Freebooter | by T. L. Jacobson

     Pirate Keith, as he insisted he be called now, held the kaleidoscope to his one good eye like a nautical spyglass. Since the accident that damaged his right eye had forced him to wear an eye patch, Keith had taken to acting like a pirate in stunningly quick fashion, much to the consternation of his Protestant parents who hoped he’d someday end up a lawyer or a dentist—something respectable. But it seemed the pirate life had chosen him, so Keith embraced it with verve.

     Just one day after being discharged from Sacred Heart Regional Hospital with a mangled eye socket and a brand new black eye patch, Keith made his way downstairs to his mother’s sewing room. There, he searched through the many drawers filled with stick pins and bobbins and fabrics in a medley of colors. He dug through the contents of every drawer until he found the treasure he sought—his mother’s hot pink handled pinking shears. Even though Keith had been drilled to never run with scissors, Pirate Keith sprinted up the stairs with his new-found plunder gripped tightly in his fist.

     Once in the bathroom, Keith grinned his somewhat toothless grin at his own one-eyed reflection and plunged the shears into his left leg just below the knee. With a growl, he continued to hack at his leg, not really noticing the jagged flesh or the blood that sluiced forth, coating his hands and making the floor slippery and the scissors difficult to grip. By the time he reached bone, he began using the serrated edges of the pinking shears like a hacksaw. His one good eye had glazed over and refused to focus on anything but the reddish pink handle in his hand. He ignored the anxious cries of his parents who hammered at the locked bathroom door. He only heard the deep, guttural voice in his head, “Aye, I eye, Captain, and a peg leg too.”

 

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T. L. Jacobson is an English major at the University of North Florida where she was awarded a scholarship for her play A Work of Art. T’s fiction has also appeared in The Talon Review. She can be lost or found on Twitter @foundmyzen.