Captain Dreadful

My brother wanted to be a pirate ever since he could talk. Jess was a pirate every year for Halloween and most of his clothes had pirates, patches or sometimes bells to make sure everyone knew what he was really going for. Every single birthday party was pirate themed and he often got upset if anyone called him Jess instead of Captain Dreadful.  

When he was thirteen, something changed. He went from a happy-go-lucky pirate to a brooding more serious pirate. I thought it was just the fact he was turning into a teenager and hitting puberty, but strange occurrences started happening around the house. First, the cat disappeared then reappeared several days later. Then the same thing happened to the dog, but it took longer for him to reappear. Both seemed unharmed, but as they had never left the house with one of us before, we were worried. 

I often wondered if Captain Dreadful was taking them out and leaving them just to see if they could get home by themselves or if there was an easy explanation about how they just slipped out the door unnoticed. It wasn’t until the day Jess got rid of every single piece of pirate paraphernalia that I became worried. It had been his entire identity for so long, I almost didn’t know what to make of it. His room was almost bare and he had apparently been saving his allowance to buy new pirate-less sheets and a new, boring comforter. If I had only known then it was all for a girlfriend, I wouldn’t have been so worried. 


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