Redbeard – Unicorn Challenge

Copyright Ayr/Gray

The Unicorn Challenge.

A magical new weekly writing opportunity from her – Jenne Gray – and me.
Visit her blog every Friday to see the photo prompt, and post your amazing story in her comments section.
Or on your own blog, and stick the link down in her comments.
The rules are:
Maximum of 250 words.
Based on photo prompt.
That’s it.

To hear me read my story, just click here:


Captain Hamish ‘Redbeard’ MacDuff at your service, good gentlemen and ladies.
You might wonder at the soubriquet, but these long grey whiskers had a bit more colour when I first sailed from Greenock all those years ago.
This bonnie boat I ‘won’ from a pathetic wee Sassenach who could no more captain a battleship than he could swim with a cannonball attached to his ankles.
As he found out quite rapidly.
She had some sissy name when she first launched from Portsmouth, the Undaunted, whatever that means, so I gave her a proper moniker for a fighter, the Highland Haggis.
We wreaked some havoc across the six seas – I never did find the seventh – for many a year, culminating in a great triumph over a fleet from the mystic East.
We captured several Sultans, knowing we’d get rich ransoms for them, and the rest we tossed overboard.
One old crone gave me the evil eye as she was led to the plank.
Got any last wishes, I asked her, laughing.
No, she answered, her voice a strong screech, do you?
I’m the happiest man alive, I mocked her, a buccaneer, a privateer, a pirate. What could be better?
I curse you in this world and the next, she said, leaping into the ocean.
A few days later we sank with all hands in a great storm.
Now, three centuries later, the Highland Haggis and I still sail the seas, invisible to the living world.
Man, it’s dull.

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17 Responses to Redbeard – Unicorn Challenge

  1. You certainly didn’t win your boat from this wee Sassenach, who by the way was also ‘launched’ in Portsmouth, a proud Pompy lad!


  2. clark says:

    I like your story as much as the others.

    But they are more mature than I am… wait, let me rephrase that! After reading through twice* my learn by reading mind elbowed me aside.

    Damn! How does he do that? lol

    ‘That’ being writing a ‘conversational story’. Simple. Engaging. Direct. Most nobody would regret spending the time reading.
    ya know?

    fun ‘hop you and Jenne got here.

    * ’cause, you know there are often over-looked references and subtle jibes missed. You being the tricky bastard of a writer that you are. I don’t mean that in a bad way, (line appropriated from an American comedian by the name of Dom Irrera)

    Liked by 1 person

    • ceayr says:

      Glad you enjoyed the story, Clark, and that you continue to find pleasure and inspiration from the challenge.
      Life’s supposed to be fun, right?


  3. ladysighs says:

    Your fine story I now did just read
    But is it one that we’re to believe

    A better ending I’m off to write
    And everything will turn out just right


  4. Pingback: The Unicorn Challenge: Shipmates – The Mansionic Perspective

  5. “Lay on, Macduff, and damned be him who first cries ‘Hold! enough!’”
    If I was Hamish, I’d be suing that wee Sassenach Shakespeare for all the ghost money I could. Fun story. Aaargh.


  6. Liz H says:

    A little Dire Straights, Sultans of Swing to gets us going. God, but I love Knoppfler’s tripping, liquid guitar!
    And your final line is another fine twist to an already twisted tale. A-hoy!!


  7. jenne49 says:

    Aye, ah love yer accent there, jist the way he wid sound, yer Captain Hamish ‘Redbeard’ MacDuff.
    Though Ah’m awfy sorry fur his fate, pair wee man.

    Ah luv the ghostie’s tongue-in-cheek telling of his tale too.
    Maybe a comely mermaid’ll swim along and bring a wee bit excitement…

    Liked by 2 people

    • ceayr says:

      It’s not easy being the spirit of a deceased pirate, Jenne, the voice gets weary after the first century or so.
      And no spare mermaids this week, they’re all tied up with Ayr Hospital Radio, remember?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Man, it’s dull, alright! You sound like you’re in Dire Straits! 😉
    I love a good juicy pirate story and you just fulfilled my wishes for this morning.
    Fab ink, C.E.! And your delightful accent made six seas sound like ‘sexy’. 🏴‍☠️

    Liked by 2 people

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