Story of the Day: Pirates
A letter came to the keep that was to disturb the general peace of the morning. The particular correspondence was from Livanon, the direction to the commander, and the address from Captain Sarasa. It conveyed the odd and unexpected report of his brother’s harmonious marriage- as harmonious as two royals so complacent and uninformed could be with one another- and of Sarasa’s newest venture in pirating near the Gulf of Thellis.
“Pirating,” the commander fleered as she read the message aloud to Alasdair.
Alasdair wandered over from the kitchen table with his tea in his hand. He leaned over her shoulder to read the errant noble’s scrawl for himself. “Somehow, that profession suits him rather than Captain of the Cavalry.” Alasdair sipped his tea and raised his brow. “He certainly has the outfit for it.”
The commander simpered. “A red captain’s frock does not a pirate make, Alasdair.”
"I could be a pirate," Alasdair declared, lifting his chest and placing his free hand on his hip.
“Could you,” the commander said laughingly, remarking the king’s pristine appearance and noble air. “I daresay you could not.”
Alasdair gave her a bemused and injured look. “And why not? I would look dashing in a frock coat.”
“I believe your rather an admiral of a naval fleet than a captain of a pirate vessel, Alasdair. You have the powers of officiousness to recommend you for such a position but not the cruelty.”
He lifted his chin and said in a ton of false conceit, “I’m firm enough when I need to be.”
"And would you be able to rape, maim, and dismember your victims?"
Alasdair opened his mouth to speak and then paused to consider such horrific punishments. “Well,” he said, shifting in his place, “no.” He stared into his cup and sighed. “Sarasa is arrogant, but I don’t believe he would do those things either.”
“No, I daresay he would not do. He probably mentioned the word to make his patrol of the northern border seem more exhilarating than it actually is. It's all romance what people fathom of pirates. They believe they're all charming, remarkably clean, gleeful drunkards due to our representations of them, but if others understood what unwashed and unsavoury leeches such characters are, all their fanciful notions should become disgust.” The commander smiled at Alasdair’s wounded countenance. “I know all your happiness lies in the possession of a frock coat,” she said, patting his shoulder.
“Maybe,” he murmured, averting his eyes.
“I am certain that Carrigh should delight in making you one, Alasdair, unless your sudden offended looks have something to do with Dobhin’s accusation of you not being adventurous.”
Alasdair sighed and drank the remainder of his tea.
"You are adventurous, Alasdair, ever much more so than many in the world. One who leads armies, defends his kingdom and most importantly trains with a ruthless giant cannot be considered unadventurous in any respect.”
With such a pronouncement, Alasdair must be satisfied but he felt that the chief of his solace should arrive with the fashioning of a frock coat. He placed his tea cup upon the table and went to the tailor where Sir Pastaddams and Carrigh were in the midst of their morning hemming. He made his request for such an unusual garment to be made in his honour and his order was treated with chary looks from both his wife and his tailor.
“Are you sure, sire?” said Carrigh sweetly, attempting to screen her dislike of such a gaudy article with a gentle smile.
“Yes, I’m sure.”
Wary shrugs were exchanged, needles were put to work, and the frock coat was made. Carrigh employed a red velvet with golden trims so that if Alasdair should decide the coat too ridiculous for wearing beyond the walls of their private chambers, at the very least it could be donned as an evening robe to be hung carelessly over Alasdair’s reading chair as a well-tailored decoration or to be admired on his rack beside their bed as the same. The item was fitted and primped, and when it was declared finished, Alasdair threw it on and marched through the main hall with a triumphant gait. The swaying of the long tails, the shuffle of the wide cuffs, and the gleam of the gold-leaf lining excited him, but all his animation ceased when the Den Asaan entered from the training yard.
Rautu spied the strange ornament with a cautious eye. He could not resolve whether the glimmer of the large golden buttons or the sheen of the fabric affronted him more, and he therefore resigned to glaring at the king instead in hopes that a prolonged and discomfiting stare would compel him to remove the coat while in his presence.
Alasdair did his utmost not to shrink under the Den Asaan’s disapproving glower, and when he observed the commander approaching from the yard, he hastened toward her to gain her opinion. “Well?” he said, holding out his arms and displaying the glory of his frock. “What do you think of it?”
“It’s certainly well-made,” she said, hiding her half-smile behind a raised hand. “The tails are in line with your girlish hips.”
“Slender hips,” he corrected her.
“Now that you coat is made, we shall have to find you an eye patch. I’m certain my mate would help you to some facial scars and no doubt the hair weaver at the temple can mold your fringe into a few tendrils.”
Rautu expelled a dry and singular, “Heh,” which gave Alasdair considerable concern.
“A missing limb might do very well for you,” the commander added, perusing the king’s appendages. “Perhaps a hook for a hand or a wooden peg for a leg would secure the appearance. Of course you would need scurvy and horrid teeth to crown the realism of your captaincy.”
Halfway through the commander’s description, Alasdair had done. The romance and the grandeur of Sarasa’s new station in life was not one he should like for himself, and when he acknowledged his sentiment, he removed the coat and went to his chambers to place the frock on the back of his reading chair where it would remain until the cold evenings of the Frewyn winter should arrive and command him to wear it in the retreat of his quarters where he could pretend to be as vicious, unsavoury and unwholesome as he liked.