Chapter 19

Fay backed away from the repetitive jabbing motions Yellow Tooth was making with his cutlass until she found herself next to Barnaby in the hallway.

“So boys,” said Yellow Tooth with a horrible, leering grin. “Looks like we’ve got our recruits after all!” He chuckled and lowered the cutlass, but continued to stare mockingly at Fay and Barnaby. “I hope you pups like looting and ransacking.”

Jimbo, the fat bald pirate, sniffed and wiped away a tear. “I’ve never had children of me own,” he said.

“They ain’t children any more!” crowed Yellow Tooth. “They’re pirates!” He brandished his cutlass at Fay and Barnaby once more. “And they’re about to prove it!”

Fay did not like the sound of that at all. Would she have to get a tattoo? Or worse, a pegleg?
“How do we prove we’re pirates?” asked Fay. Maybe a show of cooperation would buy her a chance to escape.

“Well, first off,“ said Scratchy. “We’re gettin’ powerful hungry! You gots to help us stock up. On provisions.”

“That’s right,” agreed Jimbo with a fatherly smile. “Feed yer’ crewmates, be brothers forever.”

“I’m not sure you were brotherly with Mr. Twicky,” observed Fay.

Yellow Tooth swung around, his sword cutting the air with a whoosh. “Twicky’s a numbskull!” he bellowed. “He can’t fix nothin’ but chicken and hardtack! What we need is Jolly Rogers!”

“Cinnamon!” yelled Scratchy.

“Plain!” chimed in Jimbo.

“It don’t matter what kind!” concluded Yellow Tooth. “So long as it’s got that crunchy goodness!”

Barnaby had been silently glowering at the pirates, but now his mouth curled into a smirk.
“So why don’t you crunch on back to the cereal factory?,” he said. “Or did you pig it all up when you were there before?”

“I told ya’ we shouldn’t of been so piggy-hoggy,” whined Scratchy to Jimbo with a sniff.

“Maybe the guppy don’t understand the life of a pirate,” said Yellow Tooth with a glint in his eye. “Maybe he don’t know just how hungry we get what with all the raiding and looting.”

Scratchy and Jimbo nodded their heads vigorously.

“Maybe,” continued Yellow Tooth, “We need to show ‘im.”

Scratchy and Jimbo nodded harder.

Yellow Tooth stretched to his full towering height and pointed his cutlass at Barnaby. “So get moving boy!” he roared. “Lead the way to more Jolly Rogers!”

“I’m so proud,” said Jimbo wiping another tear with a dirty fist. “Their first assignment.”

For a moment, Barnaby just stood gaping dumbly at the fluorescent school lights glinting off the blade of Yellow Tooth’s cutlass. It seemed to Fay that the usual crazed gleam in the pirate’s eyes was growing gleamier and crazier, until WHACK! The cutlass, in a motion too swift to catch, had cleanly sliced Mr. Officer’s cardboard head from his cardboard body.

“Go now boy,” Yellow Tooth suggested.

Barnaby went. With Fay and the pirates right behind.

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