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Another lovely day begins aboard the Revenge. Sin sits upon the steps to the wheeldeck, hands on her chin, observing 2nd Chance at the bar. Terrio wanders by, takes a seat next to her.
- “Who are all those folks Chance is serving our rum to?” she asks.
- “Huh? Oh, them. Well, Chance invited them aboard, she’s gonna get them drunk and then throw them to the Kraken,” Sin calmly stated.
- “Seems a bit bloodthirsty for our cheery bartender. They deserve it?”
- “She thinks so. She’s got me convinced it’s a good idea. And the Captain agreed.” Sin turned her head and gazed at Terrio. “They be critics.”
- “Well, just because they have opinions don’t mean…” Terrio stopped at Sin’s shaking head. “OK, explain.”
- Sin points to one of the people mulling about, “That one? Called Parental Disappointment. The one in the nun’s habit? The Strict Grammarian. Him in the cap and gown? Academic Expectations. The three dressed like cheerleaders? The Inappropriate Peer Group. There’s Fear, huddled under the bar stool… The Perfect Plotter is looking through Chance’s Bar Bible, see that scowl?”
Terrio held up a hand, “Ah. Inner Critics. How the hell did she manifest them?”
- “You know Chance, she does magic.” Sin stood up and shouted, “HEY! YOU! Get your hand offa that line!” She sat down, looking disgusted, “Always thinks he can do better.”
- “Benjamin Better?” Terri chuckled, having seen the list fall from Sin’s pocket and snatched it up. “Where is Paralyzed Polly?”
- “I think she’s clinging to Chance’s left leg.” Sin chuckled. “I may invite mine aboard next week…”
- “We could take turns…” Terrio thoughtfully watched the bartender set her critics at ease, listening to them while keeping the tankards full. All the while, to the starboard side, the water boiled and tumbled as the Kraken waited for the feast…
Aye, I be a bloodthirsty little pirate writer. I admits it. Wants ta join me in this endeavor? Years ago I began puttin’ names ta the critics that plague me. Those nasty little voices that nibble at the back a’ me brain when I write.
I used ta pretend they was a useful bunch, but I’ve given up me belief in that. They all be scoundrels, wasters of time, negative naysayers from the getgo. I gots a full roster of ‘em.
There be Doubtful Dougie, who never has a positive outlook on anything. Bored Betty and… Hey! Get back here! ‘Scuse me…
- Scurrying over to the rum barrel, Chance snatches a pile of paper away from a skinny old woman. “Get over there and quit editing my synopsis, Enid. I like it the way it is! There’s hard lemonade…and I think the label is on crooked…”
The woman hurries back to the bar. Chance calmly sneaks around all of them, ankle height, fixing cuffs and a long chain, which snakes from ankle to ankle to ankle. Sin meanwhile is removing a section of the railing and easing out a plank over the water. She takes a heavy cannon ball, which anchors the chain and balances it at the end of the plank. Keeping a sharp eye out for the signal, she waits. Feeling the tug, the critics have stepped out along the narrow piece of wood...too busy natterin’ at each other to recognize the danger. Plus they be a confident mob, always sure they have a place to roost. Until today.
I do beg yer pardon. I just don’t want to miss any a’ them. Where was I? OH, ‘course. So, these be the worst a’ me inner critics. I figure they be back, but maybe they be better behaved. Some time in Davy Jone’s Locker do ‘em good. I’ve decided I want ‘em scared. I want ‘em terrified. They do not help me! EVER!
- A chorus rises from the end of the line, “Should…should…should…”
- Hands at her ears, Chance begins to chant, “LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA…”
A splash sounds from the behind the bar and Chance looks over. Sin shrugs. “Couldn’t wait, one of them started to chant ‘not good enough’ at me. I had to throw them in.”
Sounds logical to me!
Yer turn. What lousy good-for-nothing inner critic would you like to see tossed to the Kraken? You ever tricked into thinking it’s all for your own good? Have you favorite critic? Or should I say, does a favorite critic have you? Speak up, Friday’s party is on, the bar is open, the bottles be stocked. Let’s watch the Kraken eat some inner critics… And be prepared, me hearties, they be sneak, these ICs and might mount a counter attack…
This day is for Sin, for J Perry, for all of us who waste way too much time dealing with these rotten scoundrels.