Eddie hated the sea. The smell of salt stings his nose. The rocking of the ship makes his stomach turn. He can never sleep at night because the sloshing of the water drives me crazy. As much as Eddie hates the sea he would rather stay in it forever than arrive at the destination that the ship he was sailing in was going. They were headed for Hildegard, a neighboring kingdom to his. Where Prince Edward Kaspbrak the First would be married to Princess Myra Wexler the Thirteenth. Eddie had decided throwing himself overboard would be better than marrying this woman he had never met the second he turned 18. Which was in 3 days, 14 hours and some minutes. If King Frank were still alive Eddie wouldn’t have to worry about ruling or finding a queen until he was well into his late twenties, but his father had died in battle when Eddie was only 3. That left his kingdom with only Queen Sonia to rule and that had not been successful in the slightest. That’s why everyone was so excited to wed Eddie off as soon as he came of age. Finally they could be financially stable, battle ready, and not overruled by his paranoid mother. She had done a number on the kingdom of Derry, building up walls all around in one of her fearful frenzies and taxing the hell out of the common folk. That was just the start of her incessant ruling. Eddie felt bad for townsfolk, he did, he knew firsthand how bad his mother was, he just wished it wasn’t his responsibility to fix it.
Eddie came down to his lavish quarters at nightfall, dressed himself for bed in his favorite silk pajamas and flopped back on his bed. He thought of his upcoming fate. They would arrive to Hildegard in three short days. Eddie wondered what Myra Wexler would be like. Eddie hopes she was decent as he would be saddled with her for life. His mother had laid out the whole plan in front of him. They would arrive the day Eddie turned 18, He would wed Myra, she will sail back with them to Derry and they would both be crowned there with a big ceremony and the kingdom would thrive again. Eddie sighed and lay his head down. He had pleaded and pleaded with his mother just to give him a little more time. He wanted to explore once he was of age. He had been cooped up in that damn kingdom his whole life. His mother had never let him play with the village kids, she had barely even let him outside. Eddie closed his eyes, best not to think about it or Eddie would be sick again, this time not from the waves. Just as Eddie was drifting off to sleep he heard crashes coming from the upper deck. He bolted awake, clamored out of bed and reached for the door to his room. Before his hand even reached the handle the door swung open. In front of Eddie stood a man with unruly black hair tucked under a leather tricorn hat. He wore a funny looking white shirt with large billowing sleeves and laces that were supposed to be cinching the neck of the shirt together but instead the shirt hung open exposing the top part of the man's chest. He was as tall as the guards of Derry. He towered over Eddie small frame. Eddie tried to remain calm. After all he probably was just a lost shiphand.
“Hmm you’re not the supply room I was looking for.” said the man.
“Of course not.” Eddie snapped. He stuck his nose up and said, “ I’m Prince Edward the First, obviously, now return to your post.” Eddie was trying to get used to this whole ruling people thing. The man smiled like a wolf. He began to pace closer to Eddie, crowding his space.
“What?” Eddie asked, backing away confused as to why this shiphand was creeping closer to him. The man unsheathed a dagger from the back of his belt.
“I’m sorry about this.” The man said bowing. “My prince.” He took the butt of the dagger and knocked it into Eddie’s head. Eddie fell to the floor as everything went black.
Eddie awoke in a haze. His hands were tied together and fastened to the ropes around his ankles. He was lying on his side on the upper deck of the ship. He looked around and saw numerous others of the ship's crew tied up or knocked out around him. His mother was tied around the mast of the ship. She appeared to be out as well. Oh god, this is where I die Eddie thought. Eddie craned his head in the uncomfortable position to look for the perpetrators. He saw a band of men carrying crates of supplies. He saw the same man who had attacked him barking orders the crew, spinning his dagger in between his hands. Pirates, Eddie thought. He had been so stupid, why would that man be a shiphand, that made no sense. A shiphand would know not to enter his chambers. He was so so stupid. He looked nothing like a shiphand, he looked like a pirate. Not that Eddie had even seen one before in real life, just in the books he’d studied. Eddie wanted to scream out for help, but who was there to help him. Eddie scanned around once more and saw no signs of consciousness. The crew of men continued carting supplies to the side of the ship and then walking onto a board connecting to what must be their ship. Eddie looked up and saw a large black flag, flapping in the night breeze. Eddie squinted and saw a skull and with two bones crossed beneath it. Yup, pirates, Eddie thought. Their whole ship would be ransacked and they would be left for dead out here with nothing to eat, nothing to defend themselves, and nothing to buy more supplies. Eddie didn’t think this trip could possibly get any worse.
“Alright boys.” The dagger wielding pirate grinned. “I think we’ve got it all.” The crew jeered and starting making their way off the ship. The pirate man hopped off the stairs right next to Eddie. “Hmmm maybe not.” He stared down at Eddie. “I’m sure someone somewhere would be willing to pay a hefty price to get you in their grasp huh Prince Edward.” Eddie’s eyes grew wide. He surely didn’t mean what Eddie thought he meant. “Ben load up our dear prince on the ship would you?” Another man stooped near Eddie and tried to put his arms around him to carry him off. Eddie began to thrash and scream. He would not go without a fight. The man tutted.
“Come on mister prince, I would not want to have to have you knocked out again, you’re coming on the ship either way. The captain ordered it.” He said in a very matter of fact tone. Eddie guesses he couldn’t argue with that logic so he stopped thrashing and tried a different route.
“Please, please we have gold, jewels, anything you want at the kingdom, you don’t have to do this.” Eddie pleaded. It may not have been 100% true but he was desperate.
“Exactly mister prince, exactly.” The man scooped Eddie up and carried him on toward the connecting board. His mother must have woken up amidst all his screaming. She took in the scene in front of her and went ballistic. She tried to free herself from her confines on the mast. She screamed out for her son.
“EDWARD! EDWARD! BRING ME BACK MY EDWARD, PLEASE HE’S DELICATE!” Sonia screeched. The dark haired pirate in front of them just chuckled and continued walking.
“Do not worry, oh queen! you will receive a letter for the auction quite soon.” The tall pirate called back to her. Queen Sonia sobbed at that and continued to try and wriggle out of the ropes. His mother would not be able to break free, she was far too large and fastened in. Eddie had no other route. He was boarding this pirate ship, whether he liked it or not.