“Is this what years of frustration have done to you?  Couldn’t get the right career, could you?  Too many premature, budding thoughts desperate to emerge in your head, never quite being born and not enough words to express them.  What a shame!  That’s what happens to birds like you, all talk and shine, no substance.  I gave you the chance to get educated but you—”

“—I’m going to die” Mouton Blanc wails.

“—mirror, mirror,” Labaguette interrupts, “how complacent, Captain!  There’s a fine line between being born a pirate and wanting to be at the top of the rum trade, wishing your trusted advisor were a lawyer.”

”You’re with wings, made of feathers,” the Captain retorts.

“A bird of law.  You understood.”

“Being all talk won’t get us out of here now, will it?”

“Which part of my body will I have to let go off?” Mouton Blanc continues still sitting on his pad, wallowing in self-pity, “which will first melt under the blazing sun?”

“Get up and do something!” the Captain orders the creature with its red, swollen eyes expressing nothing but hopelessness.

Instead, Labaguette fetches the other pins, one by one and, letting go of them with a grin of satisfaction never seen before, and if the Captain is not mistaken, with a determination close to that of evil persistence and intent.

“A hero, I said,” Labaguette insists.

Mouton Blanc, leaning on the edge of his pad, looks down, leaning dangerously, as if he were considering jumping and flying to go after the pins and recover them.

“You can’t will them back,” the King says.”

To be continued…

(Happy New Year!)


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