Quiet Treasure
by Siryn

Every time he comes here he can feel the ghost of a hangman's noose around his neck. If they ever catch him again no one, not even the governor's daughter and son-in-law will be able to save him. But still, he comes.

He glides in during the dead of night and steals his way through the darkened streets to the house on the hill. It had to face the ocean, they both insisted on that. The path is steep and rocky, but he's traveled it so many times in the dark, his footing is sure. He often wonders if he would stumble in the daylight. Treading carefully, he avoids Elizabeth's flowers and makes his way around to the back.

The small shed is filled with tools and supplies. Will has an impressive array of swords on the walls, things he has made but didn't have the heart to sell. The centerpiece is a sword with a long, silver blade, the hilt inlaid with black pearl and a sparrow etched into it. A small handwritten tag bearing his name hangs on it. He takes it down and slices through the air experimentally, the hilt fitting his hand like a glove. He knows what it is, but always hangs it back up before he leaves. Gives him a reason to come back, he tells himself. Never know when a man will need a good sword.

He taps on the floor, trying to remember where the hollow spot is. It takes a minute but he finds it, jeweled fingers prying the board loose. The steel box is there and he opens it greedily, the pirate in him craving the treasure inside. There's four letters, two from each of them, tied with a wide black silk ribbon. He winds the ribbon around his wrist and slides the letters into his pocket. He'll read them later, when he's back on the Pearl. On the bottom, wrapped in cotton muslin is a square canvas. It's a place he remembers well. The island he was marooned on not once, but twice. The third time he went there it was voluntary. He closes his eyes and sees soft, golden limbs wrapped around him and feels rough hands sliding over him. Those were the best three days he ever spent on solid ground.

He fills the box back up; a length of red beaded silk, enough to make a dress that will scandalize polite society, a tin of rum soaked tobacco and rolling papers liberated from a wealthy Spaniard, and a letter in his wide, scrawling hand. Fitting the board back, he takes a last look at the sword before relocking the door behind him.

The moon is bright and when he passes the open windows he sees them. Sprawled across the sheets, her shift showing just enough skin and his arm draped over her, snoring softly. He wishes he could stay, wishes they would come with him. He touches the letters and knows this is enough. For now.


Silverlake: Authors / Mediums / Titles / Links / List / About / Updates / Silverlake Remix