Tales from the Stream Ch. 19


Author’s Note

First of all, rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated. And yes, I’ve left our poor space pirates languishing in the airlock for far too long.

In my defense, I’ve had a terrible case of writer’s block. So what’s an author to do in a situation like that? Write a musical comedy of course!

For full enjoyment of this chapter, you may want to take a moment to familiarize yourself with operetta. Search the net for any episode of Nickelodeon’s Wonder Pets for a quick primer. Yeah, it’s a little childish, but so is this chapter.


Chapter 19: Lesbian Space Pirates The Musical

On board the Black Prince, in the lounge.

Jade was sporting a wide grin. She turned to Amaliya. “Okay, I remember it now.”

Amailya rolled her eyes. “Fine, let’s hear it.”

“What’s a pirate’s favorite letter?”

Amaliya snorted as she laughed. “Really? That’s it? This one is so easy.”

“Okay smarty pants, what is it?”

Amaliya sat up straight on the Megacomf sofa and puffed up her chest. “Rrrrr, obviously.”

Jade shook her head. “Nope.”

“Nope? What do you mean, nope?”

“I mean nope, as in that’s not the answer.”

“Not R?” said Amaliya, pursing her lips for a moment. “Rrrrr.”


“Alright, spill it. What’s a pirate’s favorite letter if it’s not Rrrrr?”

Jade grinned and leaned forward. Amaliya did the same, but holding her breath instead of grinning. They both held the pose for a few moments. Finally, in a whisper Jade said, “It be the C.”

“The… Oh, gawd.” Amaliya fell backward and lay with her arms spread wide. “That was horrible.”

“Get it? The C. Because C sounds like sea.”

“Yeah, I got it.” Amaliya laid her palm across her forehead. “It was still horrible.”

“I win!” said Jade.

“Not so fast.” Amaliya sat up again. “I’m not done yet. What did the octogenarian pirate say on his birthday?”

“Octo…” said Jade. She picked up a tablet computer from the nearby end table and began tapping and swiping. “Oh, like he’s old.”

“Mm-hmm. A very specific age, in fact.”

Jade turned her eyes toward the ceiling. After a while she let out a sigh. “I give up.”

Amaliya was wearing a full-face grin. “Aye, matey!”

Jade stared.

“Aye, matey,” repeated Amaliya. And then more slowly, “Aye, matey… I’m eighty… get it? Aye, matey.”

“Oh,” said Jade. She tossed the tablet on the cushions of the Megacomf. “Ohh! And you thought my jokes were bad.”

“Because an octogenarian is—”

“Eighty,” said Jade. “Yeah I got it. No more pirate jokes, please. I’m dying over here.”

“Okay,” said Amaliya, “Here’s another one. A priest, a rabbi, a hippie, and Henry Kissinger are all on a plane when the pilot suddenly drops dead.”

Jade shook her head. “No. No more, please.”

“This is a good one, you’ll want to—”

Amaliya was interrupted by a song in four part harmony. From the stateroom, drifted the words, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.”

“Oh, shit!” Jade’s eyes went wide.


In the stateroom

Lúcia sat on the edge of the king-sized bed, turned toward Aidoru who was sprawled out, face down on the covers.

“What is the matter, my love?” asked Lúcia.

Aidoru’s three bodies lay clustered together, faces in the pillows. A chorus of sobs arose as her bodies heaved.

Lúcia reached out to stroke the hair of the Aidoru closest to the edge of the bed. “You don’t need to answer. Just know that I’m here if you want to talk.”

Three Aidoru rolled over simultaneously, eyes puffy and red-rimmed.

“It’s always Haiku,” said Aidoru.

“The only way I can speak.

A freak of nature.”

Lúcia leaned forward onto the bed, covering the Aidoru closest to her with her body and spreading her arm over the other two. “Is that what’s been bothering you? You’re not a freak,” said Lúcia. “You’re my girl. Je t’aime.”

Three Aidoru twitched simultaneously with a hitching breath.

“Je t’aime,” repeated Lúcia. “You are prefect to me and in the eyes of God.”

“I talk like a freak.” Aidoru frowned.

“The only things I can say

“Come out as Haiku.”

Lúcia sat up a shook her head. She tuzla escort pressed a finger to Aidoru’s lips. “Then don’t talk.”

Aidoru rolled over and buried her faces in the pillows again. Her bodies hitched with another sob.

Lúcia reached out to touch Aidoru’s shoulder. “I did not mean to say you should stay silent, my love. I meant that there are other ways to communicate. Perhaps singing?”

Aidoru rolled over again, this time focusing her gaze on Lúcia.

“I know a song that my sisters and I would sing on the Hildegard von Bingen.” Lúcia took Aidoru’s hand and tugged. “It’s called Amazing Grace. Singing it helps me remember that wherever I may find myself, God is walking with me.”

Aidoru sat up. The backs of three identical hands wiped under three pair of puffy, red eyes.

“It goes like this,” said Lúcia.

“Amazing grace, How sweet the sound.

“That saved a wretch like me.

“I once was lost, but now I am found.

“Was blind, but now I see.”

Aidoru cocked her heads, focusing on Lúcia.

“Now you try,” said Lúcia.

“Amazing grace, How sweet the sound,” sang Aidoru.

“That saved a wretch like me.

“I once was lost, but now I am found.

“Was blind, but now I see.”

“See? No haiku,” said Lúcia. “Now, let’s sing together.”

Three Aidoru and one Lúcia opened their mouths.

“Amazing Grace, How sweet the—”

Their singing was interrupted by the sound of Captain Jade’s voice echoing down the hallway as her feet pounded on the deck. “Oh, shit!” she said. “No, no, no. Shut it down. Shut them all down!”


Meanwhile, back in the lounge

“What are you going on about?” Amaliya stood up and followed behind as Jade marched down the corridor toward the sound of singing. “Leave them alone. It’s just singing.”

Jade stopped and spun on heel. “Just singing? Just singing? Tell that to the Girl Scouts.”

“The Girl Scouts… What?” Amaliya stood with her hands on her hips. “Listen, I can understand that you don’t like my bad pirate jokes, but I will not have you coming down on the girls for—”

“Wanker,” said Jade.

“Wanker?” Amaliya huffed. She held up her hand, palm turned out. “No. Oh, hell no. That is not okay. Just because you’re the captain does not give you the right to be rude. It’s just singing for the love of—”

“Just singing?” Jade’s eyes were wide, her cheeks were beginning to pinken. “Tell that to the poor Girl Scouts!”

“Listen here, Captain. I don’t know what the hell is—”

“What is going on?” asked Lúcia, striding down the corridor. She was followed closely by Aidoru.

“That’s what I’m trying to find out,” said Amaliya, “but Captain Jade is being a Rudy McRude Pants. She called me a wanker. Can you believe that?”

Captain Jade shook her head. “No, not you,” she said. “I’m not calling you a wanker. I’m talking about WANKER. WANKER! The worldwide association of network entertainers and recording artists.”

“The worldwide…” Amaliya stopped to stare at the ceiling for a moment. She shifted her gaze back to Jade and crossed her arms over her chest. “Those works don’t even spell wanker. It’s more like… like wanera.”

“What’s a wanera?” asked Lúcia.

Behind her, Aidoru shrugged. “Maybe sandwiches?

“It sounds like a sandwich place.

“To me, anyway.”

“WANERA is what you get when you make a proper acronym from the worldwide association of—” Amaliya started.

“Look,” said Jade, throwing her hands in the air, “I didn’t make it up.”

“Maybe if you take the K at the end of network and use that as part of the acronym,” mused Lúcia. “Though I do not know if it truly qualifies as an acronym when such liberties are taken.”

“Listen,” said Jade. “I don’t know where they got the damn letters. All I know is that WANKER… WANKER is everywhere. They’re probably listening to us right now. Eavesdropping on the signals given off by our electronic devices. You never know. Not even Girl Scouts are safe from WANKER.”

Amaliya wove her fingers through her hair, gripping tightly. “What. Are. You. On. About?”

“Yes, Captain Jade,” said Lúcia. “I do not see why singing is bad. Nor do I see why you insist pendik escort on calling Amaliya a wanker.”

“I’m not…” Jade stopped. She sucked a deep breath and blew it out all at once. “Copyrighted lyrics,” she said.

Amaliya let go of her hair and stared. “Copy…”

“Copyrighted lyrics,” repeated Jade. “All songs have a copyright. You can’t sing them without paying royalties.”

“To the wankers?” asked Lúcia.

All three Aidoru fell backward onto the Megacomf sofa, heads back and arms wide.

“Exactly!” said Jade. “Now help me find any device with a microphone and let’s get them shut down before WANKER finds out you’ve been singing without permission.”

“You can’t be serious,” said Amaliya.

“Dead serious,” said Jade, her eyes darting about the lounge. “I wish Emily were here,” she said. “She could probably flip a master switch somewhere…”

“Like a WANKER firewall,” said Amaliya, chewing her lip to suppress a grin and losing the battle.

“Laugh if you want. I’m not taking any chances,” said Jade. “Not even the Girl Scouts are safe.”

“You keep mentioning the Girls Scouts,” said Amaliya.

Jade turned and leveled her gaze. “Campfire songs. They were singing campfire songs. And WANKER nabbed ’em.”

“Like how, exactly?”

“Not from the campground. Took them to court. Sued them for copyright infringement.” Jade was moving around the walls of the lounge, flipping any power switches she found into the off position as she went. “The Girl Scouts.”

“Damn, that’s cold.” Amaliya shook her head. She began moving around the walls opposite Jade, flipping switches as she went. “Fucking WANKER,” she mumbled.

Lúcia stood watching and then reached to pick up the tablet from where it lay next to Aidoru on the cushion of the Megacomf sofa.

“Good idea,” said Jade. “See if you can find a master control panel for the ship’s communication systems.”

“Fucking WANKER!” Amaliya was tearing around the perimeter of the lounge, looking high and low.

“Not a switch,” said Lúcia.

Jade stopped and turned to Lúcia. “No switch? Maybe there’s another way. Damn, I wish Emily were here. She’d be tapping and swiping and a minute later she’d exclaim, ‘I’m in!’ Do you know how to hack, Lúcia? Do nuns do that kind of stuff? Hacking?”

“We don’t need to switch it off,” said Lúcia. “We may continue singing.”

Jade and Amaliya turned to stare. Aidoru lifted her heads from the back of the couch cushions. “WANKER?” croaked Amaliya.

Lúcia shook her head. She held up the tablet and pointed. “Amazing Grace was written in 1772 and published in 1779.”

“So?” said Jade. “I bet they had WANKERs back then. Colonial WANKERs. The worst kind.”

“The copyright expired many long years ago,” said Lúcia. “I think we are safe to sing.”

“Fucking WANKER,” mumbled Amaliya, shaking her fist at the ceiling.

“Sister Amaliya,” said Lúcia, laying her hand on Amaliya’s forearm. “When I am upset, I often find that singing helps me focus. Would you like to try?”

Amaliya opened her mouth, but she didn’t get a chance to speak. Aidoru and Lúcia beat her to it.

“Amazing grace, How sweet the sound.

“That saved a wretch like me.

“I once was lost, but now I am found.

“Was blind, but now I see.”

Jade reached up and wiped her eye with the back of her hand. “That was fucking beautiful. And in four part harmony. Just beautiful.”

Amailya stood tall with her middle finger extended toward the ceiling. “Take that WANKER,” she said.


In the lounge, a while later

The two Megacomf sofas were both completely devoid of cushions. The cushions having been moved to the floor and arranged to create a circular padded area with nearly as much space as the bed occupying the stateroom. In the center was the tablet computer, displaying a holographic flame on its upturned screen.

Sprawled out over the array of cushions were Amaliya, Jade, Aidoru, and Lúcia without a stitch of clothing among them. Aidoru was curled around Lúcia and softly humming the tune to Amazing Grace.

Amailiya heaved a sigh and pulled herself up to prop her back against the Megacomf. She licked aydınlı escort her index finger and drew a lazy circle around her left nipple. “Some people sing for stress relief. And that’s fine. But personally, I don’t think anything beats a good fu—”

“Who are the Girl Scouts?” Lúcia asked.

“Um,” said Jade. “Um. I guess you could say—”

“They’re like us, honey,” Amaliya reached to lay a hand on Lúcia’s arm, and then kissed Lúcia on the cheek. “Except not as gay.”

“And not as kinky,” sang Aidoru, popping up one head. “No, not as kinky,” sang the next Aidoru.

Aidoru grinned.

“They’re a group of girls that like to go on camp outs and eat granola bars and have campfires.”

“Like us,” said Lúcia.

Amaliya nodded, then re-wet her finger and began circling her right nipple.

“Though not as kinky,” sang the final Aidoru. Her grin stretched even wider.

“Who taught her about operetta?” asked Jade, while leveling her gaze at Lúcia.

Lúcia shrugged. “There is a lot of information on the net. Who can say where one might learn about—”

“Mm-hmm,” said Jade. Though her eyes were narrowed, her mouth was turning up at the corners.

“Lúcia helped me,” sang Aidoru, “Oh yes, she helped me.”

“Amour,” whispered Lúcia as she wove her fingers in with the Aidoru closest to her.

Lúcia turned to Amaliya and Jade. “I was trying to help her express herself. She was feeling a little down about speaking in haiku all the time. And I thought, since she can sing…”

“Amazing grace…” Aidoru started singing in three part harmony.

Jade shrugged. “I’d say it worked. Though I do find myself wondering if she’ll ever stop.”

“I wonder,” said Amaliya, crinkling her nose. “I wonder, how come nobody ever thought of it before now?”

“J-Pop stars have pretty rigidly controlled life,” Jade said. “From what I’ve read anyway. Maybe she never got the chance.”

“How sweet the sound…”

“Hmm,” said Amaliya. Then, reaching out to pick up Lúcia’s hand, Amailya said, “She’s lucky to have you.”

“That saved a wretch like me…”

“I’d say we all are,” said Jade, laying her hand on top of Amaliya’s and Lúcia’s. “You’ve got a good heart, Lúcia,”

“You too, Aidoru, honey,” said Amaliya. “I like your singing. Sure beats Jade’s horrible pirate jokes.”

“Pirate jokes?” Lúcia turned to Amaliya.

“Let’s not—” said Jade.

“I once was lost, but now am found…”

“Captain Jade and I were having a contest of sorts,” said Amaliya, moving her finger back to her left nipple. “While you and Aidoru were in the other room getting your jam on.”

“I do not think I know any pirate jokes,” said Lúcia.

“A priest, a rabbi, a hippie…” sang Aidoru. “And Henry Kissinger. Are all on a plane.”

Amaliya lifted her head and smiled. “When suddenly… the pilot drops dead!” she sang, matching Aidoru’s cadence.

“‘I found the parachutes’, said the priest.”

“But there are only thee of them!” sang Amaliya.

“Yes, only three of them!” responded Aidoru, matching Amaliya’s meter and then lowering the pitch of her voice to finish. “And four of us.”

“Oh, my…” said Jade, shaking her head. “What have we created?”

“Who is Henry Kissinger?” asked Lúcia.



I’ll admit, this might be one of the oddest stories in the series. But, then again, a little lighthearted fun is good now and then.

And, if you’re wondering about the end of the joke, it goes like this:

A priest, a rabbi, a hippie, and Henry Kissinger are all on a plane when the pilot suddenly drops dead.

No one else on board knows how to fly.

“I found three parachutes,” says the priest. “But sadly there are four of us.”

Henry Kissinger says, “I am the schmartest man in the world, and I must live.” He grabs a pack and jumps out of the plane.

The priest and the Rabbi look at each other. “I’ve made my peace with God, they each say. Take mine so that you may live.”

The hippie looks them both in the eye. “Hey man, don’t sweat it,” he says. “The schmartest man in the world just jumped out of the plane with my backpack.”


And yes, Virginia, in 1996 ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) actually threatened the Girl Scouts with litigation over song royalties. And yes, many people thought they were total wankers for doing so.

May 2022 treat you well!


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