The Melancholy of Black Captain Cole

Avatar Author: Crown Me Tarzan, King of Mars I write pulp. http://ficlets.ficly.com/authors/user_605 Read Bio

With a mighty thrust, the cutlass of Black Captain Cole split the heart of his rival, Admiral Flint. Cole flipped the toggle on the hilt, electric flux cascading down the blade, burning Flint black and crispy like a roasted duck. Finally, the dog Cole had hunted across sea and sky was dead. And yet, he felt no joy. He felt nothing at all.

From the deck of Poseidon’s Strumpet, Captain Cole felt the pulse of the Cavorite core that kept his ship aloft, heard the rustling of wind through sail. Cole gazed down at the world and the ants who thought themselves men upon it. He couldn’t even find contempt for these insects who would never sail the seas nor touch the sky.

Cole called for rum and his once beloved cabin boy. But even drink and sodomy with the catamite whom the men called “Three-Legged Ned” could not banish his melancholy.

What good is a pirate that finds no glee in pillage, who feels no swell of triumph at the death of an enemy? Cole thought. Am I no different than those landlocked fools below?

View this story's details

Prequels

Oh no! This story doesn't have a prequel. Want to fill in the blanks and write one?

Comments (18 so far!)

Average Reader Rating

  1. Avatar Princess Binky Lemontwist (LoA)

    Ick.

  2. Avatar Princess Binky Lemontwist (LoA)

    Best to put a mature tag on this?

  3. Avatar Emilou

    A pirate’s identity crisis. Interesting… they have problems too!

  4. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    What do you give a person who has everything?? That seems to be the issue, he can’t find a way to reward himself. :)

  5. Avatar Stovohobo

    The grandiose setting is a funny contrast to Cole’s totally mundane feeling. Poor big gay air pirate. :(

  6. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Definitely a mature tag would be a good idea, but the story is brilliant. Tons of little details, and a superb melancholic, psychological turn to the swashbuckling action.

  7. Avatar ethelthefrog

    Agree about the mature tag.

    I really like this tale. Even a dark and menacing character like this has a long dark tea-time. Love the “three-legged Ned” image. Very direct.

  8. Avatar boxofun

    Excellent story! Air pirates – so great, yet so ordinary. It’s unusual to take such a cool setting and fill it with melancholy, but you made it work!

  9. Avatar Abby (LoA)

    Yup – mature for sure. I won’t eat duck for at least a year! I’m not a fan of steampunk in general but I liked it paired with pirates. And I loved the name of the air-ship. It made me chuckle despite the general theme of the ficly.

    It does pose the question: what does a conqueror do when they’ve conquered the world. That sudden lack of purpose must be horrific. You sum up really well in the last few lines.

    Also impressive that you could induce sympathy in the reader for such a horrible character! Good work. Thanks for entering the challenge – please don’t forget to comment on all the others.

    Oh and Stovohobo’s quote ‘Poor big gay air pirate. :(’ should really go down in the ficly history books =’D

  10. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    At first I was trying to decide if this was steampunk or just straight science fiction with a swashbuckling flare (a la Star Wars). I love the direction you took it in and would be interested to see more development of this character.

  11. Avatar Crown Me Tarzan, King of Mars

    Wow. I appreciate the kind response. Especially for a story I knocked out at 4:00 AM, half-asleep.

    The steampunk tag is a cheat. I intended to add more actual steampunk details but ran out of space. But even then, pirates with an airship that runs on Cavorite (look it up) couldn’t possibly line-up with the Victorian timeframe that exemplifies the Steampunk Era.

    Enough people tell me I’m wrong about the mature tag and I guess I’m wrong. So now it’s set to mature.

    And I agree: Stovohobo’s “poor big gay air pirate” is an awesome description! I’m considering changing that to the new title!

  12. Avatar Riley

    God I love Steampunk. c,:

    A tear shed for you, my friend. I love you. Can I love you? Yeah…

    More please. c:

  13. Avatar Robert Quick

    It looks like I’m in the minority but I didn’t feel that this needed a mature tag. I loved the name of the airship. I also don’t see the Pirate as gay despite the cabin boy, it’s more of necessity and historically accurate (I think). Great attention to detail.

  14. Avatar Timbertoesa

    I definitely think “Poor Big Gay Air Pirate” should be the title. Props to Stovohobo for that one.

    Also, I’d just like to echo Princess Binky’s initial response: Ick. ;) I’m not gonna rate this ’cause my ladylike feelings will get in the way…

  15. Avatar Demi Beneke

    Love the little pirate identity crisis, not something you’d expect from someone who’s meant to be the most ruthless person on the seas… Don’t think it needs a mature tag actually…violence isn’t that bad and even I missed the homosexual reference in it so I doubt a younger person than I would recognise it and it wasn’t graphic in anyway, but that’s just my opinion

  16. Avatar H.S. Wift

    I also don’t think this needed a mature tag. Bit of bloof and gore, a little bit of implying a homosexual tendancy, and the little touch of innuendo are nothing. I wonder if people would be like this if it was the serving wench called Big-Bosomed Betsy? Maybe just prefix the story with “may contain scenes of violence and scenes of a sexual natur”?

    I did really like it, but I feel like if the name Cole appeared one more time I’d shoot myself. We know it’s Cole and you don’t need to repeat it three times in one paragraph. That’s pushing it.

    All in all, though, a good piece.

  17. Avatar Scrawler's Secret

    Maybe COle needs to be a pirate with a purpose. Yes he killed his rival… but WHY. Why do the pillaging when lacking reason for it. Maybe he’s just too much of a deep thinker to be an ordinary pirate.

  18. Avatar RoseTone ~LoA~

    Ah, the inevitable dead end of hedonism…. he should take up gardening.

Whoa there, partner, hold up!

Looks like this story has been marked as mature by its author. If you're okay with that, go ahead and give it a read.

Otherwise, why not check out another great story?

Stories marked with the tag Mature include content of a mature nature that may not be suitable for everyone. Proceed with caution. See our Community Standards page for more information on what constitutes mature content on Ficly.