Monday, October 5, 2009

Someone's in the Galley with Skulley, Pt. 1

"Milady, the galley."

Lafoot's theatrical bow and flourish did absolutely nothing to enhance the appeal of the ship's tiny kitchen, a dingy three-foot-square patch of floor with a grim, narrow cabinet set to either side. A tiny bowl-shaped sink flecked with rust sat in one of the bare wooden countertops, sink and surface alike scuffed and scoured a no-color gray. The cabinets overhead were just as grimly functional as the ones below, with worn leather straps wound around the stubby knobs and fastened to the sides. Skulley unhooked one and pulled open the door. A scruffy black knee-boot fell off the shelf and she snatched it out of the air before it had a chance to clock her.

"Y'eat boots?"

He chuckled, the sound reverberating in his barrel chest. She wasn't sure how such a large man could seem so comfortable in the cramped and narrow space, but it fit him like a glove. "Seems like it sometimes, aye. Looks like one of Jerijah's dress boots made it in there. Safekeepin' maybe? He wears 'em when we go ashore. Y'nno. For the ladies." He tipped her a wink. The footwear thudded dully against his chest, and he caught it before it fell to the floor. Ducking her head into the lower cabinets, Skulley took inventory of the contents. It didn't take long.

"One boot, one dead rat an' a bloody huge spoon." She held up the offending utensil. It was, indeed, bloody huge. "Reckon I need supplies."

"Cap'n's got a fund fer that...." Lafoot tilted his head at the lanky woman. Her narrow form was bent at curious angles with itself, nearly crammed inside the cabinet she inspected, and her smoke-tinged voice was muffled through the wood.

"Y've not even got a stove."

"The likes of us ain't allowed to set fires on a boat, Captain's orders."

He watched her unfold upward from her crouch, wondering how she'd managed to pull out a cigarette and light it without him noticing. She leaned against the counter, long auburn ponytail skimming its surface, and inhaled thoughtfully. At last she spoke. "A'right. Y'got a toolkit on board? 'Course y'do. Set me up a spanner, a micro-adjuster, a hammer and a cup a' screws while I head up an' make m'self useful. An' fer th'love of all that's holy chuck that rat off the deck."

She grinned as she slid past him in the narrow hallway--a very tight fit--and blew a puff of smoke in his face. Her eyes were so dark they were almost black, and in her boots, very nearly at the level of his own. "Reckon y'might want a bath before we sail, bucko."

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