Throughout his nefarious career, Sterkvark the Pirate had had many a near death experience. Now, as he swooned on the deck with a rapier through the guts and his life flashing before his misting eyes (or rather, eye, as he had but one), images of the past filled his fevered mind.
He recalled his many deeds of daring do, such as the time he slaughtered the Southsea Freebooters while liquored up Don Carlos Tequila.
And the time he survived a dish of bad clams. And the time he shot that albatross with his crossbow...that had been a mistake!
"I looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away ;
I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay. "
There was the time he had taken on the Theramore Marines, scaling the highest wall of the highest tower only to discover that not every gun in their arsenal had been silenced.
Then too, he recalled his escape from the gibbet at Gadgetstan, when his parrot brought some silver, he brought a little gold, and saved him from the gallows pole.
And the time when his magical crawdad suspected he was destined for the gumbo pot and made a preemptive strike...
But never before had Sterkvark been in such mortal peril, and as he drifted toward the light, it seemed to him that an angel descended to his aid, or what passes for angels among pirates: a wench with a a bottle of rum. But would even these thoughts of the sweet life be enough to keep him from slipping his cable and shuffling off this mortal coil?
Could this be....the end?
(To be continued...)
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