[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

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13. 11 – People of Trust

Mariqah blew smoke into the dark night. They’d moved off into the nearby park from the Father’s house. Mariqah told Edward that if the police decided to be on the watch for them, they’d think it less likely that two fugitives would still be in the area. Mariqah huddled against a tree-trunk, her shawl wrapped tightly around her. A large guitar-carrier was slung on her back, in which she carried her prized sword – the Damascus – and the Hidden Blade was strapped to her right arm, the sleeve of a dark green denim coat with a white, slight peaked hood covering it. She wore thick boots, which hid daggers inside them. Her worn drawstring bag lay at her feet. Edward had been given a few knives, but he was still getting over the general shock of having seen Mariqah murder two people and head-butt a man senseless with only a walking-stick as a weapon. He sat opposite her, against another tree, and tossed her half a loaf of bread they’d taken from the Father’s kitchen.

 

“Eat,” he said, simply.

Mariqah looked at the loaf with a blank stare, “Not hungry,” she mumbled.

“Come on, Mari, you’ve got to keep your strength up,” he said pushing the loaf into her hands, “You can’t starve yourself, lass.”

“I’m not hungry,” she repeated, “Have my share. I’ve… I’ve a hollow innard tonight.”

“But the walking. We’ll have to catch up on all that because…” he paused, “…you know.”

“We’ll not be making for the harbour, Edward.”

“Eh?”

“We cannot. I’ll have to re-plan our journey to Nassau. I still intend to get you home. Then make Simeon drink damnation,” she growled a little, “But we can’t go to the harbour. All the ports’ll be watched and I don’t want to get the Captain of the ship I hired into any more trouble than he has to get into. He’s a good trader, and I do good business with him. People like that hard enough to find,” she paused, “We’ll head to East London in the morning, where I can trust a few more people.”

“Aye… your friends? Or your family?”

“Better,” she said, with a small smile, “People who owe me money.”

 

* * * * *

 

“So… this is the place you grew up?” said Edward with distaste, as the pair of fugitives walked quite freely in the backwaters of East London. This part of the city smelt vulgar – the smell of piss and betel, mingled with a spicier odour of rotting vegetables and decaying rodents – and every face they passed looked dark and suspicious, “How do you trust anyone here?”

“It’s more an exchange of fear, than it is of trust,” said Mariqah, “I lent money to a lot of people around here, that I’ve never reclaimed. In return, they’ll offer me protection. Or they know what I’ll do if they don’t.”

“Don’t mind me, but isn’t that just a touch cruel, Mari?”

“They keep my coin, Kenway,” Mariqah laughed, “Besides, nobody’s being asked to be a human shield. Just to play the host.”
 

“You’re a wiley one, you are,” said Edward, “Before we get into any more of the fine politics of your bleedin’ mad world, can we please get a drink?”

“Aye, alright,” Mariqah paused, “But it’s getting dark, we don’t want to get carried away.”

“Jaysus, why you always wagging your finger in me face as if I was a lad and you was my mama? Christ, I know what I’m doing, Mari.”

“I’m just making sure, Edward,” said Mariqah defensively, as she led him to an public house, “Besides, mate, I know your life-story back to front. Cut me some slack.”

“Aye, like the day I’ll die,” remembered Edward, as they sat down at a table.

Mariqah hesitated, “That was a slip of my tongue.”

“Tell me.”

“I can’t, Edward. I wasn’t suppose to say that. It’s a Time rule. If I tell you, it might change the way you do things in life. I can’t change history.”

Edward smirked, “You were close to doing so.”
“Well, who doesn’t make mistakes, Ed?”
 

A waitress passed by and asked for their order. Seeing Mariqah’s cowled face, she smiled in delighted surprise, “Oh my–”

Mariqah put a finger to her lips, “Shhh!” she hissed, “Shh, don’t draw attention! It’s Mariqah.”

“Right, right, sorry. Mari–”

“Oh, blast and blind the lot of you,” muttered Mariqah, frustrated, “I didn’t give meself a long name so everyone could circumcise it.”

The waitress ignored her, “It’s been such a long time since I’d seen you! And good to see you too. You’ve changed… er, little.”

“Aye, so they say, Emily,” smiled Mariqah, the scar on her lip stretching, “How’ve you fared, old friend?”

“Well, you know,” Emily sighed, tapping her the notebook in her hand. She glanced at Edward, “Who’s this?” she asked cheekily, “This the husband your father keeps going on about? Isn’t he a catch?”

 

Mariqah furrowed her brows, “My… father?”

“Yes. I went to your place after you’d disappeared to ask where you’d got to. Your old man told me he got you married off to some rich, noble, hottie in Bengal,” she indicated Edward, “This him?”

“A… Aye,” said Mariqah, with a little hurt expression, “This is Edward Warpole. My husband.”

Edward raised a brow at her and smirked, but didn’t say anything.

“Well, nice to meet you both, Mr and Mrs Warpole,” said Emily, “Now, what would you like to eat or drink?”

They placed their order, and Emily trotted off to retrieve it.

“Mr and Mrs Warpole, eh?” said Edward, coming forward, “Who woulda thought it?”

Mariqah glared at him, “Not another word.”

“Aye, aye. Sorry, wife.”

“Wouldn’t Caroline be pleased to hear you say that?”

“Oi, don’t go down that road.”

“Aye, aye. Sorry, husband,” said Mariqah.

 

Emily came back with their tray of food and drink, and went without saying another word.

“Don’t get too much into your system,” said Mariqah warningly.

“Mari, please, I’m not a–!”

“I’m just saying.”

 

* * * * *

 

Edward groaned as Mariqah dabbed a warm, wet towel to his swollen eye.

“Oh, keep quiet, you,” said Mariqah, suppressing laughter as she tended to his bleeding calf next, “I warned you.”

“Aye, but you couldn’t jump in and stop those flea-ridden piss-arses from pummelling me?” said Edward hotly.

You were pummelling them, Edward,” said Mariqah, tying a bandage tightly around the man’s leg, “And anyway, pain is the greatest teacher to a heedless bastard like you,” she put the towel back in the small bucket, and walked into the bathroom of a hotel room she’d rented for them both, and called over her shoulder, “I’ll go downstairs and see if I can get you some ice for that black eye you’ve got yourself.”

“Nah, stay here, Mari. Send one of those waiting monkeys to get some!”

“Waiting monkeys?”

“Have you seen how they dress?” Edward snorted.

 

There was a knock at the door. Mariqah scurried to open it and took in the tray of food and drink. She told the attendant to fetch some ice.

“Food’s come?” asked Edward, holding his head and looking up.

“Aye. I hope your hungry, Mr Warpole,” said Mariqah, bringing a small round table and putting the tray onto it. She sat opposite him and took her plate, helping herself.

Edward noticed a brown bottle in a small metal bucket of ice. He pulled it out and read the cursive gold handwriting on the white label.

“Rum?” he asked, “I thought you didn’t want me to get anymore of this into my system.”

“Aye…” said Mariqah, not looking up from her meal, “But I reckoned I’ve been a little hard on you for the past few days. Or weeks. Whatever. I thought… why not give you a piece of your own, eh?”

“But why? I ain’t sulking.”

Mariqah snorted, “You’re not now.”

“Mari…?”

She paused and then looked up and said simply, “I know what it’s like to be far from home, Edward.”
 

He paused and open the bottle and took a swig.

He coughed, putting a hand to his mouth, “Tastes a bit too much of home,” he said, laughing.

Mariqah looked up and shook her head, smiling, but didn’t reply.

“Well… you’ve wed me, Mrs Warpole,” he said, picking up his cutlery and eating, “So, when… are you going to bed me?”

“Not soon, not soon,” said Mariqah.

“Oh, come on, you can’t be–”

“Don’t push your ducking luck with me, Kenway,” laughed Mariqah, “A bottle of rum is a miracle gift, mate. Any more hints, and I swear you’ll learn what a castrated pig feels like.”

Edward’s shoulders sagged, “Well, that was a little harsh.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t like being teased.”

“Aye… I just…” he shook his head, “Ar, never mind.”

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