After the Shopping Cart Pirate

A baby squirmed in the Blond Buccaneer’s hands.

A baby.

“Um, what?” she asked.

Marina Talon, acting mayor of Meliville, stood close. “That was Madame Stork. She delivers babies out in these parts. Was the baby yours and… his?”

She gestured out into the bay on the Asphalt Sea. There, a shopping cart rolled beyond the watchtowers, its contents ablaze. A noble funeral for a noble pirate.

“What? Like, no! I may be blond, but I know how babies happen! Me and him? We never, you know, did it!”

Marina offered a sad smile. “Sex isn’t required to have a baby.”

The Blond Buccaneer blinked. “That’s not what they taught me back in little girl’s pirate school.”

The avian woman offered a gentle chuckle. “Think about characters from children’s stories. How many mommies and daddies have babies?”

“If she’s a mommy, she probably had a baby.”

“How many children’s book characters even know what sex is?”

“…oh.”

“Yes. So the baby comes a different way. And that’s where the Baby Corps comes in. They deliver babies at just the right time to just the right people. People who love each other. People meant to be… together.”

Blondie gazed out over the bay to the fiery cart. “We were, like, meant to be together?”

“Apparently. I’m so sorry.”

She looked down into the baby’s face. She laughed.

The baby had an eyepatch.

“Well, it’s his, I guess.” Blondie giggled.

“Is it a boy or a girl?” Marina prompted.

“Oh! Um, looks like a girl.”

“And what is her name?”

The Blond Buccaneer considered this package from above, this child from a union that never happened. “Her name is… her name is Angela.”

Marina nodded. “I think that is a wonderful name.”

“And I’m going to do for her what Shoppy and I never did for him. We were on our way to Barrelbottom… to get him a new eye. I’m going to do that for Angela. We’re going to get her a new eye. She doesn’t need an eyepatch.” Blondie caressed the child’s face. “She’s perfect.”

“Of course she is.”

The Blond Buccaneer offered one more longing gaze toward the burning shopping cart before turning her back. He wouldn’t mind. He’d want her to go on, to be strong, to raise their child.

Huh. Their child. So weird.

But the Blond Buccaneer would do it. She’d raise this baby. And she’d start by getting Angela a new eye.

From Doc Spearmint.

In Barrelbottom.

This is a Barrelbottom Tale. 

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