Short Story : Sailing by moonlight

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Short Story : Sailing by moonlight

Unread postby Nakibe » Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:27 am

His first sensation was that it was cold, and wet, but not uncomfortably so at least. It meant that his current host had standards, and, considering his history, probably some decent ones. The gentle sound of waves lapping at the ship allowed him some moments to think, and to adjust his robe (still a lovely shade of forest green, thankfully) and take in the surroundings.

It was a pleasant night, too, one blessed by a full moon that would've made it easy to sail by if he were still so inclined. It made him vaguely miss the days of slogging through the forests, discovering new and exciting things no other beast had laid eyes on before. Perhaps those days weren't as behind him as he'd hoped at one point, years ago, when he was younger, more reckless. More in love with her. The pain was dim after so long, although it seemed as if the very ship he was on let out a slight groan in echo of it. "Don't move."

A form peeled away from the shadows of the deck, revealing a shrew with vaguely white shirt and brown trousers, with a red bandanna on his head. The slightly hungry look in the shrew's eyes filled the green-robed visitor with a feeling of deep sympathy, but the unsheathed cutlass barely pricking his skin filled him with a small bit of worry. "So, we gots ourselves a stowaway, do we? Cap'n don't like stowaways, ya know, not one bit."

"Your 'captain' is expecting me."

"Oh, that's as what they all sez, heheheh..." The visitor fixes his shrew captor with a gaze speaking of complete and utter calm, waiting for the shrew to make a move. For a moment, recognition seems to dawn on the shrew, and the robed personage barely catches a muttered "...cap'ns not gonna like this..." before the shrew finally relents. "Cap'n! Stowaway here t' see you!"

"What'd I tell ya to do with stowaways after th' last time?" "Run em through, but..." "No buts, dammit." "But cap'n..." A long, drawn out sigh answers from what the visitor presumes is the captain's quarters. Finally, a bit of shuffling can be heard, and finally, the sound of the captain getting up and heading out to the deck. Even knowing what he did, the visitor had to fight down a bit of awe at seeing the noble-looking lupine form stride out of the captain's cabin, a small but familiar rat following behind.

"Oh... shit. Its you." the wolf captain replies. For a moment, the captain seems to be shocked. Finally, he settles on leaning on a rail, looking out at the moonlight reflected in the water. "Why the hell did you think coming HERE was a good idea?" Bitterness is strong in that statement. A whole world of it.... but a little sadness too. The visitor stood there, silent for a moment as he pondered this. Then, "I came to see you. To see what you're like."
"Spying on me for his sake, eh? Fine then. I ain't got nothin' to hide."
"Because you hide enough from him, is that right Aramis?"
For a moment, as if by trick of the light, the wolf seemed a little more... mangy. The tail a little less hairy, perhaps. The captain, Aramis, frowned at the visitor then. "Ain't right to go peepin' at people's secrets, ya know." he replied warningly.

"Its hard not to notice. What, do you think he will hate you? Fear you after all this time?" responded the visitor. Aramis merely stood there and watched the moon at that. "You don't think he's caught on by this time? You stole from good beasts. You lied and cheated, even killed."
"Yeah, so what if I have?" said the wolf, as if these revelations did not matter. "Why would they want us anyway? Why should they even care?" The almost-whispered comment from the small rat caused the visitor's head to turn to him, still hiding behind the wolf's tail. The kid.... he seemed utterly frightened, with a scrawny, malnourished look to him. The visitor, realizing something, looked from the kid to the wolf, wondering how things had come to this for him. Aramis suddenly turns to the visitor with a hard stare. "That's why you're here, after all, ain't it? To tell him to leave me the fuck alone?"

"He's trusted you with his life so far. And hers." At that the wolf gave out a low chuckle. "Yeah, well, nobeast's perfect, right?"
"You should believe in him, trust him. He means well, and does his best to help everybeast he can."
"That's just it. He's not LIKE me. He's never had to steal to survive, to learn to fight or have everything he owns taken from him, to ha..."
"That doesn't matter."
"Whatever. It don't mean he needs someone like me along holding him back and shit."
"You're his friend," replies the visitor. "And he believes in you. Trusts that you won't do anything that isn't necessary. You haven't so far, and I doubt you will. After all, you know what its like to be hated. Feared. And you've overcome that. For the wrong reasons, sure, but you did."
"I just.. don't feel like I'm good enough." At that statement, plain and simple, the visitor chuckled. "That's a good sign in itself, at least. And the gods seem to have special plans for you, too. You'll need help for those, and he is willing to help. So am I, for that matter."

Aramis, now a rat, chuckles and looks over at the green-robed one once more. "You know, for such a fearsome warrior, you're not so bad a beast." The visitor just smiles and adjusts his robe before heading towards the single rowboat. "Perhaps we can talk again, Aramis. And maybe before then you'll be able to tell him that you had that crush on him." The rat boy squeals gleefully and heads back towards the cabin as Aramis himself stays to sputter. "Wh...WHAT? How'd you find that out! Hey! GET BACK HERE!"

But by then, Martin had already sailed away, leaving Aramis alone and pondering what this intrusion meant for the future.

(Writing this at 2:30 AM, like all of my bad and/or crazy ideas. Its pretty much coming out of my head as-is with no guarantees, so please tell me what you think.)

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