The Pirates of Hardwood

Chapter One

“This town is so boring.” Rusty complained as he leaned against the counter at his father’s automotive and marine maintenance shop.

“Well, what do you expect? This place has nothing going for it other than the pier.” Darrick replied.

Rusty ran his fingers through his reddish-orange hair and let out a sigh. He stared through the glass window, looking out to the street in front of the building. Hardwood was an ocean-side town of only a thousand people and he was forced to be one of them. He’s worked for his father since he graduated high school seven years ago and recruited his best friend, Darrick to help out in the shop as well.

Most days were slow, with the occasional flat repair or phone call from somebody wanting a price for a tire they would never buy. The majority of the business came from people with boat trailers who needed a new tire or something fixed up on their vessel. On this particular day, not a single person walked into the store. They were stuck sitting inside the office, waiting for the day to be over with.

Rusty longed for the end of the day to arrive. His girlfriend, Sarah, would be at their apartment with dinner on the table and a funny story to share about her day. She worked at a daycare center and loved being around the children, getting to watch them grow and learn. He loved hearing about her day and smiled during whatever story she had to tell. He couldn’t wait to get home to her.

“We should do something this weekend.” Darrick spoke up, ridding Sarah from Rusty’s mind.
He faced his friend and asked, “What would that be? Driving to the city takes too long and Sarah never likes it when I go there with you.”

Darrick shook his head, “Damn. Maybe we could talk your dad into loaning us his boat for the weekend?”

Rusty shrugged and said, “I don’t know, man. He was pretty pissed with the condition we brought it back in the last time. You kinda threw up all over the bathroom and we left beer bottles in the bedroom of that thing.”

“We’ll clean it up this time, hide the evidence of us ever having fun.” Darrick said with a smile. “C’mon, it’d be fun to get out and be on the ocean getting drunk for a day or two. You could even bring Sarah.”

“What about you?” Rusty asked, getting enthusiastic about the offer.

Darrick shrugged, “What about me?”

“Won’t you want a girl too? I mean, you can’t possibly want to be the third wheel. I could have Sarah bring one of her girlfriends for you.” Rusty suggested.

Darrick’s eyes grew wide with disgust at the mere thought of being around one of Sarah’s friends. She wasn’t exactly his favorite person in the world. Always uptight and had to get her way no matter the consequences. She hated being around him as well. He was too spontaneous for her and she liked a man with a good head on his shoulders, like Rusty. Darrick could only imagine what one of her friends would be like.

“No offense, but I’d rather not hang around with two of your girlfriends this weekend. It’s hard enough being around her when I know she hates me.”

“She doesn’t hate you, she just prefers to not be around you ever.” Rusty replied with a playful grin.
“Exactly.” Darrick replied.

“But, she does have this one hot friend that is nothing like her. She’s a party planner for the city or something and is actually pretty laid back and cool. Her name is Sam Carson.” Rusty commented.

Again, Darrick passed him an uninterested look and said, “I guess, but if she ends up being a dud, I get every right to push you off the boat.”

Rusty laughed and shook his head. He turned to the window again and stared at the empty street. A car would drive by every minute or two, but most of the townspeople were at work or school at that point during the day.

With Darrick’s proposal of a fun weekend, he found himself unable to wait for it, as long as is father would let them use the boat. A nice trip out to sea, a few hours from the shore, would do him some good. He could spend some romantic time with Sarah and consider asking her the question he’s been thinking about for the last couple of months. If everything goes well, Darrick would even have a nice time with her friend and maybe start a relationship of his own.

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