Old Cappy, also known as Christian Klinefelter III, Captain in the Royal Navy, stood at the helm staring off at the horizon with a posture so stiff he looked as if someone had stuck a stick up his arse.
It was 1789 and The Ophelia was somewhere off the Russian coast. Where they were, he didn’t have a clue, but he wasn’t going to let his crew know this. He was responsible for 400 prisoners, 200 sailors, 100 guards, and 150 “embarrassments to society” who should’ve been at the New Welsh Prison Colony by now. But after skirmishes with pirates set them off course, he’d hid his ship in a bank of drifting fog. When they came out a week later, the stars had made no sense at all.
“Keep sailing,” Old Cappy told his helmsman, “into the wind!”
“Aye Cap’n,” the man replied as the sour sky blackened ahead.
They were heading for trouble and Old Cappy knew it. His prison hulk had the ballast of a brick, hardly any guns at all, the sails were crap, the booms were full of worms, and the rats were starting to take their toll.
In fact, those rats ate ratsbane as if it were cake—so if it came down to it, it was doubtful that they could even roast a rodent. Luckily for Old Cappy, though, he had enough “disposables” on board to test the vermin if they didn’t reach Australia—for he refused to land on any soil that wasn’t English! Because if word got back that his ship had been lost and he’d been forced to stop and barter for supplies, King George would surely have a hissy fit.
To make matters even worse, there was copulation all over his ship—which meant his burden would soon be bearing a herd of heathens, despite the fact that he’d preached to his men about what would happen if they lay with wanton maids. His speeches, however, hadn’t done squat. According to his spies there were orgies every night in the shot-lockers and powder stores. So he had to try another tactic, because if he didn’t put an end to this perversion, he’d surely find himself the ringleader of a squalid circus sideshow at sea.
“Hurry up and fill those sails!” Old Cappy ordered the pilot at his side.
“Aye Cap’n,” the man replied, even though the sails were as full as they could be, considering the half-ass wind they had to work with.
But up ahead the wind was getting stronger. And as both men could see, the thick black smear in the distance was hardly night approaching. If anything, it was the Devil!
“Tell me, sailor,” Old Cappy snapped, his wild white hair and great stately beard blazing like the flames of hell, “do you partake in the fruit of the damned?”
“Excuse me, sir?”
“Do you make merry with our curséd cargo?”
The man gulped, then answered roundaboutly:
“It would not be proper to do so, sir.”
“That is not what I asked!” Old Cappy narrowed his brow and drawled. “Have you or have you not made the two-backed beast on board this ship?”
This was a question the man could answer honestly:
He had, of course, made merry with some wily wenches, but not like man and wife. That is, when he and the others partook of such fruit, they docked it in the poop deck—since it’s a well-known medical fact that if a fellow gave it to a malformed lass (or one who was frail of mind) in the standard missionary manner, he would suffer a scourge of maladies so vile that his soul would crawl with crabs forever.
“Good!” Old Cappy retorted. “I shall not tolerate any sinning on this ship! Any man who does not keep his harpoon to himself will get fifty lashes and be left for the crows!”
Suddenly, two guards appeared, dragging O’Kralik by his heels.
“What is this?” Old Cappy demanded.
“Sir,” the first guard saluted, “O’Kralik has been wasting slop, and when we told him to swab up a mess he made below, he refused.”
The guards dropped O’Kralik’s boots and they hit the deck with two loud thunks.
“They lie!” O’Kralik snarled, and leapt up rubbing his stunted arm.
“And then,” the other guard added, “we caught him engaged in a sinful act.”
“What!?” Old Cappy cried, and turned on O’Kralik. “Explain yourself, you Irish lout!”
“Ain’t nothing wrong with giving a lassy a poke in the bum, now is thar, Cappy?”
The artery in the Captain’s forehead became inflamed and he stiffened up even stiffer, glaring daggers back at O’Kralik.
“Her head was in a bucket,” the guard went on, “and her robe was lifted over her bosom. She was shaking with sorcery and O’Kralik was behind her. They were straddling like dogs and — ”
“Enough!” Old Cappy ordered. “Is this true, O’Kralik!?”
“But Cappy,” O’Kralik shrugged, “the bawdy harlot wanted it…”
“Fifty Lashes!” Old Cappy yelled. “Bind him to the foremast! O’Kralik shall be made an example of!”
“Well shite on ye, Ol Cappy!” O’Kralik retorted, the words shooting from his mouth before he could stop them.
“Acting all high and mighty! Perhaps ye could use a dollop a trollop yeself!”
Klinefelter’s eyes went wide.
“A Hundred Lashes! Take Him Away! And summon the crew so that all shall see what befalls a ragamuffin as lowly as O’Kralik when he insults a Captain of the Royal Navy!”
O’Kralik kept his mouth shut as the guards dragged him off. And he kept it shut as they tied him to the mast. But he couldn’t keep his trap latched after the first KRAAAAK!, which ripped a rift right down his back and made him scream like a little girl.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! PLEASE STOP, CAPPY! I DIDN’T MEAN NOTHING! OH PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, NOOOOOOOOOOO NOOOOOOOOOO NOOOOOOOOOOO — ”
And that’s the way it went for ninety-nine more lashes, delivered by the hand of Old Cappy himself, while the sailors watched wincingly, along with half a sanitarium babbling in tongues.
KRAAAAAK! KRAAAAAK! KRAAAAAAK! —
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! PLEASE SIR PLEASE! I’LL DRINK YER CHRISTIAN PISS I WILL!”
KRAAAAAK! KRAAAAAK! KRAAAAAK! —
“OH FIE FIE, YE FUCKING GOD! FIE FIE ON YER HOLY ARSE — ”
KRAAAAAK! KRAAAAAK! KRAAAAAK! KRAAAAAK! KRAAAAAK! KRAAAAAAK! KRAAAAAAK! KRAAAAAK! KRAAAAAK! KRAAAAAK! KRAAAAAAK! KRAAAAAK! KRAAAAAK! —
By the end of it all, O’Kralik’s back was a mass of bloodwurst, his spine was exposed in several spots, tendons were hanging loose, and there was a puddle of urine spreading redly at his feet.
Most onlookers thought he was dead. Others thought he was faking it. But the truth of the matter was that O’Kralik had blacked out and was somewhere in that netherspace drifting between life and death, his torn-up body trying to decide whether to give up the ghost or fight to stay alive for the sole purpose of reaping his revenge.
“Hyuck hyuck hyuck,” he laughed in unconsciousness.
He was seeing visions of the latter option—enough to give him a full-on hard-on. One he retained all night long, hanging by his wrists with searing riptides ripping through him.
Until, that is, he awoke to the screeching of crows. They were flapping all around him, tearing meatchunks out of his back.
“FIE FIE!” O’Kralik screamed. “FIE FIE, YE SLIMY SWINES!”
If he lived through this, no English pig on board would be spared! Aye, he’d slaughter the whole damn lot of them then sail straight to the Royal Palace and force King George to eat shite and die!
But first, O’Kralik grinned through the blazing pain, he’d make Old Cappy think he’d learned his lesson well. And then, when that righteous bastard wasn’t looking…he’d strike like a demon!