26. In Plain Sight (Part 5)

The other members of the group gathered around, showering each other with flattering remarks, but then Firious demanded, “And how, exactly, is that supposed to help us ‘blend in,’ Missy?” The shadow cast upon his face by his hood caused his glower to look more menacing than usual. A hush fell upon the crowd, and a few grumbled that the first mate was being too finicky.

“No, Firious is right,” Hataru explained, “our costumes do stand out a bit, but no one here will think they are out of place because─”

“The guards are heading this way!” Cedric yelped with panic.

“Run!” Once again, Levi and Tarin became a synchronized team, guiding their crew away from the danger of capture. Pushing and shoving, they cut a path through the hoi polloi for the others to follow.

Levi began to dash across an adjacent street, but Tarin yanked him backwards, causing him to fall to the ground as a behemoth of a man in a cap’n’bells hat tromped past, blasting on the copper tuba he bore. Others followed the tuba-player, some wielding bows and violins, others carrying drums and harpsichords. Jovial music blared from the street, summoning the festival-goers to gather and enjoy the Marcelia Day parade.

Streamers rained from the sky as the pirate captain looked around at the band of escapees, “Now what?”

Hataru peered down the street, watching as a dozen men on stilts promenaded towards them, shadowed by troop of jugglers and─ “Levi, can you and your men dance?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Can you dance?”

“... a few jigs or two, I suppose. But what has that got to do with anything? What are you scheming?”

             With a sly smile and excitement in her eyes, she grabbed his hand, “Come dance with me!”

The End

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