Arudelle leaned over the back of a reversed chair, a pipe clenched in princely white teeth.
“Oh, but why are you frowning, Mi’Raah?”
The ship hurtled over a swell then and the floor moved. Arudelle spread legs and dug his heels in, for balance. Mi’Raah only crossed hers.
“Wicked, wicked creature.”
She remarked, “I’m just shocked that you’ve removed my shackles.”
“It’s better sport for my men. Isn’t that what we pirates do? Hold our rum, chase loose wenches? You can’t be a loose wench or–chaste–if you’re tied up, Mi’Raah.”
“I hate you.” her eyes flickered away from a graying mirror. Hateful view of blue-bruised cheek, all over again.
“Feh. Fie, and more feh. You already know the crime, and the punishment due… Or, is it the new eyepatch? Is that why you can’t look at me now?” Arudelle played at readjusting it, then scratched stubble along smiling jaw. “Haha… Better?”
Mi’Raah shoved free of Arudelle and opened the cabin doors herself. Singing voices soared beyond, leers of the men burned. Her freedom was so cruelly all around, above their heads, in the wide, bright air. And, she could smell it on the sea. Nothing but blue and drowning.
One sailor near up on the forecastle, near the prow, stood in handsome profile and began the timber of marching drums.
“Arudelle, you’re crazy if you think I’m going out to drums.”
“Lady Naah Maah Mi’Raah has been accused–” he shouted, over a raise in laughter, “Oh, look, it’s the parrot, do all you see it? Finally, it flies down to sit on my shoulder, just the way it should be. Grand!”
“Zho fu rah tah paah…”
Many of the pirates holding grog or else swinging from rope nets went, “What? This wench went whaaat?”
“Oh shut up!” Mi’Raah yelled back. Arudelle prodded her forward, a sharp sword point finally drawn. She breathed through her nose. She walked in bare feet. She turned at the edge of the plank behind a hot flare of silver hair in the sun.
Next, Captain Arudelle snapped fingers and pointed. Two men went into the day’s catch and gutted fish before her eyes, to scatter red blood into the water below. Sharks were never far, the way these men carried on. Fins pierced foam that trailed beneath, as the ship picked up speed. Mi’Raah cursed them and also Arudelle who laughed that more sails should be opened. The plank’s rectangular shadow coasted faster, each league Mi’rah’s Virtue swiftly took.
Drum beat blared. Mi’Raah at last tripped, their cheering and feet thundered, but she grasped hold on fours. Arudelle came up and jammed easy boot heel onto the edge of that rickety wooden walkway, considered her, then tickled a parrot.
He forced a certain salty look and said, “Are you beggin’ fer mercy, Miss? Fine then, give me the price of goin’ ta Davey Jones’s locker here and now, my lady, and you might yet be spared.”
Howls of laughter and whistling. Mi’Raah slid teeth fiercely over one another, anguished gnashing exactly like in the ancient scriptures. Arudelle pointed that out, in fact, along with observation that her so-called testaments were written, on paper, and not yet yellowed.
“King Arudelle the so-called Conqueror. As I clearly enunciate so, and you evidently, must listen to me in order to truly know–anything–understand that, for this unjust punishment, pleasantness shall never again pass between us.”
“Never ever? Your life does waver upon such sharp words, my lovely. Of course, I’ll still have your ship, but now I think you’re going to make me miss you, as well. Arrr.”
“I am certain of our lasting enmity, Arudelle. It is as sure as your awful, effected accent!”
“Fie and feh again!” Arudelle kicked the wooden board, Mi’Raah screamed prettily, fell, and all the pirates stampeded at the gangway to hoot, holler, cuss and watch.
Yes, the sharks drew together, yes they fought to tear under, at her, first. But, this dark pool of burgundy blood expanded as the ship flew on and the pirates craned to watch their victim go into eerie nothing, not even bubbles of breath.
Arudelle frowned, and the crew quieted with discipline not belonging to such scurvy dogs. “Damn me, she isn’t holding breath or even trying. Did she really drink it?”
Gone, gone woman. Arudelle knew better than to wait and be sure. The Kingdom of Jyst was on the brink of view. He shouted orders to have them turn and reveal the guns. Beneath sweep of his arm in sweat-stained, golden blouse was the remainder of the armada on that horizon, also making hard turn, dropping sail. Arudelle had but to lash sword in the dawn-light, and a hundred more ships burst forth their quaking cannons.
It was said that the Jystians heard, but held greater fear that it was their hooved god.
1, Mi’raah’s Virtue :: 2, The Dancing Beaches :: 3, On His High Horse :: 4, Off His High Horse :: 5, Bottled Message :: 6, Horse Huntress :: 7, Rider Koriandra :: 8, Oh No He Di’int :: 9, Talking Horses :: 10, That Damned Bottle Again :: 11, Believing is Seeing :: 12, A Choice Between Two Lovers :: 13, Last Vortextual Process :: 14, End of the Prose