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Posted on Dec. 14, 2015, 7:44 p.m.

Christmas

My crew and I approach the beach of Port Royal, the sound of gulls crying mixing with the humid, salty air. At least the cloudy skies provide refuge from the hot Caribbean sun. As our longboat pulls up onto the beach, my heart nearly stops, before I sigh with relief. What I thought was Jolly Roger standing on the beach is simply a sand-sculpture, complete with seaweed dreadlocks, a stony grin, and a hat with two playing cards in it. I walk up to the sculpture and pose mightily in front of it, before continuing on to my destination; one of the many gypsies inhabiting the island's interior.

As my crew continues on to the Rowdy Rooster tavern, I tell them to save me a spot at the poker table and part ways with them. I meet with Angel O'Bonney, a gypsy woman who knew my father. We step into her cart. "Thank you for coming" she says, "I've seen things in my dreams." I look at her worried face and ask; "What does this have to do with me?" "I see you" Angel answers, "You and you crew. You saw the clouds surrounding where Cuba used to be, aye?" "Aye" I answer, "I have seen it." "Something is returning" Angel warns, "Something coming back. Cuba was hidden from the world by dark forces, but now..." "Now, what?" I ask. "There has been an awakening." Angels whispers to me. "Have you felt it?" I think for moment before answering; "Aye, I have felt a... stirring in the air. Something powerful. Wonderful and terrible at the same time." "Keep an eye on Cuba." Angels tells me, rising and opening the door. "The deep magic is stirring. Something powerful is awakening. Be ready."

I leave Angel's cart and make my way to the Rowdy Rooster. I see the people of the town putting up the usual Christmas decorations, a lot of green covering the town. "Cutting it a little close, aye mates?" I think to myself. I make it to the Rowdy Rooster, where I spend several hours living the pirate life with me crew. As we leave the tavern and begin to return to the ship, fireworks light up the sky, booming like cannon fire and making colorful patterns in the air. Christmas is in the air.

I keep feeling the stirring, and Angel's warning never leaves my mind. Within two weeks, my crew and I are floating outside the swirling black clouds that have surrounded where Cuba used to be for the last few months. Suddenly, the wind picks up and waves begin to toss our light galleon, the ‘Living Legend' to and fro. As we struggle to keep our footing, the clouds swirl faster and faster, fading into the air as a massive earthquake makes the already choppy ocean writhe and roil like a living thing. The crew begin to panic, and it takes all my skill and leadership to get them back under control and all our combined strength and skills to keep out tiny ship afloat.

Several hours later, after surviving the hurricane that followed the earthquake, we anchor at the first bit of land we see, in order to repair and resupply. As we haul our weary bodies out of the boat and onto the beach, I look around at the unfamiliar sites. Suddenly, I see landmarks I recognize, not from my own travels but from my father's stories. I am on Cuba; the clouds must have cleared and the magical barrier preventing landing had vanished. As my crew celebrate the island's safe return to the seas; I wonder if Angel was right. Something has returned; but what of her warning about something awakening? As I look around for the shipwright, I realized that Cuba is only the beginning. Something is coming, many somethings. I wonder what the year ahead holds for my future, and the future of all pirates.

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