[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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14. 12 – Random Pick-up

Mariqah sighed and shook her head, as she stood next the open window in a vest and sweatpants, her arms and head sticking out, watching the passing traffic below – trying hard to ignore the groaning and squealing from the bedroom.

Men, she thought, rolling her eyes.

 

The door opened.

“Good morning, Ed–” said Mariqah, as she turned. She then frowned at the girl standing before her with her hair dishevelled and a bed sheet wrapped around her frame, “Ah, good morning, Edward’s-random-pick-up-from-last-night-who-I-shamefully-helped-pursue,” she said with less enthusiasm.

“Who are you?” said the girl. She had an unfavourably high-pitched voice.

“Aye, too drunk to remember, eh?” Mariqah muttered, “Good,” she pulled herself away from the window and shut it, “It’s better you don’t know who I am.”

As she turned and walked passed her, the girl stared at the scars on Mariqah’s back and arms.

 

“Get dressed,” said Mariqah, without looking back, “Your breakfast is getting cold, lassie. And your parents are probably worried sick about you.”
The girl giggled nervously, “You know my parents?”

“From the amount of times your father called and you didn’t pick up, I doubt I’d need to know them,” said Mariqah, sitting back in a chair, “But, aye. I’m… well-acquainted with Mr and Mrs Gomez.”

The girl sat awkwardly at the table and began to eat stiffly, “How do you know them?”

“They said their daughter, Denise, needed money to pay for college. Who, I’m assuming, is you?”

“Y-yes,” said the girl, “You won’t tell them, will you, you know… about tonight?”

“That you’ve been fondling my husband?” Mariqah snorted, “Should I be?”

Denise’s eyes widened, “Your husband?”

 

Mariqah raised a brow, smirking, but didn’t saying anything. She pulled out a cigarette and lit it, popped it in her mouth, and blew out smoke.

“I hope your studies are going well,” Mariqah said, putting one leg over the other and leaning back in her chair, “And my money isn’t going to waste.”

“You… you paid for…?”

“Aye.”

“But… why?”

“Well, it’s good to have well-behaved, educated people in the world, now, ain’t it?” Mariqah tipped her head to a side, “Which I’m hoping you aim to become?”

The girl nodded quickly and then silently finished her breakfast.

 

The door to the bedroom opened again and Edward stepped out looking smug.

Mariqah looked away, standing up, “Nudity does you no favours, mate,” she said, passing him a towel.

“Ahoy, Mari,” he said, taking it from her and wrapping it around his waist, “Sleep well?”

“Aye,” spat Mariqah sarcastically, “I’ve slept better on park-benches and in gutters.”

“Am I making you nervous, lass?”

She looked up at him, “I’ve lived in a barracks with a thousand and more other men, Kenway,” she said, indicating his cold breakfast dismissively, “Believe me when I say: I’ve seen better.”

“Well, no surprise – a woman as hard to please as yourself.”

“Perhaps I’m not hard to please,” said Mariqah, “suppose someone else has already made an unbeatable impression on me.”
“Oh, sure,” said Edward, all flustered, “Some man with a broader chest, thicker beard, taller stature and bigger… parts.”

 

Mariqah walked up to him, looking him up and down, rubbing her fore-finger against her chin, the cigarette sticking out of her mouth, “Hmm, no. Taller, maybe, but thinner. No beard, or not much of one anyway. And as for his ‘parts’,” Mariqah turned her back on him, and beat the cigarette against her wrist, the ashes scattering, “I’ve not been greeted with such shamelessness from him,” she sat back in her chair, “Now if you don’t mind, let’s not waste the rest of the day, eh? There’s a person up-street that we need to meet. You’d better take a good wash and wear the clothes I’ve left in the other bedroom. The man in question appreciates a goodly appearance.”
“Ah, you might need some changin’ then,” said Edward, as he sat and began to eat his breakfast.

 

“Snide remarks from you, Kenway?” Mariqah snorted, “Need I remind you, you just got upstaged by a skinnier, beardless man?”

“Ay, well you got upstaged by a prettier, younger thing.”

“Least of my worries. I need not be a pretty, young thing when my business is more in killing men than in sleeping with them.”
“You kill men?” said Denise, aghast.

“Sorry, I forgot you were here, Denise,” Mariqah smiled apologetically, “Aye, I’m a killer by definition. A soldier by formality. An Assassin by myth and legend. And probably a madwoman by general opinion. Now, if you’d be so kind; I’d advise that you take a quick shower, get dressed and head home before your old man phones again and I end up insisting that you pick up for courtesies’ sake.”

 

Denise stared at her, “You look my age and yet you speak like an old woman.”
“How old are you, Denise?”

“Twenty-two.”
“Good. I’m beginning to look a little older.”

 

* * * * *

 

The cold air was shut out as Mariqah and Edward stepped into the lobby of a very fancy-looking hotel. It was practically gilded compared to the hotel they were staying in down-street. Mariqah adjusted her hood and walked up to the counter and knocked on the polished wood to get the attention of the daydreaming attendant.

 

“Yes? Oh, sorry,” she said, with a forced smile, “How can I help you?”

“I’d like to speak to the manager, please,” said Mariqah.

“Th-the manager?” the attendant hesitated, “He’s busy, currently.”

“May I leave a message?”

“Of course.”

“Tell him that the Midnight Rogue is pretty busy herself.”

The attendant stared at her, but nodded, “Excuse me for just a moment,” and scurried off.

 

Mariqah leaned against the counter, facing Edward – who was dressed in a white hoodie (the hood pulled up) and a black leather jacket, and faded jeans.

“Who named you that?” he asked.

“I did.”

“You coined yourself a rogue?”

“Aye,” said Mariqah, “I am what I am, Edward, better to let people know it.”

“I still can’t believe that you are the biggest fugitive to this world.”
“Well, sometimes I can’t believe it either,” Mariqah shrugged, “You feeling better today?”

“Aye. Why do you ask?”

“Because the man we’re about to see, will barter with us. And he usually sets a task that isn’t easy, but his rewarding is good.”

 

“Another one that owes you coin?”

“No. This time it’s an old friend… But I think that attendant might owe me. If I’m right, she’s a landlady of some flats not too far from here,” Mariqah thought for a moment, “I’ll see if I can get her to let a two-room flat to us.”

“Why take a flat, when you have a hotel room?”

“Because I like the smell of my own cooking over the cat-food they’re in habit of serving.”

“Whatever you please, Mari, whatever you please.”

 

“Aye…” Mariqah mumbled, a sad expression forming, “Whatever I please.”
“This man… He the man you spoke of earlier? The one that made that impression on you?”

“Hmm? No, no,” she paused, “The man I love is a thousand years away.”

“Don’t you mean ‘miles’?”

“I could swim a thousand miles, run a thousand miles, walk a thousand miles,” she glanced at Edward, “But I couldn’t even crawl a thousand years back in time to see him ever again.”
“Ah, poor lassie–” he tried to put an arm around her.

“Don’t,” said Mariqah, moving away, “you dare, Kenway.”

“I was making an honest move, Mari, honest, I was!”
She raised her brows, “Please, Kenway,” she pointed at him accusingly, “I told you – I know you, mate.”

“What? Men can’t change, now?” he put a hand on her shoulder, “I meant no ill intention. Although… I still reckon you could use some comforting.”

“Ed–”

“Oi, I’m just suggesting!”

Mariqah put her hands together and begged melodramatically, “Please, stop it!”

“Alright, alright – keep your scales on, lass!”

 

The attendant returned and coughed politely to get their attention, “Master Dante will see you now,” she gestured for them to follow and led them behind the counter.

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