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Marauders of the Heavens

Marauders of the Heavens

I pushed the snack cart through the aisle of the cramped Boeing 747, It was my third year as a flight attendant and I had quickly realized not only did I dislike it, no I deplored it with each fiber of my being.

Every aspect of the job was unenjoyable, the yelling children, the claustrophobia, and especially, waiting hand and foot for the rich pricks in first class.

As I apathetically slid down the corridor an individual stopped me and implored about if the meal contained squash, which they apparently had an adverse allergy to. Who the hell is allergic to squash? Either way I informed the individual that obviously there was no squash in this in-flight meal.

Trotting along I entered first class, I let out a groan as an old decrepit leather bag of a woman called for my attention. “Garson!” she bellowed, snapping her fingers as if I were a dog. “Yes Miss?” without turning to speak to me this crone demanded I refill her champaign, and insisted I use the expensive stuff, not as she said, “The cheap imitation swell that I wouldn’t give dare give to anyone, not even my driver.” I pored the woman yet another flute of the bubbling chilled nectar, which she drank up greedily. She turned to the lady next to her who was equally as old, and equally pretentious. The two made some unclever joke about wine or something, truthfully, I had mentally checked out from the interaction.

I continued on my way, entering into the economy and business slowly handing out those little cups of pop and selling the overpriced headphones to people whom had been to disorganized to pack their own. Sighing to myself I passed a family with a brat of a child sobbing and kicking the seat in front of him. As I passed the exit door of the plane, I heard it. A distant boom! The sound was accompanied by a slight increase of the plane’s altitude. Then came another boom! This time it was a little louder, and just as the last time the plane changed its height, as if avoiding something. It was at this exact moment that the speaker clicked on and the voice of the captain squeaked through.

“Attention, we are experiencing some…turbulence…no need for alarm…yet.” The intercom clicked off and the passengers began to chatter to one another in concern. That’s when I heard the third boom! However, this time it was accompanied by a low whistle that grew louder and louder. I peered out of the window and into the sapphire sky outside, through the clouds came, a cannonball? The small iron orb soared through the atmosphere right towards the door, without thinking I dove back from the entrance. As my body hit the floor the projectile made contact, leaving a huge cannonball shaped dent.

I leapt to my feet, the passengers had begun to squawk in terror like a gaggle of seagulls, I returned to the door and gazed back into the clouds around us. There I saw it, rising up from the depths of the vapours, it appeared to be the crow’s nest from an old eighteenth century frigate, flying from the mast of said crows’ nest was a black flag. On the black banner was crudely sown a skull, with a pair of wings crossed bellow it. Positioned in the crow’s nest was a peculiar sight, a man dressed in a what appeared to be a black and white striped shirt, bellow a bellowing brown fur trimmed bombers jacket. On his head was a aviator’s hat and covering his eyes was a pair of aviators goggles. The man held in one hand a folding telescope and in the other a megaphone. He yelled into the megaphone and suddenly the crows nest sank back below the clouds.

The plane then leered to the side opposite of me before stabilizing again, it had felt as if something other than a cannon ball had made contact with the wing. In a panic I rushed over to the other exit door and glimpsed out. There on the edge of the wing stood another man, he wore similar goggles to the last man except for an eyepatch covering the left lens. On his head was tied a green bandanna, and he wore a blue oil spattered mechanics jumpsuit. At his side was holstered a huge cutlass and in his mouth was clenched a stick of dynamite. The man crept closer and closer to the exit door, it was at this moment that three more people landed feet first onto the plane wing. Causing more turbulence, in the rocking confusion one of the invaders was knocked off the side, I watched in horror as I saw him plummet towards the earth scrambling to release the parachute on his back.

The three remaining figures lurked ever closer, at this moment the captain returned to the speaker. “Well…prepare to be boarded folks.” Suddenly five harpoons pierced roof of the plane, a man shrieked at the sight of them hooking tight into the metal ceiling of the fuselage. I heard the noise of something thudding against the door, taking this as a sign I backed away from it just in time. An explosion rocked the plane, and where the door had been was now a hole into the blue, there came the deafening screams of the petrified passengers. I looked around dazed as the oxygen masks dropped down on the now terrified travelers.

In through the door stepped the first figure followed by his companions, one was a woman dressed in a flowing red frock pulled over what appeared to be an old stewardess’ uniform. On her tightly done up brown hair sat a matching scarlet tricorn hat and at her hip was holstered a comically large revolver. In her hands she brandished a large wrench menacingly. The third figure entered, he was a crusty older man with a dishevelled graying beard stained yellow from either cigarettes or alcohol, either way he wreaked of both. His left hand was a slightly rusty hook and in his good hand he twirled a screwdriver.

All three figures produced their assortment of weapons and across each face crept a twisted and wicked smile. The man who had led the charge produced a sack and spoke, his voice was more of a roar and was a little rough on the ears. It was evident he had to yell to be heard over the din of the gapping hole behind him, and it didn’t help that most on the plane were crying out in fear and panic.

“All right ya land lubbers, unhand yur valuables and deposit em in the sack!” he turned to the old woman in first class who had called me forward for the Champaign. The man waved his cutlass in her face, and she clutched her pearl necklace even tighter, the man stalked up to her like cougar hunting its prey, “Here ma’am, let me lighten you neck of such a heavy burden.” She shook her head in disgust, but much to her dismay he simply tore it forth from his neck and shoved it into the dirty bag. Karma, I thought to myself with a slight chuckle, however this laugh did not go unnoticed. The grubby man whirled to face me and glared at me with his uncovered eye. Beneath the smeared glass it looked me up and down in a way I did not fully appreciate.

“what’s so funny ye bilge rat?” he inquired as I quickly stood backed away, he advanced towards me until I bumped into the food cart which I had been pushing. “I’m just doing my job Mr.!” not that I particularly want to. The woman in red now joined into this encounter, she laughed a hearty laugh and responded before her compatriot had a chance. “Your doin your job, so are we love.” She spoke in a noticeable accent, though I could scarcely place it, and smelled of cheap perfume. “Now keep out of our way darlin, just be a good lil boy an put it all in the bag.” She raised the ridiculously large pistol and scowled into my eyes, feeling behind me on the cart I searched for a potential weapon to defend myself. Grasping a coffee pot, I gave her a retort. “You know id have guessed you also wear an eyepatch with how badly you applied that lipstick.” She had been taken entirely aback by this and looked to her hook handed friend in disbelief. Seizing my moment, I brought the coffee pot hard into the side of her head and proceeded to kick her as powerfully as I could. She stumbled back dropping the stack of stollen goods, as she fell back she tripped on a piece of debris and tumbled back towards the gapping hole in the plane side. The pressure grabbed hold of her and pulled her out into the sky, her screams could be heard as she was sucked out of the plane, and she could be seen deploying as parachute quickly as she somersaulted through the stratosphere.

The remaining assailants stared in shock at one another, the hook handed fellow turned to me just in time for me to toss a serving tray like a frisbee in between his nose, which he proceeded to clutch in pain. The eyepatched gentleman in the mechanics jumpsuit let out an angry growl and raised his cutlass in a threatening gesture. “I’m gonna shish kebab you!” he barked while thrusting his sword at me, however his depth perception was obviously very impaired by his eyepatch. What should have been a devastating blow that ran me through was instead inflicted on the cart which my back was still pressed against. “Goddamn it! Stupid aesthetic choice on my part, I’ll admit that.” With that he tore the eyepatch off and tossed it behind him revealing that the bellow the goggle it had covered was a perfectly functional eye.

Using his full force, he began to struggle to get the sword unstuck from the cart. Thinking fast I gave him a quick knee to the groin, and he let go of the hilt stumbling back in pain. I seized the sword and using my entire strength I plucked it from the snack cart. I turned back towards my foe and brandished it before mysef triumphantly. I laughed jubilantly and smirked at my bested opponent, the man with the hooked hand stepped over his recovering comrade and with a wrench in hand prepared too dual me. Never having used a sword I was naturally beaten back until he had knocked the sword forth from my grasp, raising both hands in surrender I made a proposition, “Best two out of three?” his scowl grew deeper, and he raised the wrench high above his head ready to split my skull like a rotting jack o lantern. I made a quick prayer and closed my eyes, bracing myself for the pain that I expected to follow.

“Not so fast!” called a new voice from behind, my attacker spun to the hole in the side of the vehicle, and in stepped a strapping giant of a man. He was as tall as a tree and as muscular as an ox. The man wore a green pirate frock and black boots with his billowing grey slacks tucked into them. The polished boots clacked about the metal floor of the entrance. He had a flawlessly chiselled face and beneath his pointed nose was an equally sharp moustache greased into a point on each side. His eyes were a deep emerald green which matched his coat. Dangling from his right ear was a single gold hoop earing. On his head above a flowing mane of curling black hair was placed a huge musketeer’s hat with a plume of ostrich feathers sticking out of it. On his shoulder was perched a fat grey pigeon which he fed a piece of a cracker. “There ya go Polly.” The pigeon cooed happily and nestled into his neck, its beady eyes looking in two directions at once.

“Who is this handsome fellow that seems to have beat the ever-living tar outa ya, Brendan?” he inquired to the man who now held me at wrench point. Brendan without taking his eyes off me replied. “Some flight attendant, how the fuck should I know who this son of a bitch is?!” the green coated man pushed Brendan out of the way and told him to lower his wrench. “Brendan, pick Caleb up, you two go and finish reliving the passengers of their booty so we can get out of here.” Grumbling Brendan assisted his compatriot to his feet and the two men continued looting the people on board. The rugged man got very close to my face, and I couldn’t help but blush slightly as he gently spoke to me “Name’s Captain Lark, and this here is my friend Polly.” He lovingly stroked the pigeon who cooed in delight once again, he continued. “Now every good pirate captain needs himself a cabin boy, and when you think about it, flight attendant isn’t to far off from being a cabin boy. You’ve impressed me in, multiple ways.” He giggled a little pushing some of his ebony locks away from his piercing eyes. I admit the offer is very tempting, the pay is probably better… “So, what’ya say? Want to join the crew?” Enthusiastically I agreed and Captain Lark gave me a hearty hand shake, he took me by the hand and lifted me to my feet. Gleefully I followed him to the hole in the plane side, turning back I looked at the old woman who I simply gave a rude gesture to and departed.

The wind wisped around me, and I feared I would lose my footing and drop back towards the Earth bellow. The captain motioned to a rope ladder hanging down from above our plane, I looked up and to my amazement above us soared a similar vessel. It too was a 747 however it had been heavily modified, where windows had been now were shoved cannons. Painted on the sides of this plane were the same skull and crossed wings as before, along with a pinup girl and a crudely written name, The Seagull. Atop this machine was a ramshackle crow’s nest attached by bits of scrap metal and wood, slooping from some of the sides was sails and hanging bits of rope. Brendan and Caleb scuddled up quickly before myself and Captain Lark, as the duo entered the Seagull I went to take hold of the first rung. Just at that moment, the plane jostled and I felt my footing slip, the world seemed to go dark and I saw my life flash before my eyes as. Then I felt the large hand of Captain Lark clutch my own and steady me, my eyes widened and I stared deep

into his eyes, I noticed that our hands remained together for quite some time. Lark then helped me up the ladder and into the flying fortress above us.

Upon entering the interior of his plane, the captain barked an order “Untether and sink her!” the Seagull then leaned to the left and lowered its altitude, it got level with my former plane of employment and on the captains, count the Seagull let out a barrage of cannon fire. Though it did little actual damage the plane still sink below the clouds, preparing to make an emergency landing. Captain Lark placed a hand on my back, “You’ll make a fine cabin boy indeed.” He stared contently into my eyes and I into his.