Thursday, November 12, 2015

Red As Any Blood--Part 47

Mosca stared at the ship making its way through the harbor, somewhat amazed.  It had been set on fire, had struck the wreckage of several ships that were being used to block the harbor, and was presently sinking. 

And yet it still it kept coming.  Those members of the crew that hadn't leapt off were in the process of doing so, and still the ship inched forward, as if another few ells would make a difference...

"Have they gone mad?" he muttered.

Ancient Evereaux glanced at him, as he readied another pot of burning pitch.  "You're asking that now, boy?  After all of this?"

"Good point," said Mosca.  "And it's 'sir'.  Remember, I'm the Master of Horse."

Ancient gave a resentful nod, and then launched the pitch.  It struck the ship, already in the process of breaking up, in the mast, which shortly tipped over, and fell upon the burning deck.

"Well done, man," said Mosca with a nod.

"It's an acquired skill, sir," said Ancient. "You pick it up and it's like you've got distances in your head, when you're at one of these."  He patted the ballista affectionately.  "Especially with a fine piece of work like this.  I tell you, that they would waste a fine machine like this..."

Mosca nodded himself.  "Yes, yes, I agree," he stated, hoping the man would quiet down now.

"...It's a crime, is what it is!" continued Ancient, obliviously.

Mosca shut his eyes, and tried to think about subjects that didn't involve siege engines.  "Indeed, indeed," he agreed, as somehow a trebuchet snuck into his favorite song without his noticing it at first.

"What are you two doing?" snapped Gentleman, rushing towards them.

"Making sure the ship goes down," answered Mosca with a yawn, gesturing to the flaming wreckage.

Gregory seemed unimpressed.  "There's another wave of men coming out of the woods," he stated.

Mosca squirmed at that.  "Oh, that's..."

"Look!  Another ship!" said Ancient, gesturing out to where another boat was approaching them.  He immediately got to work setting up the next pot of pitch.

Mosca's feeling of discomfort grew.

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