Part the Two Hundred Eighty Ninth: A Moment with Abigail
The pain hit Hope in a short but very intense burst. The fact that it had the advantage of surprise made it hard for her to tell what its source was.
Her first thought was that she was hit by a shot from either the Casa or the fortress. The fact that the crew was still arguing Abigail’s point and not scattering from a near miss made her throw away that idea, and thankful that she had the luxury of careful consideration.
She tried to focus on the sensation, to tell where the most pain was in her and from that gather its source.
Quickly she was able to eliminate her head and her legs as the focal point. Whatever was troubling her, it wasn’t keeping her from walking or thinking.
There was some pain in her left shoulder, though not enough to be the main source of her troubles. Given a moment to consider it, it seemed to have been from being struck from the front…
…where she was cradling Abigail’s head…
Clarity hit her as the initial shock of the pain subsided, and she quickly found the source:
She found blood flowing from her right palm, where Abigail had dug her nails into it. The blood flowed with enough force that Abigail’s knuckles were red with rivulets that gushed between her fingers.
Hope’s gaze went from her hand to Abigail’s face, where their eyes locked.
The look they shared seemed to last as long as the entire voyage from the moment Hope was taken captive to the present. Every moment they had known each other was replayed in Hope’s head, some of them that she especially cherished repeated twice again in succession.
The moment she challenged Abigail about the Articles, and how she opened up about her going to sea with Edwin, she relived twice more over the three times she inhabited the instant. She sipped the moment like a fine claret before a warm fire, taking in Abigail’s story, every syllable of it in dainty sips.
She wanted to cry as she recalled the moment, all the moments, but found she could not, not while Abigail was staring at her. She could not look away from her captain, her mentor, her friend, not now.
Abigail gave her hand another squeeze, with enough pressure to force another spurt of blood to come forth.
And in the pain, there was a moment of clarity…
“Gentlemen!” she announced, getting their attention.
She propped Abigail against the mast as they turned their sights to her. Hope realized with surprise as she rose, in noting the positions of the crew, that the lengthy remembrance she had seemed to have not lasted more than a few seconds.
“I for one feel we must stop the Casa,” she continued. “And I believe I know how we’re going to do it…”
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