed ideas or actual words, never considering their own guilt in transgressing the laws they hold up as examples.

When the revolution comes, our mouths shall be unsealed, your crimes be revealed as the hypocrisy they have always been.

In the meantime we document and record, preparing evidence for the trials yet to come.
The short but thorough safety career of United Earth Rocket Specialist Eagla Habbernackle

It was too late for lifeboats, the damage had been done.

‘You’ve doomed us all Specialist!’

‘Just doing my job as Safety officer Commander.’

‘But we’re all going to die!’

‘That’s a fact of life, but this way we avoid Pirates.’


‘You said yourself: the chance of a hull breach is practically zero, unless someone opened an airlock. So that’s what I did’

‘Did you say Pirates?’

‘No need to thank me. I know it’d be unlikely to meet Pirates Orbiting Saturn, but not zero. However, the odds of encountering Pirates and a hull breach happening simultaneously are tiny.’

Captain Blackheart pricked Captain Fairweather's back with his rapier, forcing him closer towards the end of the plank. In a stunning feat, Fairweather burst the rope on his wrists apart and flipped backwards through the air, landing back on the ship behind Blackheart. The two proceeded to poke and clash their swords together, neither one having the upper hand.
Fairweather's sword left his hand.
Blackheart tackled him, ready to kill.
"Kids, dinner's ready!" an outside voice came.
"Next time, Fairweather," said Blackheart.
With that, the boys removed their pirate wear and went inside, leaving their imaginary world frozen and waiting.
Polly Wants a What?

“Polly wants a captain.”

“I'm your captain, you silly bird!”

“No, you’re not. Polly wants a captain.”

“Now see here, you worthless parrot! I have an eyepatch, a hook for me hand and a nicely made peg leg!”

“You don’t have a brain.”

“What’s you saying? “

“You’re a stupid computer generated dumb, dumb.”

“Why, I ought to have you…”

The holographic simulator ended, and Polly walked out in disappointment. Then…

“Hello, Polly. Care to join me on the bridge?

“Who are you?”

“I’m the captain of this ship, want to be my first mate?”

“Polly got a captain.”
Black Sail

“Officer of the watch, report!”

“The Black Sail is still closing, sir.”


“Its sails seem to serve no purpose, and its hull is unfamiliar, sir.”

“Ready cannons and hard to starboard!”

The hardened brigade's crew did as ordered as their captain looked overhead to calculate the winds attack on the flapping sails and rigging.


“No affect, sir!”

The Black Sails return fire took out their main and fore masts, as smoldering embers fell below.

“Boarding party forward, all hands to arms!”

The Black Sail latched on as all went dark.

“Officer of the watch, report!... Officer?”
The AI Robot crew of Pirate Captain Flonob Rubbadenk

Pirate Captain Flonob Rubbadenk was irritated, and beginning to regret replacing his human crew with AI robots.

‘Are ye lot deaf?, I said unleash hell on that Galleon.’

‘Error, the realm of a spiritual devil does not compute.’

‘I mean go below decks and fire our cannons …get moving ye clattering rustbuckets.’

‘Error, the fuses are wet.’

‘How can you tell that from here?’

‘Simple, we are sinking Captain.

‘What, how?’

‘Because of the extra cargo.’

‘What extra cargo?’

‘You instructed us robot crew to give one hundred and ten percent effort to this vessel, we therefore overloaded the ship.’

"Remember ain't 'put yer pegleg back on, it's not ferget." The mottley crew assembled watched their Admirable with confusion,unhelped by their multilingual origins - or Nederlandish dginni, either.

"We en't pirates - all civilised territories've banned piracy - we're freibooters."

"Them ain't boots - ruddy Schiffen. Bigger, see? An' we got more'n dry. Spread fear."

Illiterate eyes search handscrawled phrasebooks for clues about what's happening.

"Name, rank and cereal number - all y'need to tellem. An after a few days at sea, 'rank'll be the word. Got Schweitzer 'lettres of Marc', Swiss are landlocked, don't care. Questions?"

Blank incomprehension.
An Opportunity Onboard


“Highwayman, three summers along Brackenridge.”


“Previously but Jaxon’s now.”

“The new start up? Hearing good things.”

“Hold-ups done without the hold up.”

“Still, no deck time?”

“I stabbed an Admiral once.”

“I’m not sure that’s exactly… wait when was that?”

“Jaxon was still getting permits, so almost a year ago?”


“Polton Harbour”

“You’re saying you kept Admiral Francis off the water last season?”

“Not to most people I’m not, but I never did get my dirk back.”

“Grab your gear, Bosun will get you sorted… And a piece of advice, practice that story. You’ll have an audience.”
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Captain Kidd in Fiddler's Green

In 1701 London, Captain Kidd silently renounced his past moments and

asked for forgiveness from God. Might He display his famed mercy?

He hung there, struggled for a moment, and hung a second time.

Kidd awoke to a pleasant breeze and a captivating tune. He blinked. This

was Fiddler's Green?

The land was barren and black. Smoke hung thick in the air. Everywhere he

looked, he saw men with faces desecrated by a life of wants never met.

The buccaneer turned to a gloomy man nearby.

"What happened here?" he asked him.

The man shrugged.

"Pirates happened here," he answered.

Superstructure groaning under extreme declaration, Sunhowler made its final landing burn, and settled on a pad at the spaceport's periphery.

Valor, its cyborg pilot, nudged Chen, ship's captain.

No response.

Probably all unconscious…

She quickly redirected her active uplinks to a ship simulation running on stolen portable hardware, which she pocketed.

She staggered from the pilot's alcove, her grimy billet for the past six years.

Dropping from the nearest hatchway, she hailed a landshuttle.

Chen emerged behind her. “What’re you doin?”

“Resigning,” she screamed.

“You're part of the ship!”

Valor floored him with a stun charge.

“Precisely… not the crew…”
Ahoy Mateys

"We'll bury the treasure on this 'ere island, me hearties."

"Why bury it, captain?"

"What do you mean 'why'? It's what we do."

"Yes, but if it's buried it can't be spent."

"We'll get it later."

"Why not take it now? It's the logical thing to do."

"Because, erm... I've drawn a map! Look! It's got a big X."

"But if the map gets lost, we might lose the treasure. Anyway, we're supposed to share booty. Look, it's in our contract."

"Arr mutiny is it, ye scurvy dogs?"

"No. We'll take a vote. All those in favour say 'Ahoy mateys'."
Gilbert & Sullivan on Broadway, 1880

"Crooks, thieves and cheats all these colonials - a bunch of oily cads, but lawyers are worst.
They maintain they are too impoverished to pay royalties to any European, and their high court supports the position. We should have localised the libretto in Manhattan, not Penzance."

"Could we not invite policemen, if rival promoters are paying 'family groups' of stenographers to matinées and first nights?"

"What they are doing isn't illegal here. Even bribing the musicians for copies of their libretti is tolerated, as long as the copyright has been applied for by an American lawyer.

Perhaps a modern major-general?
‘Bosun Flump Habberdackle was feeling confused.

‘So us pirates won’t need ships in the future, Captain?’, he asked.

‘No, but ye be requirin a user account.’

‘And what is typing again?’

‘Tapping mechanical keys, like a princess playing a haspsichord.’

‘And no adventure?’’

‘No, for ye be stayin in yer chamber.’

‘And no wenches?’

‘There be images of trollops.’

‘And no bounty?’

‘It be called bitcoin, it be intangible, so folk be havin it in their imagination -ye may think it strange, but I had a premenition, and buccaneers be sitting in chambers typin an filing letters for invisible treasure.'
X marks the spot

Vice Admiral Francis Drake was regretting joining the buccaneers.

'What projection is this map in Captain?'

'It don’t have one, just plot a course for Mabel Island.'

'Mabel Island?’

'Aye, like my first wife, for she be sturdy, craggy and swarming with flies -see it marked there with a turnip.'

‘But I would always fix a position while in the navy.'

‘Ye be in the navy nomore sir -now plot us a course downhill, Mabel island be just afore the under fringe of the world, right next to the sun, an be sure we sail round the dragon nests.'
Beware of Pink

Pinkbeard. The most fearsome piratess of the century. There weren’t many pirates who dared present themselves as queer, with a penchant for pink. Pinkbeard caused the downfall of many a daring naval captain. When those pink sails rose above the horizon a red haze would start troubling their eyesight and, jettisoning all caution, engage in a fight that was doomed from the start. Half of Pinkbeard’s crew consisted of women, who, like the men, fought bare-breasted. The poor mariners, who often hadn’t seen a woman for years, didn’t had half a chance.
Ah, the good old 23th century...
Black Spot

"Don't go to sea young Bill my lad
Stay safe at home, dear son"
But Billy didn't heed the words
Entreated by his mum

He fell in with a motley lot
Carroused and drank with them
He signed aboard their pirate ship
A cut-throat band of men

His conscience having set aside
He'd murder, rob and sack
And only every now and then
His mother's words came back

"Don't go to sea young Bill my lad
Stay safe at home, dear son"
Were Billy Bones' last thoughts on Earth
When life was finally done
You can never leave

Buccaneer Times reporter Fubbadon Golbadacker was being introduced to the first sailors to visit the edge of the world.

That be Suspicious Steve, he won’t climb down from the rigging …the lad with the stakes be Mistrustful Micheal, watch him -he reckons everyone’s a vampire …an the lad giving you the finger is Ivan Insecure, ignore him -he thinks everyone is laughing at him …and finally the lad quivering under the boom be Fearful Finlay.’

‘Strange crew’, noted Fubbadon.

Aye, all bonkers, an the irony is not one of em can tell where reality ended and the paranoid delusions began.'

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