Warpedsails ……The Golden Oracle

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[snorts and groans… sleeping in deep hay piled high in the musketeer barn…crumbs from M.Bastons apple tart….I like a good tart…still evident within the wiry grey hair of my beard…the tart commandeered  from her kitchen the night before…awakened by the shrill sound of M.Baston calling my name…coughs with a sound that resonate as a low rumble like distant thunder]

ALBAIN!

[Good God that woman sounds like her daughter!….hurriedly grabbing my hat with a large gnarled hand….sneaking out the back door with a broad grin…brushing the hay from my coat then sliding the hat on rocking so it sits right on my head ….making my way limping back to the tavern for an ale or two …..to make plans….there is still life in the old dog yet!!!] 

[Leaving the tavern staggering ….weaving in and out of the doorways giving the ladies of the night a quick kiss…and a pinch on the derriere…with a deep resounding rumble of laughter which hacks through my wizened chest right down to my gnarled leathery belly…….

Doffs my hat to another luscious wench winking….come on darlin give us a kiss…bears her fruit oozing like watermelons from straining laces….she pushes me on my way squinting old eyes dimming as I waver back and forth on unsteady legs rolling, pitching like a ship on the high seas back to the barn…falling prostrate in a pile of straw…mouth falling opening snoring deep from my leathery belly a sound to wake the devil or me old mate on the Golden Orical] 

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Aimee’s Departure with news of the estate 

Aimee: *Quick nod of the head with approval, all has been arranged, no going back… the decision is made!..  Acted on!

That silly old fool…making a show puffing and panting, dragging an empty trunk into the room… as fond of him as I am…he tests me to the limit! For many years now this old fool Albain has deliberately made it his mission to annoy me….and annoy me he has! Raise eyes to the lord with a shake of the head, Dear Lord that man! Smiling would never let on that I am fond of the silly old fool.

Methodically preparing for the journey to Catalan, awaiting the arrival of my parent.   Père has closed Mlle’s estate in Trois-Villes in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques province of Soule Gascony, pending the advancing front further into France, transporting Mlle’s most priceless furniture and artefacts to Paris in advance, the great house in Gascony mothballed with dust covers shutters locked firmly! Lord knows where it will fit….raises a brow….more storage to arrange! Albain…will have to help there, a wicked little smile…I will inform Pere and Mere of all the old fools hiding places!

Trusted farm workers from the village will tend the fields bringing in the harvest to be old at market, any wine produced will be transported to Paris where Père will get the best price! Wiping a small tear from my eye , shaking my head…pull yourself together woman,  sadly most of  the breeding stock of fine horses sold to the army……sighing the memories of riding with Mlle Aurore and her dear Father, what would he think now only two prize stallions and five mares remain of fine breeding stock now stabled at a farm just outside of Paris . Smiling with great satisfaction that both Père and Mere will look after the townhouse along with Mlle’s finances….Raise’s eye’s to the Lord in thanks… they will be further away from the fighting.

…Folding my arms across my chest…..tapping a finger on my upper arm… narrowing my eyes as Albain sneaks out to the tavern…..Looking up….Lord almighty! Mere and Pere have their hands full with that old fool, smiling a crooked smile, I will miss the old goat!

Muttering to myself the returns to the job in hand….packing a trunk ready for a journey on a ship…passage booked by John…Wrinkles my forehead, with a certain Captain Bart…I’ll take care of any of his funny shenanigans… shake of the head with a crooked smile…..raises the brow another silly young girl..Catina to pull into line….and to be reunited with my dear Mlle Aurore!*

Aimee Maid ‏ *The ship pitches, dips up and down with the high seas~looks to the sky with clasped hands~ dear lord ~ when the  weather calms “tuts”~ I will leave this wretched cabin and have words with Captain Bart!* 

Jean ‏ // Good grief woman, this isn’t even rough! *Stares heavenward* Why me? Why can I  never get the quiet ones? Why do I always get the ones who know best? //

 Aimee Maid ~~”Tuts* Again as I grab hold of the nearest solid object on this wretched ship the contents of my stomach matching each roll and pitch of this creaking vessel . Dear lord! May these feet touch once more terra firma! Pursing my lips wishing the journey’s end when I will be rid of this irritation that calls himself Captain~~ Rolling my hands into tight fist ~the cut throat crew sing hoisting the spinnaker sending shivers through my bones!~~

Jean ‏@Capt_Bart {Stares at the seagull. That was one hell of a long voyage. The seas weren’t that bad, the wind was at our back, we weren’t so overladen that it was hard to steer the ship, the Spanish left us well alone. It could have been a good trip. But ye gods, my passenger …}

 

 {“Just a small favour,” he said. “Just the one passenger,” he said. “I’ll pay you well,” he said. Alright, so he had me at “pay–you well”, but someone could have warned me!!}

 

{Shudders. Never have a come across such a woman. And I never thought it to look at her at the start. Small, demure, not that bad looking, could have been a lot of fun, but … ye gods, her tongue. And there was nothing she didn’t have an opinion of either.}

 

 {My ropes weren’t neat enough … For heaven’s sake, they’re ropes, their job isn’t to “look neat”. Their job is to hold the sails in place. They have to be wound a set way so we can hoist the sails quickly. Coiling them a different way might look neater, but neatness wouldn’t have helped us if the Spanish had put in an appearance.}

 

{There was a cobweb in her cabin … I’m terribly sorry, mademoiselle, I’ll send the maid down to dust immediately. It’s a ship. A good ship. Cleaner than most, if I do say so myself. The odd cobweb is hardly top of my list of things to see to.}

 

{The sea was too rough … What did she expect me to do about that exactly? Appeal to the Sea God for a flat ocean? Perhaps I could have promised him a sacrifice of a small, sharp tongued woman in return for a peaceful voyage ….}

 

{My crew sang too loudly … They sing when they work. Most crews do. Granted, they’re not exactly tuneful, but they did keep the bawdy –songs to a bare minimum. Not because I asked them to, but because they were afraid she’d appear on deck and start tutting at them.}

 

{She didn’t think much of our cooks talents … To be fair, I don’t think much of our cooks talents, well not in cooking anyway, but he –is useful in a fight. There was the time we ran out of cannonballs and had to see off the enemy by firing his bread at them.  Very useful in a fight. Never seen him cower before.}

 

{Even Billy avoided her, and he gets on with practically everyone. He spent the entire trip in the crow’s nest, just in case she tried to –wipe a smudge from his face with her lace hanky. It’ll take days for him to get his land legs back.}

 

{That voyage was one of the longest of my life. John is definitely paying extra for that. And I am /not/ taking her back to France either.Not unless he finds a way to keep her out of my way, with her tutting and her head shakes. Twitches a little. I’ll be hearing that tutting noise in my dreams for months. Well, maybe weeks … Alright, for days.}

 

{Stares around at my crew, going about their business quietly, loading the ship for the return trip. I can sense their eagerness to be underway. Not because they want to leave harbour. Hell, my men love a short stopover, most times. I think they want to make sure we’re safely out at sea before John decides he wants us to take that woman back to France. Can’t say I blame them. I’d best go see Pau and John. Get paid for this last trip and sort out the manifest for the next one. A pirate’s work is never done. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. Mmmm … Rum. Now that’s the best idea I’ve had all day.}

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 Aimee Maid ‏@aimeemaid *Brushing the flour from my nose with the back of my hand before lifting the apple tart and sliding it into the vast oven, hoping the fire is not too hot.. oh dear lord this must be good. Mlle Aurore’s mothers recipe I giggle the captain always said it was the best…adding that the master.. Mlle’s father was partial to a fruity tart Looking out of the kitchen door crinkling my brow as I see Catina hips swaying with that lecherous good for nothing sea captain following her…*Tuts* the hips would corrupt a saint! …will have words with that girl!*

Jean ‏@Capt_Bart  {Drifts into the courtyard at John’s summer residence nonchalantly, whistling a happy tune and chewing on an apple, picked from a tree as I passed by. I should be heading back to sea, but Billy wanted to stay and help with the harvest, and the winds are a little too weak at the moment. Sniffs the air. A better wind is coming though. Mmmm and what is that divine smell. More importantly, who do those hips belong to. Oh yes, today is looking

 

Catina ‏@catina2015 {Sashaying on my way to the kitchen in no hurry without a care, brightly coloured skirt sways to the movement of my hips with shoulders bare black curls bounce with the movement. Flicking a long strand of hair away from my face, {Pull a face behind Aimee’s back! Curvaceous hips dance to the tip tap of Cuban heels sounding out my approach, skirt swishing to the rhythmic sway, looking back over my shoulder with a kittenish smile, casting flashing ebony eyes at Bart before disappearing into the kitchen doorway with a toss of my hair}

 

Jean ‏@Capt_Bart {Licks my lips hungrily. Such hips. Such sweet smells. It must be fate. Delicious whichever way you look at it. Follows the hips, my eyes fixed on the prize.}

 

Aimee Maid ‏@aimeemaid *Glares at Bart*Oh dear lord not you again! Don’t you even try and come in here…get out *Stands with arms folded across my bosom drumming my fingers on my forearms* Oh the tart!…not you dear!

*Glancing at Catina* the one in the oven * taking a cloth from the table a corner in each hand lifting the dish from the oven…the delicious aroma rising with the heat as I place the tart on the wooded topped table standing back admiring my creation. *Sighing a dish fit for my Mlle Aurore*

 

Jean ‏@Capt_Bart  {Oh dear god, it’s the dragon lady. Enough to cool any man’s ardor. Still … sniffs … that smell … I’m not leaving without …. something to feast upon.}

 

Catina ‏@catina2015 {From under black lashes fluttering flirtatiously, swishing the hem of my skirt held in my hand showing dainty ankles, giggling with amused by @aimeemaid ‘s annoyance at this devilish handsome man}

 

Jean ‏@Capt_Bart Ladies. It’s such a perfect day outside. Azure skies, a whispering breeze, the warmth of the sun on fair skin … surely I can entice you to step outside and enjoy the wonders of the day. Such beauty should not be kept hidden away. {Eyes Catina’s hips … then the tart … then the hips … then the tart … }

 

Aimee Maid ‏@aimeemaid *Glares at Bart with a “tut” both hands on my hips* You still here? Can’t you take a hint?

*Spies a broom in the corner with a crooked smile, knowing just the place to administer its first blow*

Catina ‏@catina2015 {Sliding with a sway closer to Bart innocent ebony eyes sparkle with mischief from under black lashes enjoying his attention, dark curls cascading around my shoulders I slowly twist a curl around my finger with an alluring smile }

Jean ‏@Capt_Bart Such eyes my dear. As deep as the ocean. A man could lose his soul in those depths. Like a dark sky, full of stars.I could spend an age staring into your eyes, getting lost just to find myself until the sun rises once again. And that sparkling smile. The mouth that spins that voice … so unexpected but enchanting.

Aimee Maid ‏@aimeemaid *Roll my eyes to the ceiling* Catina! You foolish girl flirting with a ne’er do good like Bart *“Tuts”* making cow eyes at this fool….go and attend to the dishes in the sink! As for you Bart ……

 

Catina ‏@catina2015 { The heels of my shoes stomp as I suck in my bottom lip~~ sulking! collecting warm water from the hearth filling the large sink with water, clattering the pots as I wash….dropping the largest into the water which splashes water all over my face and hair….stomping my foot on the ground letting out a squeal}

 

Jean ‏@Capt_Bart {Steps forwards, handing the girl a dry cloth.} T’would be a shame to get you damp … needlessly. {Dips my head and kisses her neck gently.} Mmm you taste delicious. Almost as delicious as that tart I’m willing to bet. Of course, if I were to try both, I could give a more definitive answer.

 

Aimee Maid ‏@aimeemaid *Raises my eyes to the ceiling reaching the end of my tether …Dear lord give me strength…this would try the patients of a saint*

“Now you grinning fool out of my kitchen…and leave that tart alone! Not you Catina the one with apples”

* Picking up the broom from the corner of the kitchen……I swing the broom collecting Bart across his firm buttocks ……..Cocking my head to the side taking a better look…as firm as my apples laughing with great satisfaction… as I scurrying after him on my sensible shoes taking great care the broom bristles hits the target every time…as we run around the kitchen table Catina squealing with delight near the sink*

“Now take that you good for nothing Pirate!!! And take your grubby hands off the tart! “

 

Jean ‏@Capt_Bart {Dances around the table, trying to keep one step ahead of the dragon lady, while flirting with the delicious Catina. Manages to slice a wedge of tart and retreats at speed to the courtyard, blowing Catina a kiss as I leave.} Thanks for the pie!

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f08ce109ac817a46e1b006d2f805b360Lucia //Silken back hair cascades seductively framing honeyed coloured tones of luscious skin , shimmering with mysterious promise under the touch light>

//leaning skilfully against the wall of the tavern  scornful smile fashioning on full cherry lips while thoughts deliberate //

why do men always underestimate the tenacity of women @Capt_Bart was no exception

// Casually tucking the fabric of my dress into the belt hung low around my waist,shapely ankles laced tight in black leather boots conceal protection from troublesome buccaneers>  bending low from the waist full breasts rise as breath is exhaled, to those that dare to look, long nimble fingers  conceal further a small dagger tucked into the lacings.

Sultry  brown eyes darken with deeper hues observing a gentleman of @Capt_Bart  acquaintance//Stepping away from the tavern gliding with a natural sway of the hips approaching Albain shaping  an enigmatic smile determined Bart  will not evade me much longer> for we have unfinished business, he will make amends for leaving me in Saint-Domingueor >OR  Dekonpoze nan kote mò yo ye!! // ((Rot in hell))

20h//Striding down the docks after having words with the first mate, towards the tavern, the sound  from black boots on the cobbles echo in the closing evening, hooded pitch black hues look fervently from under blue black hair which falls across one eye, lips curl up into a smile uttering a fervent prayer for the liberation of the  suppressed. Vigorously breezing into the tavern brushing aside the riff raff that tug at my arm, coat tail slaps against black boots on entering like a crack of a whip, pitch black hues survey though the acrid smoke hanging heavily in the room. Stoned faced elderly seamen gather around card tables their skin baked in hard lines with years spent at ea, dry cracked lips suck on clay pipes held in gnarled hands drinking hard while playing cards, indulging in the insobriety of the ladies of the night, for a price. Nodding to one old reprobate, Albain, “The old fox sheds its old hair, but not its old habits. “Basque proverb! 

[Cocks my head back with a grin…..wondering what Aurore’s friend is doing in these parts….shrugs….sliding an arm around a wenches waits with a tight squeeze…then pinching her well rounded backside.] 

 //A red faced whore grabs roughly at my arm greedily offering her wares for a few coins, sweeping her away harshly, and pitch black hues glare in disdain. Taking a drink in hand I choose a table near the window with full view of the docks, sitting down leaning back in the chair, swinging leather clad legs crossed at the ankles up onto the table, the aged leather boots have seen many a campaign with my brothers in the fight against Spain. Pitch black hues survey the passing trade, countenance dipped leaning back further in the chair sipping an aperitif, hues darkening survey from under hooded brows with suspicion curled on tight lips. Finishing my drink I stand striding across the room to Albain, with a grin and flash of white teeth, dragging him to his feet he swaggers next to me falling over tables on our way out into the docks.// 

[ Jerking… back … chin…..one eye closed…. bushy grey brow pulled together.mumbling] th bobbles r grooving steady …steady …as sh goe !!! Oh cobblers…Amalure stop sawing…sway…. Oh Mon Dier!!!!! 

// grabbing the old fool by the arm before he breaks his neck, we weave our away to the ship, shaking my head looking towards the top of the gangplank lifting a free hand in salute to Bart who waits on the deck of the Golden Oracle, rolling his eyes at Albain. // 

{Rolls my eyes at Albain, and shrugs at Amalure.}

Albain! You old soak. You were supposed to fetch supplies, not drink them. {Shakes my head as Albain wobbles past me onto the ship.}

Amalure, welcome aboard. Grab yourself a bunk and make yourself at home. Despite first appearances, my crew really do know what they’re doing. Most days. Has anyone see that gull? I’d hate to leave without him. He brings me luck. Billy, check the route is clear. Lucia, make the crew ready.

{Grins at Amalures slight look of surprise.} Yes, we have a woman on board. She might turn out to be a decent first mate. Time will tell. This isn’t her first voyage with us, we haven’t sunk yet, so whatever Albain tells you, she really isn’t bad luck.

{Pauses and reconsiders.} Well, not as such, anyway. Alright, lets get this ship moving. We need to get back to Catalan, quickly, in one piece, and without losing our passenger, so let’s work together. Albain … go sleep it off. You’ll fall overboard if you stay on deck. Or Lucia will be tempted to push you over. {Mutters under my breath.} Or I will.

{End SL – please enjoy the video} The Voyages of the Golden Oracle }

 And so a new chapter begins>>>>>>>>>

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