“Og og inim og” the children and grandfather chanted nothing happened.
“That’s very strange” said Gramps.
“Oh no oh dear oh no!”cried the boys grandfather,”Just look at the state of the history navigation panel!”
Holly the Scottie dog had slobbered all over it, she had been munching a treat she had been given.
Innis grabbed the hem of her dress and rubbed it vigorously across the face of the panel.
The mini started shaking violently everything went dark, then began turning upside down!
“Make sure your seat belts are secure” commanded Gramps.
Mini had turned upside down. All was black the family could see nothing.
Then the sounds of high winds and crashing waves got louder and louder, sounds such as they had never heard before.
The children were convinced it would never stop; the mechanism had obviously mall- functioned.
But at last it did stop, with a shuddering sigh.
The time panel glowed orange then read 1700
Gramps was the first to unlock his seatbelt, it was difficult when upside down then quickly helped the boys and Innis with theirs.
“I’m going out first to investigate” said Gramps.
Holly followed swiftly behind.
They returned almost immediately.
We have managed, by an error to find ourselves in the West Indies on a Caribbean island, in a harbour next to a pirate ship in dock.
Put on your costumes and we will investigate.”
“Great I love pirates, how amazing I want to be a pirate, sail the high seas and find treasure and wield a cutlass,” cried Hector.
The wicker hamper creaked as Hector threw open the lid, revealing a pile of clothes, simple garments just shirts and pants.
The children quickly put them on, ready for their next adventure; however, nothing had prepared them for what was ahead.
“You will have to make a really big jump onto the jetty.” The mini disappeared as soon as the car emptied.
It was dark; music could be heard from a tavern a little distance away lit by oil lamps; a fiddle a mouth organ and flute, could be heard, sailors were playing their jolly songs. Through the tiny thick dimpled windows they could see men dancing and singing songs, sea shanties about the life of a pirate called Blackbeard an Englishman who was feared as he captured many ships and loved spilling blood brandishing two swords at the same time.
And there he was, standing in the door frame of the tavern, swigging ale from a huge pewter tankard, light streaming from behind him, his black beard looked in flames, it was ;as he had placed matches inside, which he had just lit for fun.
“Ah more hands for my ship” the captain bellowed as he spied Gramps the children and Holly.
“You are just what I need on my ship” roared the pirate, as he extinguished the flames.
“Take them” he shouted, nodding to four of his thugs who were involved in the horrible practice of cock fighting, at the back of the inn.
The family and Holly were marched strong armed, by wretched beer smelling sailors down the roughly cobbled street, lined with simple wooden colourful buildings to where the ship was anchored in the dock.
“We leave at dawn.” Thundered Blackbeard.
“The dog will stand guard day and night should anyone approach, he will bark.”
“Oh no” cried Innis, ” Holly can’t keep awake day and night, anyway, Holly is a girl not a boy.”
Black Beard’s dark stormy eyes turned on her.
“How dare you speak to me, what are you doing here anyway you are English a long way from home and should be there with your mother. As you are here, I will make good use of you, and the rest of you, “ looking at Hector Felix and Gramps, you will work for your keep.
Get them below.”
The children and Gramps were unceremoniously man handled like cargo onto the deck of the ship and then bundled down steep wooden steps into a gloomy lower deck.
Down again, pushed into a small dark smelly galley where meals were prepared, cooked on a cast iron stove and eaten by the crew.
A wooden table flanked by benches was in evidence.
Barrels, and sacks of grain were stacked against the timber walls, spilling their contents onto the floor.
“You can start by sweeping and scrubbing the floor.” said one of the sailors
“Then the deck, that’ll keep you busy.”
With well worn scrubbing brushes and cold water from a wooden bucket and old dirty rags the four swept, scrubbed, and wiped, they were all so tired, one by one they fell asleep, curled up on the gnarled wooden floor.
They were rudely woken by the ship’s mate, who shouted at them.
“I’m reporting you to the captain he’ll make an example of you to the rest of the press gang; you will walk the plank, for sleeping on the job.”
The children didn’t know what that meant, but were really afraid; Holly began to shake and shiver she was so scared.
Gramps seemed relaxed even jovial, saying
“Don’t worry all will be well, you’ll see.”
More unshaven ragged sailors appeared and bundled the four up the steps onto the open deck.
The ship had moved whilst the family slept, they were now on the high seas, waves were dark and angry, as was the dark grey sky, as angry as the crew on board.the wooden vessel swaying up and down as if in a mad dance.
“Stand on the plank” commanded the First Mate. The narrow plank of wood jutted out into the sea; one step, then there was no going back; they were facing unforgiving stormy waves, as far as their eyes could see.
“Hold hands and keep together” ordered Gramps.
Shivering and shuffling in trepidation they stole slowly forward, as the ship scaled the furious waves then jerked down as though never to be lifted up again.Gramps leading the way, Holly at the rear; they thought they were stepping into certain oblivion; holding each other’s hands, they took frightened tiny side steps forward.
They then knew, they had stepped off the plank and were flying in the air and falling fast.
To their astonishment there before them floated the mini, they just flew inside.The doors closed, the waves tossed them around as they discarded their dirty clothes for their ordinary day ware, sat down and fastened their seat belts.
“Go go mini go” they chanted hurriedly.
Old familiar mists enveloped them, lights came and went;
Then they were home, Mr Peters waiting at the gate.
“You’re late I was a bit concerned.”
“I’m so sorry we found ourselves in an extraordinary situation we mall-functioned, it shouldn’t happen again, replied Gramps.
“Darling” said Mrs Peters, to her husband,” I told you all would be well, Gramps took me with Grandma when I was their age for trips in Mini and mall- functions happened.”
“What’s for tea “asked Felix “We’re very hungry, we met Blackbeard!”
“We want to hear about everything” laughed Mrs Peters.
“It seems you were witness to pirates at the height of their prevalence; “ informed their father.
The children told of the Caribbean island, the tavern with the music, the shanties the pirates sang. Blackbeard the English pirate who liked to set fire to his beard and used two swords at once with which to fight; the ships they had heard about, that the captain and crew had captured, and the horrible experience of being press ganged into service and walking the plank, flying through the air, then saved by Mini.
“You have had an exciting time, I do wish I could have been with you.” said Mrs Peters wistfully, remembering her own adventures when a girl, with her grandfather so long ago.
I wonder where we will find ourselves on our next journey;
Holly was thinking, I will be a little more careful in the future, when eating my treat!
Trying to copy Blackbeard’s fire trick is against the rules.
Pirates were prevalent from 1500 to 1835 when North American Navies together with Western European navies and the Caribbean colonies stamped out piracy.
Making movement of goods and people safer.