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*Codices Keys* (historic fiction, Rome, China, Egypt, Spain, North Africa, animated, ancient Mediter

“Good,” Lippy says. Tugging his red and blue cap, he goes on. “Well, I’m eager to take pieces-of-eight from you Horned Frogs and grinding Gophers. I feel confident,” he says and he continues…

“Scat’s the game and best ball played

Tee, it up and hook or fade

Nickel a hole and dime for birdies

Tee, it up and smoke it pretty.”

“Two-man best ball and scats included,” Lippy smacks as if he’d flattened a heave-ho runner storming across the scrimmage line.

“Thar, she blows. That’s the game,” Plug commands.

With balls on feed-the-fish-tees players make swings. “Whack, Whack!” Taking turns, they lace their drives safely to within middle-iron distance from the first green of the glistening, Red Raider-like, fairway.

Now they walk like savvy pirates. “Playing best ball this afternoon, we’ll have to help each other out bucko,” Plug drawls.

“Right,” says Chip. One eye winks as if he’d had his black patch just removed. “Augh,” he groans; and he whips his cherished club. “We’ll decide best strategy fer layin’ a path to the treasure.”

Nearby, Lippy and Slice ease to the fairway.

“Wouldn’t you know it?” Lippy groans. Cart-wheels roll like gentle waves to his sea-tossed ball. A-vast, mate. My little white nugget has barely trickled into heavier grass. First cut of rough lining the fairway, I should be so sea-sick lucky.”

Further ahead, a nasty mutineering creek runs in front of a heavily-bunkered green.

Now, sleek tree-frog Lippy steps snaky Slice’s way. “Okay, partner. What do you think? A nine and lay up; or, a good seven and I’ll see if I can poke it out of this black-spotted rough and get it to hold on the old-salt green?”

Slice rolls his red lips. Bulging eyes gaze as if a pirate might look to the horizon to scuttle a Queen’s ship. “I’m in good position where I am, Lippy. The last three times I’ve played, checking my periscope for gunrunner Gamecocks, Seminoles, and Gators, I’ve managed to hit the right side of the fairway and get good roll. Now, I’ve only a nine to the green,” he rattles on like a heave-ho bucko. “I’m confident I’ll sail to within putting distance,” he continues and he tips his bright-green cap, down. “I’d go for it if you want, matey. I think I’m a safe horsnwaggler’s bet to get it on the green.”

“That’s all I needed to hear, Slice,” Lippy says. Then muttering, Lippy selects his lucky seven. “I’ll plan a blast that’ll put this ball past the creek and ahead with the fishes,” he whispers and goes on.

“Come to papa trusty seven

May the golf gods ring from heaven?”

“Phwoom!” With a slight hitch, a slight glitch, Lippy sends his ball sailing dead-ahead to the green.

“Looks good, partner,” Slice says. He watches the path of the ball from his salty seat in the smooth-sailing cart.

“Caught it a little fat,” says Lippy. “I think…”

“Ca-ching!” His ball sings and ricochets off the bed of the black-flagged creek and onto the green; and it trickles to within four feet of the mighty Jolly Roger.

“Ah ha!” Slice whoops as if he’d caught a winning touchdown.

“Where exactly did that come from?” Across the fairway, Chip’s dark-black eyes gaze to the seemingly-short-shot, successfully played to within easy birdie range of the hole.

“Ha. Why, yo-ho, it came from Davey Jones on a down and out!” Lippy blurts.

“You hit the old, metal, drainage grate on the far side of the creek-bed, Lippy.” Slice laughs. “No penalty against that, mate. Well played,” he chuckles.

Now, with three players safely around the man-o’-war green, and making par, assured of at least a tie on the first hole, Lippy confidently strokes his birdie into the dead center of the buccaneer’s hole.

“Smell the roses and walk the plank, already,” the green, tree frog says. He taps his putter to his sea-dog, webbed hand.

“Yes; me too mate,” Slice says. He laughs as the Commodore of his salt-seasoned team. “Baylor Bears and Yellow Jackets would stare you down on that sweet kickoff to glory. I’m already counting my nickels, just like my pickles; and I’m making plans to park them in my piggy bank.”

Buckos stroll to their ship on wheels. Yet, shortly, dark, looming thunderclouds roll in as if twisting, Oklahoma State Cowboys were being chased by surly Seminoles. A torrential downpour sends boys packing to the pro shop. Each, returns carts to the barn. Making their way quickly to their well-designed clubhouse, their game must wait another day. For now, they might delight in tasty sea-trout, crab meat, and bucko-bootlegged ginger ale.

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