Slipping her moorings

She’d snuck down to listen to the sailors’ tales for as long as she could remember, even if it did risk a beating.

She’d learned patience from it. It had taken so much to fool her Ma into believing she was asleep, for she’d never leave, even when Da roared up from the taproom that there were customers waiting and she should get her lazy arse back down, right now… or else.

But Ma was long gone. Lost to the world one stormy winter’s night, while birthing what would have been her baby brother. She missed her Ma something fierce, and Daisy, her elder sis, who’d taken over their mother’s role in the tavern was much less bothered about whether she was truly asleep or not.

The sailors were a rough bunch, but they drank deeply and paid their dues, mostly, whcih kept her Da as happy as he ever got. But for her, it was the stories they told.

She ran away to sea at nine year’s old, dressed as a boy. The captain laughed heartily when she was found, weak and sick, in the corner of the hold. Then he put her to work.

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