The Angel’s Halo – Part II

“W-W-What?” James was caught off guard, but still mentally chastised himself for stuttering in front of his new associate, “No. We must hurry to the docks and get our boat.”
“All right,” Wain said, “But I’m thirsty.”
James was struck by a brilliant idea, “Why don’t you go get a drink, actually. I’ll make sure the boat is ready.”
Wain started for the bar like a hound dog after a hambone, but turned, “You don’t get rid of me that easily. I am coming on this quest and getting my fair share of glory and booze.”
James sighed, “Very well, but don’t get left behind.”
The continued down to the docks in silence, until they reached the man that handled the bishop’s boating ventures.
As James explained who he was and were he was going the man stroked a long goatee. It looked like he had a tail growing out from under his lip and gave him a very peculiar appearance.
“The Bish set aside this new boat we just got. She’s a beaut,” he stated, pointed out a weathered looking little sloop, “Only been owned once,” the man continued, as they walked over to it, “by a little old lady who only took it out once a month. Barely thirty-five leagues on it and a better paint job…”
Wain turned and interrupted the man by grabbing his lower lip tail and yanking, hard. It came off in his hand and the man’s face screwed up in the most unimaginable grimace of mixed pain and horror. He started to jump up and down, screaming and clawing at his chin. Then he flung himself on the ground and rolled back and forth, still screaming, and kicking at the air.
“Why did you have to do that?” asked James with a sigh.
“I don’t like used boat salesmen,” replied Wain, as he undid the moorings.
“Well, next time punch the guy or step on his toes,” said James as he raised the sail, “But don’t pull out his beard.”
“The guy looked like a goat,” snorted Wain, as he steered the boat away from the dock, “I did him a favor, but I’ll remember.”
Behind them the man rolled off the dock into the water and his screaming was replaced by a muffled glub-glub sound. With the sail raised and a stiff breeze at their backs Sir James and Wain set off in the direction of the Peaceful Isle.
By the next morning they could see land off on the horizon. Their voyage had been pleasant, with smooth seas and a good breeze. Then, as they neared the island, storm clouds rolled in and lightning cracked across the sky. The thunder that replied made them jump it was so loud. The waves started to get larger and larger and Wain, in the bow of the boat, stuck his head over the side, looking green about the gills. Rain lashed them and the howling wind drove the small boat towards the island. James could feel the timbers under his feet squeal and creak, the boat seemed to shiver with eagerness and dove into the high seas like a duck into a calm pond. From James’ point of view things couldn’t get worse, but they suddenly did.
“Bleaugh,” said Wain, then he cried, “Captain, rocks ahead! Bleaugh!”
“What?” shouted James, “What is Bleaugh?”
“I’m throwing, Bleaugh, up,” shouted back Wain.
“Oh,” James was silent for a minute, “Tell me where the rocks are so I can steer around them.”
“There’s one, Bleaugh, dead ahead,” shrieked back Wain.
James wrenched the steering oar to the starboard side, hard. The boat seemed to fly to the port side and Wain was flung against the bulkhead. Just as he stood up James returned to his previous course with the same sharpness. Wain was flung against the opposite bulkhead.
“Oof,” he roared, “What was that for?”
“Stop whining and watch for rocks,” shouted back James.
“Ok, ok,” Wain returned to watching and shouted, “To the left, the left, THE LEFT. THE OTHER LEFT. OH MY GOSH.”
The boat struck the rock a glancing blow and was flung back into the sea. There was a sound of splintering wood and the whole frame quivered from bow to stern. Wain was once more flung against the bulkhead but this time he held on as he got back up.
“I told you that rock was there,” he hollered, “and you steered right for it. Let me drive.”
“You told me to go left,” shouted back James.
“No,” shouted Wain, “I told you the rock was going left and… HOLY SMOKES, GO RIGHT, GO RIGHT, GO STARBOARD FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! LOOK OUT ROCKS, THERE‘S A CRAZY DRIVER!”
James wrenched the boat to the right and then left again to comply with Wain’s frenzied shouting. The short, stocky barbarian reminded James of a wet monkey. Jumping up and down on the bow of the boat, hooting and hollering. Finally, they managed to sail in to a small pier that jutted out from the island for picnickers to dock at. Wain, battered but cheerful to be setting foot on dry land, threw the mooring lines over a piling and pulled the boat up close to the pier. As James stepped out and onto the pier a wild looking man, with dark skin and rusty armor jumped out from behind a convenient bush nearby.

**********

Read Part I
Read Part III

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