Boy oh boy it’s Wednesday again. At least today I KNEW it was Wednesday because I’ve bought a swanky new diary I actually use, rather than one that just sits on my desk being cumbersome. I think I might invest in one of those fancy planners next year, you know, the ones with the diary and the note book and the to do lists and the calendars all in one? No? No idea what I’m talking about? Just google it. You see, I currently have one swanky new week-to-a-page-with-notes-on-the-other-page diary, a general notebook, a writing notebook, a wall calendar, too many other notebooks, and a ‘To Do’ sticky note book I keep losing. I’m getting the feeling it would be easier if it was all in one. Also turns out I am definitely a paper organisation person rather than a phone organisation person. Can probably blame my school and its obsessive ‘organiser’ policy for that.
Anyway. None of this is particularly relevant.
The point is, it’s Wednesday and I’m here! I even managed to get some writing done today.
I know, I was also surprised.
The WIPpet today is in fact the entire paragraph I wrote today (which is how it corresponds to the date). Note: this also means it’s unedited. Like, seriously unedited. We’re with Andre today, and there is some swearing.
Sven was already waiting for him when Andre returned, his mind still flooded with images of Keema.
“Good evening?” Sven grinned through clenched teeth.
“You’re not supposed to be here yet. Go sleep or something for gods sakes.” He chuckled to himself as he approached his desk, passing Sven almost without acknowledging him. “You can give me your report tomorrow. And yes, now that you mention it. Very good evening.”
He could practically hear Sven tense behind him, but he decided to ignore it. He wasn’t in the mood for another lecture on the morality of their slave trade. “I said, tomorrow.”
“Andre.” Sven practically spat his name out. “It can’t wait.”
Rolling his eyes, Andre turned to face Sven. “Why? What’s so urgent that you let yourself into my private office to wait for me? What if I hadn’t come back tonight? Then what would you have done?”
Andre chuckled. “All night? Gods Sven, we need to find you someone to entertain yourself with. A nice girl, or perhaps a boy, if that’s more to your taste.” He laughed again as Sven flared his nostrils. “A joke, Sven, just a joke. Honestly, perhaps you need some wine more than you need to talk to me. You seem quite on edge.”
“Andre, it’s important.”
“Important? More important than wine? That I doubt very much.” He laughed again to himself, this time aware that Sven was not laughing with him, or even smiling. “Oh for the sake of the gods, what? You’d best spit it out I suppose. You look as though you’re about to burst. Although I warn you, if this isn’t important you’ll have to explain why you’ve ruined such a fine evening with your needless worry.”
Sven chewed the inside of his lip, his hands wringing together. “You should sit.”
“You shouldn’t tell me what to do.” Andre spat back, but he sat nonetheless. He knew Sven well enough to tell when his barely restrained panic was something more serious than his usual worry. For the first time all evening, he felt a sense of anxiety pang at him. “Did the deal not go as planned?”
Sven shook his head, his fists clenching and releasing as he paced. “The pirate was there. The deal took place. Our boat was lost.”
Andre threw his hand into the air, breaking into a smile. “I don’t care about a cursed boat, Sven. Is that all? Gods you really must worry less. We can get another boat. Now go, have some wine, find a woman, enjoy yourself. You’ve done well.”
“Andre, the pirate, he said something, about the meeting.”
Andre’s shoulders tensed and his grin disappeared. “Are you sure he wasn’t just trying to get us to change negotiators. Perhaps they were too good. If the deal went well, presumably the meeting did?”
“Not exactly?” He shot to his feet, his hands slamming against the flimsy wooden desk he had commandeered from the wreckage of some battle, he didn’t quite remember which one. Sven flinched in front of him, presumably shocked by how rapidly his mood had altered. “How did it not exactly go well?”
“I…he…” Sven stammered, and Andre clenched his jaw in impatience.
“Sven you did not barge in here to simply stutter and mumble.” He forced his expression to soften despite his anxiety. “Whatever it is, I’m sure it wasn’t your fault. I won’t punish you just for being the messenger. What happened?”
Sven gulped a particularly large breath of air. “A raid.”
Aware of Sven’s eyes on him, Andre sank into his chair. “Where?”
“The tavern. As the deal was finishing. Soldiers.”
Andre closed his eyes against the throbbing pain that had begun at the front of his temple. “And?”
He didn’t need to see Sven to know he was once again wringing his hands, nor that the news he was about to receive was more than bad. It was disastrous.
“The pirate isn’t sure who managed to get out.”
“Have we sent out scouts?”
Sven nodded. “As soon as I got back.”
“And?” Andre tried to keep his desperation from seeping into his voice, but he was certain he had failed. I mustn’t panic.
“No word yet. But Andre…”
His eyes snapped open to meet Sven’s.
“We should prepare for the worst.”
Andre tried to chuckle, to lighten the mood, but nothing came out. “The deal succeeded, our relations with the pirates aren’t threatened, it’s not that bad. After all, they’re just recruits.” He lowered his eyes to the table so he didn’t need to meet Sven’s. They both knew the truth. “I don’t want you to let this get out, Sven. But send word to Krasta and Solema. Tell them to meet me here at dawn. We need to start preparations, just in case…” He trailed off.
He shook his head. “No one is to disturb me until dawn. Get out.” He didn’t even bother to watch Sven leave before lowering his head into his hands. As soon as the door clicked shut however, he grasped the knife sitting next to his elbow and hurled it as hard as he could across the room. “Fuck!”