DISCLAIMER: If you recognize it, I don't own it.


A power outage led to a shocking chain of events at the house of the late Count Dracula on Saturday evening. The initial atmosphere of tension was amplified when screams were heard from guests who later reported that the count and his sisters had attacked them. Further violence was averted when a guest succeeded in opening the locked ballroom doors and allowed the others to escape. He and his companions were later seen fleeing the house. Their identities and location are unknown.

All four members of the Dracula family are missing and presumed dead. Eyewitnesses reported seeing the count devoured by a shark in the harbor, but there is no concrete evidence to support this hypothesis. The bodies of the sisters have not been found. Mr. Renfield, the butler, was discovered locked in a closet. He has been questioned but appears to have no memory of the family or his time with them. His quick release from custody is expected.

We know not the whereabouts of Count Dracula's remains, nor what brought on his sudden bout of madness in his final moments, but this shall not prevent us from mourning the dead.

A week after the paper was printed, the Pirate Ship sailed into the harbor of Blood Island. Her crew disembarked and immediately headed for the Barnacle's Face. The patrons sitting at the bar flinched as the Pirate Captain entered, but he walked right past them and settled down at a corner table with his lads and lasses. The other pirates' heads gradually all turned to watch. There was something different about the captain; no boasting, no grog-induced claptrap, just sitting quietly and talking with his friends. Jenny seemed more relaxed as well, laughing and even having a small drink. Several onlookers expressed interest in the bandages on Mr. Darwin and were quite disappointed when he hold them that he wasn't expected to have any scars when they came off.

After a nudge from Cutlass Liz, Black Bellamy approached the table. "So, Cap, any more world-saving?" he asked, earning snickers from the others.

"No, I'm afraid not. But they have," the captain added, gesturing to his crew. "Long story, though. Besides, I know what you're really here for." As he spoke, he took the newspaper from his coat and tossed it to Bellamy. "Well?"

Bellamy stared at the front page as though it was written in a foreign language. "Well what?"

"We won the bet! Shark beats Dracula! Number Two saw it with his own eyes. You're not going to call him untrustworthy, are you?"

"Wait. You actually took that thing seriously?"

The captain paused. "What do you mean?"

"Dude, it was a joke! I didn't think you'd remember any of it."

"B-But it was your idea, wasn't it? You swore to it!"

"It wasn't, and I didn't."

"You asked what you'd get if you won! That makes it implicit!"

Scarf stepped between them. "Alright, alright. How about we call it a draw? No one gives up anything and we move on."

"Fine with me," Bellamy answered. "Captain?"

"...Oh, why not?"

"Good." Putting the paper back on the table, Bellamy turned on his heel and left.

"And that," the captain said to Scarf, " is why there would only ever be one Number Two of the Year Award."

Scarf smiled. "Thank you, sir."

They all flinched as a fist abruptly pounded on their table. "Do you know the truly important question?" slurred Peg-Leg Hastings. "Could a Frankenstein beat a jellyfish?"

"Well, the tendrils of the jellyfish are potentially fatal and...now wait a minute, I'm only OW! I was just going to talk about it! Let go of my ears...!"

His crew merely walked a little faster dragged him out of the tavern, down the dock and back to the ship, ignoring his protests all the way.

|~| The End |~|

-sits back and weakly punches air- I DID IT! I got it done in time!

So the good news is that I've already got an idea for the next story. The bad news is that you probably won't see it until sometime in December. I'm giving up fanfiction for a month as I make the leap into original material and participate in NaNoWriMo for the first time. But I've decided to write the novel in a public Google Drive document that you can all view if you wish. Just ask for the link and I'll provide it.

Until then, the Piratesverse must be stowed away in my box of ideas. It'll probably return as a Christmas present. In the meantime...go read The Hunger Games. ;)


~ A. Kingsleigh