A quiet peace set over the landscape, still, palpable, raised above all earthly solicitudes. Shimmering tendrils of sunlight crept up through the trees as the dawn broke, and little garden birds tweetered songs of bliss. A fat house cat watched them carefully, but contented himself to stretch his paws at them and yawn, as though a mighty king indifferently greeting his loyal subjects.
Only the sounds of screams, cursing, and screeching tires marred the perfect serenity.
"KEEP 'ER STEADY, LADS! HOIST THE CANNON MOUNTS, IF WE GOT ANY! WE'LL NOT BE LETTING THIS ONE GET AWAY!"
Captain Landstreicher bellowed his orders amidst pursuit of a small white Ford Taurus encumbered with a towering stack of luggage and camping gear. From behind, a large blue minivan sporting a pirate flag and a band of buccaneers quickly closed distance.
The crew of the Ford Taurus--a family of vacationing Wisconsonites--was quite oblivous to the approaching peril. The youngest two, Sally and Tommy, had in fact spotted the pirates and made a number of excited comments as to the pressing danger; however, Mom and Dad, for the sake of their mutual sanity, learned several weeks ago to block out anything their children had to say that didn't involve a mortal need to go to the bathroom.
Meanwhile, their pursuers--the colloquially named "Autobahn Pirates"--swerved and careened while Captain Landstreicher swore and First Mate Dave clung desperately to the crow's nest. The Captain himself was nearly extricated from the vehicle by the haphazard driving of his crew. He preferred to direct the assault with his torso leaning out the front driver's side window, shaking his hook at his prey and clutching his feathered hat with his good hand.
As they approached communication range, Captain Landstreicher honked his horn obnoxiously and delivered a hail to his unsuspecting victims.
"ARRR! ROLL DOWN YER WINDOWS AND PREPARE TO BE BOARDED!"
"Mommy," said little Sally, taking another sip from her apple juice, "I think we should prepare to repel borders!"
Her mother sighed.
"We'll be at another rest stop in a few minutes, dear."
"CAPT'N! THE DOGS NOT BE RAISIN' ANY FLAGS! DO WE TAKE 'ER?"
"AYE! RUN 'ER PORT BOW AND LET'S GIVE 'ER A PIRATE'S WELCOME!"
With hoots and hollers the dread autobahn pirates pulled up alongside their prey. Sally clutched her doll tightly and Tommy wondered whether any of his family would survive or if he might as well not bother holding it until the next rest stop.
Their father was absently fiddling with the radio when--with a heave and a ho--a fearsome pirate was hurled onto the hood of his car.
Amid the ensuing screams from the car's occupants the pirate skillfully thrust a harpoon into the engine manifold.
"SHE'S OURS NOW LADS! JUST SLIP INTO NEUTRAL AND RIDE 'ER DOWN 'TIL SHE BE RUNNIN' OUT O' GAS!"
* * *
Officer Miles sighed as he pulled over onto the shoulder and brought his patrol car to a stop.
Three civilians--mother, father, and a daughter--all bound and gagged at the side of the road. Next to them a broken down automobile with a large harpoon conspicuously jutting out from the engine. This was becoming far too typical.
"10-5 I've got another piracy, looks like the Authobahn Pirates."
- earth day
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