Arrr! Greetin’s, me scruffy mate!
So this story is actually a Cinderella story (as you can probably tell by the title). It has elements taken from Cinderella’s tale, like our main character, a fairy god- mother, a wicked step- mother, etc. Soooo… Well, happy reading!
Yarrr! More pirate language below, eh? 🙂
There was once a girl named Plunderella, as her father was a pirate, and named her on a whim. Her mother was a noble- born who had ran away with Plunderella’s pirate father, and had given birth to Plunderella on the ship, taught her proper English, but died when Plunderella was eight, from a disease called scurvy. Plunderella grew up o’er the rough waters, with her father as captain, and their scruffy crewmates for company.
Plunderella was friends with every sailor on board, and as they were pirates, they taught her the skills of defending herself from rival pirates. As soon as Plunderella had reached the age of twelve, her father allowed her to join them on their friendly plundering of other ships, instead of making her hide in the cabin.
As they approached other ships laden with treasure, the sailors would see a lone figure standing on the mast, her long sword belted to her waist, and a slim dagger in her hands. This slender silhouette, they knew, would not stop at anything, and the sailors would chuckle sadly for the fates of the occupants of the other ship.
Now, at the age of sixteen, Plunderella could proudly declare that she had participated in ten successful plunders.
Plunderella always wondered if what they did was justified to make their ends meet, but she rarely dared raise the question to her father, for what choice were they to have, but to roam the seas for an eternity? Besides, Plunderella loved her father dearly, even as he loved her, and she could not bear to see him worry.
‘Yar har har and a bottle o’ rum!’ Plunderella’s father cried, raising his bottle towards the ceiling. The rest of the bearded men hastily followed suit, and there was a mighty clink of glass, and everyone drank deeply.
Plunderella sipped daintily from a straw, as she stood by the captain’s side, beaming at her fellow sailors. The rum in her glass sloshed violently, threatening to spill over, as the ship rocked to and fro, battered by rain, and pushed up and down with each swell of the waves.
‘Arrr! I’d be dead from tha King’s men just now if Plunderella hadn’t come fer me!’ A young crewmate by the name of Ginger grinned at her, revealing his crooked but oddly appealing smile.
‘Gah! Ginger, if I’d known better, I’d be thinkin’ you’d had an eye fer her!’ The rest of the pirates exclaimed, thumping poor Ginger on his back, and causing him to choke on his rum.
Just then, the ship careened dangerously towards the starboard side, and everyone teetered for a moment, clutching at the edge of the wide wooden table they were congregated around.
‘Ginger, it was nothing so dramatic as that. I only helped you untangle your feet from the fishing net. You had slayed the King’s man by then, don’t you recall?’ Plunderella smiled at him over the rim of her glass, as their ship swayed alarmingly back in the opposite direction.
‘And fer that, we managed to capture the King’s ship, and stole their gold!’ Another crewmate crowed.
‘Yarrr! The King’s men be snivelin’, spineless cowards!’ Harris, who speared a grape from the fruit bowl with a dagger, roared conceitedly. The next moment, the fruit bowl was on the wooden floor, grapes rolling all over the place as the storm took on a more frantic pace.
‘Enough o’ talk. Go an’ mend yer sails, boys! Storm’s pickin’ up!’ Plunderella’s father said.
There was a chorus of ‘Aye, aye captain!’ as the pirates filed out of the ship in an orderly manner, or tried to anyway, as their wooden ship went up on a wave again, sending the men crashing into the side of the room.
‘My sweet plum.’ The captain turned to his daughter, a smile curving his lips, the corners of his eyes crinkling.
‘Yes, papa?’ Plunderella placed her glass down on the table, before facing her father.
She was taken aback as her father slid four solid bars of gold, which had previously belonged to the King, into her hands.
‘My sweet plum, don’t give it back. I want ye ter have it. We will be headin’ back ter land in a month’s time. I want ye ter settle down, find a life tharr. This be no life fer a girl like ye.’ Her father said, his eyes gentle.
‘How about you, papa?’ Plunderella’s eyes widened with surprise.
‘Don’t ye worry about an ole fool like me. I be lookin’ fer some honest work.’ The captain of the pirates told his daughter softly.
‘How about Ginger and the rest?’
‘I be settin’ ‘em up with me friend, a captain of another ship. They will be provided fer, don’t ye worry yer pretty head.’
Plunderella nodded, her heart soaring with happiness. She was going to live a life on the land! And best of all, her father was going to stop plundering and find honest work!
‘I love you, papa!’ She cried suddenly, flinging both arms around her father.
‘Aye. I love yer too, but it be nice ter hear it sometimes.’ The captain beamed at his daughter.
Plunderella kept the four gold bars with her always, which she put in a pouch, and fastened it around her waist. She couldn’t wait for the cry ‘Land, ahoy!’, which she was sure would come soon.
However, the storm seemed to last forever, buffeting them out further into sea, rocking the ship even more violently.
They tossed up and down on the turbulent waves for more than a week. And still, the storm raged on. Plunderella watched miserably as the crewmates turned the sails, and took turns in bailing water out of the ship. Each swell of the wave doused the ship with water, threatening to sink them down to the bottom of the ocean.
The only thing that saved Plunderella from her misery was her pet parrot. She fed him bits of fruit daily, and taught him to say, ‘Skull an’ cross bones!’ in a very threatening manner.
Plunderella was dozing fitfully in her hammock, swinging wildly from side to side when she suddenly heard shouts from the deck above.
‘Enemy ship approaching!’ Ginger’s young voice cried out.
‘Yarrr! Ready yer swords! They be approachin’ fast!’ Harris’ gruff voice could be heard over the pouring rain and howling winds.
The ship rocked again, as Plunderella reached out for her long sword, strapping it on, and swinging her legs off the hammock.
There was an almighty crash, which slammed her back into the hammock, and above, she heard wooden planks and cloth ripping apart.
Plunderella’s breath caught in her throat. The two ships had collided.
She struggled out of her hammock, ignoring the sprain in her neck when her head had been flung backwards by the force of the crash. She bounded up onto deck, and a horrible sight met her eyes.
Her crewmates were fighting one- on- one with the enemy pirates, and even as she watched, more enemy pirates swung over from their ship to hers, swords raised and ready.
The mast of her ship was tangled with the other ship’s mast, and the hull of the enemy ship had rammed into the starboard of hers, causing her ship to split almost into half.
Unsheathing her sword with a loud ring, Plunderella joined the cacophony of clashing steel. Her first opponent she dispatched easily with the hilt of her sword—a properly aimed bash on the head from behind. His place was immediately taken over by a fat enemy pirate, who leered at her with ugly, mismatched teeth.
‘Arrr! Little girl, so young, yet so brave.’ He sneered.
‘Why, old man, so old, yet so cowardly.’ Plunderella replied, her voice as cool as steel. She suppressed a grin. Trading verbal jabs along with her physical ones was her favourite way of angering her opponent.
His face reddened alarmingly, and he swung a wide arc with his sword, intending to catch her at her mid- riff. Plunderella leapt back with nimble movements, bringing her sword up, double- handed, to parry the blow.
The ruddy- faced man roared with frustration, before he charged wildly at her, catching Plunderella by surprise.
She hissed as she tripped over a wooden plank, dropping her sword as she fell to the ground. Her opponent grinned evilly. He bore down on her, sword raised for the final blow.
‘Skull an’ cross bones!’ A screech came from behind Plunderella. Her parrot flew head first into her opponent, scratching wildly at his face.
The man yelled, attempting to swat her parrot away. That was all the distraction Plunderella needed. Quick as a rabbit, she slid a dagger out from her boot, hurling it at her opponent.
It sunk into his chest with a wet thud, and he fell with a spray of crimson.
Plunderella retrieved her sword, and surveyed the battle solemnly.
Through the rain, she picked up a familiar figure on the ground.
‘Papa!’ She shrieked, sprinting to him. Never in her life had she felt so terrified.
‘My sweet plum…’ Blood stained the front of her father’s tunic, and his eyes were already closing.
‘Papa, who did it?’ Plunderella whispered. Her father raised his hand weakly, and pointed at his murderer.
She immediately recognized him as the captain from the enemy pirate ship. The man had a patch over his left eye, and a wooden peg replaced his right leg. Even as she watched, he easily felled a man by stabbing a straight thrust that his opponent could not parry. Her father’s murderer moved on to his next opponent, and Plunderella’s heart skipped a beat as she glimpsed the fallen man’s ashen face through the rain. It was Ginger.
‘Tha four gold bars…’ Her father murmured.
‘I have it, papa, I have it.’ She whispered softly, tears gathering in her eyes as she caressed the side of her father’s face.
‘Good…’ Her father drew in a shuddering breath, and he lay still in her arms.
Rainwater and tears left slick trails on Plunderella’s face, and she howled her pain and anger into the clouded sky.
Holding her sword ready in front of her, she stalked towards the captain of the enemy pirate. He watched her with beady eyes, smirking evilly at her.
‘Come ter take yer father’s place, girl?’ He asked.
‘You killed my father, I’ll kill you!’ Plunderella hissed in return.
Then they were at each other, swords slicing raindrops into half as they dueled fiercely.
It was over very quickly.
Plunderella’s sword flew out from her grip, made slippery from the rain. She watched, dismayed, as it tumbled over board and splashed into the raging ocean.
Unknown to her, a young man had been watching her duel, and he dived into the sea after her sword, emerging seconds later with it clutched in his left hand. He swam towards the enemy ship, away from the fight, and away from her sinking ship. Once he had pulled himself up onto the mostly vacant ship, he lifted his right hand, which had been clutching his leg tightly. A blood red patch stained the cloth of his trousers, and he winced, but his eyes never left the girl whose sword he was holding.
Plunderella looked at her father’s murderer, and wondered if he was going to be her murderer too. She realized his lips were moving, and he was speaking.
‘Such a pity ter kill this young ‘un.’ He smirked down at her. Of course, he was gloating, before beheading her. ‘Ye be almost tha same age as mine useless son. But tharr be no good comin’ from letting ye live.’
Just as he took a step towards Plunderella, the ship broke violently into two halves, just where Plunderella and the enemy captain had been standing. They were both flung in different directions. All sailors, enemies and crewmates alike, were hurled into the tossing waves.
The ship began to sink. The tons of treasure that had been looted from the King’s ship helped speed up the sinking. A huge bubble burst out from within the ship, and Plunderella watched in dismay as her ship sank beyond sight, along with her crewmates.
She floated with the ebb and flow of waves, struggling to keep her head above the water.
Something floated out of the water in front of her, causing Plunderella to shriek in surprise, swallowing a mouthful of salty water. She glanced at the object.
It was the enemy captain’s body, an arrow fletched with white feathers sticking out of his chest.
Arrows? Plunderella wondered, before she was engulfed by a wave, and she emerged, coughing.
A strong arm pulled her onto a wooden plank, before she had the sense to crawl up the side of the enemy’s ship, and came face to face with a young man.
‘I believe tis yers.’ He placed her long sword into her trembling hands.
‘Who are you?’ Plunderella began, and then flinched back when she saw a quiver of arrows, fletched with white feathers, upon his back, and a bow in his left hand.
‘You killed the captain of this ship…’ Plunderella trailed off uncertainly, taking a step back.
‘That was me dad. He dinnae really love me.’ The young man said, shrugging frankly.
‘Me name’s Cynder.’ He added.
‘What did he do to you?’ Plunderella asked him warily.
‘I was me dad’s slave.’ Cynder said bitterly. ‘He stabbed me wit’ his sword, cause I be droppin’ his rum yesterday.’
Plunderella glanced at him warily still, but saw that a sincere light shone in his wide eyes. ‘Look, let’s just get out of this place.’
They sailed the seas together, and it was almost a month before they landed on the shore of a busy port. The storm had abated, and Cynder and Plunderella took the time to become friends, and overtime, they fell in love.
Plunderella and Cynder’s story didn’t just end there. They took the four bars of gold that Plunderella had kept with her, and with it, invested in the King’s funds. The gold grew, and they bought a castle with it, and were married happily for a great many years. Till this day, their castle still stands, high up on the hill of the city by the sea.
Arrr! That be the end of tha tale! I hope ye have enjoyed it, an’ be leavin’ some of yer comments! Who ye think is tha real Cinderella, Cynder or Plunderella, eh? 🙂