Part 2 – Chapter 3
The skies grew darker as the sea splashed against the sides of the Great Ship Saint Catherine. She was tethered and anchored in the port with her sails lowered. The crew were either in their cabins or hunkered below deck.
Edna and Nell were drinking their evening tea and munching on biscuits. Edna was slowly stirring her cauldron, Frederica.
“Captain Black and Peabody won’t like this storm Nell. I bet they’re hiding underneath the cabin’s table. Hm!”, said Edna, “Well at least Frederica likes these new herbs.”
In the kitchen chef Garcon was preparing the evening meal.
“Looks like a bad storm.”, said Hives as he sat in the kitchen doorway polishing silver knives and forks while enjoying the cool breeze. Chef garcon nodded as he chopped up more onions.
In the main cabin Captain Black and Admiral Peabody were playing Scrabble underneath the Captain’s writing desk.
“Ooh! Ooh!”, said Peabody, “I’ve got an I and a T that’ll go there. Pity I haven’t got an S.”
“Come on, I think the storm is passing.”, said Captain Black.
“Can we try out my new toy?”, asked Peabody.
“Oh, okay.”, replied Captain Black.
Captain Black sat down at his desk and opened the toy box. He pulled out the skeleton and inserted the batteries. He then stood it on the cabin floor and pressed the go button. Nothing happened. He pressed it again and again. All of a sudden it started to walk around while making a strange sound.
“I think this thing is retarded.”, said Peabody, “It’s making a funny sound.”
“I think it’s talking Chinese.”, said Captain Black while looking at the toy box, “Yes, it’s made in China. That explains it.”
The skeleton suddenly stopped and jumped up into the air and fell flat on its back. Captain Black carefully stood the skeleton up and pressed the go button. It made a funny sound and a little puff of smoke emerged out of its mouth.
“No. I think it’s broken.”, said Captain black, “I’ll take it back to the Witch Doctor in the morning for a replacement.”
“Oh! I was enjoying that as well.”, said Peabody.
Captain Black stood the skeleton in a corner of the cabin and sat back at his desk with his diary open.
The rain was lashing down on the windows of the cabin as the thunder rumbled overhead. Admiral Peabody was supping his rum when something caught his eye. It was the toy skeleton. This time its eyes were glowing red!
“Err… I don’t like to interrupt you Captain but I think that we might have a haunted toy skeleton in the cabin.”, said Admiral Peabody.
Captain Black just hummed as this information settled into his grey matter.
“WHAT!”, exclaimed Captain Black as he jumped out of his chair, “Oh no! Not this again!”, looking at its glowing eyes.
“This is going to be brilliant!”, said Admiral Peabody with excitement, “It reminds me of that wind up bunny rabbit that went nuts!”
The skeleton started to chase Captain Black around the cabin. He managed to reach the cabin door and run outside waving his arms and crying out for help. Hives was still sitting in the kitchen doorway when he heard the Captain’s cry. He went up to the main deck. The skeleton stopped, looked at Hives and then started to chase both him and Captain Black. Admiral Peabody had flown outside and was sitting on his perch eating some nuts.
“This is quite intolerable, Hives.”, said Captain Black.
“I quite agree sir!”, said Hives out of breath.
Edna and Nell were enjoying afternoon tea when Edna heard the commotion that was going on.
“I better go and find out what is happening Nell.”, said Edna as she climbed on her broom stick and flew to the main deck.
Hives and Captain Black were still running around when Edna arrived.
“Oh no!”, said Edna to herself, “I’ve told the Captain about buying toys from that Witch Doctor!”
Edna turned her broom stick around and flew back into her cabin. Nell was asleep after her afternoon tea and new herbs. Edna, thinking quickly, picked up a ladle and scooped up some of her new potion from Frederica. She flew back with the ladle in her hand. The skeleton seeing Edna paused for a moment. Edna quickly flew down and poured the potion on its head.
“That should do it!”, said Edna.
All of a sudden smoke bellowed from the skeleton’s head as it started to climb up to the ship’s Crows nest.
“Oh goody part two, this should be really fun!”, said Admiral Peabody as he ate some cake and drank more rum.
Meanwhile Edna had flown off to the wheel house to tell Peg-Leg what was going on. He quickly picked up one of his spare wooden legs and headed to the main deck. The skeleton was now up in the Crows nest throwing small pebbles and rocks down at Captain Black and Hives.
“Ouch!”, said Captain Black.
“Oww!”, moaned Hives as Peg-Leg handed the wooden leg to him, “Thank you, Sir.”, said Hives.
Hives climbed the rigging up to the Crows nest where Edna was waiting for him.
“Whack its head Hives, really good!”, shouted Edna.
Hives did so and the skeleton paused for a moment as the batteries fell out of its skull. All of a sudden its head shot off like a firework and landed in the ocean. The rest of its body fell out of the Crows nest and smashed to pieces on the main deck.
“Oh darn it!”, said Admiral Peabody despondently, “I was looking forward to round three!”
“I’ll fetch a pan and brush, Sir.”, said Hives to Captain Black.
“Very good Hives.”, replied Captain Black wearily as he went back to his cabin.
The storm had passed and the beautiful ship Saint Catherine was once again sailing on calm waters. As the Sun set her sails glowed with a warm and thoughtful kindness.
Chef Garcon and Hives were in the kitchen preparing the late evening meal. Edna and Nell were discussing the day’s events while drinking tea and eating biscuits.
“Well! If it wasn’t for me and Frederica I don;t know what would have happened.”, said Edna, “Hmm! Thank goodness I got my new herbs today!”
Nell just nodded and continued to munch on her biscuit.
“I’ll ask Hives for a pot of hot chocolate. I think it’s best we have an early night, Nell. It’s been a busy day!”, said Edna as she drew the curtains.
Up in the main cabin Admiral Peabody was eating some cake while Captain Black was sitting at his desk. He flapped his wings and flew over to the Captain.
“Peabody!”, said Captain Black.
“What you doing?”, asked Peabody.
“I’m trying to write in my diary.”, replied Captain Black
Admiral Peabody looked. He gently tapped the Captain on his cheek and pointed with his wing,
“That’s not how you spell skeleton.”, he said, “You spell it with a C not a K!”
“Oh! Go back to your perch and go to sleep.”, said Captain Black.
Captain Black drew the curtains and lit a few candles. Admiral Peabody carefully picked up his comforter blanket and fluffed his wings.
“Now, if I can only persuade the Captain to buy me that remote controlled teddy bear from the Witch Doctor. Yes, that could be a lot of fun!”, thought Peabody, “Maybe he’ll buy it as a Christmas prezzie for me!”
Captain Black started to blow out the candles.
“Leave one lit for me!”, said Admiral Peabody, “You know I like a night light!”
“You’re going to have to grow out of this one day, Peabods.”, said Captain Black leaving one candle lit.
Captain Black went to bed as Admiral Peabody was thinking about the day’s events and that teddy bear. He snuggled under his comforter blanket and sipped at his rum.
“It’s been a good day. I wonder what adventures Saint Catherine will bring me tomorrow?”
And with that pleasant thought he gently closed his eyes and fell fast asleep.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading it. It was great fun to write!
I might have a special treat with a Christmas podcast. It’s an interview with our very own Admiral Peabody and joined by Edna the witch. Think of a very poor impersonation of Martin Jarvis reading Just William. Could be fun!
Anyway, until then this is Doc Mike wishing you all the best.
© text & images Doc Mike Finnley 2023