[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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46. 44 – A Health

Khadir came up later that night, to where Mariqah was sitting outside her tent by a flickering fire, reading letters and working out some strategies. She was picking at a bowl of black olives idly, as she read and wrote.

“You are really loving those olives, aren’t you?” he asked, sitting next to her.

She put another in her mouth, “I don’t like olives.”

He furrowed his brows at her, “…Because that makes sense.”
“Bitter food for bitter thought,” she said, swallowing, “My voice hurts.”
“It would, with all the howling you’ve been doing,” he replied, putting a hand on her shoulder, “I thought I told you not to freak out.”
“You did. But this place…” she looked up, a distant look in her countenance, “this place,” she repeated.

Khadir paused, and decided to change the topic, “Has Matthew got back?”

“No,” she shuffled her letters again, “I hope he’s alright.”

 

“All frowns and furrowed brows again?” called Edward, “I thought we got over that.”

 

Mariqah glanced up to find Edward, Hornigold and Thatch standing before her.

“Evening gents,” she said, “and Edward,” she stood up and gestured for them to sit, “What can I getcha? Anything I can do?”

“Ye know, for a commander,” said Thatch, sitting back comfortably, “you sure do serve more than you command.”
“Not all servants can be masters, but all masters must be servants – unless they want to wind up hanged in their pantries,” she laughed, then coughed hoarsely, “I’m sorry, I’m not much of an entertainer today,” she cleared her throat, “My throat’s sore, as ye might understand.”

“Well, you’re lads are jolly and merry,” observed Hornigold, taking in the loud, melodious singing and the hearty eating, “Seems a little odd before a battle.”
 

“It shows confidence,” she said, then gestured to her olives, “that I clearly don’t possess, but it’s… a strategy, no less. Hopefully, the sound o’ high cheer and the smell o’ good food will bring the civilians out of that fussock’s grasp and into my camp.”
“That what those empty tents are for?” asked Thatch.

“Aye,” she replied, “they’ll need homes, if they’re comin’ along – and well outta enemy range,” she turned to Khadir, “Get these gents some drinks, eh? I can’t offer any rum, but there are some… fresh drinks you might find agreeable. Gives you the kick without the hangover.”

“What? Cola?” asked Khadir.

“That stuff’s junk,” she laughed, “I meant Pepsi.”

“What’s the…? Never mind,” he got up and left.

“Edward,” she said, gesturing for him to rise, “a word?”

He got up, “Finally gettin’ into your hampers, am I?”

“Oh, aye,” said Mariqah, rolling her eyes, “which woman could resist the stench o’ the great Captain Kenway’s horrible breath and wandering hands?”

 

The other men laughed as Edward scowled and followed her into her tent. There, she sat on a cushion and brought out a page from her sheaf of letters.

“Your transport’s arrived,” she said monotonously.

Edward remained standing and took the sheet out of her hand. He read it with a frown, “Your sending me away?”
“Sending you away?” she asked.

“Aye… uh,” he looked up, “It’s time to go… to go home?”
“The Timelord’s’ve fixed the damage I’ve done. Everything’s ready to receive you back at home.”
“But… the war.”
“What about it?”

“I thought…”

She gazed at his face for a long while, “I’m not tellin’ ye yea or nay, Edward. I’m askin’ you what you want you do.”

“But they’ll take me back anyway.”
“Given the circumstances, your… deliverance can be postponed. You’re on a battlefield, after all, and I can’t exactly just send you to Nassau on your own.”
“You can do that? The mystics’d listen?”

“If I tell ‘em, aye. They would.”

 

“I go back, and I’d just forget you again.”

“Why does that trouble you?”

“What? Doesn’t it trouble you?”

“I’ve parted company with the man I love because of this,” she said, “Of course it troubles me. But why would it trouble you?”

“Your friendship has been something of a…” he looked away, unable to complete the sentence, “I don’t know.”
“Sit, Edward,” said Mariqah, “even friends must part company.”

“Aye,” he said, sitting down, “but they remember each other.”
“It’s how this whole time-travel thing works, Edward.”
He nodded slightly, “I know.”
“So,” said Mariqah, laying down her letters before her, “what’ll it be? Will you stay a while longer, or will you go?”

“We began this together, Mari,” he said, smiling after a pause, “I think I’ll see this story through.”

Even if you won’t remember it, Kenway?”

“Even so.”
 

Mariqah smiled, and rose, helping Edward up, “Well, I’m relieved.”
“Are you?” said Edward, surprised.

“Yes,” said Mariqah, “Edward, I know I’m not good at showing it – but you are a man I admire. Why would I know you – cover to cover – if I didn’t love you in one way or another?” she walked out of the tent, and called back, “Your friendship is worth more than any prize I could’ve pulled off any Spanish ship, Edward. More than gold and silver and rum. Thank you,” she bowed her head a little, “for bringing me home.”

Edward walked out with her and joined the pirates sitting around the fire.

“What was that about?” asked Thatch.

“Aye, mockery followed by compliments?” added Hornigold.

 

Edward stood up, as Khadir passed him a drink,

Kind friends and companions, come join me in rhyme –

Come lift up your voices in chorus with mine,

Come lift up your voices, all grief to refrain:

For we may or might never all meet here again.”
 

Everyone joined in:

Here’s a health to the company–

And one to the lass!

Let us drink and be merry, all out of one glass.

Let us drink and be merry, all grief to refrain:

For we may or might never all meet here again.

 

Edward raised his flask to Mariqah:

Here’s a health to the dear lass, that I love so well,

For her style and her beauty, sure none can excel,”
She raised her brows at him as he came up behind her,

There’s a smile on her countenance,” he pulled her down on his lap, “as she sits on my knee,”

She gasped and slapped him. His face turned sideways, Edward smiled and said:

There’s no man in this wide world as happy as me.”

 

Here’s a health to the company–

And one to the lass!

Let us drink and be merry, all out of one glass.

Let us drink and be merry, all grief to refrain:

For we may or might never all meet here again.

 

Edward rose and looked at Mariqah, “Our ship lies at anchor, she’s ready to dock.”

Mariqah paused, “I wish her safe landing, without any shock.”

If ever I should meet you, by land or by sea.”

I will always remember–

–your kindness to me!

 

Here’s a health to the company–

And one to the lass!

Let us drink and be merry, all out of one glass.

Let us drink and be merry, all grief to refrain:

For we may or might never all meet here again.

 

Mariqah laughed and pointed her finger at him, in mock-accusation, “You’re a bastard, Kenway.”

“You still thinkin’ about them hampers, Mari?” he said saucily.

“Good God, you’re just always drunk, aren’t you?” she asked, shaking her head, “No fun tonight, Kenway. I’ve other plans,” she turned to the fortress looming over the camp, wondering where Matthew was…

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