For my Saturday post, I introduce to you another chapter in the Love on the High Seas pirate romance saga. Still aimed to rescue Princess Erin, Count Prince – Captain Von Valentino finds himself, his crew and his ship in a bit of a quandary when they sail on the Gulf. I sure hope you will continue along with the tale and see what unfolds this time!
As you remember we last left Captain Valentino as he and Steed said their goodbyes to Captain Moet and crew of ‘The White Floof’ on the west coast of Mexico…
Chapter 6: ‘Gulped By the Gulf’
BEGINNING OF DREAM SEQUENCE
Steed and I didn’t waste any time heading eastward overland from Port O’ Mazat Land. We rode and rode throughout the day, Steeds tongue flapping longer out the side of her jowls the further we went. Finally, with mouth’s as dry as Egyptian cotton, we made a stop at Pueblo de Truchas. There we met up with a Tabby lot at their newly opened franchised cafeteria/inn, the mother cafe being back in A-mer-i-ca. As we sat down, the owner Daisy warned us about wayward turkeys as she set down a bottle of her family’s famous Chianti, that she was introducing to these parts along with her signature fishy plate. “The curse has gotten to them, too?!” I asked in astonishment as she motioned me to eat and drink up. But after I explained what had unfolded at my estate, on the Purr-cific and afar, I learned that the Tabbies had not heard or seen of any mousies gone bad and the “turkeez” were as they always had been. Her kitty soldiers, posing as servers and cooks, kept looking over their shoulders as if expecting a feathered foe to be lurking somewhere in the shadows. “Ye wouldn’t by chance have a message for me, would ye,” I looked with my wide eyes full of longing, crossing my paws that they had received a message from Princess Erin or from one of my agents. But no, they had not. I sighed in disappointment, took a long drink, then brushed a few bits from my whisker with my paw. Pulling myself up off the wood stool, I hobbled up the stairs to bed down for the night. Steed took a nest in a small stuccoed barn behind the inn.
“Any messages?” I asked as I came down the stairs early the next morning to settle the bill. “Nye, sorry,” said Tabby Tuna shaking his head.” Then Daisy said, “For you, Count Prince – Captain Valentino, the room is on the house.” “Thank ye for yer hospitality me furr-iends..,” I bowed my head as I limped to the door waving back. “Be safe. If we see her, we’ll tell her you were here—,” yelled Daisy behind me. I gathered up Steed and rode off.
Next stop was Vera’s Cruz, the rough and rowdy port that came with all kinds of odors and all kinds of colorful characters, along with thieving and debauchery. With dilated pupils I was on high alert, my right paw kept close to the hilt of my cutlass. Scallywags appeared at every corner, eyeing us from head to toe, and were as rotten as a bad tin of sardines. One had the mange and was itching uncontrollably. Another was leaning against a wall picking his one tooth with his soiled and chipped dagger, while spitting nip chew off to the side. A third was trying to load his flintlock with his one eye, but kept missing, the powder coating his forepaws and his chest. We passed a shop with a sign that dangled from one corner by one rusty chain, the other missing, with chippy and faded paint and with so many holes from shot that you could connect the dots. A second shop had a sign that rest in the dirt half-buried, its name barely visible through layers of muddy footprints, old grog and crushed oysters stuck to its surface. Luckily, Steed and I reached the docks without incident and I saw my furr-iend. He was standing outside his quaint shop ‘Brian, Sisfurs & Bros.: Artisans of Fine Sails, Sea Salts and Sundries.’ It was one of few shops on the waterfront that kept up its appearance and had clients that came from faraway places just for its handmade wares. Chatting with some clients, the master craftscat broke off when he noticed me.
“Ah-h Count Valentino, she’s been waiting fer ye,” cat Brian huffed as we crossed the wood-framed dock and were now on the carpeted deck of The Black Floof. “Just double checked her rigging…” he pointed with his paw. “Works as good as new. And of course, new custom sails put on her just fer ye,” he added. I looked up and marveled at the splendor of my ship as he spoke. “And me and me mates took liberty and made a few upgrades, too,” said he. “Aye, she looks real fine… real fine, indeed! Ye done me well,” I said shaking both of his paws and nodding at Simon, Dolly, Zoe and the others that were putting the finishing touches on their work. Then out from my cape I pulled a small black velvet pouch of gold coins and set it in Brian’s paw. “Always a pleasure,” said he.
With me and my panfur crew back onboard The Black Floof we set sail, the Gulf in our sites. We were not long on the water when The SS Speedy, the sloop of our ally, caught up with us to accompany us on the trip. Its captain was away on a secret mission, so First Mate Halo, wearing a black-and-white coat, was at the wheel with Apprentice Gryffindor Bunner standing nearby. We hollered “Ahoy mateys” and paw waved, flashing our colors. The two ships were now side-by-side, heading for the same destination of Louisiana. My First Mate Otis Fuzz kept gazing out the spyglass, smacking his lips and single, lower fang with his tongue as he focused on one of The SS Speedy’s crew members – a flopped-eared hare. “R-arr-rr…”, growled he, his tail switching in predator mode. “Easy, Mr. Fuzz, those are not for dinner,” I placed one of Captain Moet’s marshmallows in his paw. Try this instead to tie you over until then.
The waters were calm and the crew in good spirits until about halfway through our voyage, when the skies started to turn gray. The wind blew in roaring like a lion that had been whipped by the ring leader one too many times and was going to finally give him the what’s for. The Black Floof and The SS Speedy got caught up in a typhoon that moved in so fast it made the two ships spin and become separated. Wave after wave pummeled down on The Black Floof sending her rocking and rolling, getting her crew “All Shook Up” sans Elvis. “Shiver me timbers and Holy Mary cat!” I gawked. My crew and I were paralyzed at the site of it – the biggest, greatest wave, foaming at the mouth and curling! It was moving towards us, gaining speed and growing larger every split of a kitty’s whisker until… !!S-SW-W-OO-CH-CH!! It came down on us with all its might! And just then The Black Floof was gulped by the Gulf!
I came to right as I was about to kiss the green-eyed princess. When I opened my eyes I found myself puckered up at the grinning face of my black, granite bust likeness that was for some reason floating upside down off its pedestal. Then I realized I was also floating, so was my crew, and Steed, too! Our cheeks were those of puffer fishes. I could feel the black furrs at my cheeks turning red, then blue, then purple and I could see my crew struggling. I looked around at the scene before me and had to make a quick decision. As captain of the ship, it was my duty to take the risk. I let out my cheeks, crossing my paws that my instinct was spot on – that my lungs wouldn’t fill with water and that I wouldn’t drowned to death and never see my princess again. I sniffed and sniffed again, then took in a few short breaths. “Ah-h, it’s Ok my panfurs, there is plenty of air here!” I insisted after a brief moment of inner panic that I would never reveal to my crew. The Black Floof was suspended in a giant bubble under the water! “As long as we stay inside this bubble, they will not find us washed up on shore as drowned cat rats,” I added. “But, Captain Valentino, how long are we to stay like this?” Boatswain Angel asked me with her furrowed, ebony brow. “That I cannot answer. We’ll just have to ride this out,” I patted her paw. “Arrr… just keep your pikes pointed away from the bubble lest you pop it and us along with it!” I cautioned the entire crew. Downy-furred, barrelcat brofurs, Andy and Dougy, saw this situation we were in as an opportunity for playtime. “WEE—ee look at me!” said Andy as he floated by flailing his floofi arms and legs as if swimming and then doing a summer salt in slow motion. Dougy held his arms above his head, clasped his paws and did a swan dive off the crow’s nest then immediately floated upwards. Short-coated Sailing Master Minion floated by on his side, studying intently at an incomplete marauder’s map he won at a card game back at port, trying to decipher its code. I saw the black-and-white tuft of my princess float by and I caught it with my paw and held it up against my cheek. “Soon my sweet… soon,” I silently mewed.
The bubble drifted along with the currents lazily, the storm by now had passed. Before we could all get a couple of full catnaps in, the bubble started to slowly rise and bobbed briefly just below the surface of the water. As soon as it started to shrink the Gulf went !!B-U_U_U_U_U-R-R-P!! The bubble then burst sending The Black Floof shooting through the air as if from a cannon! The ship plopped down on the surface of the water, wobbling a bit to and fro until it came to a full balance…
END OF DREAM SEQUENCE
To be continued…
What will Captain Valentino be up against next? I hope you enjoyed reading this chapter in the adventure. I would love for you to comment. And if you have missed any of my purr-evious chapters or those of Erin the Cat Princess, you can catch them below. Mew Mew!
‘Laugh and Love Like a Pirate’ – Chapter 1, paw penned by Erin the Cat Princess
‘The Cursed Mousies’ – Chapter 2, paw penned by moi
‘Of Stranger Tides and Mice’ – Chapter 3 Parts 1-3, paw penned by Erin the Cat Princess
‘Count Into the Darkness’ – Chapter 4 Part 1, paw penned by moi
‘Aboard The White Floof’ – Chapter 4 Part 2, paw penned by moi
‘Eeeeeeeek!’ – Chapter 5, paw penned by Erin the Cat Princess
Turkey cartoon vector designed by Freepik.