Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dillard Emulation

They watched the sailors pull down their ship’s flag – a near worn Union Jack - surrendering their ship to a group of grimy, foul pirates. The leader of the pirates held his saber up to the captain of the ship, grazing his neck ever so slightly. He then slashed the saber, ending the captain’s life in one moment. A few of the swashbuckling buccaneers readied the plank on the edge of the ship, and one by one, the King’s sailors were walked off the ship, one by one into the blue. Only a young lad, who wasn’t more than seven and had hidden himself away, survived and could watch the madness unfold.

You are that boy, trembling from fear and trying to hide from the pirates. Eventually they find you, dragging you to the edge to show you the men who raised you over the past few months. They were your father at sea. They took you to their ship, throwing you in the dark, cold brig. You stayed there for months, barely hanging on.

Six years later, the ship you are on is raided by some English sailors. You are thirteen now and not the same person. Early on in your time with the pirates, all you wanted for someone English to find you. But by the time one calendar year had passed, and the one people to talk to were the same pirates who took you hostage, you slowly become one of them. You start chewing tobacco. Your one trim hair grows into a long greasy mess. Even your facial hair, not thick enough to be a real beard, is untrimmed.

And when an officer of the Royal Navy comes to take you prisoner, you don’t even think of revealing your origins. Instead you spit on the officer’s shoes, resulting in a slap across your face. But you don’t regret it. You are filthy, juvenile scoundrel. You are that way because that’s all you truly know.


  1. First off, I think describing the English sailors as such is a bit too vague. I know this is a short essay, but that and the bit where you call yourself "not the same person" as you were before could be greatly expanded upon. You do a good job of describing other characters in this essay — take it another step further with the description of yourself in that moment and the Englishmen.
    Also, I'm not sure I'm a fan of you addressing the reader directly, here. I think the essay would be plenty immersive without you crossing the fourth wall, so to speak.
    Otherwise, it was quite an enjoyable read.

  2. What's happening here? Chris, were you kidnapped by sailors? I'm confused. You need to tell me what's going on.