The flower

The flower was a gift for Hilly. She loved flowers, and Jess brought her the best. They were always unique. He went out of his way to find something he thought would be just for her. And the star magnolia was that kind of a flower. When she looked at the flower, it looked like it was smiling at her, pleased that she was pleased with it. She thought how flowers went out of their way to please. They loved to please, not just with their beauty, but with their personality. It was a thing that flowers did best. And this one was really making an effort.

Celebrating the Pyrate in Me

Since yesterday was National-Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day, I decided to let the pyrate in me leak out a bit. So I did what any decent buccaneer would do. I went looking for booty. Fer ye landlubbers, booty is pyratese for treasure, not that other kind of booty. And not just any kind of treasure. Had to be a shiver-me-timbers-and-blow-the-man-down kind.

First thing was to get properly dressed in a new set of long-john-silvers. Just can’t go looking for booty if you’re not properly dressed. I put on me tweeds, me silk shirt and me brogues and off I went shopping at the local pyrate store, Blackbeard’s. You know it’s the place to go if you want to be a well-dressed gentleman o’ fortune .

“Ye be going on the account?” the attendant at the clothier asked.

“No shippin’ off fer me. Looking for booty-hunting attire, matey,” I returned him with a smile. “And I don’t want to be taken for no sprog or squiffy. If ye scallywag me, I’ll keelhaul ye for the scurvy dog ye are.”

“Aye, I have just the thing, matey.” He adjusted his eye patch. “And keep yer black spot to yerself.”

Then he dressed me up in some fine loot-hunting gear: a red scarf for me head, an earring of the skull-and-crossbones for me ear, a linen shirt under me sea-green vest and a gray-and-white striped, cotton pants fer me bottom. And to top off me ensemble. A pair of black leather boots.

“By the Powers, all the lassies will give ye the swoon, me hearty,” he said.

I swaggered out of the store like the pyrate-for-a-day I knew I was.

If ye’re going booty huntin’, best have a map. So I went to me book shelves and pulled down an ancient tome. Opened it up and what do ye know. In me own back yard, the loot was buried.

I’d be in need of a shovel if I was going booty-huntin’. I went to the shed. Hadn’t been there for weeks. Maybe months. That was where the shovel had to be. Where else would a shovel choose to hide itself? Certainly not in the kitchen or the bathroom.

I dug and I dug till the shovel showed itself. I grasped it by the handle and went to the X-marks-the-spot on the map. I pushed the shovel into the ground and soon I was six feet and more into that earth I called a yard. All the while I sang the song every pyrate sings when in pursuit of loot: ” Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest—Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! Drink and the devil had done for the rest—Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!”

Down I went, past the black gates of Mordor. Past the foul smell of Buccaneer’s Den. Deeper into the dark earth I dug. Tired, beswaggered, me sweat dripping its sweat, I continued, deeper in the earth than I had ever been. But where was the treasure I sought? Could the ghost of Captain Morgan his own self have stolen it?

Just before breaking through the ground and hitting China in the rump, thar she was. The booty I sought. In an ancient chest, it resided. I approached it, trembling with fear. Yet excitement too. This was it. Me treasure, me booty, me precious.

Me hands shook as I touched the large, rusty padlock. I would need a key for such a lock. But then, by Edward Teach’s beard, the lock dropped open, freeing the chest. I wrenched the lock free. The chest squealed a banshee’s cry as I opened it. I peered into the casket. There sitting alone on a scarlet cloth was me booty. It was a box of Cracker Jacks. And, yes, there was a prize inside the box. It was a gosh-darn truly doubloon. How ’bout that?

I breathed easy, a large grin on me buccaneer-for-a-day face, and leaned against the earth. I reached into the box and pulled out a handful of the molasses-covered popcorn and peanuts. I popped it into me mouth and chewed. This must be the ambrosia the gods spoke of. It was indeed bootylicious.