[Mock-Fiction] V - Fures Misericordiam

Note: Please read the Formal Notice movella. It should be on the list on the right hand side.

Aye. Tis me again.

Cover by Secrets Unfold


3. 1 – Sugar-blossom

“That’s a lovely name you ‘ave,” said the man, who had yet to pay for his pastry, staring at her name tag whilst enjoying the view behind it, “Ma-ri-qah, is it?”

The tanned woman behind the counter tried to ignore him. But it was difficult, considering the amount of time he’d been standing there in a rather shameless fashion, trying his best to woo her.

“You gonna pay for that bun or not?” Mariqah asked him.

“Well, I might do,” he replied, “If you tell me if you’re available, say, this weekend?”

She stared at him for a long time, before she said, “It’s on the house. Go away,” she took out a few coins from the pocket in her apron and cashed them into the till. She glared at him.

“That look suits you.”
“You look just as well,” she said, “But you won’t if I have to rearrange your face.”

“Playing hard-to-get?”

“You tell me,” she rolled up her sleeves and clenched her fists.


The scars on her arms, her prominent veins, along with the scar on her bottom lip, was enough (finally) to make the man stare and then walk away.

Mariqah shook her head, just as a finger tapped her lightly on the shoulder. She turned a little to find her boss looking at her in a condescending fashion.

“Do I need to get a new till-keeper?” he asked, straightening his crimson tie.

“Are you considering sacking me?”

“Well, yes, that’s what I was implying.”

“Then you might have to.”

“Mariqah, you’re scaring away customers with that tough talk.”
“I only talk tough with arses that ask for it.”

“It’s bad for business.”

“Then perhaps you should find a till-keeper that enjoys being hit on.”


Mariqah’s boss looked at her mildly in surprise, as she said the statement in a tone that made it sound more like a suggestion than a sarcastic remark, “Are you asking me to fire you?”

“Would you prefer if I quit?”

He tipped his head to a side, a quizzical expression on his face, “No, I…” he raised a brow.

She smiled at him, “Listen, boss – I can handle living on the scraps that this city provides me. I can eat out of people’s dustbins and pick pennies out of telephone boxes. I can handle that and live heartily. But you,” she untied her sagging pony-tail and tied it up again, “cannot handle a slutty till-keeper. Believe me when I say that. I’m the best and worst keeper you can ever possibly have.”

“Oh, and what would make you say that?”

“Do you want your cupcakes ingrained with herpes, and all your male customers walking out bow-legged?”

Her boss stared at her, “Okay, you’ve made your point.”

“I can keep my job?”

“Yes. But please, I know those arses that hit on you are annoying, but please be quieter about it?”

“Good,” the middle-aged man walked away into the staff room.


Mariqah looked up to see if any other customers were to walk in. But street outside was relatively empty of people. There were people eating inside, of course, speaking and laughing in soft voices and fruity giggles – most of these people being the waitresses. Mariqah’s gaze lingered on the gossiping, short-skirted, makeup-caked girls for a moment before she took out a pen and scribbled on the jotter-pad on the counter idly.

What does it take to be that ignorant and carefree? she thought, Is it better to be like that…?


“Hey, Mari!” one of them called.

She looked up, “Don’t call me that, please,” Mariqah replied softly.

“You are such a wet-blanket, you are,” the girl walked up to her, and punched her lightly in the shoulder.

“What do you want…” Mariqah tried to remember the girl’s name, “is it, Minnie?”

“Woah,” said the girl, “No, it’s Jennifer.”

“Right, sorry,” Mariqah tapped her forehead, “Not the best with names.” Except if you’re a mercenary, she thought, “What did you want?”

“Well,” the girl leaned back against the counter, “I was wondering what’s going on between you and Samuels.”

It took a moment for the comment to register, “I’m sorry?”

“Well, some of us have seen you walking in and out of his house,” said Jennifer. She turned around and folded her arms, smiling mischievously at Mariqah.

“Father Samuels is a church-man in his sixties, Jen, and he’s pretty good at his job – and does overtime on the account that he’s still very much a celibate,” said Mariqah, amused, “What’re you on, Jen?”

“But, you’re in his house. A lot.”

“I’m his house-keeper.”

“But you… you stay over-night and that.”

Mariqah raised a brow and glared at Jennifer, “Should I be reporting a stalker, Jen?”
“What? No, no,” the girl waved her hands in front of her, “I meant no harm by it.”

Mariqah paused, her expression softening, “Bless the man, the Father’s a soft one. He let’s me stay over sometimes, when it’s cold or if it’s raining. He worries about people. He cares about people,” Mariqah resumed her glare, “He doesn’t take advantage of them.”

“I was just playing, Mari.”
“Aye, I know. Play with me, if you must. But don’t disgrace that good man’s name.”

“It… it won’t happen again.”


The shop door swung open, the bell ringing with it. Mariqah looked passed Jennifer.

“Everybody down!” said the new customer, “This is a heist!”

He was dressed in black, a woollen hat pulled over his face – two holes cut out for seeing through – and he held a gun in each hand. Everyone screamed, ducked and cowered, the waitresses using their trays as shields, the boss with his arms up in surrender, the other customers frozen in place.

Then silence.


“Are you quite sure?”

Jennifer looked back at Mariqah. She was squinting at the robber with a quizzical expression. Her gaze was focused on his guns.

“What did you say?” shouted the robber, stepping towards her, “Gimme all the money.”
“Sweetheart, I think you’ve had a hard hit to the head,” said Mariqah, “Maybe you should sit down. Have a free cupcake.”
N-o! This is a robbery!”

“Nah, I don’t think so.”
“I’ll shoot you, dammit! I’ll shoot!”

Mariqah paused. Then spread her arms, “Be my guest. Shoot.”
The robber was caught off guard, “…What?”

“You don’t seem to have the nerve to be a criminal, sugar-blossom,” Mariqah reached over the counter and plucked a gun from his grasp, “Or the real tools of a criminal’s trade,” she briefly examined the make, “Could you find nothing better than Nerf and spray-paint?”

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