Interesting enough that you would read the next page?
Scraping wet hair out of his eyes, he thrusts his hands deeper into his coat pockets for warmth. His footsteps, splashing in the puddles between the cobblestones, echo off the wall around him.
In the London streets all around him, overloaded wagons make their way to the docks and the groans of their bulging wood and metal frames fade in and out of the mist. He hurries past slumped figures in doorways, past rats boldly patrolling gutters that overflow with filth that twists the air above them. He scurries past dimly lit taverns, for a short while filled with hard, foreign sailors
Stopping in a pool of shadow between two lamp-lit streetlights to catch his breath, he takes a moment to assess the shouts and laughter from the city around him. The lamp-light flickers across his smooth face. An attentive Iron Watcher would have glimpsed his momentary nervousness and approached him to find out his business, but he knows that there are few that would patrol these poorest river areas
A door bangs open into the street behind him and light and curses spill out into the narrow street. He hurries on, not waiting to find out what will emerge.
The words of Principal Archan are firmly in his mind. “Left onto Turner Street, down the alley halfway to the end, then another left onto Partridge Lane and down to the dockside. The boat will be there at midnight for exactly half an hour, do not be late.” He turns onto Partridge Lane, praying that the ship is there and he can get back to the Halls and his bed soon.
The mist opens up and tall pillars jut skywards in front of him. Startled, he stops. He stares up at ship masts rising into the darkness, white sails furled about them.
He jumps as a light flares to life just steps away and a voice behind it chuckles. Momentarily blinded, the boy shields his eyes, struggling to make out a face obscured by light
“This is not the wisest place for gawking. The Iron Watchers like to keep an eye on freelancers such as ourselves. So state your business or bugger off back into that damned mist”
The boy scrabbles around in his top pocket and carefully draws out a small bronze locket. He thrusts it towards the light.
“I am sent to speak to the Captain”
A hand reaches forward, accompanied by an animal odor
There is silence from behind the light as the locket is examined. He can hear it being turned over in the man’s fingers. The man makes a soft hooting sound. After a moment a scrambling shape rushes out of the darkness, grabs the locket and heads back to the ship
“Let’s see what the Captain says once he has seen your locket” says the voice behind the lamp
The boy plucks up the courage “what, what was that?”
“That was a barbary Ape. Very useful animal on a ship like ours, can get up the rigging no time.” Lights glints off the teeth of a smile. “Can also rip the head off a man in a fight. Best to stay on its good side.”
“An ape lives on the ship?”
“Not just any ship. The Carnival is home to many things uncommon to you land folk.”
The boys eyes go wide “The Carnival? How are you here? How…” he takes an uncertain step back
I got nothing to sitewhore. Go here instead: www.nmcf.co.za