[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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4. 2 – The Price of Our Actions

Mariqah looked at her boss with a bored and flustered expression

“There’s no need to report, man!” she said for the very last time, “He’s done no harm – ‘cept to himself.”

“You see to be overlooking the fact, Mari–” said her boss.

“Bloomin’ hell, why does everybody keep calling me that?” she snapped.

The boss ignored her, “he could have robbed us. Instead, you give him a seat and a free cupcake.”

“If the cost of your cupcake is so important, I’d be more than glad to pay the price,” said Mariqah, “The fact is that he didn’t rob us. Which goes to show that I shouldn’t be laughed at for being a military trainee! How stupid the lot of you looked!”

“Mariqah–”

 

Kind sir, don’t mock him now, I pray,” she said angrily,

It’s hard enough I took his pride,

It’s better you let him get away –

Now, turn aside.”

 

Her boss stared at her for a long moment.

“Miscreants don’t create themselves,” she said, “I understand that’s no excuse, but it’s the truth. And putting him in stocks before the audience of Speaker’s Corner isn’t going to help him. He didn’t do much wrong here.”

“Fine,” said the older man, “but any more criminal activity visits this shop, Mari, and it’s on your head.”
Mariqah sighed, “Better on mine, than on his,” she pointed to the false criminal seated with his shoulders slumped, turned away from the cupcake that Mariqah had given him – his face now uncovered, “which brings me to the next part of my argument,” she took off her apron, taking out her purse and the stray notes and coins in the pocket, and handed it to her boss, “it’s my break. And you owe me overtime.”
“What? Why?”
“For saving all your lives from a gunner!”
“But he didn’t gun anyone.”

“No. But he could have,” she said sarcastically.

“You didn’t sign up here as a bodyguard or a bouncer.”

“Are you going to get one? I’d gladly fill that post. It’d keep all the perverts out,” she muttered, and walked up to the table where the boy was seated.

 

Mariqah handed him his Nerf gun, “Here,” she said.

He looked up with sad eyes, “Do you have to rub it in?” he took the gun from her lazily.

“Rub it in? I was just returning misplaced property. Store policy. And these toys are expensive.”

The boy sighed, and didn’t reply.

Mariqah took the seat opposite him and placed her hands on the table, the tips of her fingers touching, “Lad…” she said, “were you gonna spend that money on drugs?”

The boy’s head snapped up, “What? No!”

“On a gambling debt?”

He shook his head.

“On alcohol? Or a cheap woman? Or something else that ain’t gonna do you many favours?”
He shook his head.

Mariqah paused.

 

“Tell me… how much do you need?”

 

The boy looked up at her, and stared, “I’m… I’m sorry?”

“Look, lad,” she said, “I’m no walking charity. I’m a dozen things worse than that. But if handing you some will keep your hands clean of humiliation like this – then I’ll take that leap.”
“N… Nineteen quid.”

Mariqah snapped open her purse and handed the boy a twenty-pound note, “Tell me, is all this worth nineteen quid, mate?”

He shook his head.

“Then next time remember that its better to make an honest earning for honest spending, a’right? Or at least some honest begging?”

He nodded.

“Good.”

 

The boy didn’t have time to say his thanks before Mariqah’s cellphone started ringing. It was a tune his father would recognise well. He thought it was a theme from Braveheart, but he couldn’t be sure – since the movie had been banned by the Emperor for a while now and he’d watched it when he was very young. Many movies had been banned or remade. Except for those that were wholly in favour of Christiandom, like The Passion of Christ or Kingdom of Heaven (the remake) or Les Miserables.

Mariqah looked at the phone, tutted a little with a smile on her face, and then declined the call.

“That’s me old man,” she said, getting up, “Better grab me coat see why he’s fretting. I reckon I have about an hour’s break left, but earned about a whole day off.”

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