SCYLLA AND THE PEPPER PIRATES
A Fun Fantasy Yarn
by Rayne Hall
I marched along the harbour, sniffing the dawn smells of seaweed, coal tar, and sailor's piss. At the Spice Traders Dock, I spotted my chosen vessel: the caravel Hippolyta, three-masted and sleek as a pickled herring. She was due to sail to the distant Pepper Islands where my beloved was languishing as a slave until I could rescue him from his chains.
I savoured the sight of seamen shifting barrels and stacking crates on the Hippolyta's deck, biceps bulging, linen shirts plastered to muscular chests. They spared me scarce glances, no doubt warned by their master not to slow their labours even for a nosy blonde.
At last, one of the sailors took notice. He had a weedy torso, gangly limbs, and an air of authority. “You there!” he barked. “What do you want?”
"Is this the Hippolyta, bound for the Pepper Islands, captained by Fidelius Foxhead?"
"The captain's on shore.” He went back to sh