Organic synthesist by day, explorer of imaginary universes by night. His wizard’s robe used to be white, but multicoloured stains, rips and scorch marks changed that a long time ago. Scientific journals in his bag are crammed between tomes of magic. In a nutshell? An alchemist.
Also loves winter, eating until he can barely stand (sweets especially), laughing out loud and sizzling guitar solos.
The boy reaches the Sea King, stumbles and falls face first into the rotten cloth of the captain’s greatcoat. Lightning-fast, the dead man’s fingers dig into his throat and pull him up, while the seamen roar at his clumsiness.
“You always do, lad.”
The grip lets up, and the boy lunges forward.
“Nothing ever chan—” the King’s gurgle is cut off as a chain wraps around his skull. A cold dull blade slips its sheath and rests its tip against the base of the King’s jaw. It saws gently across the bone as the boy’s hand quivers with rage. The crew fall silent. They remain stunned for a second but then draw their weapons and slowly edge towards the captain and the captive.
“Now, boy, don’t be stupid,” says the King. “You’re surrou— ARGH!” the octopus shrinks violently as the captain’s own blade touches its pallid flesh. The crew step forward, brandishing their hooks and axes and chains, but they are unused to this.
“Men, stop! What do you want, boy?”
The chains rattle softly.
“No sailing with us this time? Really?”
The cutlass scrapes half an inch deeper into the skull, and the cephalopod’s arms start twitching in fear.
“All right, all right. You got me, good and proper.”
The manacles slap open and clutter to the deck. The boy steps away, the sword still in his hand. He stands motionless for a moment, half-expecting the chains to jump back to his limbs. And then he leaps up. He reaches the main sail and climbs it, all the way to the top of the mast. Like a bird taking off, he leaves the old rotten ship below.
“You’ll come back, lad!” yells the Sea King. “You’ll come back, and when you do, you’ll realize that I’ve been merciful before!”
But the only thing that answers him is a dull thud of the cutlass burying itself in the planks.
Finally, he moves away from the door and dives into the crowd on the dance floor. Read more...