Pietra had grown up hearing stories of her great-great-great-great-great grandfather Pascal, who had sailed the high seas as a plundering pirate in the days of yore, and had listened with rapt attention that transitioned into mounting skepticism as the years went by. The parts of her notorious ancestor’s biography that involved an enchanted pirate hat and a magical spyglass seemed particularly suspect, as you might imagine, and by the time Pietra was a teenager she’d chuckle softly when she thought back to her girlhood gullibility. It follows, then, that no one could have been more surprised than she to discover a distinctive if dusty topper in a creaky old crate in her great aunt’s basement. Rumpled and only a bit moldy, it seemed so delicate she barely dared touch it, but surely if a unicorn strolled into your backyard, you would at least venture out for a peek, would you not? That was the effect the appearance of the legendary hat had upon her and as she gently turned it over, she noticed faded vermillion script embroidered into the hatband, so ornate that it was barely legible:
“Avast ye scoundrel, unhand me hat, lest you see what I sees and be when’s I’m at!”
“Well, that’s peculiar”, thought Pietra “and the syntax is terrible!” Seeing a long leather case at the bottom of the trunk, she perched the hat on her head to free a hand to reach for it. When she lurched forward and felt the damp of salt air on her face, she knew she was no longer in her great aunt’s basement. Looking down, Pietra saw that her baggy jeans had somehow been replaced with a beautifully made if well-worn burgundy velvet gown, and, from her sudden inability to catch a decent breath, a quite tightly-laced corset. The old galleon creaked and rocked around her as she read the gilded inscription on what she knew would be the spyglass:
“From the strange and arcane to the heartily risible, peer through this glass and all things be visible”
“Well, honestly, how much worse could it really get?” Pietra muttered, and in looking through the ancient telescope she got her first glimpse of the flying mechanical seahorse with wings that you see here.
“Aye, my lassie, all these years I been a-waiting on ye! I see my little friend Prospero has found ye” boomed Pietra’s great-great-great-great-great grandfather, with a rugged and rum-scented chuckle. Well, it could have been the corset, but Pietra promptly fainted, and the old pirate managed to catch her, just in time, and upon waking, Pietra could never say for sure if any of it really happened at all.
This original artwork and story are copyright Ramona Szczerba 2009. Copyright to this material is in no way transferable with the sale of this item. The buyer is not entitled to any reproduction rights – neither image nor story can be reproduced without my express written permission. Thanks!