I got the idea for this story from the song Tobacco Island by Flogging Molly. Who would be more likely to run away and become a pirate in the Caribbean than a group of Irishman sold off as indentured servants to Barbados after Cromwell invaded Ireland? Then I looked around to see what was happening in Japan at the same time.
Japanese Isolation began in 1631, making it a capital offense for a Japanese to leave the island. My ninja was, conveniently for me, trapped on the wrong side of the border. He can never go home.
But as Cromwell invaded Ireland in 1649, my pirate had to be younger than my ninja. He also needed time to get caught, be sold off, slave under the hot sun for merciless landowners, escape, join a pirate crew, work his way up to be elected captain, and go back for his friends.
Finn and his crew are more interested in the treasure (tobacco, sugar, chocolate, silver, gold, and European manufactured goods) than killing anyone. If the crew didn’t resist, they aren’t injured, but if they do resist they are killed. The Baile's reputation is so well known that other ships hardly ever fight back anymore. After all, Finn is the Dread Pirate Roberts.
I met a Chinese man, who I thought was pretty young to be a china chef. One of my coworkers blushed when she saw him. She is twenty-one and thought he was around her age. We all did. A week later, I was talking to the head chef about the cooks that come in on her days off and mention that the young one had been in. She knew exactly who I meant, but said that despite his apparent youth, he is forty-five. That is twice as old as he looked. My ninja is the same way. He is thirty-four and looks about sixteen.
Ling (ling) is the persona Nameless Ninja wears. His name is really Kouji (Koh jee), but there wasn’t room to put it in.
Jamie (JAY mee) is sixteen. Maybe I should write a story about him and Lugh.
Cian (KEE an) is the Quartermaster, which is why he can tell Finn what to do.
Queen Dick is a derogatory nickname for Richard Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland, also known as Tumbledown Dick.
Charles is King Charles II, who ruled after the Cromwells. The Tories (running men), which Finn and Lugh were part of, fought for the return of the monarchy.
Black Friday Rule — it’s about someone who can never go home, but makes the best of things.
Holiday — it’s one of my favorite songs and it has the right beat.
The Kilburn High Road — it has the right feel : war, dead men, ships, exile bound…
Queen Anne’s Revenge — Blackbeard’s ship
Seven Deadly Sins — Pirates
Tobacco Island — Of course
Holiday is by Green Day, the rest are by Flogging Molly
And the story title comes from the last half of a saying.