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Wednesday, September 9

Lady Quay: Part 1 – A Woman in Need

“A pirate’s life is sadness and woe.” Kham spun on one heel, encompassing the ship. “We're rascals, scoundrels, villains, and knaves,” sang Kham.

Vlad looked dubiously at Kham. “You’re drunk.”

“We're devils and black sheep, really bad eggs,” sang Kham.

“Drink up, me 'earties,” shouted some of the crew in chorus, “yo ho!”

Kham chuckled and sighed. “Where’s the elf when you need a good song?”

“What’s gotten into you?” asked Vlad in irritation.

Kham laughed again. “You mean this?” he tore off the scarf he wore on the ship and pointed to the yellowish wound. It would never heal correctly. “Or do you mean the fact that my powers don’t work?”

“What?” asked Vlad in disbelief. “Since when?”

“Since we closed Carcosa.” Kham was somewhere between giggling and crying. “I can’t walk between worlds anymore because there’s no world to walk, you see.”

“Something off the port bow!” shouted a crewman.

No more than fifty yards off the port bow floated a small, crudely built raft. The craft had been lashed together of ill-fitting timber, sporting a single mast that bore a sail that appeared to have once served duty as a bed sheet. One end of the pitiful raft was partially submerged, due in no small part to the large, seaweed-laden chest encumbering it. Water lapped over the legs of the raft’s single passenger, a woman in a sodden evening gown who pulled determinedly at the sea with a broken paddle.

“Mr. val’Abebi?” asked Captain Miro wearily. “Would you like to rescue the damsel in distress?”

“Oh sure,” said Kham. He took two steps forward and then slipped. Kham let out a loud belly laugh. “Maybe later!”

Vlad shook his head. “I’ll do it.” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:38 AM


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