Thursday July 24th, 2014

The exercise:

Baseball Theme Week comes to its conclusion with scribblings involving: padres. Or, in my case at least, the padre.

Apologies to Greg, by the way. I should have known you'd not have had any idea what was coming next. Perhaps next time I can do a Premier League theme week... though then I would probably end up not knowing what I was writing about every single day of it!

Garlic is almost done, just a couple of crates left to clean up. Becky and I (mostly Becky, I was also running errands) took care of twenty-one pounds worth of them this morning. Which is a whole lot of garlic.

All set for our farmers market harvest tomorrow morning, and the sun should be out there to join us for the first time in several days.


Padre Diego smiled a wide, gap-toothed grin at his hosts and scratched his backside vigorously. Aside from the harsh fabric of his horribly uncomfortable robe, he did not appear to have a care in the world.

"Ah yes," he replied, his words infused with the smell of cheap church wine. "I am so looking forward to discussing the grand success of our mission!"

Success? one angel breathed.

Our? another hissed.

"Of course!" Padre Diego waddled forward, arms spread wide as though a hug was imminent. "The mariners I hired found our dear missing pirate and -"

King Tobias' forgotten brother was many things, the male angel interrupted with a smirk. A pirate, a proper one at any rate, was not one of them.

"Whatever." Padre Diego shrugged this away as he would a beggar asking for alms. "He is on his way home, first to see us and then to take his place on the throne as our puppet king."

The priest wriggled his fingers and giggled as he watched his imaginary marionette dance for him. He did not notice the look exchanged between the three angels. Nor did he see the black smoke coalescing around his feet.

The king's brother...

... Lightning Beard, as he fancied himself...

... is resting at the bottom of the sea.

"What?" The blood drained from Padre Diego's face with alarming speed.

Throat slit by his rescuing captain. The man you employed.

"Ivan? Why would that idiot do such a thing?"

The other giant captains The Nameless.

It would seem that he is smart enough to fool you.

Or at least, unlike you, he is able to sense a mistake when he sees one.

Though to be fair, the twins helped make the final call.

"I don't know what you're going on about." The priest tried to back away but found himself unable to move. Looking down he saw black smoke swirling around his waist with increasing velocity. "What is the meaning of this?"

Prince Matthew will be king.

You have failed us.


"What? No! There is still time! The royals trust me yet! I can bring that whelp to our side. Give me a year or two and -"

The Boy King would see through your clumsy lies.

It has been foreseen.

And your shortcomings cannot be allowed to pass without punishment.

"Now hold on!" Padre Diego's eyes bulged as the smoke reached his chest. "If anyone should bear the brunt of this... failure... it's those bloody sailors! If they'd just done what they should have then -"

But the dark angels had heard enough. Without a word or change of expression from any of them the smoke funneled upward and into the priest's mouth, like water rushing down the throat of a drowning man.

And just like that, Padre Diego was no more.


Greg said...

That is a lot of garlic! I can think of lots of things to use it for as well :)
Well, that wasn't the ending I was expecting, so well done on surprising me! I thought the Padre was going to turn out to be much more astute than his angelic friends, but it was still nice to get a sense of just come-uppance here. And you've tied everything together, just as I knew you would, and explained everything that's going on rather nicely. And I suspect that your people will do far better under King Matthew than they would under King Lightning Beard!
I've really enjoyed your tale this theme week; I shall definitely be looking forward to next time as well :)

A man pushed forward from the crew with a wreath of seaweed draped around his neck, and Heinrich recognised yet another of the classmates. His fingers traced the sign of the Fish on the back of his wrist, wondering if the man was really a Padre, or if the classmates were playing increasingly dangerous games. The Padre, if he was one, stopped in front of the angels and held out his hand.
For a moment Heinrich couldn't breathe, and then the first sea-angel leaned forward. Its face twitched and seemed to split slightly, and a bony mouth pushed forward to bite the Padre's hand. There was a sucking sound, like quicksand dragging a doomed man down, and a bead of blood escaped the mouth and ran along the edge of the hand to fall to the deck. Then the sea-angel stood back and everyone could see the white flesh and ragged skin, as though a lamprey had attached itself and been torn away.
The Padre offered his other hand, and the other sea-angel fed as well.
"You summoned us," said the first angel again, and this time there was a warmth in its voice than made Heinrich want to run away and scrub himself clean with sand and salt.
"Cittadoro," said the Padre. "We want access."
"There is no access," said the other angel. When it spoke a smell of rotting fish and dead crustaceans rolled out from in waves. "A bargain was struck forty years ago with La Mastitan. The City of Gold was payment for superiority of the seas."
"Who lives there now?" asked the Padre, visibly shaken by the answer. Only Heinrich thought to look around him, and only Heinrich saw that the looming shape on the horizon was getting larger, heading towards them.
"We do," said the first sea-angel.

Marc said...

Greg - glad you liked it! Personally, I was secretly pleased with my ability to use all of the prompt words in the last day's writing.

Delightfully creepy descriptions in your ending, and that ending is just so... ominous! Great work from you this theme week as well; I always enjoy seeing what you come up with when they roll around :)