Kliea & Edith #3

The genre for this week was crime drama. I’m not too happy with this rendition; the tenses feel off-point.

Either way, enjoy.

 

     If only she’d listen to me and come out from her cabin, this could have all been avoided, Edith sighs inwardly. A thumb and forefinger raises to crease her temples, she shoots a glare between the slatted view of her fingers at the guilty feet shuffling before her.

Shadows play in the gloom of the mess hall, where the light fears to tread. In their dark embrace features distort, eyes disappear into inky wells poked in leathery skulls, age lines become ghastly scars; the Bloody Princess’ crew transformed as one into ghoulish terrors.

And yet here they stand, unmanned before the accusing spoon. She muses to herself, giving a sideways glance downwards at the wooden ladle she holds loose in one hand.

In fact as far as ship crews go, they were some of the more well mannered. Or so I thought at first. They had been more than welcoming for the two ladies, although Edith suspects Jason’s presence might have something to do with that. Now I know better.

“Well? I know it was one of you! Speak up now and everyone may leave.. Except the guilty party.” her tone slips into a steady murmur laced with venomous intent.

She flicks an eye over the empty, rough-cut wooden bowls and spoons strewn across the mess table. Their bellies are stained with the contents of the evening meal. And like the stain of sin, as yet unwashed.

Off the right somewhat, the cook shifts his considerable bulk from his wooden leg to the other.

The wholesome smell of Edith’s home-cooking quickly evaporates in the acrid gout emitted from the rotting wooden fibres, accompanied by a creak like old bones.

Her strained stare pins the glut in place, his hand half released from its onerous duty of relieving an itch in his crack.

“Wha’?” he blurts, caught out by the absurd-yet-unflinching deference in his demeanor to the little woman.

She takes a moment to analyze his character as the smell from his leg forces her to recall the last time in invaded her nostrils.

 

Edith had finished serving for the day, having laboured over the pot for more than a few hours. She had wanted to give a good impression to the crew that would ferry them to safety.

Jason had just left the galley to eat on the deck; bowl in one hand, his carved spoon in the other and a gracious thank you upon his lips.

She’d just hefted the iron pot onto a side, having check the contents to be sure enough remained for Kliea – who had refused to show in the mess hall – when she got hungry.

The galley was empty. All the crew had eaten and the cook had sulked off to the lower deck some time ago, having been shamed by Edith’s culinary delights.

So she had turned about to leave, content.

  And yet, in that moment it was not the sweet of my goulash filling my nose, but the sour of his leg.

The cook shuffles, attempting to work a lazy indifference into his rolling shoulders. Her face tightens in growing dislike.

“Have you always been the jealous type?” she barks, causing half the crew to flinch.

“Wha’?” His mouth hangs open in an uneven slouch, like a goat given an enema mid rumination.

Edith raises her ladle and points at the gormless figure, with all the authority and damnation a seventy-two year old lady can rightly call her own. Yet as her lips begin to part before the oncoming storm, her eye snags on a detail on the table.

A carved wooden spoon-? But he left to eat out- the door swings inwards and a curious voice announces Jason’s presence.

“Edith? Where is everyone? What on earth is going on here?”

Edith blinks in silent shock back at Jason, then points soundlessly at the empty pot sat at her feet in dumb appeal.

“Oh that? Yeah sorry – I gave Kliea mine so came back for more. She wouldn’t use my spoon though, insisted upon her own.” He grins sheepishly, eyeing the now muttering crowd. “I.. Hope I didn’t cause any problems.”

Sensing the shift in authority, the crew eagerly shuffles past the pair and out the open door. Last to pass is the cook, he gives one terrified glance over his shoulder at Edith before disappearing into the open air.

Jason frowns, looking down at Edith as she clutches the ladle in both hands. “What on earth did you do to that man..?”

Edith pauses and looks about the empty room, then in a small voice, “Oh, just.. Gave him my recipe.”

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