Friday, January 9, 2015

Prompt: One of us is a traitor

Hat/tip to Jacqueline Carey, on the eve of her appearance at Illogicon

The wind whipped my cowlick down into my eyes, then pulled it back over my head, momentarily sleek as the queue I futilely tied back each morning. A change in the shadows caught my eye, and I lifted my spyglass to peer through the mist. I stomped my foot twice for attention. Every man on deck froze. In a hoarse whisper, I called, “Captain! She’s starboard.”

My heart pounded as I turned to look at Captain Leithe. He stood still as a statue in front of the ship’s wheel. After a long moment, he raised his right hand and clenched his fist. Mr. Friote turned the wheel behind him.

As I turned back to watch our approach, I scanned the men on deck. We’d sailed together, most of us, for over ten years. I shared mead, women, fisticuffs, and blood with every one of these men. We called each other brother. Trusted each other with our lives in storms, bar fights, and battles. And one of us is a traitor.

The wind whistled and moaned, covering the ship’s faint sounds as we glided toward the witch’s sloop through the becalmed water. The fog swirled so thick before us, I thought I could reach out and touch it. Then tendrils brushed my face. Looped around my wrists. And pulled tight.

I heard the men around me gasp and pull back. I struggled against the mist but could not break free. I whirled around to look up at Captain Leithe. “I swear, Captain! It isn’t me!”


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And so, with a loving heart, I offer you
I’ve heard many translations. Here’s my favorite:
The light of the universe that shines within me recognizes
the light of the universe that shines within you.


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