Poleman the Eye spat a glob of red liquid from the hole where two teeth used to be. He pushed his one eye into Blessing’s gold. “He’d be about as much use to me as a boil on the ass.” Then he laughed, a rude snorting sound, “But I reckon if you need someone to cuddle to at night, you had better talk to cook. If he gives ye the nod, then what can I say? I hate it when that old bastard spits in the food.”
Blessing smiled, radiant in such a little thing and ran off. One hand on the railing and he pole-vaulted into the air, landing on his feet in uncanny silence. Knat stood on the dock, hands in his pockets. He wanted to sail away with Blessing, it was a real chance to escape what he believed was an inevitable shallow grave if he stayed. He would of course, have to explain it all away to Mr. Macky but it was something he could live with, and Milly would likely crack his head with something close to hand. Still, he had to go.
Knat began to count: it helped to stop his toe tapping. Poleman the Eye was still watching and he was conscious of acting the fool. He was sure a smile would bring on a flood of the red stuff Poleman, so loved to hawk. So instead, he tried a scowl. Something thoughtful but the First Mate caught on to his foolishness and pointing to Knat, gathered a crowd of jeering sailors to enjoy the lads discomfort.
Knat’s face crimsoned with embarrassment, but he held his own. Pushing his chest out, with words readied to let fly pulled his scowl down a little lower. “Why I oughta ..”
“Knat! Knat, he said yes! You can come, can’t he?” Blessing’s gushing turned everyone’s heads.
All except Knat’s and Poleman the Eye. The First Mate gave a nod and spat a lump of red phlegm onto the glaring youth’s shoes. “Well mate. It looks as though you’re in. Better tell the fat man at the inn what you’re all about for we’re shoving off in the morning.”
Poleman struck up a whistle, leaving Knat goggled eye at Blessing’s approach.
“Didn’t you hear me? He said you can come!” Everything about the Fey exhumed a sense of animation. His beautiful hands grabbed at Knat’s shirt. His gold eyes carried him along. “We have to tell Mr. Macky, Knat.”
A couple of the sailors, idle and caught up with the boy’s excitement gave a clap and Poleman the Eye, forever watching growled a curse at the lackers. “I’ll kick ye both from asshole to breakfast if these ropes are coiled to an inch of your lives.”
The pair stopped their grinning and ducked their heads, knuckling a middle finger to the forehead in salute.
“Aye.” They both chimed.
“Get off with the pair of you.” Bellowed Poleman.
He pointed a thick dirty finger at Blessing and Knat, “Hurry,” he shouted, “We leave on the tide and I’ll not be waiting for any man. Do you hear me, you pair of shits, the Viridian waits for no man.”