Hint and Vacuous
The vacuous air stifled my spell like snuffing out a candle.
I tried not to sweat, but I felt no compassion behind his eyes. My mother used to say they were a window to what was beneath. It was like his curtains were closed to all but me.
‘Your spells won’t work on me,’ he said.
‘They have no treasure, and are good people.’ When I think of Charles, Mary and their little family, down in the galley my voice is strong. ‘Where is the former captain of this ship?’
‘My ship, witch, and now this little boat too.’
I want to wrap my new friends in a comfortable blanket. I imagine them praying, hoping for kindness. Maybe they are praying for me? It is my turn to help them survive this monstrosity.
‘Mary, she is a great cook, and for those who believe, her husband Charles a religious man.’ I think of my father, who always wore a cross around his neck, and many others with the same faith. It was the only way I could think of saving their lives. ‘If you spare their lives they will be useful.’
‘I do not believe in such nonsense!’ He shouted.
‘But many do – Bad luck plagues the seas, do you want to be responsible for more?’ I say, a hint of a threat in my voice.
I can hear whimpering from the deck, where my friends are huddled together. The pendulum will swing in either way, but I hope my words can save them. ‘Take them down to the galley, make use of them there. Search the ship, food, treasure, take it aboard.’
They are safe – for now. Pirates are curious creatures, with their fickle emotions as changeable as the wind. One minute drinking rum the next praying for their next haul of treasure. If their luck remains, nobody would touch them.