Latest Pulp Modern Flash Stories

THE CAPTAIN’S CORK by Benjamin DeHaan

Captain Gordala the gluttonous! Captain Gordala the fearless! Captain of the high seas! King of the World!

He could hear the people chant over cannon blasts and smelled treasures over gun powder. Twenty days at sea and his thirst remained tightly fixed to his throat like his saber on his hip. And his ship, Nylos, continued west on its conquest and perilous plunder run.

The Hunch mage ships around him exploded in his wrath. Their petty pointless magic couldn’t penetrate the Gala amethyst shield buried deep in the belly of his sweet girl. Just come at me, just try it, he thought.

He sucked into his glass pipe and let the Hoola grass smoke swim in his mouth. He wiggled and wormed his tongue. The grass’s sweet tar glazed his mind in euphoria, far away from the smell of magic and evil blood boiling on the horizon. He hated the Hunch more than anything. They hid the treasures of his people for themselves all over the Yalan seas. With this stinging thought, his sense of euphoria vanished like a passing of gas in hurricane wind and his blood boiled.

“Sir!” A deckman skid to where Gordala stood at the bow of the ship. He saluted and put his hands to his sides. “Another Hunch force comes in from the west. Sixty ships this time. I don’t know how much longer the shield will hold up!”

Gordala knew this twenty minutes ago. No, two hours ago. Old information from a nit twit dirty barrel licker.

He waved his hand toward his guards Trala and Bogtuck.

They took the deckman by the arms and in one swift swing, sent him overboard, plummeting into the dark waters.


Gordala spit a glob of bark hash chew down toward the thrashing and splashing. He wiped away bitter spit from his lips.

“A little spice on top!”

He roared with laughter and the two guards followed suit. He eyed them carefully and their high-pitched voices softened.

Nobody laughed louder than the Captain.

The war continued and raged harder than the waves that crashed and slobbered against the hull of fearless Nylos. No mage nor deckman would violate Gordala’s girl. He would not stop until all the mages and all the scum had been wiped from this world.

The waters would stain with his wrath and the oceans fill with death. His girl would be so bloated she wouldn’t be able to float with all the treasures; yullijewels, berdold, silvertesh, metalyte, and diacrytes. If it sparkled or shined, it belonged to him. If it so much glimmered it would be carried upon the backs of his crew until their bones cracked.

He couldn’t lift his gaze from the Hunch mages that screamed for mercy.

If IT showed him attitude, IT went to the bottom of the ocean!

If IT shot flame from its fingers, IT would die!

If he saw voodoo woodoo hand gestures and long swishing body motions, he would send a cannon ball through ITS chest!

Just try Captain Gordala! Just try him!

If anyone would like to test his authority, let them come!

The deckmen worked hard at their stations. Elite guards worked hard at watching them work hard, and the Captain made sure that the Hunch mage ships sunk one by one with factory efficiency.

The Felicians of his home state had tried to tell him that his ways had been excessive and that one day he would get himself into trouble. Mages beyond his imagination existed that would take him and turn him inside out from toe to cheek, they said.

They said his campaigns had been focused too much on loot and not enough on proper diplomatic negotiation and peaceful expansion of the Felicia Empire. They said this, they said that. They could kiss the sucker cup of a fat Gamsquid!

Oh, you want peace my dear politicians with pockets so full of Bana coin you could sink the greatest warship Deadbedder?

You want me to feel bad about my excessiveness and bow down and kiss the cursed mages toes before them and kneel upon their toxic cursed ships?

You are all mad.

You are all sick.

You are the most disgusting bunch of corrupted cretins.

Gordala felt sick to his stomach and hit his pipe again to settle the rage that surpassed boiling point.

The shields came down and the spells, fire, and Hunch rage sent the deck of Nylosinto panic. Gordala dropped to the floorboards. The rudder swooshed above his head and crashed into the main mast. Fire licked all around hungry for more wood.

The deckman splashed water all around but they had been vaporized before Gordala could blink. Green flames shot from the sides of the ship and crashed into the supervisors’ chests, burning hot holes so wide you could put your hand through without touching their cauterized organs.

The ship suddenly exploded and for a few seconds, Gordala felt light. He swam through the air. A mage, a boy, swooped around and captured him mid-air.

Gordala had been too beat up and fatigued to fight back.

A small cold hand rubbed across his forehead.

He couldn’t fight the weight of his eyelids and he fell into slumber.

He woke.


Two days later


Trapped in a lost bottle at sea, hungry as a wolf, and thirsty as desert earth, Captain Gordala reflected upon his campaign for what seemed an eternity.

After the two hundredth attempt at relieving the bottle of its cork, he finally came to realize that being Captain of this bottle wasn’t all that and a slice of Pullberry pie.

He would work with the Hunch.

The Felicians, the Hunch, he would unite them.

He would, someday, if he ever got this stubborn cork off.



Benjamin DeHaan is a speculative fiction writer, road runner, and circular economy promoter. He was born and raised in southern Wisconsin and now lives and works in Japan. His fiction can be found in the Tales from the Weird Weird West anthology, Novel Noctule Magazine, and forthcoming from various other venues. You can find more info at his website

About Benjamin DeHaan


  1. Great story! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  2. Thank you for giving me the chance to share my story on this great platform. I hope to submit more fun stories again soon! 🙂

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