Our weekly Sunday Character Interview Series concludes with an interview with Captain Burt Sharky, the meanest, toughest, nastiest pirate to sail the high seas. This should be interesting. I hope he doesn't pillage and burn the place!
Editor: Well, thank you for taking the time to sit down and chat with us, Captain Sharky.
Sharky: Argh! Aint no trouble at all matey. Every once in a while it’s good t’ get outta the water inta drydock an’ scrape the barnacles off m’ keel.
Ed.: I can see how that would be necessary from time to time. Tell us a little bit about yourself, if you don’t mind.
Sharky: Well, I been at sea most o' m’ life.
Ed.: Oh, that’s marvelous. Did you start as a cabin boy?
Sharky: No, nothin’ like that. See, m’ old man were a pirate. When he spotted a ship he wanted to pillage, he and the rest o’ the crew’d get belowdecks and leave me on deck by m’self. I were only about 7 or 8, and I’d set to hollerin’ and whinin’ and carryin’ on. The target ship’d always come see what the fuss were about. They’d see me alone on deck, and I’d shout that everyone were washed overboard in a storm. They’d come over to rescue me, and m’ dad’s crew would overpower ‘em and board their ship. We took a lot of fat prizes that way.
Ed.: Oh, how, umm, cute.
Sharky: Them were the days. ‘Bout the only happy times I can remember, ‘cept o’ course when I found m’ ring. Things started lookin’ up after that.
Ed.: Your ring?
Sharky: Aye. I took it from a lubber one time when I was ashore. I’d lost m’ ship and I wanted the ring to finance a new one. I ran the dog through, took the ring, but I couldn’t bring m’ self to sell it. Instead, I kept it and stole a merchant vessel.
I recruited a new crew, found a good island hideout, and set about plunderin’ vessels. I grew to be successful and set up a piratin’ empire. I was known throughout the world as the meanest, dirtiest, most rotten scoundrel to sail the high seas.
Ed.: So I understand. What happened with Cal Endria and his group?
Sharky: Endria and his lilly livered dogs were nothin’ but cowardly sheep. They lost their stomach for fighten’ and wanted to settle down. I should of keel hauled the lot of ‘em. Instead, though, I decided that they could be useful in their own way.
I set up the Tariff where they had to give me half of everything they produced for a hunnert years. Then after the hunnert years had gone by, I double crossed ‘em. I came sailin’ in with a new weapon and kept chargin’ the Tariff twice a year for another two hunnert, until that kid and his bird came.
Ed.: Hold on. Just how long have you been alive?
Sharky: I were born over 350 years ago. It were the ring, ya see. It give me long life and great power. No one ever thought to double cross ol’ Sharky, because I beat Death hisself. Then along came that Eric brat and his bird. Arghhh, I can’t talk ‘bout it no more! Read the cursed book.
Ed.: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Sharky: Oh, I don’t know. Terrorizin’ children and small animals, bullyin’, belittlin’, swearin’, carryin’ on, hangin’ swabs from the yardarm, the usual things, I s’pose.
Ed.: Have you ever come across Captain Jack Sparrow?
Sharky: Arghhhhh! Don’t mention that name! The slippery eel still owes me his ship, the Black Pearl. I won it fair and square in a poker game, but he give me the slip when I were tryin’ to take possession. If he ever comes across me bow again, he’ll get a long, painful death, or my name ain't Captain Burt Sharky!
Ed.: How has the release of the book impacted your life?
Sharky: Are ya daft?! How has it affected m’ life? It’s ruined it ya lubber, that’s what it’s done! I can’t show m’self at any pirate meets. I get so mad, I could run someone through!
Ed.: Well, on that note, I think it’s time to wrap this up. Thank you so much for taking some time to talk with us.
Sharky: How do I get out of this pigsty? I’ve got to get back to m' ship. I’m thinkin’ of startin’ a ghost pirate crew. Mortals can’t stand ghosts!