Updated: Apr 23, 2021
“The plan is: jump the quick sand, put boards over the pit of poisoned spikes, throw several stones into the collapsible floor, make three right turns and scale the left wall over the tank of dark waters in which some monster resides, once across they would tiptoe over the hot volcanic bridge and then enter the Pearl room.” “That was where the plan stops.” Trick said, “Because no one has been farther than that room therefore, they would have to see what that room had in store, though if Bleu was looking for a pattern he’d guess there would be something with hot liquid.” “If it follows the same pattern as the rest of the maze it is the only thing left.” Bleu concluded. It was late afternoon the day after Bleu had been given the map and the Captain sat at the other end of his desk listening to all his and Trick’s findings. They were enjoying their second breakfast of the day. Flat pancakes, with soured cream and pickles. Tilly sucked on a pickle slice right behind the captain. “You’re amazing, Egg Shell!” She grinned. “Alright I’ll make sure every man has the proper tools to get through all the obstacles and we’ll try and figure out the hot liquid...situation. Well done strategist.” he cringed as Tilly slurped in earshot. Then pushed his plate away. “Let’s go and leave the strategist to his breakfast, aye.” Several people looked at the captain as he stood to leave. “This is…” “Your cabin sir.” “Oh right. Well take your food and go.” Bleu followed the small crowd out just behind Tilly and Ticks who were holding hands. “I guess my job is done until we get there?” he asked. “That should be fun, you can lolly about the ship and learn whatever job you like.” Tilly said “Or go to bed early.” Trick suggested. “Who knows when Cap will come up with another fool hunt and want you to get a jump on it.” “Or a contingency plan.” Tilly added. “Or two.” “What’s your job?” He had gathered that Tilly was some kind of assistant to Cap but what was Trick. “Well, technically I am a quartermaster. And she’s 2nd mate.” Trick said pointing at Tilly. “But we just do what needs done.” Tilly stopped in her tracks and faced Bleu. “What do you do for fun, Pink?” she asked in all seriousness. After recovering himself from not running into her he answered. “I honestly don’t remember.” he had blocked out most of his memories. Locking them in a tight box never to be opened. “Games I guess.” He’d liked the tavern's that held game tables most. That might be considered fun. “We will play a game with you. Lee will too.” Tilly hopped up and down squeezing Trick’s hand pulling his arm with her. “Good idea. Lee loves games.” “Who’s Lee?” “We’ll introduce you. He is our best friend!” Tilly smiled and began pulling Trick until they were in a run to the other side of the deck. Bleu assumed he should follow since they’d already met their best friend. He trotted until he came to the hatch where the two were now descending. A tough feat as the latter was single file and they were still holding hands. Trick nearly bumped his head several times on the steps while Tilly held her arm up. They really couldn’t do things the easy way, could they. “Lee!” Tilly shouted when they came to the kitchens “Lee!” “Tilly, I’m right here.” A man named Lee answered. Lee was an oversized man or an undersized giant, Bleu wasn’t sure. His voice was gentle and soft. “How are you two?” “We have a new friend for you to meet!” She held up her and Trick’s hands to showcase Bleu’ “Hi, I’m Bleu.” “Lee,” He said. “He wants to play a game,” Tilly said. “He is very good at strategy so best if we play a lucky game first to get to know each other.” To Bleu's surprise Lee immediately sat at a table and pulled out several games from under it, Trick and Tilly sat next to each other opposite him. “Now?” Bleu asked, surely Lee was busy and couldn’t just drop everything for a game. “Why wouldn’t we play now you said your work was done.” “But is yours?” he asked. Hey all stared at him blankly. “I don’t want to take away from your responsibilities just for a game with me.” Again blank stares followed by Trick dealing cards one handed. Giving up, Bleu sat down next to the mini giant and surveyed his hand. The four of them played cards well into the night and Bleu enjoyed himself. An odd feeling he hadn’t had in a very long time. **** “You don't understand, do you? This is not the right way of doing things.” “I don't want to talk about it. “ “Why?” “I don’t want to talk about it.” “Why can't you talk about it? Why can't you let me in? I can't even get to arm’s length with you. You run from me so much. What are you afraid of?” Bleu awoke with a start. The woman's voice in his nightmares was getting more realistic. He could pinpoint the desperation now. It did not belong to his beloved, nor any other woman he'd met. Yet she, the faceless voice, accosted him almost nightly trying so hard to understand him. Little did she know, nor could Bleu ever quite explain, that there was nothing to understand. “Ship giving you nightmares, Magenta?” Trick said from his small wooden bunk next to Bleu. “Magenta?” Bleu asked “really?” “Eh, I'm tired.” was the only excuse Trick gave before rolling over to face the opposite direction. Bleu laid there, awake for hours before allowing himself to drift off again.