Continued from Part I…
Steadying his breath, Freddie threw a roll of paper with a sharp wrist flick. The missile struck the unwanted visitor dead-centre of the iris. The eye blinked and shook, the tentacles retracted, and the monster fell to the floor in a puff of violet smoke.
A splash as the stow-away, cutlass in gut, squealed in anger and was launched over the side of the ship. It hit the water and sunk into the depths without struggle.
Peace returned. Freddie grabbed a second roll of paper and stood back against the wall.
Now a sound, a whine, high-pitched and penetrating, nerve-shattering, reverberating, from above. A tiny speck, dancing in the purple, flittered by the ceiling, shadow-boxing in some incomprehensible game.
A bat flapped around the mast, dodging a sail that billowed gently in the breeze. The bat settled on the ship’s wheel, parchment in its mouth.
Freddie took careful aim with his roll of paper.
He stopped. The speck floated down in front of his nose.
“I will show you the way,” it said. “I will guide your sleep.”
The bat dropped the parchment on the deck and unrolled it – a map. Here be shoals, here be dragons.
Freddie blew out the candle, lay down on his bed and closed his eyes. “Set sail,” he whispered.
Captain and bat let the ship slip its moorings. The sails unfurled and the vessel headed out to sea.