Please read “The Tale of the Haunted Caverns” before reading the following story.
“BREAKING NEWS: PHANTOM SHIP SIGHTED BY YACHT OWNER, STEVE JOHNSON”
“Hey guys,” said eleven year old Kasen, “come check this out.”
“You’re reading a newspaper?” asked ten year old Kathrine.
“No, this is a picnic blanket,” replied Kasen.
“What did I say about the sarcasm?” asked twelve year old Andrew.
“Hey, we’re not being chased by an undead miner, so I thought that rule didn’t apply anymore,” Kasen said back. “Just look at this.”
“Steve Johnson sighted an almost transparent wooden ship named the ‘H.M.S. Incognito’. This ‘ghost ship’ was discovered just off the coast of The Wedge in Newport. ‘It was like a dream. No. A nightmare,’ says the yacht owner’s wife, Sarah Johnson.”
“That sounds really creepy,” said six year old Emma.
“Whoa, look at that,” said Andrew, pointing at the next paragraph.
“Mrs. Johnson said that she had found barnacles in the bathroom when she had just mopped the floors of the boat. Mr. Johnson also noted that the helm turned the boat magically towards the ‘ghost ship’ and upon impact, the ‘H.M.S. Incognito’ dispersed, as if it were made of air.”
“Hey, it says here that the family saw a British flag on the stern representing the Royal Navy,” Kasen noticed.
“You know what,” Andrew commented, “I think I saw a new Naval History Museum listing every Navy ship ever registered.”
“I saw that too,” replied Katherine. “It’s about a five minute walk from here.”
“It’ll be shorter by bike,” Emma added.
“True,” replied Kasen. “Very true.”
The next day, the foursome went down to the museum and found different-and also very rare-artifacts. They explored things like word maps, Spanish swords, and old European coins. After looking around a bit, they found the section where ship registrations were. The kids looked through U.S. registrations and found ships like the Battleship Texas and the U.S.S. Iowa. Then, they found the British registrations and noticed the H.M.S. Bulldog, the ship responsible for cracking the Nazi’s code called ‘Enigma’, and the H.M.S. Dreadnought which has a guitar named after it.
“These ships are too late in history,” Kasen complained.
“Let’s just look around a bit,” Katherine said. “We’ll find it.”
Finally, they came upon a list of registered Royal Navy ships that was from the Fifteenth through sixteenth century and it was in very good condition. They did not find the Incognito!
“Where is it?!” Kasen asked himself frustratedly.
“Kasen, have you ever heard the story of Black Beard?” Andrew asked.
“Yeah, what about it?” Kasen replied.
“Remember how when he would attack ships, he would raise a British flag?”
“OH! I get it! The Incognito is a pirate ship!”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Okay, so we know that, now what?”
“Hey, you know how to sail, right?” asked Katherine.
“Yes,” Kasen replied, “you don’t mean-”
“Yep, that’s exactly what I mean.”
“You know I wouldn’t be allowed to take any of the boats, right?”
“Common, we can do this!”
“So, you want to steal a boat?”
“Look, no one knows what this boat is capable of.”
“All the more reason not to go”
“Are you sayin’ you’re a chicken?”
“No, I’m saying I don’t want to die tomorrow!”
“Pikock! Pikock! Pikock!”
“Let’s do this.”
The next night, the group went down to Newport to swipe a boat from the harbor. When they walked down, someone saw them down there. Conveniently, there was a boat already rigged and ready to sail.
“That one! Over there!” Andrew yelled.
“Common! Let’s go!” Kasen said back.
The foursome hopped into the boat and went off. As the man on the harbor watched, the boat got smaller and smaller. Then, the kids noticed he jumped into the water in pursuit after them!
“Whoa, guys look. He jumped in!” Emma said in astonishment.
“What a nut,” Andrew said back.
“I’d say he’s off his rocker!” Kasen added.
Soon enough, the man had turned back and the kids were on their way to the H.M.S. Incognito.
In about an hour, they were out of the harbor and a few dozen yards from the beach, where the boat had been sighted. They saw no signs of the boat. A moment later, Katherine found a peace of wood that said:
“Hey, look at that,” Katherine noticed.
“What is it?” Andrew asked.
“A peace of wood.”
“It’s got writing on it.”
“No! It’s a peace of wood from the ship. It probably used to say, ‘H.M.S. Incognito’.”
Just then, a fog began to stretch across the water and the bow of a huge ship came into view. It had a broken piece of wood that said:
“Who’s Hito?” Katherine questioned.
“Oh, wow” Andrew sighed.
Kasen lined up the board with the broken piece on the ship and H.M.S. INCOGNITO became visible. They floated around to the back and noticed the ship was built as a Royal Navy battleship. After coming around to the stern, they saw a dark, shadowy figure in the window. It then disappeared.
“What are you doing?!” Katherine whispered.
“I’m sketching the ship” Kasen answered.
Kasen put his sketching journal in a Zip-Lock bag and swung the boat close to the vessel. At that moment, waves started coming out from underneath the ship. SPLASH! The boat capsized! As he came out from underneath the sail, he noticed things were missing.
“Is everyone okay?” Kasen asked. “Where is everyone? Hey, where’s the harbor?”
As he turn around, his boat was gone!
“And the boat? Ugh, just my luck. The one boat that didn’t disappear is the creepy haunted one.”
Looking up, Kasen noticed a ladder hanging down from the deck. While he did have a bad feeling about it, he knew it was the only way to save his friends’ lives. And his own!