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Here's our story contest for Kamp SBC. Gather around the campfire with your fellow campers and craft up a juicy story to tell them. Your entries will be judged by me, OWM and Patty.

Rules:

  • Must be 300 words minimum, but can obviously go over.
  • Does not have to be camping themed specifically, but can be if you want.

Prizes: 

  • 1,000 doubloons
  • Marshmallow Pin (if you did not win it from the minigame)

You have until August 30th to submit your entries.

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Ghost Story – an excerpt from “Anchor”

 

“Aye, Shark Bait,” the captain spoke. “You’ve lasted long as my hostage and as my errand boy. You’re a grown man after all, so I suppose ye aren’t lily-livered to hear a pirate’s tale that’s passed on from one to another. This one tale that I have to share with ye is indeed a ghost story, the kind that most seafaring folks wouldn’t live to tell.”

“If it’s just some ghost story, then what is there for me to fear?” Newman asked.

“These kinds of tales are cautionary, Shark Bait,” Sea Wolf responded. “If you’re not daunted by these stories, then ye may know your place. You don’t know true fear unless ye yourself witnesses the dangers that lurk while traveling out across the seven seas..”

“Will you issue a punishment for me if I refuse to hear it…Captain Sea Wolf?” Newman replied.

“The least that I can give ye is more chore time on my vessel, but I’m that much of a salty dog.  So, do ye care to hear this tall tale?”

“If it’s important, then I’m all ears. I’ve experienced fear before when I was taken in to your crew by you.”

“This story is like the horrors that you’ve dealt with, as I should warn ye. Now come and help me kindle a fire. It’s best told while in front of a blaze.”

Newman went and grabbed a bundle for the captain. It took him less than two minutes to spark a flame with the tinder at hand.

“I appreciate your woodwork as usual, Shark Bait. This be the tale of Alford’s Vengeance. …Decades ago, there lived a sailor in the hillocks by the name of Warren Alford who had to tend to his sick sister, who was infected with a terminal disease that spread to the rest of his family. He sought out a cure for his kin and set out to explore the seas to find what he needed. Warren had a formidable crew on his side. Things were looking hunky-dory for his quest until a storm came a-brewing and crushed the ship.

As a result, Warren and his crew became stranded on an island. With no one around to rescue them, they used their common sense to try and send help, and still, no soul came for them. In an act to survive until help could come their way, Warren and his crew rationed their morsels until there was nothing left salvaged from the broken-down vessel. The island did have some signs of life with plants, insects, and birds that guaranteed survival for the crew. But then, without warning, the contagious disease had begun to spread to the castaways, as one of the crewmates had slowly contracted it before setting sail. Without second though, Warren threw a good four of five men out into the surrounding sea where they would be then be caught by the waves, left there to perish and eventually drown.   

At the brink of losing all hope of surviving, Warren took control and resorted to killing and cannibalizing what was left of his surviving crew, letting himself get exposed to the disease that he sought to cure in the process. Even when Warren was close to his last gasping breath, there was no saving him. However, before his soul would leave his body, he found nirvana. His eyes spotted a spring of bright, pure, and cleansing water – thought to be enriched with nutrients that would’ve helped his sick. Alas, before he could ever live to see if the water could give back his strength and cure him, it was already too late. Warren’s life gave out, lying down in front of the enchanted spring. He thought about how he sinned to try and save his own life and how he failed his poor family because he couldn’t live to save them.

Warren’s family would have already succumbed to the fatal disease that they caught. Warren’s dead body would never be found, nor would his abandoned and wrecked ship, or even his soul. Those who were unlucky enough to end up on the island would discover it and subsequently disappear without a trace. The whereabouts of Warren and the missing sailors after his death would remain a mystery until folks began sharing reported sightings of a haunted ship – a ship named Vengeance. As rumor would have it, Warren’s soul would live on to haunt the deep blue, alongside his ship, which resembled his own, wreckage included, and a skeleton crew while also claiming the island as his own.

It is said that Vengeance and its captain collected souls by dragging castaways of the Island of Alford the Blighted down into the depths of Marianas Trench, which was a very own idea of hell for most seafarers, and there then converting those lost souls into members of his crew. It is also said that Warren continues collecting souls for his crew from the cursed island as an act of vengeance, like the name of the ghost ship suggests, for his dead family remained a lingering will that prevented him from peacefully resting in the afterlife. There’s no telling who his next victims could be. It could be me, and it could even be ye.”

Sea Wolf stopped speaking afterwards, signaling the end of the story. Newman was left speechless, exchanging a look of shock, although not a look of complete horror.

“So, did it scare ye?” Sea Wolf questioned. “

“Why should I be scared?” Newman responded. “You did say that it was just some tall tale.”

“Whether or not it’s true is always up to debate.” Sea Wolf replied. “Ye may still hate me for making ye a hostage, me and my crew live by a pirate’s code. Dead men tell no tales, and here we both are, still alive and kicking. After telling ye this tale, you should know to be prepared for such a troubling event as being shipwrecked, starved, swindled, cursed, or even noshed up by the predators of the sea.”

“I’m going back inside my cabin,” Newman finished as he walked out of the port, opening the door to the deckhouse and stepping inside to lead himself to his room.

“Continuing being that way then, you'll still be Shark Bait, but you come to me when you think you’re up to facing the risks that we pirates face.”

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