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A READER'S JOURNAL

Echoes from Other Worlds
An Anthology of Fiction in Two Parts

by
Wendy Esterling, Scott Goodrich, Kenneth King, Bobby Matherne, Shana L. Martin, Keith McGraw, Sharon Robb-Chism, Stephen Sanders, Pamala A. Williams and Kittye Williams

ARJ2 Chapter: Reading for Enjoyment
Published by Blackbead Books/TX in 2009
A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2010

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Fill ye a cup o'hot buttered rum, pull up yer chair by the fire and enjoy with me these tales and songs of pirating and spirits from the other side, Maties! Blackbead has gathered these for ye to read and enjoy till ye can grab another ship and head out to sea for profit and fun. If ye be like Ol' Benny Hawkins, ye remember him, he'd be saying, "It's in me blood, the red rage, aye! It's in me blood." (Page 5)

Er if ye be like Kittye Williams' surgeon's mate, ye remember him, he'd spend hours talking to a dolphin. "Surgeon's mate, pray, inform me of this tale I heard you tell yon fish. Tis a wild, unlikely story I do say; and perhaps twas my misunderstanding of your words. But tell me now, was that just a tale you crafted to keep yourself awake at your posts?" (Page 14)

Er mayhaps like Stephen Sanders, yer dad was yer favorite pirate:

[page 15]
       Dad, ye be me favorite pirate,
      And there's only one thing more to say:
      Not only do I thank ye with all of me heart
      But I'll join your crew any day!

Er ye had a favorite compass rose like Master Robert James McGee. Let Shana L. Martin spin the yarn fer ye:

[page 16]
      Of our love . . . a love so rare . . . that nothing on earth can compare!
      "Let this symbol be a sign, betwixt your heart and mine.
      Every chart you course, and map you see, know that you are not that far from me!"

Er sign aboard the Frigate Grey Ghost, "Jest mayke yer mark in bloode here, Laddie!" directs the Cap'n Robespierre, after showing ye his get-out-o'gaol-free card from Bonny Prince Charles and proclaiming, "With me Letters of Marque, we'll sail over the shallows and over the depths and escape from the gallows if ever we're caught!" Ye'll shiver like storm-rocked timbers when he finishes with,

[page 42]
There be ships most elusive
      But none of them close
For the Frigate we sail
      Be the mighty Grey Ghost!

Er yer dream, like Stephen Sanders, turns into a nightmare and ye lift yerself up and pray to God to save yer soul, and ever the ocean rolls on . . .

[page 43]
      My reality becomes enough
      My love finds a sweet, safe home
      My struggle triumphs to victory
      My legacy is born in a promise

       The ocean rolls on and on . . . .

Er mayhaps ye were an honest and God-fearing blacksmith afore ye set sail o'er pirating seas like Pamala A. Williams' pirate.

[page 46]
       "Aye, Sir. A pirate. But I was a blacksmith afore that. It's just that the king took everything I had in taxes. It was either pirate or go to the poor house. You seen them poor houses, Sir? Pitiful they is. A death sentence for sure.
       "And pirating isn't a death sentence?"
      "For most, I suppose. But it's also hope, Sir. And freedom."

Er ye remember the saying that "all cats are black in the dark" and reckon there's several ways to take that, especially if ye been in cathouses in port, like in Stephen Sanders' tale of Donny Driver and the virtuous Miss Catherine Black who accused him of raping her. It was Neligan who saved Donny's scurvy arse that day in the Cap'n' quarters. 'Ow did John Neligan know that Donny had a tattoo on his chest? Tis a tale worth spending another night in port to hear to its end.

Er, 'cuse, me Matey, is that a Christmas song I hear wafting from the dock? Bless me peg leg if it ain't Blackbead hisself like Lawrence Welk leading a pirate chorus, awaving bottles o' Indes rum, a-singing at the top o'their lungs.

[page 71]
      Fifteen pirates loudly carols singing!
      Ho, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum!
      Christmas bells are merrily singing!
      Ho, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum!
      The crew is like a family this night,
      With food and drink we all delight,
      And presents that fit us all just right
      We welcome the Christ child to the Earth,
      With laughter and joy and peaceful mirth
      We sing His praises for all we're worth!
      Ho, ho, ho, and Merry Christmas to all! !

Ah, Bless me, Boys, Methinks I've seen it all. Look! Up in the sky! Is that Billy "Badass" Barnes being taken for a ride? After a lifetime of snatching, the toughie's been snatched himself! This book’s filled with good yarns to fill the lonely hours and speed along the darkest evening. If ye’ve had yer fill, there’s one more tale to light the night. Stretch yer imagination and walk along with the Grim Reaper on his rounds. 'Twill open yer eyes to see the deeds he performs as he closes the eyes of many a mortal. Arh ye taking notes, Lad? Ye might be called to replace him one day.

Tis a night we spent with the quick and dead and off to bed we head, but not afore we stamp in lead the way ye be a-snatchin' yer own copy o'this fine read. Listen to sounds from o'er the sea, Maties! Can it be echoes from other worlds?




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Any questions about this review, Contact: Bobby Matherne

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