Updated: Jan 28
Don't talk to me anymore, I'm mad at you.
Episode 1 - The Homeless
As the unnatural wind whirled around inside the Old Stone Tavern, forcing hair, hats, and beards to twirl and twist in every direction, Bleu had a thought; “This might have been a bad plan.”
It all began 18 months ago when Bleu’s world decided to crumble. He had, before then, been a fisherman and retired soldier. He had settled into the good and quiet life, near the sea, after the war. He was young enough he could have raised a family and been completely content for years and years to come. Fate, however, being the monster she is, had another plan.
After Bleu had married his beloved, bought the house by the sea, and convinced himself the plight of a fishermen was the life he wanted, when the Coven attacked. The Coven, was a dark force of magical beings that appeared during the war. On a whim, it seemed, they destroyed Bleu’s home by the sea, killed his beloved, and stole nothing but his family Crest.
For a year after the tragedy Bleu simply wondered. He never stayed in one place longer than a few days, he never allowed the sorrow or fog in his mind to clear. He gambled, he drank, he slept, he moved on to the next town, and repeated the process.
Until one autumn day one day in the small town of Pumpkin Hill, Bleu was sitting in the ‘2nd 2 Nun’ Tavern playing a game of chance, called Niccrow.
Bleu’s mind was in such a dark haze he hadn’t made any note of his table companions or anything other than the cards in his hands the predictable strategies of the opponents. That is until he heard a woman's voice say over his shoulder,
“Bless me, Trick! Look at this guy's hand! He's gonna wipe the floor with these bootstraps!” Bleu looked behind him to see a young woman whose face seemed far too young to be in a tavern, but whose body language made clear it was not her first time there.
She was instantly joined by a man with sharp spiky hair, covered from head to toe in leather armor.
“You're right, Babe,” the man said.
Bleu hid his cards, but apparently a peak was all this man needed.
“If he plays the crown at the right time, followed by the two pairs, and the Monkey, he's got this game won.”
The girl continued the thought with, “he'll get them to up their bids by playing the small pair then he’ll...”
“He’ll hit them with the crown and Monkey card!” the man exclaimed excitedly.
“Well, I fold" said the green skinned man to Bleu's right,
“Wait!” Bleu tried to interject.
“Me too.” said the stocky bearded man across the table.
“You don't really believe them…” Bleu attempted.
“We're all out kid, but nice try." His last companion, a bearded man with a pointy hat, said as he rose from the table and soon Bleu sat alone.
“You've got a good head for strategy, you have,” said the woman as she took the seat to his left. Pulling her knees up to her elbows and sitting on her feet, making her look childlike and far too comfortable.
“Yeah and I would've won if you hadn't told everyone what I was planning.” Bleu said through gritted teeth.
“Did we do that?” The woman asked the leather clad man as he sat on Bleu’s other side.
“Yes, Babe we did,” he answered.
“Oh,” she seemed somehow genuinely surprised. “Sorry then.”
The man patted her hand, “It’s ok, we're going to offer him a job. That will make him less mad at us.”
“Excuse me?” Bleu said, interrupting the conversation. “What are you talking about? I don't want a job! So just take yourself off and leave me alone."
“I'm Tilly,” said the girl, clearly not hearing him, whether that was due to a lack of hearing or a lack of caring he wasn't sure, “and this,” she motioned to the man, “is Trick.”
They sat looking at Bleu expectantly. Shocked by their utter lack of social respect, Bleu blinked a few times then simply stood up and left the table. But he only got about four steps before the woman, Tilly, was in front of him.
“I know you're gonna love this job.” Tilly continued talking as if to an old friend, “You're so great at plotting, I mean, most people play a pair of Monkeys in the first round. I mean, honestly only like half the people in the world know to hold them to the end and use them when all the fish cards are spent. Isn't he a genius, Trick?” Bleu walked out of the tavern, Tilly and Trick followed. Tilly intermittently walked backwards in front of Bleu as she talked.
“Tick and I work for a sea Captain and he sent us to find you.” Tilly continued, “Trick and I knew it was you the second I saw your hand.”
“Okay,” Bleu paused his walk to think "that doesn't make any sense,” Bleu said and he continued walking in no real direction just simply trying to escape his newly adopted strays.
“Well it does if you know what we're talking about,” Trick answered.
“I don't want a job.” Bleu was looking at the ground turning at random times as he navigated the streets of Pumpkin Hill.
“Sure you do.” Tilly happily replied as they rounded another corner. “You'll love sailing with us and the Captain, and you'll be far more useful with us than just sitting around a tavern beating idiots at cards.”
“Babe," Trick said in a sweet corrective voice, one might use on a toddler with something sharp.
“Sorry, I'm sure it was very useful,” she continued, “But the Captain will make you way more useful. And he will utilize your skills and we'll be the best heist team in all of the land.”
“Heist Team?” Bleu stopped short. Making Trick who was following closely to bump into him.
“I'm not joining a heist team. I'm a soldier! I fought in the war! I'm not some strategist for criminals.”
“Good neither are we!” Tilly said.
Bleu rolled his eyes and started walking again. It was so absurd to Bleu to think what these two were asking. Asking? assuming.
“Go away” was all he could say.
“We have a cot ready for you. We can't leave Pumpkin Hill until we find the cook. But once we get her we can set sail.”
“I never said I was going with you.”
“Of course you're coming, it's your destiny, we're the help you've been praying for.”
“How did you know I… nevermind,” he stopped himself. “You don't know what my destiny is. I'm not your strategist.”
“It's meant to be.”
“I'm not going. It's not meant to be.”
“Of course you are. Why else would you be here?”
“Here?” he glared at her.
“Yes, here at our ship.” She gestured to where they were now standing. Bleu looked up. They were at the harbor, standing in front of a large ship with a figurehead of a hysterically laughing Mermaid. They had walked down the entire dock and passed the harberman without him even noticing.
“Uh,” was all Bleu could think to say.
“Come aboard. We'll show you your room.” Tilly said.
“Tilly,” said Trick. “Let me talk to him first.” Tilly smiled and walked up the long plank to board the ship bleu now saw was multi-colored in splatters of paint. Bleu felt a hand on his shoulder as Trick came around and stood in front of him. “Listen,” Tick said. “It's obvious you don't belong here in Pumpkin Hill. You have a coastal accent when you talk, you left the Tavern without a bag, and your boots aren't from anywhere near here.” Bleu was annoyed that he seemed so easily read, and impressed at Trick’s observant knowledge. “I'm guessing you're only here to pass through town on your way to anywhere else.” Trick continued, hand still on Bleu’s shoulder, “You seem sad and quite frankly; lost.” He put his other hand on Bleu’s other shoulder and looked him straight in the eye. “Come with us now and we'll give you a ride to the next stop on your journey to anywhere else.”
Bleu started to object then realized Trick was right. He had nowhere to be and therefore no reason not to go. Crazy as Tilly and Trick were to just push their way into Bleu's life, Bleu could conjure up no excuse.
“Fine,” he finally said.
Trick, smiled and patted his back then turned around heading back down the dock.
"I'll be up in a minute." He yelled over his shoulder.
Bleu walked aboard the large discolored ship.
“Welcome to The Homeless.” Tilly exclaimed motioning to the ship.
“Uh, wait what?” Bleu said. “Your ship is called The Homeless?”
“Fitting. Ain't it?” Tilly said. Bleu looked around to see a very minimal crew and a deck painted with odd colors, again, in no uncertain pattern.
It was otherwise a normal schooner.
“Now,” Tilly said. “We just need a cook and we're ready to fly!”
“No cook! We’re leaving!” Shouted a voice from an imposing man, taller than Bleu as he stomped up the ramp. He was wearing a blue and gold long coat, with cuffed sleeves that he waved as he passed Tilly and Bleu.
“Trick’s not on board yet, Captain.” Tilly said, in a chipper voice without looking away from Bleu.
“Leave him!” Yelled the Captain, he sounded more irritated with every step.
“He'll be here soon with the cook, Captain.” Tilly answered, sweetly. Apparently Bleu was not the only one Tilly chose not to hear.
“Dua!” The Captain who hadn't looked at Tilly, made several indiscernible grumbles as he walked away from them up to the helm.
“Come on,” Tilly said “What is your name?”
“Like the color?”
“You're not very talkative, are you Green?”
“Bleu. And no. Not really.“
“Well that’s not a problem, Yella, I’ll talk for the both of us.” Just then, Trick ran abroad with what seemed like a rather unwilling young lady in leather trousers flung over his shoulder.
“Launch!” He hollered, as the package on his shoulder kicked and protested,
“Trick!" She shouted, “I said, not this time! Put me down!”
“We’re ready Captain, Launch!” Trick said, but didn’t stop for even a second and entered the door directly under the helm deck. As the young lady yelled,
“I mean it Triclison Bartholomew Cuthbert you better put me dow..” The last word was lost as the door shut.
“You heard the man!” The Captain yelled to the crew, “Why are we still here? Move! Move!”
“It’s time!” Tilly smiled, “are you ready to fly, Red?” Without waiting for an answer, or correction, she skipped off to do whatever she was meant to do at the ‘launch’ of the ship.
Bleu took a deep breath. He was not ready to fly, but the thought of exiting the ship, walking the streets and finally returning to the tavern seemed less appealing, so he stayed abroad.