A brutal fantasy tale of piracy, friendship, romance and revenge on the high seas…
Mary shrugged and looked sternly at Jack, who was thinking so hard there was a small cloud over his head.
Jack give her a fierce smile. “Now many things. First I gotta get the girl to safety. After that? Well, that’s the bit I got to figure out.”
Mary looked at him in dawning comprehension, and with growing respect. “You ain’t a bit scared are you?”
“No. I guess not. That’s probably the dwarf in me. Them buggers are afraid of nothing.”
“Seems like you’re the same. Makes you the first man I’ve met who wasn’t a coward at the roots.”
Jack snorted. “Surely not. What about Gobshite?”
“Gobshite ain’t a man.”
“Neither am I.”
“Maybe not, but you’re a fuck of a lot closer.”
“Thanks. I think.”
“You’re welcome. And. Jack. I owe you too. So me and the girls are in. Mates rates.”
“You sure? People could end up dead.”
“Better dead than bored.”
Some while later, Jack and Mary were walking along the quayside towards where their ships were anchored alongside the mole that reached out into the deep blue water of the bay.
Jack looked up at his companion. “Sven made you an offer? And it’s still open? Mind if I ask what sort of an offer?”
“What makes it any of your business?”
He frowned. “Nothing. Except if it wasn’t an honourable offer I have to kill him.”
Mary stared for a moment then smiled her nice smile. The one than showed a furtive dimple in her left cheek. “You’d get into a fight with that great dollop for my sake?”
Mary swallowed as if there was suddenly a lump in her throat before speaking very quietly. “You’re okay my friend. He offered marriage.”
“But you refused him.”
“Yeah. I don’t fancy him. And anyway he’s a berserker. One of them in any family is more than enough.”
Jack thought that through for a moment. “You ain’t a berserker, Mary. You’re just a bit excitable. But I’m glad you never accepted him. He ain’t good enough for you.”
Before Mary had chance to formulate an appropriate response, there came the sound of wings and the parrot who had been Sam’s companion through life landed on Jack’s shoulder.
“Drink and the devil they did for the rest…” If a bird could sound plaintive Gravel managed it. Jack put up a hand and scratched the yellow feathers on the back of its head.
Mary laughed. “Now you look like a proper pirate.”
Jack made a very rude noise.
Mary’s ship, The Pink Pig, set sail at sunup – with a young woman to extract from harm’s way and a cargo of saltwater grog to pay for the voyage.
There will be more from Bony Mary and her crew next week…