Thursday, July 30, 2009


Ryan, Annie and Sawyer were on a guided fishing trip with their best friends, Phil and Jen. Their boat trolled the waters of the Gulf of Mexico for the third day out of the four they had scheduled. While Annie and Jen were content to lay in the sun during the day, Ryan and Phil were focused on landing some prize ocean fish. Sawyer was just trying to stay cool in the cabin of the boat they had chartered. His thick, dark fur didn't fair too well in the tropical sun. The trip was unforgettable, but not for all the right reasons. Plenty of fish were being caught, but their 'captain' was not very impressive. Just 25 years old, they had hired his father to captain the trip, but he had gotten sick just days before. Rather than take a refund, the group decided to accept the offer of his son driving the boat for half price. Sure, he could steer the boat OK, but so could a retarded chimp if he really wanted to. He had forgotten to pack extra clothes for himself so he was beginning to get a bit ripe. He constantly talked to his girlfriend on the sat-phone that was meant for emergencies. Worse of all, he didn't know how to work the radio in case he needed to call the Coast Guard. Phil had just put a nice fish into the cooler when their captain emerged from the cabin.

"I think I figured out the radio!" he exclaimed as if he had just solved world hunger. "Good. Did you try calling anyone to test it?" asked Ryan. "That's a great idea! I'll be right back." said the captain. Ryan and Phil looked at each other and rolled their eyes. "Downs." said Phil. That was their name for him. At least when he wasn't around. Sawyer came out of the cabin and shot Ryan a look. He wasn't having much fun on this trip. He really wanted to stay with the pet boarding people. There were always a lot of cute dogs there to meet, but here he was on the open ocean with Captain Downs. "Hey!" said Captain Downs as he came out of the cabin with the radio in his hand. "I changed a few wires around and I'm pretty sure I got it now." "Call someone." said Phil. Captain Downs checked the channel. It read '1716'. "Huh, I didn't know they went that high..." he said. He pressed the button to talk when suddenly their was a bright flash of light! Then, their boat seemed to drop a few feet before slamming into the water! Finally, silence. "What just happened?" asked Ryan as he picked himself up off the deck of the boat. No one had an answer. Phil noticed something strange about the distant shoreline so he picked up his binoculars and scanned the far off beach. "Um, all of the buildings are gone." he said as he handed the binoculars to Ryan. "What the heck, that makes no sense. It's just trees." Without warning, a shot rang out in the distance and something impacted the water next to them. Everyone's gaze quickly turned to the direction of the noise. Ryan's jaw dropped.

"Shiver me timbers! That ship be the strangest thing I have seen on these waters in a seadog's age! Hoist the Jolly Roger! Plunder awaits us, lads!" cried the captain of the ship that was bearing down on the strange boat. The huge wooden ship slowed as it neared the side of the fishing boat, then a half dozen pirates lowered themselves onto it, swords drawn. "All of ye, including the beast will be coming aboard now." said a pirate. "This has to be some kind of joke! What year is this?" exclaimed Captain Downs. All six were brought on board and the captain of the pirate ship stepped forward. "Welcome to the Queen Anne's Revenge! You be starin at the dread pirate Black Beard! We'll be taking your boat as our own, then deciding on your fate tonight. The two ladies will dine with me, while these three scallywags will sleep in the brig with their mut. Sawyer growled. Before anyone could say a word, the three men and Sawyer were taken to the brig and locked up. "Well, this is just great." said Phil. "This is all a joke. It has to be a joke. This can't be real..." Captain Downs kept saying as he paced back and forth. "That radio... it brought us here. Somehow." said Ryan. "1716. The channel had to represent the year. Black Beard lived until 1718 and he did sail the Queen Anne's Revenge." said Phil. "No, it has to be..." Captain Downs' voice trailed off. "Has to be what?" asked Ryan. "The hull of our boat. It's loaded with cocaine. I had meant to sell it but I couldn't find a buyer with the price I wanted." he answered. "The sat-phone calls?" asked Phil. "Yes." he said. "And what did you intend to do with the people who sat on the boat and watched you make the transaction?" Ryan demanded. "Well..." said Downs. "You were going to kill us." Phil finished the story in disgust. "I'm sorry, I know it was wrong... I need the money!" he protested. Sawyer wasn't listening to the conversation. He was scratching at the hull where the bars connected. The wood was old and soft and his claws were making short work of it. Ryan noticed and suggested that the rest of them keep watch while Sawyer busted them out. Within an hour, Sawyer had detached enough of the bars for all of them to squeeze out. The sun had set and most of the pirates were three sheets to the wind. Ryan and his friends made their way across the deck and slipped down into their boat.

"Let's get the radio and get out of he-" Ryan punched Downs in the back of his head knocking him out cold. "Phil, I stowed a few things on board." said Ryan. He revealed two shotguns and a case of ammo. "Why did you bring those?" asked Phil. "Shoot pop cans if the fishing was slow." he replied. They tied up Downs, then Ryan explained something to Phil. "OK. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but you and I can't take all these pirates alone." he said as Sawyer's ears perked up. Ryan told Phil that he could understand Sawyer and that Sawyer was... special. "Are you feeling OK?" asked Phil. Ryan frowned then tossed one of the shotguns to Sawyer. To Phil's astonishment, Sawyer caught it with his paws, loaded it and handed it to him. "Tell no one." said Ryan. "OK... so what's the plan?" said Phil, clearly a bit disturbed.

Annie and Jen were blind folded in the captain's quarters as Black Beard and his men discussed their fate. "I say we kill em!" said one pirate to an uproar of delight. "I say we sell em!" said another to more approval. "What say you, Captain?" asked one more. "I say..." Black Beard was interrupted by a scratching at the door. "What is that!" he demanded just as the door was kicked open. Ryan and Phil flew into the room and began blasting the pirates with bird shot. Though the wounds were not fatal, the noise and the severe pain had them stunned. A few reached for swords and pistols, but Ryan and Phil had them out gunned. Then Black Beard made his move. He drew his sword and held it to the girls' necks. "Avast ye! Else these two lass' be shark bait." said Black Beard. Ryan and Phil both stopped. Their shotguns could hit Black Beard from where they were, but they would also hit the girls. It was time for plan 'B'. Ryan made a clicking noise with his tongue and in walked Sawyer, wearing a red bandanna and a patch on one eye. He was on all fours, but had a belt with two swords attached to it. Ryan and Phil held the crew at bay with the threat of more stinging pellets. Sawyer stood on his back legs, drew both swords, pointed one at Black Beard and howled a battle cry. Black Beard froze in fear. "Blow me down!" he exclaimed as he fainted and wet himself.

Ryan and Phil ordered the crew and a now very humble Captain Black Beard into a dingy and lowered them down to the water. Ryan could also see a second dingy in the distance as it made it's way to what it hoped was shore. Everyone was on board the fishing boat now. Everyone but Downs. "Where's Captain Downs?" asked Jen. No one replied as they busily prepared the boat to get away from the pirate ship. Ryan had rigged it to explode and they didn't have much time left.

They drove the boat a short distance, then stopped to watch. With a large ball of fire, the Queen Anne's Revenge split apart, then slipped beneath the waves. Ryan entered '2009' into the radio, then pressed the button. A bright light flashed, then the boat seemed to fall then hit the water. Phil pulled out his binoculars and scanned the shoreline. "I see buildings!" he said with a smile. "Do you see a Starbucks?" asked Annie.

A few months passed and Ryan was home with Annie as they watched some TV. The discovery channel was reporting that they had found the infamous Queen Anne's Revenge off the coast of Florida. "Strangely, the ship contained a modern day foot locker, stuffed with cocaine. Also strange, the brig had animal claw marks by some of the bars, suggesting that a large animal was once imprisoned there and escaped..." the narrator went on as Sawyer smiled and stretched out on the floor. "Did you get rid of that radio that sent us back in time?" asked Annie. "Yeah. It's gone." said Ryan with his fingers crossed. "I wonder what ever happened to that Captain Downs guy." she wondered out loud. "I don't know." said Ryan. "I guess that's a story for another time."

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