Tall Tales
Jointly based off the novel 'The Curse of Treasure Island' by Francis Bryan

I didn't believe him. Not at first at least. My younger brother was full of tall tales and I thought this was no different. The possibility of him being even remotely truthful never crossed my mind. After all, why lady ever come here? Even after seeing the 'lady' called Grace Richardson I thought she wasn't a real lady. Sure she spoke with an annoyingly crisp accent rich people always seemed to have. She walked as though each foot would meet glass but also as if she was a force to be reckoned with. Sure she had a lovely dress when I saw her but no lady would allow her son to play with my brother and me. No lady would allow her son to rush around and act in a way so undisciplined. Ladies and lords were supposed to be refined once they stopped spitting up. They were supposed to look down their noses at commoners but Louis was nice. He played with us, often pretending to be a pirate attacking me and my brother who would pretend to be Jim and B.E.N. He was like any other kid in the area. Although he wasn't as bossy as Captain Amelia's girls or as creepy as that one kid that always ordered worms at Mrs. Hawkin's inn. (Why would you order worms, when you could just to go and ask for a raw slab of meat?)

Louis had been around for a week when finally I asked him what his mother and he were doing at the inn. He replied something about how his mother needed to find someone, and that Jim Hawkins knew where to find him. I had frowned and said that was funny since Jim never seemed to know where B.E.N was when I asked. Louis had just shrugged and we went back to playing.

It was around that time that my brother came up the tale I refused to believe. He started to tell me that Louis's mother was looking for a pirate that had tried to kill Jim. I rolled my eyes when I first heard it and went back to sewing a dress for a woman with a lot of arms. (Mama wanted me to learn her trade so that when she got too old, I could take over and make dresses for all the women in the area. She also said it would teach me to be more gentle and feminine since I took after Papa too much.)

I kept ignoring him until I pricked my finger. While I held my injured finger in my mouth, I glared at my younger brother. His tail swished side to side as he started to explain what he had overheard. Apparently, Grace Richardson had been speaking to Mrs. Hawkins and the window had been left open. At that point, I stopped listening. It was a well-known fact that Mrs. Hawkins kept her windows shut and locked after the inn burned down ten years ago. I went back to my sewing and after a moment, my brother stomped out. Later he returned and announced that Louis and Grace Richardson were hiding from the king's men. I laughed in his face that time and his face turned red before he jumped me. Mama wasn't surprised to come down the stairs and find me sitting on his head and demanding he beg for forgiveness. A day later I had cause to wonder about my brother's tales.

I was outside playing with a ball when I spotted a carriage coming towards me on the road. Inside the black carriage was an unfamiliar man. He was a fat creature, purple in the face, and red everywhere else. His arms were as big as wine barrels and he didn't seem to have legs. His clothes did not seem to fit right as they stretched to cover his enormous body. Gold and silver strings seemed to barely hold the material together. Medals hung from a pocket on his left breast. Warts covered his face and his fingertips were cupped and sucker like. In one hand he held a whip that sparked and in the other the reins of the carriage. This man was a lord. I had wondered why he would venture to the Bendow Inn and I recalled my brother's tail that Louis and his mother were in hiding. However, the thought had barely crossed my mind when Louis appeared on the hill.

I shouted and waved but he froze. Behind me, I heard the crack of a whip and the carriage lurch forward. As a blur of black rushed by me, I focused on Louis. He was able to roll out of the wall of the initial charge but the lord got down from his carriage, he moved surprisingly fast. Instead of running after Louis as he hurried to my side, he raised his whip and cracked it. The whip hit Louis who fell to the ground. For a second, I was stunned. Papa always complained that lords were afraid to get their hands dirty but now one was attacking my friend. The lord slithered over to Louis who had frozen on the ground.

My brother appeared by my side before disappearing in the direction of the inn without being told. I, meanwhile, ran towards the lord. Papa had always taught me to defend those who were important to me and I was determined to protect Louis. (Although Papa's definition of important was usually based on who was paying him and how much.)

The lord raised the whip and began to attack my friend. I charged in and managed to grab the monster around the middle. I tried to lift it but even my strength was unable to overcome the monster's weight so I shouted for Louis to run. There was no reply and I could not see Louis. I began to worry he had been hit too hard and was already dead but I did not release my grip.

The monster reached down and grabbed me by my arm and tried to pull me off so that he could attack Louis again. When I didn't release my grip, he began to shake back and forth and tried to knock me off. He attempted to hit me with the whip but hit himself more often. But then he found my weak point. He grabbed my tail and pulled. I felt as though I was going to be sick and my limbs seemed to have turned to jelly. I would have fallen to the ground if the monster had not still held my tail so I was suspended, wishing I could puke and stop feeling so ill. The monster finally released my tail and I collapsed on the ground. My strength seemed to return and I was about to rise to my feet when the monster stepped on my tail. The sick feeling returned and my vision began to twist and distort the area around me.

I heard my brother shout and another person (Jim maybe?) order the man to release Louis and me. The monster ignored him and I saw the spark of the whip. Something then tackled the monster around the waist and pulled him off of my tail. Again my strength returned. My brother appeared by my side and helped Louis to his feet. We did not stay to see what would happen between our rescuer and that monster. Our house was closer so my brother and I carried Louis inside. Once inside, we slammed the door shut and my brother began piling what little furniture we had in front of the door. Louis was silent as he sat by the fireplace and I was trembling. No one had ever pulled my tail before, and now I understood why Papa got so mad when I once grabbed his as a joke.

Outside there was silence until Jim appeared through the backdoor. He asked us if we were alright and then walked Louis back to the inn when my mother appeared. She put a slab of cold meat on my tail and told me to hold it. I didn't realize my tail still hurt until then. It was still hurting when I went to sleep that night and to distract myself I sat by the window. Just after dark, the new thick steel shutters of the Bendow Inn were closed and the lights turned off. I didn't really think much of it, being more concerned with my tail. Papa had come in earlier to check on it and he told me it would fall off in the morning. He didn't say if I would grow a new one or if I die the day after tomorrow instead. He didn't even tell me he was joking so I sat up that night, worried and in pain. Around midnight, I saw the carriages arrive.

Pirates were the first thing to pop into my head. Jim would often tell the kids stories about how he came to travel to Treasure Planet and B.E.N would add to them and tell us of Captain Flint. Fearful that pirates were coming to burn down the Hawkin's inn again, I started to move from my place at the window. My tail gave me a stab of pain, and I found myself stuck. I considered shouting for my brother or Mama but before I could the sound of a laser pistol cracked through the air. I heard Papa move out of the bedroom beside mine and felt safe. He would go and stop the pirates. I continued to watch as the pirates attacked the inn. Always shooting at the shutters which I thought was odd because everyone knows the backdoor is the weakest defended and best place to attack.

Then another carriage arrived. Captain Amelia stepped out into the midnight, and she carried the only light. At the same time, our front door slammed shut and I saw Papa make his way towards the inn. I don't think I could have moved even if I wanted to at that point. I watched, ready to see Papa and Captain Amelia in action against the pirates but I was disappointed. The pirates raised a sheet of paper and then B.E.N appeared with chairs, a light, and a table. The pirates sat down but the inn remained dark. Papa remained at Captain Amelia's side and seemed to be growing impatient. However, he did not seem to be trying to start a fight. His arms were crossed and his tail swished back and forth to show he was annoyed. Time passed and I must have fallen asleep.

When I awoke, it was morning. The chairs and table had disappeared. My tail did not hurt anymore but Papa's warning was still in the back of my head. Nevertheless I was in a hurry for news. I quickly ate my dinner before rushing towards the inn with my little brother at my tail. When we arrived the area was full of customers. My brother disappeared to go talk with some of the kids who were eating with their parents. I, meanwhile, searched the area for an adult who would talk to me. I found Doctor Doppler but he was busy speaking with an unpleasant looking man. I also found Mrs. Hawkins but she was training one of the newer employees so I disappeared lest she ask me for my help. I searched the whole inn, including some of the rooms but Jim, B.E.N, and Captain Amelia were nowhere to be seen. I couldn't even find Morph which really began to worry me.

I found myself outside and at a lost. It wasn't until later that I realized I hadn't seen Grace Richardson either and when I went in search of Louis I was unsuccessful again. My brother found me as I was searching the boats on the boat. This time he laughed. He said Jim had left with Morph, B.E.N, Louis, and 'Lady' Grace Richardson. I told him I wasn't in the mood for jokes and left in a huff. When I arrived home, my mother confirmed my brother's story. Jim, Morph, B.E.N, Grace Richardson had left to go to the Montressor Spaceport. Before I could run to my room, she handed me a dress and ordered me to start working on it. As I started to work, I became angry.

I hadn't expected Jim or B.E.N to say goodbye but I had thought Louis would have at least had a word for my brother and me. My anger grew when my brother returned home and explained he had known Louis was gone all along because Louis had said goodbye to him. I ended up ruining that dress.

Time past and Jim and the others had yet to return from their trip. I grew up during that time. My anger dulled although it still stung that Louis hadn't bothered to say goodbye, especially since I helped save him from that lord. I missed seeing Jim and B.E.N around although Jim hadn't been around much after he returned from Treasure Planet because he was off studying to be a captain. My mother started to force me to wear the dresses I made and soon even my father suggested that I needed to be more feminine. During that tiring time when the world seemed against me and I considered trying to find a treasure map of my own, they returned.

I wasn't sure how to react. Even though I was only thirteen, I still felt I deserved a bit more respect. After all, Louis had left for six months without saying goodbye! My mother still dragged me to the celebration though and also forced me into a dress. I didn't really pay attention to the party except when Jim was forced into telling a kid-friendly version of his travels. (My brother and I later heard the actual version from Papa when Jim finally cracked under the pressure and told the adults the whole version.) Grace Richardson was nowhere to be seen and I didn't even think of Louis until I literally crashed into him. He hadn't changed much. Sure he was browner now. He seemed more disciplined and calmer but I had expected that. Space was good for character apparently. Louis didn't seem to remember me as he apologized, which only made me angrier so I glared at him before walking away without a word.

I don't know who laughed but I knew it was an adult so I didn't bother to find out who it was and give them a bloody nose. Finally, I was able to leave the party. I was tired. I was mad. I was sick to death of dresses and acting 'feminine' whatever that was. I just wanted to change, eat until I was going to puke, and go to bed.

The next day I was allowed to wear what I wanted and I wandered around outside enjoying the warmth of the day. My mood was good for the moment but it quickly became sour when I spotted Louis walking towards me. He seemed to have finally remembered who I was because he waved with a big grin on his face.

Recalling Mama when Papa annoyed her, I pointed my nose in the air, turned on my heel, and walked away. I avoided Louis for the next few days, convinced he was just going to leave again. But he didn't. Day after day he would appear and try to talk to me. I started to wear the dresses in an attempt to confuse him so I could go outside without him annoying me. Unfortunately, he now seemed to recognize me even when I stole my mother's ribbons and put them in my hair.

I would have gone back to pants and a shirt but my mother stole them. Now I'm forced to remain in a dress. What's worse is just yesterday I heard people whispering behind their hands about how I am dressing up for Louis. I would have stopped the ribbons as well but they are very helpful keeping my hair out of my eyes.

If this keeps up I'm going to have to find a treasure map and leave for six months. Maybe then people will respect me. Or I could just go beat up Louis. After all, he was the cause of my problems. My life was fine until he showed up. My brother's tales were lies. I only made dresses; I didn't wear them. My Papa was okay with me fighting. I didn't get my tail pulled and I didn't have to deal with some boy following me around.

If he follows me again tomorrow, I'll punch him.


A/N: Aw, young love and the silliness that comes with it. Although Scout will completely deny it if questioned. I wasn't really able to work that part in but feel free to reread the last part knowing that Scout has a small crush on Louis.

Anyways, as stated above, this is based on the novel by Francis Bryan. I strongly recommend it. Originally, this story was going to be a small reimagining of Bryan's novel but it warped in the last act so instead of a new version of 'The Curse of Treasure Island' you get a fanfiction. Really nothing spoilerish has appeared in this story so I am sure you'll be able to read "The Curse of Treasure Island" and not be able see most if any of it coming. Also, don't worry. The narrator and her little brother are not in the actual novel. I needed a better narrator since I couldn't write Treasure Planet Jim and I figured this would work better anyways. She's actually the reason why this story warped. I guess my use of Scout from "To Kill a Mockingbird" backfired. Anyways, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed.

-d101

Disclaimer: I own a copy of Treasure Planet and one of The Curse of Treasure Island. That is the extent of my ownership.

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