[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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26. 24 – Making Amends

“Edward,” said Bonny, as she handed him another drink, “your strange woman has come back.”

“Mari? Where?” he asked, sipping from the flagon.

“She’s out on the veranda…” Bonny paused, “She’s looks… different.”

Edward rose and walked out of the tavern and found Mariqah leaning against the banister, staring out into the distance as the sun set on the horizon. She was wearing a sleeveless black doublet of leather with a high collar, and loose trousers of dark green. On one arm was strapped her Hidden Blade, the other: bare. She had a belt over her shoulder and one around her hips – held together by a bright red shawl as the clasps seemed to lack buckles – holding her sword in its new scabbard, and two holsters bearing pirate blunderbusses. Her hair had been cut short and looked less ridiculous than before. Her drawstring bag was wrapped tightly around one of her hands by the cords as she idled.

 

He could hear her murmuring to herself,

I dreamed a dream in time gone by –

When hope was high, and life worth living.

I dreamed that love would never die.

I dreamed that Fate would be forgiving.

 

Then I was young and unafraid,” she scoffed,

Some dreams were made… used…” she sighed, “Wasted.

There was no ransom to be paid –

No song unsung, no wine untasted.

 

But the tigers came at night.

With their voices soft as thunder…

And they tore my hope apart –

And they turned my dream:

 

To sha-a-a-a-ame!

 

They were a summer at my side,

They filled my days with endless wonder –

They took my childhood in their str-i-de!

And they were gone when autumn came!

 

And still I dream she’s forgiven me!

That we’ll live in Heaven together –

But there are dreams that cannot be,

And there are storms we cannot weather!

 

I had a dream my life would be,

So different from this Hell I’m living –

So different now, from what it seemed!

Now… life. Has killed the dream: I dreamed…

 

Bonny passed Edward with a tray and he quickly ordered a drink before he approached Mariqah.

“You look more like a soldier,” he said, leaning against the banister next to her.

“Feel more like one,” she replied, wearily, “I have a shirt being made for me, though it can’t be completed until tomorrow, and the cordwainer promised me a decent pair of boots by sunrise.”

Edward stared at the daggers that were strapped in the belt across her chest, “You’ve been busy.”

“Aye.”

“Where’d you get the coin, Mari?”

“I’m self-sufficient.”

“That doesn’t answer my question.”
“Then take the hint.”

 

Bonny came up behind them and handed two drinks to Edward. He passed a flagon to Mariqah, “No alcohol, I promise you.”
She eyed the flask, but then took it and took a tentative sip. She frowned a little, “Lemon and… sugar?”

“Aye.”

“Expensive, Edward,” she remarked, smiling a little at him.

“Aye,” he turned away, “look, I’m sorry. For everything. For mistreating you here, drivin’ you mad over there and… well, ruinin’ your idyllic life in general.”

“See, was that so hard?”

“Don’t push it, Mari,” he laughed, “It’s just… why does nothing move you from the way ye are? Has my presence more than just unhinged your life?”
 

“It’s… it’s not all you, Edward,” she said, putting the flagon down and gazing out into the distance, “It’s just… everything I planned ran aground. I planned to live a life apart from war and politics – but then you appeared. I planned to break my pact with Smith and take you to Nassau the easy way – but then he died and I became an open fugitive again. Then I planned to assist the Brotherhood and get passage that way – then Time shifted us both here. But I planned to go back to Normandy for my lads, and I haven’t the slightest clue how to get back where I should be. With as rotten luck as I have, I ponder whether there is any actual point in planning anything at all ever,” she sighed, “Even before all this bloody business, all I wanted to do was fix things for a living. Then circumstances had me mother my siblings because of my mum’s illness and then her death. And then leave home and then… well, then I got into the bloody business,” she muttered.

 

“The Fates seem determined to piss on you, I’ll grant you that,” said Edward, scratching his beard, “But maybe they’re cutting you some slack, eh?”

“What are you on about, Edward?”

“There’s nothing to do about this! Why not relax and live heartily for a while? For once, you ain’t a person of governance – you’re a pirate. A sailor.”
She scoffed.

“What amuses you?”

“I’m not a sailor,” she laughed.

“This again, lass?”
“I didn’t stay in military and eat lizards to become a sailor! I did it to become a proper a soldier!”

“Oi, don’t tempt my anger, eh?” he said, laughing with her.

 

“No, but in all seriousness – I am rather useless when it comes to sailing. I mean, I had a friend who had a fine man-o’-war, but only used to take us places. He never had me do anything, really.”

“Ay, you’ll learn soon enough. I’ll have ye tying knots and barking orders in no time. Maybe you could sing us a ballad or two, eh?” he paused, “I’ll have a latrine built on my brig, for you. Shouldn’t take more than a day.”
“I’d appreciate that, Edward.”
“Aye, then we set sail for Kingston.”

“Can I ask why?”

“To be honest, I can’t quite remember… but I reckon I’ll remember if I head there.”

An idea struck Mariqah, “If you buy me the right herbs and spices – I could make you and your crew a meal you will never forget.”

“Spices don’t come cheap, Mari.”

“Aye, but wasn’t it you who said that you wanted to eat food that don’t make you sick and have walls that keep out the wind? How much of that have you actually achieved?”

“Mari, it’s scary you even know I said that.”

She shrugged, “You live, you learn, mate. To live you need to eat, and to eat you need to cook – the better you cook, the better you eat, and the better you eat: the heartier you live.”

He snorted, “Alright, Mari. Draw me a list and I’ll see if I can manage it.”
“At least I won’t be completely useless.”

 

They were silent for a moment.

 

“Why don’t you come inside?” Edward asked.

“And get molested by drunkards all over again? I’m sorry, Kenway, but I’ve no taste for liquor or its intoxicated slaves.”
“Oi, come on! They’ll look at you differently now! You ain’t no damsel in distress. You’re… you’re something else!”
“Aye, well, that makes me feel better!”

“Come on! There’s been little strangeness about these parts of late. A new face might lighten everyone’s day.”
She considered this, and then straightened – picking up her drink and tightened her bag around her hand, “Alright,” and then followed Edward into the tavern once more, her various weapons jingling every time she made a movement.

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