All Stories, General Fiction

Skeleton Crew by R W Maxwell

All things are equal when a ship is a ship and her crew is a crew.

So I say, “This here ship ain’t a ship, ’cause her crew ain’t a crew. Not even a skeleton crew, like Bucktooth says. Though I admit, ye won’t find a skinnier bunch of skeletons than us.”

And the crew laughs.

Then I say, “’cept for Fat Norton.”

And the crew don’t laugh so hard.

They looks at Fat Norton, who’s stroking the handle of his flintlock, and he’s looking right scared ‘n’ red ‘n’ round ‘n’ ripe ‘n’ juicy ‘n’ plump —like a tomato what’s ready to burst— and the crew’s looking right hungry and he’s looking real afraid.

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