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Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Villainy of Hamlet, Part Two, (Cont'd), Ian Singleton

The moon winks soft upon the waves and sets
me into action. All is clear. I must
be cunning low as they. No family name
protects me now. There is no hope I shall
succeed, no passing crown. I am a man
deemed excommunicate and have naught but
my will to live.

I have by me a pen
and paper fine as that of royal ream
on which to copy every misused word
but yet to further compliment the bloody
English throne. I write it gentler than
an agent of the Danish swamp. Inside
my satchel is the royal seal. I stamp
the letter, roll it, tie the ribbon round,
then place it back against the heart of my
old cohort Rosencrantz. My friend, I pray
that they not dull the blade on thy thick neck,
“For there is much more cutting to be done,”
I say aloud. With this I stride upon
the deck to peer at the horizon raise
itself. The water has an ashen hue.

The light begins to dwindle at the edge.
I gawk. A black-sailed frigate scuds upon
us with no flag atop. I see no men
along the decks. The ship draws nearer and
I see the men poised ghostly still upon
the deck but for the pilot's touch along
the wheel. Then without words and weathered pale
they form from out the gauze of salty air.

They flank our ship and toss their lines aboard.

Our watchman sleeps atop. I witness as
a pirate clambers up to sever him
across the throat. Men disappear below
the deck and one approaches me, his blade
withdrawn. One needs a soul with which to fear,
methinks. I bow to him. He bows to me
and points his sword. “Tell'st who's aboard.”

“There was
a prince aboard. He perished. Goods you'll find
astern. The men won't fight. The gold is scant
amongst us. None need lose their life.”

The man
stood rigid at the spine and let his sword
relax. “Thou speak'st as though we were surmised.”
He draws the corner of his mouth into
the dreaded reaper's sneer.

“I wish you no
confusion, if that's your suspicion. I
have only late...come to understand.”

The thieves have taken me aboard their ship,
the Sperling. But I am no prisoner,
such as befits the calmness of my mind.
The captain's name is Jol. We both come from
the same part of the world, though he will not
return until he dies.

The two of us
have spoken deep into the night, divided
by the swinging lamplight on the deck.
I told the Captain all my life and still
unto my death. He dragged it out and told
me that such men as him foresee their ends
before they end. Such men as Captain Jol
will never shrive themselves before their foe.
For one day you will answer for the sin
that you have done. But you shall answer no

man, save the man who passed. You answer but
the One.

These two young eager sailors wish
to leave behind the villain's life and breath
invigorating air. They promised they
will take a message to Horatio:
'My villainy's complete. When thou shalt have
overlook'd this.....'

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