Evangeline and the Naiads

Dutifully he threw the sack with the remains of the ceremony off a high cliff into the sea
That it might be taken as a gift for safe passage
And the other boons they had done the work for
By the sea gods and naiads and dolphins
He strode off confidently
Returning to town he was followed by ravens
Always a sign that something heavy was going to go down
But that night was peaceful
The next day they sailed
Three days hence a carrier pigeon landed on the rail
Taking the unexpected message he wondered
Found at sea, no less
But it was not addressed to any on the ship
It was addressed to a certain general
The bird must have been blown off course and found the ship as the only safe harbor
They fed it and kept it
The message concerned preparation for war, in secret, on a neighbor to his homeland
They changed course immediately for there was nothing but goodwill between them
The cargo could wait
The warning could not
He was in good standing with the emir
He would be believed
Although he feared he might be drafted
It was an exciting prospect
But the cargo would have to be sold at cut rate in that region
To make room for men and weapons
And what to do with Evangeline, his lover, who was on board
That was a troubling prospect
Women did not belong on ships at war with men of unknown character
But she insisted on staying
Saying she would be safe if she bore arms
There was no changing her mind
She was trained with them
But still he worried
So he made up a poison of nicotine for her daggers
Hoping that would be enough to stop an ill intentioned man in a minute flat

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