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When my body touched the Atlantic water, I was embraced by its coldness, stopping the pain caused by the wounds that were bleeding like an open tub, seconds ago.

I felt the current taking me gently down to the deepest secret of the sea, the color of the water changed from crystal blue to turquoise to dark blue and finally, all went black.

I got three shots on my back, you could argue that shooting someone's back can be only done by a coward, but to be honest I pretty much deserve it, for being a bastard most of my life.

Not sure if it was because one of the bullets perforated my lungs and that helped me breath under the water, or it was because the legend of my mum being a mermaid was true.

My dad was sent to the Spanish Armada to fight Queen Elizabeth and put Britain on the Roman Catholic way again, I remember my dad doing lots of things, none of them was praying or worshipping. Anyway, as you know the armada was not really “invincible”, and not many options for the armada ships apart from sunk, being driven ashore or badly battered. According to the legend, my dad was found by mermaids on a piece of wood around the Lizard in Cornwall, he has been floating unconscious for a few days on this piece of wood. When mermaids found him, he was barely skin and bones, huge signs of dehydration and undernourishment, but he recovered quickly, and became even more handsome and stronger than before.

With time, he created his own flotilla of men and ships, the “Mercenaries of the sea”. During the years, they won so many battles and made a huge fortune in gold and jewelry. Those brave souls, who survived a confrontation with them, told stories about how the sea seemed to be alive, huge waves will attack their galleons and indescribable human figures swimming at an incredible speed will be responsible for those huge waves.

I grew up in the middle of those battles, I never had a toy, instead, I had knives.

With the years, I started to learn how to talk to the sea and be able to tame it. I learned how to be a captain to my dad's men and how to respect my men and my sea. I became to be known as one of the most fearsome pirates in the world.

I conquered beautiful islands, still unknown to human species, we took over anything that was in our way, boats, people, churches…actually for this last one I have a funny story, well you might not find it funny but as I said earlier, I am a bastard. This is funny because most of the people still think that black metal followers were the ones who came up with the idea of burning churches, but no, my friends, the one who started burning churches was me, some bands in Sweden and Norway just took it to the extreme, I was the original sinner.

It was around the year 1723, we were sailing towards Sweden, it took us a while to reach land using the Baltic sea channels, but finally, we made it to Södermalm. It was mainly a rural and agricultural area, not much fun to be honest but we were there just to stock up our hold with food, ammunition and the much-needed alcohol and wine.

It was the night of May, the 1st and it wasn't too cold to be in Sweden, so I decided to go for a walk. I was lost in my thoughts planning our next route, thinking about islands that could be a good home for a summer break. Yes, pirates also like to have some holidays, not everything in this life is fighting and stealing things from people.

Anyhow, I was on this walk and suddenly, I stood in front of a church, I read the sign by the entrance that said “Maria church”. This was the first time in my life I was face to face with a church. I never understood why people fought over religion. I did ask my dad a thousand times why he was involved in a religious war, but he never gave me a satisfactory answer, and he just said it was a job that was given to him, he was a simple man and not a talkative dad either. I never had any curiosity about religions either, so basically my knowledge about religion was none.

The church’s door was close, but when has that ever been an impediment for me, I found my way in. The place seemed like a nice one to throw a party, with all the benches for people to sit and the altar to set up a feast, and even if you were alone you didn’t feel like it with all those big human figures hanging from the walls. While I was taking a look around, my previous thought caught me back, and I started to wonder why I was distracted from planning my next route, the answer was easy because this church was in my way. The church wasn’t going to move, it had to be me, the one making the effort and going around it, if I wanted to keep walking. If I don’t like things in my way, I burn them.

While I was watching the church burn down, I thought about Nero and how it must feel to burn a whole city, at least my church was empty. Maybe I am not that bad after all.

The fire escalated a bit quicker than expected. I reckon I had some help from the wind spreading from the west. I don’t know if you have realised yet, humans will never stop surprising me, but fire is one of those things that can’t go unnoticed, so within an hour the whole town was up and running around trying to extinguish the fire. There you go!! I made people come together just like Jesus.

I returned to our campsite and woke up my men, with everyone fighting together against the fire, it was the perfect time for us to steal everything we needed to survive the next few months, so we did. At 6 am, we said goodbye to a smoky Södermalm. That was a short visit for us.

I never met my mother or any of the mermaids that legends talk about, but knowing my dad, I am pretty sure he screwed up the whole relationship with them, some way or another he always finds a way to annoy people, but I was always amazed by this unique charm he had. I remember listening to my dad’s men talking late on the nights after downing a couple of bottles of whiskey, that mermaids disappear once I was born and given to my dad. Apparently, they broke the rules between the kingdom of the earth and the kingdom of the sea.

The only thing I was given as a present from my mother was a strange pendant, the appearance was like a black crystal that you can see through but the touch was metal, a material that has never been seen on the face of the earth.

I have been wearing this necklace for 42 years, never took it out but I lost it one day in a battle in the North Atlantic Ocean when we were on our way to the Bahamas. It was a sunny morning in November, the ocean was calm and crystal clear, have you ever noticed that when you spend too much time looking at the water you think you can walk on it...I have seen more than one man trying that and that made me feel clever as I will never be fooled for such a stupid trick.

My peace was broken by the sound of a cannon and the shout of my main man Silver Teeth "All Hand Hoy!”, for those of you who don’t speak the pirate language, I will tell you this means “Everyone gets on deck!”.

Pirates will never attack from the back, that was the only thing I knew at that moment, then who was attacking us? I ran to the back and saw the English flag, “here we go again with the English” I said to myself, of course, even though they were just the English Bahamas, an English colony.

It was an amusing battle I have to say, we had the most powerful cannon ever made, the “carronade”. We stole it from the Royal Scottish Navy, they were short-ranged cannons but they could deliver a large amount of damage. The secret was in the balls, we did not have solid iron balls. No, my friends, we had empty iron balls that were filled with gunpowder and a short fuse that will be set to fire, correctly timed, to explode as soon as they reach the enemy’s deck.

The only problem was that we had to get very close, otherwise the “carronade” wouldn't hit the target. Suddenly, we realised we were surrounded by little boats full of English soldiers with swords, some of them managed to climb up and reached our deck. I had a hot fight with one of these gingers, the edge of his sword slid down my neck, the cut was shallow for my skin but not for my pendant, the necklace cord was cut and the pendant fell onto the watery floor, next thing I know was that the pendant falling from the deck and going straight down to the ocean.

As soon as the ocean felt the pendant, the water turned white, the light coming from the ocean was so bright and intense that we all went blind, everyone stopped fighting and went down on the floor.

The wind stopped, the time stopped, even gravity stopped. We were floating in the thin air. We opened our eyes to face a white reality, everything that was material was gone, a huge electric storm was above us. I understood the message, it was here where the name of the ocean will be a legend, here where the fury was unleashed and only here the fury of the sea will be remembered. Anyone wanting to cross these waters will die and only the chosen ones will live to tell how they fought against every drop of the ocean.

Gravity came back and we all hit the floor in such a savage way we all passed out. I woke up like if I had the party of my life the previous night but it wasn’t a hangover, it was a contusion. I wasn't sure how much time had passed. I had no clue where we were or where the English galleon had gone. It was sunny, that was the only thing I can say for sure. My men started to wake up too, can’t say if they were confused, terrified, in pain or a mix of everything. We took the compass to figure out where we were and to our surprise, the pointer didn’t show the direction of the north, instead, it was spinning without sense, suddenly turning to the right and the next second turning to the left.

Years after this incident there were stories telling that things disappear around this area, it was called the Bermuda Triangle, a place that once was one of the few places on Earth where true north and magnetic north lined up. But not anymore, thanks to my pendant

This episode in my life was stuck in my mind for some time and even made me think about my true nature. At some point, I even thought about becoming a normal person, but too boring for me. So, I kept doing what I know to do best, being a pirate.

Today a lot of people will be happy to know that they saw the Queen of the Mercenaries of the sea being shot and lost in the sea, others will get the chills thinking that she is about to find out who she really is.


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