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"Codices Keys"

“Girls, for your viewing and listening pleasure,” Bogey continues, victorious. “We’ve fighting Irish of Notre Dame playing USC’s magnificent Trojans, Michigan’s Wolverines cutting sailing swords with the Buckeyes of Ohio State, and the Clemson Tigers swashbuckling against Florida State Seminoles. All exciting games, would you like to cast your fishy vote?”

Girls clap and chat. Then, in a pirate’s, skinny minute, “Boys, you’ll have our voice in one moment,” Oh Bee squeals.

Lotta BumpleButt and her overpowering brothers step inside the clubhouse as Bee continues.

Now, “Ready girls?” Bee asks; and she stares as if she’d waved to Captain Kidd who’d given her treasure.

Putt, Lotta, Hazard, and Birdie nod.

“Ready, Ms. Bee!” they shout. Gathering party pom-poms, appearing cheery, they take the captain’s wheel and steer to port.

“Boys we’re orange bound

You ‘ole hound

Tigers, run for miles, around

Watch the ‘Noles

Let them play

Tigers, prowl and work their way

To the top

Let them climb

Let them challenge one more time

Tigers, prowl and Tigers growl

Challengers might throw in the towel…


Go Tigers!”

Girls continue.

“Noles, more, we adore

Pound the floorboards, hear us roar

Seminoles dance, Seminoles war

Seminoles sing our victory lore!

Go Seminoles!”

“Blimey,” Lippy gushes. “Knives, swords, and scabbards, anchor away, mateys. These landlubber maidens are sea-faring adventurers set to duel for bloody victory.”

“Well, we’ll spit sand dollars and sea urchins before this game is over,” booty-licked Bogey chuckles. “The Chip ‘A Hoy cookie makers and cookie bakers have voiced their opinion. What say ye pirate mates?”

“Aye, aye, captain. We’re all in the same boat,” Shank smacks and salutes.

Snacking, sipping sodas, soon the waylaying crew might be on the brink of disaster as certain crewmembers cheer for one side and remaining friends root for the other team.

Now, “Okay. Let the rain fall while we settle in and watch a good game.” Heavyweight Bigha Bumplebutt chuckles. He claps his massive hands. “Let’s play ball.”

“Yes, that’s good. Right there, Bogey. We’re just in time for the kickoff,” remarks Slice. Curled in his favorite, yellow, beanbag chair, with his Ben Hogan cap cocked upon his knobby head, he pivots to the big screen. “Have a seat Birdie, girls,” he says as lassies enter the room. “They’re just about to…”

“Welcome to today’s game, folks.” A voice booms from the squawk box. “This is Peabean Pepper and Tater Roka. We’re here to bring you this afternoon’s game at the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge escarpment. We’re here with the visiting ‘Noles of Florida State looking to do battle in the Valley of Death as they call it. The ‘Noles will wage war against the poised and orange paws of Clemson University Tigers.”

Boys stir and down soda like sand sharks might swallow sea-bass.

“Golly, would you look at all those people,” Putt gushes. Viewing their big screen TV, each, snacks and smiles as they stare from the crow’s nest to today’s, fanfare.

“Yes, bucko’s; it’s a big stadium. Over 80,000 swabbies paid their tribute with pieces-o’-eight,” pulverizing Plug says.

“Can you imagine playing in that ocean?” Bogey eyes lay glued to the kegs o’ powder tube.

“Just keep playing the way you have been Bogey; and perhaps you’ll be considered an eligible candidate to one of these fine schools when you graduate,” Captain Chip says. “Just keep your grades up; or, they’ll black-spot ye’ dawg. Aurgh.”

“Yes, I know. I’m working on it,” the wild fullback says. “I think Testy and Bigha will be shoe-ins when it’s time for the waves to roll to higher seas.”

“There’s good chance, Bogey,” quarterback Chip says.

“Death Valley,” Putt goes on. “It sounds so frightening.”

“You better believe it is…for the opposition,” carefree Cleat says.

“Shu. Now, be quiet,” Hazard asks. “I’d like to listen to the blow-me-down game.”

“Ugh,” Cleat starts.

Hot-blooded, red-bodied Hazard the fire ant swerves and stares as if she’ll give no quarter.

Peabean Pepper continues.

“We’re ready for kickoff folks. The Tigers have their blessing from Howard Hill and they’re lined up with the ‘Noles on the field and ready to receive the opening man-o’-war kick.”

“Yes. It’s a great day for college football, here in the Valley, Peabean.” Tater Roka wipes his brow. “I believe all the young salts are healthy for the game. Jolly Roger coaches have prepared their boys, well, for this afternoon’s bloody contest. More, the bands and me’ proud beauties, the cheerleaders, are in full form. They’ll root for their respective teams to send the opposition walking the plank.”

“Kaboom!” The canon signals the start of the game.

“Yes, Peabean,” says Tater. “And thar she blows. It’s the kick by the ‘Noles and…

“We’ve a ball game folks as, number one Thurwall Ditty takes it on the fly for the Tigers at the 15. Pumping arms and legs, he darts quickly behind blockers. Veering right, he slashes between two defenders and, oh, hit hard from the side by two ‘Noles and down! Down at the twenty-six there’s a good gain of 11 on the play. It’ll be first and….”

“Ho, please!” a lassie, shouts.

“It’s Suzy!” Friends blow as if their ship had been set afire.

“She’s soaked,” says Birdie as she flutters Suzy’s way.

“More than wet, ghosts and goblins she’s white as a sheet,” Lippy whistles.

“Yes. She looks as if she’s seen Captain Bill Bonnie’s grave,” Hazard goes on.

Suzy ScarShankle bursts through the door as if dead-men-who-tell-no-lies had risen through creepy, floorboards of her mansion and stolen her voice.

“Chip, Shank, Putt—please, you must bloody help me,” she squeaks. Trembling, she steps closer.

Rushing to the door, Shank, Bogey, and friends hurry. Eyes bob, mouths twist as they gaze to very distressed Suzy.

“What is it, Suzy? We were expecting you, but not quite like this,” says Shank. “You’re so alarmed.”

“I…I,” Suzy stammers. One tear rolls down her rosy cheek.

“Suzy, what in the world has happened?” Hazard squints as Putt turns the TV off. “Stop shaking girl. Have a seat and tell us about it; and my goodness, you’re drenched with rain.”

Now, draping her arm about Suzy, Chip gives weather-beaten Suzy a towel. Suzy slides to a chair with Bogey and Cleat’s help; and, Suzy sniffs; and her blue eyes, dart.

“It was just the scariest thing. I’m sorry,” Suzy says as if a, blimey booger had grabbed her leg. “I didn’t mean to interrupt the party this way. My only thought was to run straight to my neighbors. I knew I could count on you for help. Grandfather won’t be back until later tonight.”

Suzy sniffs again. Shaking, she wipes her nose to her red and white-checked, cotton sleeve.

“Well, calm down, Suzy,” Birdie speaks up. “You know you can visit anytime. What is it Suzy? What’s wrong? Tell us.”

“Well, I’m frightened; and again, I’m sorry to interrupt,” Suzy says as she stares to fuzzy, and sleek-skinned faces. “But, I don’t know if you’ll believe me if I tell you.”

“Believe what?” Gimme asks. His long, green tail swoops about his back.

“Well,” Suzy starts and stops. “I…I…it’s the mansion. I just…”

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