A man receives a package with no return address. It contains a pirate-style eye patch and a note. A broad smile stretches across his handsome face as he reads the familiar bubbly handwriting of his older sister:
Happy Birthday, Jerkface!
He fingers the plastic eye patch and can easily recall the memory his sibling is referring to with such a gift.
The glorious gray base gaining diameter, met with the thin maroon stripe on the starboard side, the sleek black bearings that held the proudly waving sails, the flawlessly crafted deck, plank, and crow’s nest manned by peg-legged fellows with black, dotted stubble and, of course, eye patches. This was the Lego Pirate Ship.
It had taken him weeks, no months, to put it together. He worked diligently on it, examining the depiction on the box to ensure an accurate portrayal, stopping only for meal breaks and putting in a hefty amount of overtime to see it through to its completion. It now sat, prominently displayed on the coffee table, for everyone’s admiration.
The day had showed no signs of a storm; however come lunch-time, the high flying sails suddenly took a nasty spill, bringing down their posts and adjoining parts of the main cabin. The port side was under attack next and was demolished in rude chunks slicing through the interior of the boat. The anchor and gangway became completely detached and remaining intricacies had nothing to hold on to. The ship was going down.
Of course somewhere amid the scene, the pirates were bound to question how their creator could have betrayed them in such a way, but there were no survivors among the wreckage. In fact, the extent of the damage was so severe that not one man aboard made it without decapitation.
His sister stood there in silent horror, frozen in complete bewilderment, witnessing the annihilation. When the ship was all but a single connection between the last remaining gray and black block, his tears came full blast like water from the new shower head. The siblings stood there in the ruins of the boy’s beloved ship while he wailed uncontrollably and she tried to make sense out of his spontaneous outburst.
“Mom!” he shrieked.
Responding to the panic in his voice, their mother made her way to the scene of the crime.
At first, there may have been a tinge of relief in her expression; neither child was bleeding. But as her eyes averted to the scattered remains of what once was The Great Lego Pirate Ship, her lips curled at the edges and her dime sized eyes became quarters.
“Jessica,” he managed to get out between sobs that would no doubt require the use of his asthma inhaler. “Jessica did it!”
Everything after that was mostly a blur. Initially, his sister couldn’t speak. Finally, she found her voice, but their mother wasn’t hearing it.
“Why would your brother wreck his own pirate ship?”
So that this would happen, she undoubtedly thought but knew better than to say it; the penalty for back-talking would have been much more severe.
While the boy was comforted with stolen treasures: late night TV and ice cream (two scoops), his sister was held captive in her room to think about what she had done.
Returning the eye patch to the box it had come in, the man heads to the house to make a call. He dials the number he knows by heart.
“Mom,” he says into the receiver, “Remember when Jessica destroyed my pirate ship…”