Pirate Therapy

Pirate flagLaurence arrived a few minutes late for his regular Thursday morning session, but his therapist usually ran late, so he wasn’t worried.

From behind the door of his therapist’s office, he heard a blood-curdling scream, and then a thump. A door opened somewhere, and Laurence heard a strange sound, almost as though something heavy was being dragged. He heard grunts, scraping, and the rhythmical percussion of something booming on the floor. Laurence looked around, and realized the secretary was not there. He also realized he was standing, tense.

The door to his therapist’s office creaked opened, and he heard a rough voice shout: “Ahoy Larry! Be ye out there laddie?”

“Uh. Yes.”

“Come in, matey.”

Laurence walked unsteadily to the door and opened the door fully.

A pirate sat in his therapist’s chair. He had wild, unkempt hair held in by a greasy red bandanna, and a full dread-locked beard that looked like it was made out of black steel wool. He was wearing a stained white silk shirt, a sash of what was probably once a lovely dark green silk and pantaloons. He had one black boot, and he was missing a leg, which was replaced by a wooden peg that was carved into the shape of …

Laurence looked away.

“Arr matey, don’t ye like me leg?”

“Uh, it’s very creative,” Laurence said. “Um. Um, where is Dr. Glick?”

“She’s in-dee-sposed,” the pirate said. “She’s asked me to take care of her sessions today. Now, repeat after me: Arrrr!”


“No, like ye mean it. Take a deep breath. No, don’t sit down. Ye won’t be sitting down this morning Larry, ye’ll be workin’! Now, say it: arrrr!!!”


“Avast!” the pirate stood, the obscenely rounded end of his peg leg booming on the floor. A cutlass lay on Dr. Glick’s desk, and he picked it up. “I want to hear a real pirate yawlp before ye leave, ye bilge rat!”

Larry suddenly understood what that dragging sound had been. He looked around wildly for a weapon to defend himself; he picked up a pillow from the couch. Perhaps it would work as a shield.

“Would ye like a blankie too Larry? I won’t be caring if ye need to carry around a stuffed bear, as long as I hear ye. Now take a deep breath, and say it: arrrr!” The pirate’s voice was incredibly loud.

Laurence dropped the pillow and held his ears. He started shaking.

The pirate took a step closer and pointed the cutlass tip at Laurence’s throat; he lowered his voice and said menacingly: “I’ve slit the throats of better men than ye, Larry me boyo. Now say it, smartly lad, smartly!”

“Arr!” Larry managed, terror driving his voice several octaves higher.

“Grand! Grand!” the pirate enthused. “Now, let’s pretend you’ve got a pair, and say it again.”

“Arrr!” Larry shouted.


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“Again! Louder!”

“Arrr!” Larry screamed.

“Arrr!” the pirate joined in.



“Arrrrr……..” Their joint shouting tailed off, and Laurence realized that the pirate was grinning at him.

“So how do ye feel matey?”

Laurence wanted to say he felt good, but he know that wasn’t the right answer, so he just muttered: “arrrrr.”

The End

Alltop be wanting yer attention too, the scallywags. The title story in my collection, Pirate Therapy and Other Cures.

The Unit Upgrade

Horse with mountains “Mr. President, we have to talk about the unit.”

“What unit, Minister?”

“Remember the regiment that was forgotten in the Peltarsh Mountains?”

“Right. The unit of horse archers. Did we ever figure out what to do with all those old compound bows? I’ve got one in the armoury — it’s quite ingenious in design, you know, thought it’s primitive. Did you know it uses horn?”

“Yes, sir. We auctioned most of them off on E-Bay. The idea was to help pay for the retraining.”

“Excellent. I like to see our Departments using our resources efficiently. How is the unit shaping up?”

“Well, not as well as it did with our cavalry units. We had a surprising number of troopers who were able to fly the helicopters, and the rest really seem to like the idea of being called air cavalry.”

“And the horse archers?”

“Most of them seem to think the helicopters are some kind of god.”

“I see. Well we had to expect some problems. They were isolated in the mountains for centuries, without any word from us. If I remember the file, the country was still under the control of the ancient dictator Slagothon the Bloody when they last heard from the capital.”

“Yes. We’ve been trying to educate them and bring them into the 21st century. It has, uh, been somewhat costly.”

“How much?”

“About ten times what it takes to upgrade our cavalry units.”

“I see, and the recommendations?”

“Well, we think we can do it, but we may lose the unit cohesion that we were trying to save. The unit has quite a storied history. Did you know they defeated the Horde of Logdor on their own?”

“I see. Naturally, these are their descendants. So how much more do you think it will cost?”

“Estimates are high. Possibly 500 million.”

“And they think the helicopters are gods?”

“Yes. Every time a pilot gets into the cockpit they scream in horror. They think the god is eating them.”

“And when they come out?”

“Well, it’s a miracle to them. They’ve started worshiping the pilots. Or stoning them to death. It has started a small religious disagreement.”

“Could we just send them back to the mountains?”

“Sure. They’ve been guarding that flank of our country from the barbarians for centuries. I say we give them some rifles, a few officers with modern training, and let them do it.”

“So we have a plan.”

“Yes, Mr. President.”



“There’s just one other matter. You know our territories down in the Glotharian jungle? Well it turns out we have a unit of warriors down there.”

“What do you mean, warriors?”

“Well, it’s hard to define.”

“Give it a try Minister.”

“I should probably start by explaining that they’re armed with clubs . . .”

Apologies to my readers who have never played Civilization, a strategy game, which is digital crack. Thanks to Stuck in Customs for photo. Originally published February, 2010.

An Outraged Diner Emails the In-Vitro Café

Beaker meat with face of Marcel DuChampsFrom: wally42@yaboo.com
To: owner@invitrocafe.com
Subject: Suing your restaurant

Dear Proprietor,

My wife and I managed to get a table at the grand opening of your establishment last night, and we regret our effort.

We are both conscientious eaters, so the idea of dining on in-vitro meat that was grown in a lab appealed to us. We believe that no creature should be slaughtered for our own pleasure, so we have not eaten meat for years. In short, we were thrilled to hear about your new enterprise and we wanted to support it. Even the high price tag and “mysterious” nature of your menu could not put us off.

We were not even dissuaded by having to sign a non-disclosure agreement before dining.

The menu — which I will get back to in a minute — was quite delightful.


The celebrity-named dishes were whimsical and amusing. I was quite tickled by your dish called Six Cream Cheese of Kevin Bacon, ostensibly an entrée with lots of cream cheese and mock bacon, while my wife was charmed by Lady Gaga’s Crazy Legs — some kind of ersatz chicken drumstick recipe.

That was, until we learned these were not, in fact, Frankenpork and tank poultry we were eating, but the cloned meat of the actual celebrities themselves.

You seemed quick shocked when a number of your clientele regurgitated their Muscles from Brussels (I now understand that was not a typo), or their Jack Lemmon Meringue Pie, or whatever they had ordered from your ill-conceived and possibly illegal menu.

You should have expected it.

I will concede my Angel Hair Pasta, Con Angelina Jolie was delicious. I thought I was ordering a kitschy-sounding entrée, and I did not believe for a minute I would actually be consuming the meat from said actress. Yes, she was delicious, not only in the visual sense, but also to the taste. There was a lingering sweetness to the dish, and you did something quite remarkable with the sauce. But that is beside the point; I was tricked into eating another human being!

I’m sure there will be a certain segment of the population that will enjoy consuming their favorite celebrities, and not just in the metaphorical sense that we do now. In fact, given our culture’s obsession with fame, I predict your enterprise will be quite successful. And this is to say nothing of the deviant souls who will spice up their night out with the ultimate taboo, without the fear of legal repercussions.

You, however, can look forward to a prolonged entanglement in the courts.

Even though your menu does not serve actual human flesh, but rather, tissue grown in a lab, it is still, in the opinion of my wife, myself and my attorneys, cannibalism. How you ever managed to get the local health authority to allow anthropophagy in a licensed establishment, I will never know, but rest assured, this issue is one of the avenues my legal team will be pursuing.

And though he is infamous, I don’t know what you were thinking when you put the Hitler Fusion Stir Fry on your misguided bill of fare.

That, sir, is just offensive!


P.S. We left before I had a chance to try the Marcel DuChamp Banana Flambé, but I am curious, how does one cook a Dadaist for dessert?


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Alltop loves a little frankenpork. Originally published by Defenestration Literary Magazine, 2010.