The Pirates of Time [Part Three]
(Refer to this post to read part one of The Pirates of Time, and this post to read part two of the story. Thanks for reading!)
“What now? I groaned as I waited to be blown to smithereens. As if in slow motion I watched the pirates light the fuse. I prepared to give my best shot at dodging the bullets. I saw a flash of light as the cannonball shot out of the cannon straight for my windshield. The next instant it exploded in front of me. Shrapnel glanced off my windshield with a loud thud but I wrinkled my brow in confusion. That should have exploded on my windshield, not before it. I looked over and saw Genius standing on a lever. His weight must have pushed it down and released some sort of ammunition! I pulled the lever back up and pushed another one labeled “reload” before pulling the first one down again. Out shot a missle with bright red letters around its back spelling “PERSEVERANCE.” It shot past the men and struck the bow of their ship, exploding the front in pieces and tossing a mole hand in the air. At the same time I heard an explosion and felt a shudder of my own craft. I had been hit! They must have shot a cannon without me noticing! Panic seized my chest as the craft began pulling dangerously to one side and dropping altitude. I was going down. Red lights flashed and a siren blared as I tried to land the plane as gently as I could. Even so it was jarred as the small wheels hit the dirt. Clods of dirt thrown up by the impact thudded against my windshield but at last the plane came to a stop. I released the breath I hadn’t known I had been holding and sat for a moment, stunned. Then I remembered Genius and hurriedly looked around to see if he was okay. I found him behind my seat bobbing up and down, squawking, “Mayday, mayday! Mayday, mayday!” “We’re okay now, Genius,” I said with a sigh of relief. Now to rescue my Time. I was so close I could practically see the glowing sphere. With sudden resolution I grasped the jeweled hilt of the sword and shoved open the door of the Redeemer. I let out a war cry and charged for the buzzing hive of dirt-splattered pirates with their baggy clothes, rings covered in stolen jewels, and rotten teeth with gold to fill in the gaps. Some men scrambled for swords at their pirate belts while others jumped ship and ran for safety. Swinging my sword left and right I narrowly missed the nose of one pirate and the finger of another. As I spun and jabbed and slashed, my enemies began to bail with fearful yells and exclamations. Soon there were none left in sight. Cowardly pirates. And I thought I couldn’t defeat them? With a triumphant laugh I ran to a treasure box bound to the mast of the ship. The box that I always kept my Time in. I pried open the heavy lid and there, glowing in the dimness that surrounded me, lay my Time. I gave a whoop and swung my sword in a victory sweep, but before it came full circle - clash - it struck metal. My heart froze at the sound. I slowly turned my head and my stomach dropped as I found myself looking into the steely, hateful eyes of Captain Procrastination. I gave a shudder and then froze again as I felt a prick of cold metal at the base of my neck. Without even turning around I knew who was behind me: the Captain’s first mate, Lack-of-Gumption, or Gumption for short. “Ye thought ye could scare away me cowardly men and then steal me Time, did ye?” I nearly choked on the stench of Captain Procrastination’s breath as he spoke these words. He whipped his sword to the side, knocking my sword out of my hand. It clattered to the ground and I gulped, suddenly feeling the helplessness of my situation. “Well ye can’t!” he yelled, his voice echoing down the expanse of the tunnel. “Your Time is mine and it will always be mine. I rightfully stole it.” He leaned close, his evil breath warm on my ear. “And if ye know what’s best for ye, ye’ll turn yer little self right around and go back home and leave me to manage your Time.” He paused before tilting back his head and letting out an loud, evil laugh. “That Time isn’t yours,” I yelled out suddenly, my voice cutting through the heaviness of his. The Captain’s head snapped back and he glared at me. “What did you say?” “I said that...Time...isn’t yours?” My voice seemed to shrink with timidity as he seemed to tower over me and Gumption’s sword pressed closer on my neck. Beads of sweat gathered on my forehead and upper lip. How had I gotten myself into this? Oh yeah, the old guidebook. Said to “Redeem the Time.” I was obeying the command. Well, just because I was in a sticky situation didn’t mean the guidebook had any less authority and I should give up. I was a soldier under orders to redeem the Time! Captain Procrastination’s voice brought me out of my thoughts. His dark eyes shot sparks and he spoke through clenched teeth. “That Time is as much mine as it is NOT yours.” “You know what?” I said as a lightbulb suddenly lit up my brain. “You’re right.” The Captain blinked in surprise. “I...I...I am?” he stammered. “Of course I am!” he quickly growled to cover up his vulnerability. “That Time is not mine. But it’s not yours, either. It’s God’s and He gave me orders to use it wisely. So out of my way so I can take back God’s Time!” With renewed courage I leapt forward and caught up my sword, wielding it in the stunned faces of Captain Procrastination and his first mate Lack-of-Gumption. Both men parried and thrust at me fiercely with their swords and the blade of Gumption’s grazed my side. I cried out in pain and grabbed my side with one hand. Both men advanced on me, baring sword blades that glinted in the light of the Time just out my reach. I took a step back and tripped over a barrel, my sword flying from my hand and clattering on the wooden deck for the second time that day. I was done for! My Time would be forever lost to Captain Procrastination and the Pirates of Time. Despair filled my heart. At that moment I heard a loud, “Bgawk!” Genius flew over my head and into the face of Captain Procrastination. I laughed in glee. “Genius! You came!” I jumped to my feet and ran after my sword. Then together Genius and I set Procrastination and Lack-of-Gumption running. Before the Captain jumped ship, he turned. “I’m not done with ye yet, ye slimy bag of moldy baked beans!” he yelled. “I’ll be back and I’ll steal what’s rightfully mine - that blasted Time that no one ever makes enough of to give to me!” And with that he swung from the edge of the helicopter mole ship and back down the dark tunnel. I stood, sword in hand, breathing hard for a minute more before I looked at Genius, now perched on my shoulder. “Thank you Genius ol’ boy,” I said with a grateful smile. Then I looked up. “And thank You, Lord, for saving my life and the Time you have given me.” And with that I turned and slowly lifted the glowing blue sphere from the ancient, gold treasure-chest it was stored in. I gazed at it in appreciation of the valuable gift God had given me. In my folly I had let it be stolen by the Pirates of Time, but through organizing what I needed to do, making a plan, and executing that plan with perseverance, I had redeemed my Time like the Guidebook commanded. Now I would fight with my life to protect my Time from those nasty pirates and never would I waste one more minute of it. “Haaallelujah, haallelujah!” Genius squawked in my ear and I smiled.