Fiction Friday – 23 May 2008
This week’s theme: Conspinkey. Don’t look that word up, because it doesn’t exist. But you’re going to use it in your entry.
It was back when I was first mate on the legendary frigate La Gongoozler, that must be some fifty year or more ago now. We’d just set sail from Jamestown, headed East at a fair rate o’ knots, when the whole ship was becalmed.
Eerie it was, the ship lurched to a sudden halt, but the wind was still full in her sails. You could hear the masts creaking, straining as the winds tried to lift us, but we were stuck, sitting ducks in pirate water.
Trembling, we knocked on the Captain’s door to inform him of this bad turn.
“Entre” the Captain shouted, as we crowded the door. The oak door swung inwards, and we bustled in. Nobody wanted to speak, but I was pushed to the front, with the crew hissing “Go on Lucky Pete, go on”.
The Captain had his back to us, stood over his map table and plotting a course to places no map existed for. “Si mis amigos?”
“C-captain. The ship. The sh-ship is s-s-stuck.”
He straightened up, and turned his head, only slightly, that shock of long black hair tumbling over his shoulders. “Stuck? And yet there is a trade wind…” He sniffed, then spun round, that wild look in his eyes. He laughed, his hands on his hips and said one word. Conspinkey.
“Quickly mis amigos! Powder–a whole keg. And fuse. And a torch. The finest sherry for the man who brings me the powder fastest!” The crew fell over themselves to run to the stores, as the Captain sprung out onto deck. I held back and followed the Captain, who ran to the bow and peered over the edge.
“Captain? What’s a conspinkey?”
He smiled and pointed at the water. “There, there! You see it? The conspinkey is a foul creature, oh we’ve tussled before have we not my aquatic nemesis? Come for another round with Captain Juan, eh? Not learned your lesson?”
As he spoke, the ship began to rock back and forth, and thick, slimy tentacles, the width of a missen-mast and more, snaked over the sides of the boat.
“Roused you have I? To hell with you then! Powder, where is my powder?” The lads ran up with the powder and fuse, and the Captain strapped the fuse to the powder barrel. He grabbed a torch and lit the fuse, sparks flying as it began to burn down. “Here Pete my boy, catch”. He tossed a set of keys at me, which I caught. The keys to the Captain’s chest. “Get the lads a few bottles of my fine sherry. I’ll see you all in a moment!” He climbed up onto the side of the boat, and peered into the waters.
“And I’ll see you in hell conspinkey!” he roared, as he dove into the water.
For a few seconds, nobody said a word, then the boat lurched heavily, as water exploded all round us, and we began to move forward, the winds pushing us on.
All around us, water rained down, darkened by the blood of the beast. Then with a slapping sound, parts of the tentacles fell from the sky, bursting and oozing all over the deck and almost knocking young Pedro out. With an almighty clatter, the Captain himself fell from the sky, clutching the great heart of the beast.
“By god, that powder is strong stuff! Too much for the old conspinkey. Damn shame, but he’d have had La Gongoozler if we’d let him.”
The Captain brushed the remains of the creature from his coat and smiled. “Now, where’s that sherry Pete?”