Beggars Can't Be Choosers
Dec 22, 2023, 2:37:51 AM
The classic Hollywood action movie escape. You know the one, big and boisterous. The last millisecond wire-cut. Or maybe the hero flinging themselves recklessly away from an exploding McGuffin. It's daring-do. High octane, non-stop energy.
Well, Kamiko's flight was a little less than that.
A lot less.
She and the Ferrywoman gently lowered themselves into a boat and even then they didn't paddle for the horizon. The Ferrywoman moved with the swiftness of a sloth crossing the length of the gondola to the bow of the ship. She poked at the lantern swaying over the murky waters and cooed and plied a tiny gaslamp pupperino to life and watched as he burst into a strong, yet friendly-appearing, a source of light to guide them through the waters. She undid the knot tying them to the dock as if it were the only thing that had to be done for a month.
Kamiko sat in the middle of the gondola tapping the toes of her heels against the rickety wood frame wondering how long it would all take. Did they even have time out here? Not in the "do you have time for that" sense, but more in the philosophically-minded "does time exist as a concept?" kind of idle metaphysical navel-grazing. Did the old lady tell her they had time? The doddering old woman seemed to move with a schedule based on eternity.
With the rope secured, the pup puffing noxious green gas and flame, finally the Ferrywoman made her way back to the other end of the gondola and dipped her oar into the dark sea.
They shoved off.
Above them all the while the ringed eye-ball thing kept screaming.
"CRIME TO ME!" It called over and over, seething in every direction. "ALSO TO ME!" They also appeared to be talking to themselves? "WAIT!? WHERE IS THE CRIME?" Kamiko didn't particularly like that "The Crime" was a proper noun used to describe her presence, but somehow without trying she had managed to thumb her nose at Eyeballs. An action out of her control. "THE CRIME IS GONE! CRIME!!" Kamiko smirked. The second "Crime" was definitely a new crime, the crime of her getting away. But, how did something with so many eyes manage to miss their slow moving escape?
"Ha!" Kamiko said turning to face the Ferrywoman. Behind her the oarswoman appeared as a tall statue aloof to the situation. Her arms and the lengthy oar pushing them forward. "Look at that Dumbo, I think we lost him."
"Do not be deceived child, the creature may sound simple-minded, but know, 'tis singularly minded."
Kamiko pursed her lips. She didn't like the idea of something so focused on her demise, but she was "the crime" and the way Eyeballs screamed bloody murder over her, she was the crime of the all eternity. "Good point," she mumbled as her eyes watched the lolling waves nudge at the sides of their slim craft. Oh they were moving forward, but the way waves slushed into them and the speed in which the Ferrywoman paddled, they might as well have been moving backwards. "Um," Kamiko began a new train of thought. "Have you ever thought of putting a motor on your boat? We could be going way faster." She didn't want to sound ungrateful for being given godhood and the guidance of a stranger, but in terms of escapes, this could be… going faster.
"My child," The Ferrywoman said. "...a calm demeanor and slow pace will reduce our scent to a thin vapor. When the creature sniffs beyond its own sweat and panic, we shall be but a cresting white wave upon the boundless sea."
Again with the poetics.
"Fair." Kamiko said trying her best to bite her tongue and not sound anymore ungrateful, because she was entirely grateful for this. She had literally no idea where she was or how this was all happening. She needed space to sort this all out for herself. "Can I help you row? Where are we going?" She fired her question off like bullets.
"You need not. This is my occupation alone. I shall take you somewhere safe, a place where the eyes cannot reach you."
"Cool, I guess beggars can't be choosers."
And with that they continued on in silence. Except for the dog farts. But each one produced ample light to guide their way. And Eyeballs screeching disappeared behind them.
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