Letters of Marque: A Ship Sails In

Mood Music: 

Ships sail in and out of the harbor every day. For a sailor without a ship, it is torture to see their sails drop once they have cleared the bay. I watch them from the distance of my window at the Siren’s Call. I do not wipe the grime from the glass; I do not want to miss the wind on my back that much.

I cannot just keep watching, though. Not with the manifest in my pocket. Not with the knowledge that my ship might be sailing in today.

The dock trips me. Stones smoothed down from use catch on my boots as I weave among the people. The docks have been my shelter in my storm; their warehouses loom around me now. The windows watch me as I search for the correct pier. Maybe I don’t want to find it. Maybe I don’t want to see her. Maybe I don’t want to see him.

Why? Why did that Flappy-knight decide to bring me this manifest? What on the high seas possessed him to stick his nose into my business? I was perfectly content to sit in the Siren day in and day out, brooding. No one asked him to come shining in, blinding us with that shiny armour, being all shiny. No one asked him to go out of his way to deliver me the news.

The Apple is due in. Today. And after a week of sitting on that manifest, I know I cannot remain in the dark.

It is only meant to dock long enough to restock. In a day’s time, my baby’s belly will be filled with fish. Desecration of my beautiful, golden ship. It should swallow chests of gold and silk. Stores of spices and wine.

Not fish.

I would probably have never heard about it in time had he not brought me the information. But he had and now I know and I cannot let it leave without seeing if it is really my Golden Apple sitting at dock three waiting for the stink of industry.

As I approach the turn around the high wall, I see her. Not her, not my Apple, but his daughter. Or, his not-daughter. She leans over the edge of the crow’s nest of The Chipper Kipper, and I just look up at her as my feet slow. She smiles now as she calls down to the crew below. Beneath her cheer, beneath the exuberance only the wind in a sail can bring, though, I see it. That evasive expression in unguarded moments that made his brow draw down as he watched her hurry away. Blood or not, he cannot not deny she is his daughter in his heart.

Family is messy.

It creates heavy chains that anchor you to unwelcome shores. It pushes when it should pull and runs when it should advance. It tiptoes around the important things and then steals your heart.

I try not to get swept up in the tide of people boarding the Kipper as I push my way through to the end of the dock.

And there she is. The Golden Apple looking a little worn around the edges, but just as magnificent as I left her. At least Judd is taking care of her.

And there he is. At the helm with a cloth holding his thick braids back from his face. My coat does not fit him right, but it marks him captain. It needs to be cleaned.

My fingers clench into a tight fist and rest on the hilt of my weapon. A knife thrown could not possibly reach him from where I stood. Dockhands, sailors, and Swan-knights traipsed about between us.

Hathlafel said there are ways to get the ship back. I look up at the gulls circling overhead, looking for handouts in discarded guts and fish. Constantly, they cry for more.

I lower my gaze to Judd. He barks orders and swaggers across the deck gesturing to the boom. Men, my men and others I did not know, hustle to carry out his orders.

Somehow, I will manage it. I will get her back.

And then this ache in me might subside.

~~~***~~~

Lyrics to Saints Out of Sailors by Flannel Graph (as heard by me)

Here in the silence I stand like a stone
The face in the mirror don’t look like my own
And the cards that been dealt make me just want to fold
But I won’t give you up
No, I won’t give you up
No, I won’t give you up
‘Cause you’re anchor still holds

The wind it’s been trying to blast us to bits
And the water’s been trying to swallow this ship
And my heart has been throwing the gold overboard
But I won’t give you up
No, I won’t give you up
No, I won’t give you up
Because you are my reward

The one that makes saints out of sailors
Carries my frame on his shoulders
He makes me lie down on green pastures
And leads me beside quiet waters

And he’s coming for me

Here in the darkness I see in the night
The mists and the wastes try to fill me with fright
And my weary soul waits as the morning, it dawns
But I won’t give you up
No, I won’t give you up
No, I won’t give you up
‘Cause your light leads us on

Leads us on

The one that makes saints out of sailors
Carries my frame on his shoulders
He makes me lie down on green pastures
And leads me beside quiet waters
And he’s coming for me
Oh he’s coming me
Yeah, he’s coming for me
Oh he’s coming for me
Yeah he’s coming for me
Oh he’s coming for me
Yeah he’s coming for me
Oh he’s coming for me
Yeah he’s coming for me
Yeah he’s coming for me
Yeah he’s coming for me
Oh he’s coming for me
Yeah he’s coming for me
Yeah he’s coming for me
Yeah he’s coming for me
Oh he’s coming for me

Won’t give me up
Won’t give me up
No, he won’t give me up

‘Cause he’s loved me from old

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2 thoughts on “Letters of Marque: A Ship Sails In

    1. I nearly switched it to third limited, but I always hear her voice in a way I don’t hear the others’ voices. Ara is the only one who speaks to me with the same intensity and frequency Eris does. Maybe it has something to do with DA characters.

      Like

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