“And where have you been?” spat Ismae, throwing her hair back over one shoulder as she spun to face Michael.
He slumped against the doorway, one hand covering the gaping wound beneath his ribs.
“I-” He gasped, coughed and dribbled blood down his chin. “She got the jump on me.” he rasped, sinking towards the cabin floor as he spoke.
Ismae titled her head to one side and looked at him, eyes narrowed and lips pursed.
“She got the jump on you?” she said, clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth after the last word. “One little rich girl manage to get the jump on you?”
She shook her head, blond hair spraying our behind her. “I don’t believe it.” she said, leaning back against her desk. “I would have thought you had at least enough sense not to fall for her tricks.”
Michael took three hacking breaths and fell silent.
“You have really disappointed me Michael.” Ismae sighed. “After all we’ve been through; I would have thought that you could have at least done me this one favour.” She ran a hand through her hair, pushing it back from her face.
Michael’s lips began to turn blue.
“She murdered her own father. Did you know that? Organised it so that it would seem like the South Banks had killed him in a form of protest; clever I’ll admit, but not that clever.”
Eyes bulging, Michael heaved his one arm into the air, reaching forward only for the limb to land of the wooden flooring with a solid thunk moments later. His bloodstained fingers curled, dragging peelings of pine with them.
“I suppose I will have to send someone else to deal with her now.” continues Ismae, examining the stolen chandelier handing from the cabin roof. “It won’t be easy to find someone, not after what she did to […], but there will be a few willing to ignore that little fiasco if they believe there is enough gold in it.”
Ismae glanced over at Michael.
“Michael.” she said, one eyebrow arched. “Michael! Get up!”
Michael laid where he was, eyes glassy and fingers half curled. He wasn’t quiet dead, the rattle in his chest proved that.
“Groog!” Ismae called, remaining where she was against the desk. “Groog! Get down here and clean this mess up!”
She scowled at Michael, still rattling away on her cabin floor and making no effort to remove himself from her sight.
Groog stumbled to the door, milky eyed and stinking of a mixture of rum and mouse droppings.
“Captain.” he croaked, jowls flapping as he spoke. “Ya call?”
Groog blinked, squinted and then blinked again, eyes failing to focus each time. He shuffled forward two steps, bumping the toes of his boot against Michael’s calf. Groog frowned.
“Ya got a body ‘ere.” he said, kicking Michael again. Michael made no response except to continue with that ridiculous rattle. “Want im overboard?”
Ismae pinched the bridge of her nose between thumb and forefinger.
“Of course I don’t want him overboard you idiot!” she hissed. “We’re still in port! What would the officials think if they saw one of the crew members dumping corpses into the docks?”
Groog shrugged and blinked again.
“Where’s he goin’ then?” he asked. “Bodies start stinkin’ in a day or two.”
“I don’t anyone would notice the difference on this ship.” replied Ismae. “Most of you ingrates reek so badly that anyone could think you were week-old stiffs.”
Drawing a sweat stained sleeve beneath his nose, Groog snuffled loudly and stared at a spot two inches from where Michael’s head rested against the doorway.
“We could use th’ rum.” he suggested. “Picklin’s good enough f’r herin.”
Ismae hummed and then nodded. “Well… I suppose it could do. Only as a stop-gap though, just until we were far enough out for the authorities not to pay us much mind.”
The rattle in Michael’s chest hitched for a moment and both members of the conversation turned their attention on him. The waited, breathe held, seagulls screaming and wood planks creaking as the ship rose slightly with the swell.
There was a choke and a cough; before the rattling started up again.
“Dam it.” Ismae scowled. “All of a sudden he’s decided that he will be stubborn after all.”
She reached behind her, checking over one shoulder to spot the item she wanted before curling her hands around the silver, filigree dagger handle that had been her last present from Michael.
His blood left an arc of droplets across the cabin floor. Cleaning the blade on dark silk jacket Michael had been wearing, Ismae paused for a moment. There was a glint of gold hiding in the folds of his sleeve, peeking out beneath the cuff.
She snagged it and stood up, dagger turning between her fingers as she paced across the room.
“Get rid of that Groog.” she said, without so much as a nod in Michael’s direction. “I don’t want him cluttering the room.”
I have still not written anything new for Henry Granger. I haven’t even come up with any ideas for the new title. I have however, started working on my 2012 attempt at NaNoWriMo. I’ve tagged this piece as Flash Fiction since really, it can be read as a stand alone piece which is quite cool.
The word count is now 18,473 words, so not too much further until I can say that I have completed a nice round 20,000 words. I really need to see if I can find a widget or something that can go on my site and show you how many words I have written for each of my current novels.
I currently have four manuscripts on the go, which includes CampNaNoWriMo since I have a load of notes sitting around my bedroom for that novel.
Hopefully I will be able to post again tonight and tell you that another chapter for Henry Granger has been completed and a new title has been settled on. I shall not hold my breath however, since I may choose to work on Nano 2012 instead since I’m sort of in the mood for it.
As always, feel free to let me know what you think and if you’ve enjoyed this, check out some more of my writing on the site. Look, there is an easy to reach sidebar just there to the right. It is so very, very easy to reach.