The Pirates of Time [Part One]
*I know this is WAY overdue, but I've been procrastinating like crazy because Blogger doesn't let me just copy and paste the text from Google docs without the formatting getting all weird :P Also, I've been super busy. But that's not really an excuse because I spent about three hours yesterday just looking at a painting that needed to get done :D So, without further ado, here is part one of....The Pirates of Time!*
It was a crisp, wintery day. Wintery days always made me sleepy and it didn't help that my professor had lectured over-time this afternoon. I parked the car in my driveway, pulled my backpack from the passenger seat and slung it over my shoulder before locking the car. I made my way along the short, cement walk that led to my house, dreaming of a warm fire and cozy blanket, when I stopped short, eyes wide. The front door stood wide open! I was sure I had closed and locked it this morning...hadn't I? I advanced cautiously, trying to convince myself that it was a mistake. I entered the door and gasped in shock: my house was a disaster! Furniture had been thrown to the ground and books and papers were strewn everywhere. Something glinted above me and I jumped back in fear, dropping my backpack and nearly screaming when I saw that it was a sword stuck in the ceiling.
"Pirates," I thought to myself with a shudder. Grandmother Wisdom and her sister Prudence had warned me of them. I narrowed my eyes. I should have known. "And not just any pirates." I glanced at the inscription on the hilt of the sword: PT. These were the Pirates of Time. But should I go after them? I thought of the words of the trusty old guidebook my father had given me: "Redeem the Time," and "He who receives corrections is wise but he who refuses correction is foolish." Well, the correction I was receiving from the guidebook was to redeem the time. I had to do it. With steely resolve I grasped the jeweled hilt of the sword above me and pulled it loose, sending down a shower of sheetrock dust onto my thick brown hair. I made my way cautiously through the rooms of my house, noting with despair how much I would have to clean up after this was over. I entered the room where I kept my precious Time and sure enough, it was gone, along with the ancient, gold chest I kept it in. My heart sank at the thought. I needed that Time! I started to search for clues when something on the floor caught my eye: A muddy boot print.
Another print dirtied the ground to its left and two more proceeded it. I followed the trail through the main room, through the kitchen, and out into the backyard. There I stopped short again, shocked at the sight that met my eyes: Holes! Seemingly countless holes had been dug on my yard, each with a messy mound of dirt piled next to it.
"Those nasty pirates," I thought angrily. "Trying to confuse me, are they? Well I'll find 'em yet and bring back my Time!" And with that I began to investigate. I ran from one hole to the other, looking hurriedly around to see which one I should go down first. Panic began to rise in my chest. This was useless. There were too many things to look for and too many holes to keep track of. I didn't even know where to start! I sank to the ground, my head in my hands. Suddenly a parrot fluttered onto my shoulder. "Bgawk!" It yelled in my ear making my heart jump, and gave me a hard knock on the head with its beak. "Yoooou dummy," it said in its high, raspy voice. "This is what they want you to do, want you to do."
I looked at the parrot in surprise. "It is?" I asked. The parrot bobbed his head up and down. "They want me to be...confused? Overwhelmed?"
Again the parrot bobbed his head up and down.
"Well what am I supposed to do?" I said in despair.
"Make a plan, a plan," the parrot squawked.
A plan! "You're a genius!" I exclaimed.
"Thaaat's my name - Genius."
Genius fluttered to a nearby fence post to preen his blue-green feathers while I ran inside. Unzipping my backpack, I pulled out a pad of paper and a pencil before running back outside. If I made a plan like Genius suggested, I just might be able to save my precious Time.
I began by writing down what I needed to accomplish:
Find my Time.
Then I wrote down what I needed to find out in order to accomplish my end goal:
1. Find which hole the Pirates went down.
2. Find out how to take my Time back.
Next I wrote down what I needed to do in order to find out the information I needed to take back my Time:
1. Look for clues: footprints, strings from clothes, pieces from any tools they used, etc.
Last of all I recorded what steps I would take to find these clues, and in what order I would make them:
1. Make a graph of all the holes.
2. Begin with the first hole and work my way in a zig-zag, searching each hole.
3. Check off on the graph what I find.
4. Follow the Pirates' path and take back my Time.
Making a plan did take a little while to begin with, but I knew that in the end it would help me to organize my thoughts and save my Time.
After drawing a graph of the holes, I began my search for the second time. I moved methodically from hole to hole searching for clues. The first five yielded nothing of importance and I quickly checked them off my graph. Once I came to the sixth hole, I glanced around to see if I could distinguish anything of importance. This time something caught my eye. Something slightly shiny glinted in the light of the sun, barely peeking out of the dirt. Excitement pounding in my chest, I dug out the tiny artifact and began to brush away the dirt with my fingers. I could not believe my eyes: It was a gold tooth! Hands trembling, I pulled out the magnifying glass I always kept with me for searching in the guidebook my father had given me, and looked closely at the dull yellow object. There it was, just as I had suspected. The same two letters that were engraved on that jeweled sword hilt were engraved in barely perceptible grooves in this tooth: PT. The Pirates of Time! This must be the hole they went down! I shouted in the glee of success and Genius fluttered to my shoulder again. "Gooood job, goood job," he squawked in my ear. I grinned. Soon my grin turned to a frown, however. How was I supposed to catch those Pirates? I must have voiced my concern aloud because Genius piped up again: "Reeedeemer the Time, the Time."
Of course! I could use the Redeemer machine! My father had built it long ago and said I should use it as often as I could. It would be much quicker than climbing down that hole by myself. I ran to the garage, sword, notebook, magnifying glass and guidebook in hand with Genius flying behind me, and pulled the canvas cover off the old, small, rickety craft. I hadn't used it in a long time, but I remembered how much more I had been able to accomplish the times I did use it. I dragged the machine out of the garage before climbing in, turning on the engine, and easing the throttle forward. It was tough to maneuver but I was determined, and after not a few jolting movements I got the hang of it. I turned the ship skyward before sighting my target hold, collapsing the wings of the craft, and aiming Redeemer's nose toward the ground in a dive. A few seconds later we were plunging through the hole into darkness in a courageous attempt to save my precious Time.
*Stay tuned for part two coming in the near future!*