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Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet No. 17 [MultiFormat]
eBook by Gavin J. Grant & Kelly Link

eBook Category: Fantasy/Mainstream
eBook Description: Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet is a twice-yearly zine of eclectic fiction and so on. Issue No. 17 includes John Brown's story "Bright Waters," which received an Honorable Mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: 19th Annual Collection (Ed. Datlow, Grant,

eBook Publisher: Small Beer Press, Published: 2005, 2005
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2009




"Tiny but celebrated."--The Washington Post "Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet never fails to hook me."--New Pages


The Pirate's True Love by Seana Graham

It was a fine spring morning as the pirate sat with his true love before sailing out to sea. She was wearing a long purple dress, and her cheeks were red with crying. The pirate held her hand and promised her jewels and fine clothes, but nothing helped. She would much rather have sat with the pirate till the end of time, and watched her purple dress turn to rags and then to dust than to have him sail off and find her the finest jewels in all the world. But she did not say this aloud, because she knew that the pirate would not want to sit holding her hand until the end of time, even if her dress did turn to dust. For the pirate's heart would always be with her, but his mind would be always on treasure. So, though she cried till her cheeks were red, she did not beg him to stay.

The pirate sailed away that spring morning and gave himself over to plundering and looting. He was good at his work, and lucky, and if that work involved a certain amount of anti-social behavior, well, it was what he was born to do. He was not a terribly analytical person, for he never stopped to ask himself why he needed to go around plundering and looting the high seas when all he'd ever really wanted was his ship and his men and the heart of his true love waiting back by the bay at home. Of course, he did have to pay somehow for the costly garments of satin and silk and lace he wore. True, these were not really necessary for plundering, but they did rather seem to go with the job.

After he left, the pirate's true love walked to the cliffs every day and looked out over the water. Sometimes, if she stood and stared long enough, she seemed to see the smoke of a great battle going on far out at sea. (Of course, her pirate love was by this time many leagues away, so this was either eyestrain or imagination.) And, after looking a great while, she would sigh and walk sadly back to her humble home. It might have helped pass the time if the pirate had left her some plunder to sort, or some loot to tidy, but the fact was gold and jewels had a way of slipping through pirate fingers like so much water. By the time the pirate sailed out on his next adventure, there was never much left but the pirate's mess to clean up, which she somehow could not find altogether romantic.

It was one day late in August when the pirate's true love turned from her lonely vigil on the cliffs, sighing because her humble home was now entirely too neat and tidy, now that the pirate's mess had long been cleared away--and realized that she was not alone. The truth was she never had been alone, but had just become too far-sighted to notice. But now--if she squinted--she could see that there were many other pirates' true loves standing on the cliff, sighing and straining their eyes over the all-too-empty waters. And she had to admit that, sad though it was, it was also just a little bit silly. After all, the pirates never came home before October. Now the pirate's true love--and let us call her May, since that was her name and we do not want to lose her in the anxious throng of other true loves there on the cliff--May could be a rather enterprising young woman when she saw the need, and right away she saw the need for a Pirate Women's Auxiliary. For there is such a thing as too much looking out over the water.

The Pirate Women's Auxiliary flourished quite handsomely for a while. For one thing, with organization, only one true love needed to go and stand anxious and brooding above the cliffs on behalf of all the rest, and though at first they would quarrel among themselves for their turns, after awhile they began to devote themselves to the group's new task--fundraising. For there was quite enough wealth in the town--after all those years of relieving pirates of their treasure--to support any number of bake sales and raffles and charity balls. (Though it is true that, during these latter events, the pirates' true loves would have to bravely blink back the tears as they thought of their bold buccaneers out looting and pillaging and not knowing what they were missing. And sadly but also truly, there was more than one pirate's true love who suddenly noticed that there were some not-too-shabby looking farmers and blacksmiths and shopkeepers around ... but that is not our story.)


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