Pistol's Book o' Short Tales is a compilation of short stories, fables and lore from primarily around the Caribbean collected and put together by Jack Pistol. He is continually adding to this collection when ever he finds new stories to document. The stories could consist of lore, legends, fictitious tales and even real events.

Leonardo was a renowned thief in the Caribbean and was always looking out for a new endeavor. One day, fate smiled upon his bad deeds. He was lazing next to a small roadway “minding his own business”, as he would tell any authorities that asked, when a suspicious looking wagon rushed by. He just had enough time to catch a glimpse of the frantic driver, who wore a purple and black outfit, which to Leonardo meant one thing – wealth. As the wagon continued down the road he noticed two large chests peering out the back, with his keen sense as a thief he came to a delightful conclusion. That wagon driver was either too wealthy or was employed by someone who was too wealthy, those chests were filled to the brim with valuables and this would be his next big heist, possibly his biggest yet.

He hoisted himself up off the long wavy grass and sprinted down the road, just barely managing to keep the wagon in sight. He tracked it all the way to an out-of-the-way manor on the outskirts of Padres Del Fuego town. His suspicions were further proven by the tranquility the manor was built in and the fact that it had stone walls all around the extensive garden area. Leonardo observed the carriage stop in front of a gate, where a hooded gate-keeper came and addressed the driver, before opening the gate and allowing the wagon to pass through. Leonardo decided to wait patiently for nightfall before making his move.

When the moon lit the manor with an eerie light, Leonardo came out from behind the large dying oak where he had concealed himself for most of the evening. The moon showed a lot, but not enough for him to be easily detected. He could see no guards on the walls, and deduced that there were probably very few guards, if any, and that the walls did not have platforms to walk on anyway. In the darkness he crept closer to the far side of the wall, quite a distance away from the gate, to be sure the gate-keeper did not see him. Using the skills that had made him the infamous criminal that he was, he scaled the walls and then jumped down and landed on the other side almost inaudibly. Suddenly, he saw a dark figure, the gate-keeper, walking along a paved pathway towards the gate. He flattened himself against the wall, hoping the gate-keeper had not seen him. The gate-keeper kept on his path, whistling an eerie tune that made Leonardo hope he would not ever encounter him again in his existence, and if so, he hoped it would be in broad daylight with many witnesses and that he would be either quite intoxicated or in a superb mood.

Once the gate-keeper reached the gate, and disappeared from Leonardo’s vision he began moving towards the large manor that made up the majority of the area within the walls. He heard cackling and obnoxious singing coming from inside, and the occasional booming voice would announce something he couldn’t quite hear. This would explain why the manor was so isolated and the oddness also made Leonardo consider only robbing the middle-class in the future. Leonardo ran around to the other side of the manor, where he found a window low enough to ground level for him to pry open and sneak in through. He did so and found himself in a passageway lit by the occasional candle every few steps.

He made his way down the passage, all the while keeping his distance from the noise that made its source in the dining hall, where all these rich guests were obviously eating. Eventually he found what he was looking for, a suspicious looking door with a huge lock and iron reinforcement. If those two chests, which he suspected to be filled with gold, were not in there, some great wealth or item of value definitely was. He got down on his knees and took some oddly shaped tools from his pocket under his vest. He began working on the lock with them, trying to force it open as silently as he could.

Suddenly a large hand was resting on his shoulder. Leonardo got a fright and swung around then found himself looking at a humongous man that was dressed similarly to the gate-keeper. He had a black hood on and predominantly black clothing. From what Leonardo could see from his face he was of African descent – and grinning.

“Are you lost?” enquired the large man.

“Yes, sir. Terribly,” replied Leonardo shaking.

“Are you by any chance Rennid? I thought I noticed somebody was missing. Come through, sir, the feast is about to begin. I am Timreh, the leader of our order,” explained the man.

“A pleasure to meet you Timreh. As you said, I am Rennid. I was lost and thought I had to get through that door as part of some test by the order to prove myself,” lied Leonardo.

“Haha! Not at all. This is a purely gluttonous meeting,” said Timreh.

Timreh lead Leonardo to the dining hall where many other hooded guests were seated around a large table. Leonardo was startled to see that the table only had gravy, wine, cutlery, utensils and serviettes on it.

“Allow me to introduce the other guests,” said Timreh. “This is Sucram, Alleb, Leets, Nodrog and Nhoj.”

Leonardo looked puzzled, but then a sudden look of realization crossed his face.

“Oh!” exclaimed Leonardo. “The names are backwards, I see. You are actually Marcus, Bella, Steel, Gordon and John. Am I right?”

“Correct,” said Timreh.

“Wait, that means that you are Hermit, the cannibal…” Leonardo’s voice trailed.

“Quite right,” said Hermit as he drew his hood back revealing his face. “You think you could just rob me of wealth now could you?”

Hermit stepped forward and unsheathed a menacing looking dagger from behind his back. Looking around for an escape, Leonardo suddenly saw the chests he saw on the back of the wagon earlier. Their backs looked a lot like chests, but now, seeing them as a whole, they looked a lot more like coffins. In the next moment, Hermit had tackled him to the ground and was on top of him looking down at the helpless Leonardo. With his dying breath Leonardo thought of the name Hermit gave him earlier, and then turned it backwards like the others had done with their names…

Although they may be greatly exaggerated, the stories that emerge from these two scoundrels’ ventures are always worth reciting. These lifelong friends have never made an honest penny in their days of companionship. Since pups they were dirty thieves on Port Royal, stealing fruit and trivial necessities from the market place. However, their talents amplified and so did their desires, so their heists started turning towards the face of greed rather than need. Their names are as ridiculous as their appearance, but they are arguably the best thief-duo in the Caribbean.

Neither of them are big men, but with stealth as their primary asset and not strength, it is not a necessity. This, however, does not imply that they lack in fighting ability, quite the opposite is true. More than once have they been forced to free themselves from a risky situation with their strength and not their stealth. Gravel has short brown hair, eyes to match and is tall and fairly scrawny. He hosts some stubble but no actual beard and a strange scar that looks like a permanent bruise adorns his left eye. Clipper is of a similar height, but boasts broader shoulders. He has long black wavy hair, brown eyes, and a small goatee. Both of them are generally scruffy, owing to their rogue living conditions and general disregard for bathing.

“Port Royal Ball is t’night, Clipper,” said Gravel smirking, “Which guest’s unattended house do we raid?”

“Will the lieutenant be going? I always fancied his boots, and running from his men has worn mine,” replied Clipper plucking an apple from an unsuspecting merchant stand and biting into it with his pale yellow teeth, sending juice flying out from the areas of impact.

“He will know it’s us, but that will just keep the sport of evading him interesting.”

“The lieutenant it is then. We take his boots and his liquor.”

That evening when the joyous cheering from the Port Royal Ball, which made its venue at one of the wealthiest families on the island’s manor, began, Gravel and Clipper made their journey through the untouched shadows towards Lieutenant Berkley’s living quarters. Upon arrival Clipper made quick work of the front door’s lock and with a nudge from his strong shoulder, gave them their entrance.

In a matter of minutes Blakely had been stripped of a large portion of his casual wardrobe, more from spite than actual need, his liquor, September’s salary and a few other valuables. Being arrogant about their achievement, they didn’t even care to make a conservative escape, so they embarked straight back out the front door. Unfortunately for them, a guard who had been passing by on his patrol route had noticed that door had been pried open, called for assistance and now a group of men in red coats, dimly noticeable because of the dark night, was awaiting their return.

The captain of the guards stepped forward to demand their surrender, but before the he could give they turned on their heels and rushed back into Blakely’s residence. With Blakeley’s possessions still under their arms, they galloped up the stairs and kicked out a window in Blakely’s chamber. As the guards came fumbling up the stairs they jumped out on to the roof and steadily sprinted along the Port Royal rooftops trying to make an escape. A few shots hit some roofing near them, but no bullets came near to hitting them.

When the bullets started becoming uncomfortably close to their targets, they realized they needed to find refuge. In the pitch black of the night, the only manner of safety they could find was a window which was sporting some light source. They managed to get the window open quickly, but once inside they could hear a sound they had been hearing ominously in the background all night: chattering, classical music and singing. They had arrived at the Port Royal Ball, with unlucky punctuality.

They had entered an empty room which had several tables laden with assorted finger-foods, pastries, dishes of fine cuisine and a few deserts. It seemed that this was where the meals would be collected by the servants and taken to the dining hall when dinner commenced. Thinking quickly, they swopped out some of their ragged clothing with some of Blakely’s casual wear and compromised in attempt to look more suited to being some or other servant, until they could escape.

“Blend in for now. First chance we get, we take flight,” remarked Gravel while carefully closing the window they had come through.

“Hungry?” asked Clipper, already holding two delicacies in his hand just deciding which to ravage first.

With a swift punch to the shoulder, Gravel expressed his disapproval.

“Oi, don’t eat that!” said a servant entering the room.

Clipper froze and was speechless, but partly because his first handful had made its way into his mouth.

“These are better,” grinned the servant, handing him some pastries. “Eat up, we need to get this down to the guests. I am assuming you two are the personal servants of one of our esteemed guests tonight?”

Other servants entered and began mounting trays from the tables on top of their arms and carrying them off. Gravel picked up two trays and followed the first servant out closely. Clipper indulged in a final handful and then took two trays of his own and followed the company of servants.

They entered the dining hall and tried to keep their faces concealed behind the trays as best they could. When they had set their trays down, they looked cautiously around the stunning dining hall to see if anyone was watching them. To their relief, Lt Blakely, win in hand, was talking to a group of men near the fireplace, who had not yet retired to the table.

There was a knock on the door, which a servant went to answer. Lt Blakely was called to the door and he spoke to someone concealed by the night. When he turned around and waved the man off, he was bordering on a distasteful rage. Gravel and Clipper began for the hallway, to try and return to the quiet room and escape at last. When Gravel made one final look behind him before rounding the corner into the hallway, Lt Blakely’s furious eyes caught his and Blakely immediately began rushing forward toward him.

“Should have known it was you! What are you doing here, Gravel? Trying to escape a crime scene?” roared Blakely.

“Bein’ helpful, sir. Can’t arrest me for that.”

“Where’s that other bastard? If I find him here, that’s proof enough!” shouted Blakely as he walked past Gravel into the hallway.

Loud footsteps could be heard on the winding stairs above, and when Blakely looked up he saw familiar boots climbing them.

“I may not be able to see the face I was looking for, but I know that is you, Clipper. You stole my bloody boots and now you come and hide under my nose! Someone, call those guards I was speaking to, back. Tell a portion of them to wait outside and shoot any wastrel that they see running along rooftops!”

Blakely pinned Gravel to the wall with his huge paws and then two servants came and took over from him. Blakely raced up the stairs, with long strides and missing a few steps, as he drew his pistol. He managed to track Clipper to the room he and Gravel had entered from by following his obnoxious footsteps. The first shot he took just missed Clipper jumping out the window. He ran to the window, reloaded his arm and then followed him out.

Meanwhile, the guests were standing around aimlessly and concerned, while the servants kept Gravel plastered to the wall. Gravel mustered his strength and broke his right arm free, elbowing the weary servant in the face and then grabbed the other by the neck and pushed him to the wall in a fierce turnabout. He then liberated his left hand and drew a double-barrel pistol stowed under his sash, which he then stationed under the servant’s chin.

He moved away from the servant and, using the pistol as incentive to not approach him, he made his way towards the dining table. He picked up a pastry, devoured it and then aimed at the door. He ate a few more bites of food until the guards finally stormed in through the door. He took the first two guards out with his pistol and then stowed it back in his sash and drew a cutlass. He ducked behind the table as the remaining two guards fired at him with their bayonets, slowly moving along it towards the door. When they finished firing he leaped up onto the table and ran towards them before they could reload, with no regard for the dinner that had been laid out upon it.

The first guard charged towards him with his bayonet, but Gravel dodged and grabbed hold of the weapon’s sleek barrel then jerked him closer and gave him a clean cut under the ribs, swiftly ending his righteous campaign. With a swipe from his boots, he swept the dying guard off his feet (a deadly romantic) and lunged at the next one. The second guard proved more of a challenge as he dodged the attack and gave Gravel a painful bash to the shoulder with the butt of his rifle. Gravel jeered back and held his shoulder in agony. The guard, first foot forward and on the attack, then thrust forward at him with his bayonet, but Gravel dodged. This time Gravel took advantage and made a hack at the guard’s left shoulder. Another lunge from the relentless guard forced Gravel to drop to his knees and then roll to the left to avoid a third. Gravel then took hold of the guard’s bayonet under his right arm, but he had to strengthen his grip with the help of his hand due of his throbbing shoulder. The guard tried to take advantage of his disability by pushing forward with his bayonet, but Gravel allowed it to slide through his grip, bringing the guard right up to him. Gravel was holding his sword in his left hand and at the last minute straightened it in front of him, using the guard’s momentum to get the sword in deep to his courageous heart.

Gravel drew his blade from the dead guard, wiped the spillage off with a rag and then looked at the shocked guests.

“Terribly sorry, this started out as a hunt for new boots for my friend Clipper. The death toll won’t surpass five, I swear. So far we are on four…” Gravel said.

He walked out of the manor and made his way calmly down the street while reloading his pistol.

Clipper had concealed himself on one of the roofs not very far from the manor. Blakely was treading softly along the roof, looking for him.

“Aha, found ye!” came a shout from a disillusioned guard in the streets below. He raised his bayonet and began taking aim at Blakely.

“No! You fool, this is your lieuten…”

A shot was heard.

The guard dropped and Gravel appeared from around the corner.

“I believed thanks were in order for the broken door and stolen valuables, lieutenant. We shall see you around,” grinned Gravel.

Clipper ran out from his hiding place and leapt off the roof, landing near Gravel.

“Really nice boots, sir. Did you see that landing?”

Then they strolled off down the street, with Blakely’s valuables still in their pockets or somewhere on their person. A shot flew by and hit a pillar.

“Hah, miss!”

For many years Juan Hacha was known as the most deadly accurate man to wield a throwing axe in the Caribbean. From a young age he trained with the weapons thoroughly. As legend goes, when he was a nearing adulthood a voodoo priestess blessed him temporarily with the ability of unmatched accuracy right before a skeletal invasion of his home island of Padres Del Fuego. The blessing served him well in battle and it was the beginning of his reputation for his accuracy with the weapon. In the aftermath of the unsuccessful invasion he sought out the priestess to humbly remove her kind gift, but she had been slain. Some militia men told him that it was the undead general commanding the attack that had slain her. Feeling indebted to the priestess, he vowed a vendetta.

For many years his reputation expanded and it became well known that he had never misplaced a single throw from his legendary axes, which never neglected to administer their target with an abrupt end. He worked as a mercenary but all the time continued his search for the undead general that had slain the voodoo priestess. One day in autumn he caught wind that his home island, Padres Del Fuego, was going to be invaded soon, and by chance it was the same general that had assauled the island years before.

Juan armed himself with a belt full of throwing axes and awaited the arrival of the invaders from his cottage on Padres Del Fuego. When the alarm sounded, he rushed out and took up a position waiting for the ensuing battle. He took out every target he made an attempt on, as was usual, and retrieved his axes from them once they hit the barren Padres ground. He kept his eye out for the general and at last it made contact with a huge skeleton, wearing a rusted helmet, slashing through crowds of townsfolk and guards trying to defend their city.

“Juan! Juan Hacha!” shouted the crowds fighting the general as he sprinted closer.

“Prepare for your undoing, you boney bastard!” roared a man.

“Hah! My undoing by this young man? What is so great about him?” demanded the undead general.

“He has never once missed a target with his deadly throwing axes. He has always hit his targets, fatally so. A blessing he received from a voodoo priestess years ago,” explained the man.

“A voodoo priestess you killed! She gave this gift to me in an effort to fight the invasion you lead on this same island many years ago. Now, I plan to avenge her!” came Juan’s furious screams.

“I remember her screams still, hah! Bone Breaker, let’s see if this young man can even get past you,” replied the general confidently.

“Aye, General Bloodbath,” was Bone Breaker’s reply.

The skeleton stepped forward wielding a ferocious looking two-handed sword. He began storming forward towards Juan. Juan took a throwing axe from his belt and quickly closing his eye and then drawing the axe behind his head, he propelled the axe forward straight into Bone Breaker’s neck, decapitating and ending him.

“I have never missed. I didn’t miss now. And I shall never miss! None can match my accuracy. Now prepare to embrace it!” Juan taunted arrogantly.

General Bloodbath looked speechless. He drew his staff and stepped forward. Juan drew another axe, took aim and cast it at the general. Realizing that Juan had never missed and that he was just another helpless target, General Bloodbath lifted his staff into the air and a dust cloud quickly formed around him and a faint image of him rising into the air was seen until he disappeared. He had teleported away using voodoo magic. The throwing axe landed in a tree not too far behind where he was standing.

Juan dropped to his knees and his face looked distraught. For the very first time in his existence he had missed a target and an important one too. He had failed the priestess in his oath of vengeance and in the gift she bestowed upon him. The crowd was stunned. After that the people of Padres Del Fuego and progressively the Caribbean lost faith in Juan. Nobody would hire him again and he eventually just cast his weapons aside, never to use them again. He grew ill, partly due to the trauma of his lost ability and the people’s lack of faith in him, and he soon died at a very young age.

General Bloodbath continued his reign of terror on the Caribbean and seemed to be unstoppable, especially being the coward that he is to teleport away in the face of danger. He returned to Padres Del Fuego several more times. On one of his returns his army had made a deal with him that restricted him from using his staff in battle, because he may teleport away again, causing many of them to die and disgrace on their campaign. He went into battle with a sword, throwing knives and a voodoo doll.

A while into the invasion, he and a few of his soldiers managed to break into a residential piece of town. Navy Guards and some townspeople soon arrived to pick up the slack and managed to cut him off from his men. Scared and with no ability to teleport, he sought refuge in a nearby house. After the men had slain the skeletons outside, they focused on the house General Bloodbath had secured himself in. He leant against the door, to prevent them from opening it.

“Bloodbath the Cowardly! Bloodbath the Escapist! Nobody can kill such a coward! Woe is me! What hero can slay such a coward? A true hero! A fast hero! One that can catch him first and then kill him!” the crowd of men chanted from outside as they bashed against the door trying to get it open.

They continued bashing and cheering and the general was only getting angrier, but he still would not face the ensuing danger and continued to lean against the door. The crowd of men found a large log and began bashing on the door with it, still chanting their insults. After a great bash, Bloodbath suddenly felt an immense pain in his upper back. He dropped to the floor and with their next attempt, the door burst open.

“Bastard made me bash me own door down!” said one man as he entered the room. “Whoa, look at this fellas! All our bashing caused one of my trophy axes to fall right down on his back and kill him.”

“Hah, had it not been the axe, we would have got him! The coward is dead.” said another man.

“Well, I guess my brother really did never miss a target. That is his axe,” said the man who owned the house.

The man who owned the house was Carlos Hacha, Juan’s younger brother. After Juan’s death he took the axe he had thrown at General Bloodbath and hung it as a trophy above his doorway in loving memory of him.

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