[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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11. 9 – The Parting of Ways

“Stop! Stop, I beg you!” the old man cried, “My son!”

The younger man hefted the heavy mace and tapped it on his palm menacingly.

“What’s the matter, old man?” grinned the younger man, “Not so powerful now, are you?”
“Stop it, in Heaven’s name, I beg you!”

“Heaven is watching,” said the younger man, coming forward, “See if your God above saves you. Good-bye, father.”
There was a sickening crack as the mace rose and fell…

 

 

Mariqah rose with a jolt, putting a hand to her head. She sighed and breathed slowly.

“Wretched dreams,” she muttered, as she pulled her shawl aside and sat up. She rubbed her hands on the ground she was sleeping on, the soil and dust caressing her fingers. She untied her hair and poured water over her head from the bottle that stood next to her. She gasped, and her teeth chattered as the cold wind blew on her face. It felt nice.

 

“You’re up?”

 

Mariqah turned her head to a side and saw Edward walking up with a live squirrel in his hands, the rodent struggling desperately to get free.

“Edward, what are you…?”

He snapped the squirrel’s spine before she could put another word in.

“Breakfast?” he asked, bringing the limp animal in his hands forward.

Mariqah laughed grimly, “Edward, poaching is illegal.”
“Yeah, well, so is piracy,” he hunkered down beside her, “How’s about we get a fire going, eh?”

“Fire in a public park is a safety hazard, mate. You’ll attract unwanted attention. And then that rodent in your hands’ll get us in trouble.”
Edward made a bored expression, “Does nothing please you, Mari?”

Mariqah didn’t reply.

 

“Charming,” Edward yawned, “So what are we going to do about this then? How we gonna eat?”

“Well, we could skin it, gut it, and dry it in the sun. Or we could salt it for later. Or I can have it corned for us – there’s some good farmers I know, but it’ll be a good few weeks’ travel on foot,” she smirked at him, “Or we could just throw it to the foxes and go find a church where they feed the homeless and travellers.”

Edward made a face, “D’you’ve any idea how long I was chasing this thing?”

“If you want to eat raw meat, mate, be my guest.”

“I really don’t like you,” he said, throwing the dead squirrel away.

“Well, doesn’t bother me. Not many people do,” patted his shoulder and got up, twisting her head from side to side, and picking up her worn bag, “Come on, I see a spire over there. Doesn’t look too far.”

 

* * * * *

 

“So, this journey to Nassau,” said Edward, as they sat in a church hall, sitting on the ground and eating in rows of the homeless and travel-worn, “How’ve you planned it?”

“I’ve rented a ship for two passengers,” said Mariqah, “It’ll take us to Kingston. We should be able to find help there.”

“Blimey, a whole ship for just the two of us? Where’d you get the coin for that?”
“It pays to fight other peoples’ wars,” said Mariqah, “It’s safer this way. But the ship won’t be in the harbour for the next few months. Hence all the walking.”
“So explain why we ain’t buying a meal, as opposed to taking food from the righteous?” said Edward, but one look from Mariqah told him that she wasn’t going to answer that question, “I don’t understand why we couldn’t just get a cab and stay at a hotel near the harbour.”

Mariqah raised her brows, “Getting comfy with the modern age already, Kenway? Your fins getting blisters?”

“Well, few things about it have impressed me,” he said, then took a sip from his small tin cup and gave her a smirk, “You’re one of them.”

“Go to Hell, Kenway,” Mariqah laughed.

“Mari, I haven’t had a woman in weeks.”

“And, if you care about your manhood hopefully you’ll deem for it to stay that way until you get home, mate.”
 

“You all sizzling because you’re still pining over your old man, Mari?” asked Edward, amused.

“You know, it’s rich coming from a young man who just shared vulgarities with a much older woman,” returned Mariqah.

“Ooh, insults in Queen’s English – this must be serious,” laughed Edward, “Where’d a gutter-rat like you learn to talk like that anyway?”

Mariqah ignored him, “Father Samuels is a man to be pined over. I can’t think of a nicer person in my life.”

“How about your mother, eh?”

“Don’t go down that road. You’ll find a lot of words in this mouth that haven’t come out yet.”

“Ay, sore family?”

“My family was more a business contract in blood, than an actual loving relationship,” said Mariqah bitterly, “Trust and loyalty only ever went so far. Every man was still for himself,” she drank from her cup and banished the thoughts from her mind, “I still remember the first few things he said to me. When he found me sleeping on the bench in front of his house. I can’t remember why he was out that late though…” she said,

 

Come in, ma’am, for you are weary,

And the night is cold out here,

Though my life is very humble,

What I have, I have to share.

 

There is wine here to revive you,

There is bread to make you strong,

There’s a bed to rest ‘til morning –

Rest from pain, and rest from wrong.”

 

“Delusional,” Edward muttered.

“Oh, shut up, Kenway.”
“Whatever you say, crone.”

“Please. Don’t make me call ye ‘lad’,” said Mariqah, shaking her head, “I already got people looking at me funny, because of all your ‘ooh’ing and ‘ah’ing at every bloomin’ car you set eyes on.”

“Oi, soft now, I was just…” Edward paused, “Ah, never mind. Can I just ask, why Nassau?”

“Eh?”

“Why are you taking me to Nassau? I thought this Jessy lass was in… Mas-yaf?”

“She was, but she got put on probation for breaking a lot of rules last year by the Council of Timelords and Dimesional Shunters. Nassau is technically Brotherhood territory, but the Council runs it, so that’s where she’ll be.”
“This world’s a nutty one, it is.”

“You’ll be glad to know that most Timelords turn out to be pirates.”

Edward paused, “Okay, so not so nutty then.”
 

“Right, dearies,” said a pious Christian woman as she walked passed them holding a wooden spoon and a full cooking pot, “Bellies full?”

“Aye,” said Mariqah, “Thank you, sister.”

“Will you two be heading to St Paul’s?”

“No,” said Mariqah, “Should we be?”

“Of course! Haven’t you heard?”

Mariqah didn’t answer, but looked blankly at the woman.

 

“Emperor Smith is dead.”

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