A Bit of Kitling Mischief
Chapter 2: The Map says 'Go Here'
Location: Crow's Nest / Deck
Timeline: Day 4
When the ship had left port, Grey decided that she was the luckiest kitling anywhere. As the days progressed, she decided this was more and more true. All of the time with her fur blowing in the wind while she was up in the crow's nest really kept her spirits high, and her weather sense on top of its game. As being a lookout was actually totally new to her, she wasn't really sure what else she should be doing but looking out and keeping her whiskers ready to pick up a change in the weather at leagues out. She slept in the crow's nest, just in case something might change in the weather. She really didn't trust anyone else's whiskers when it came to that. She was the best. In fact, Grey really only left the crow's nest to eat and to use the necessary, which was a completely different experience on a flying ship, and not one she really especially wanted to think about, thank you very much.
After a few days, the novelty of being lookout started to wear off. There wasn't really too much to look out for right now, and the weather was even calm. This, of course, made Grey a very bored kitling, and that brought her back around to her favorite non-lookout pastime. She could see everything that was happening on the main deck of the ship from up here, and that meant she had all sorts of fantastic practical jokes prepared for just this sort of boredness. But which one to pull? Which person to pester? Surely not the Captain, that was far too bold for a first move of mischief chess. And the cannoneer just looked like he would climb the mast to get to her if she was to play some sort of prank with his cannons. None of that, then. Grey shook out her fur and stretched, thinking about just who the right target would be. That was when her sparkling green eyes caught sight of McGinty, the swabbie, scrubbing away at some mess that someone had made on the deck below the main mast, and muttering angrily to himself. Yes. That was it. Grey dug around in her pack that was full of her mischief making supplies, and pulled out a small cloth package filled with small scraps of confetti.
Old man McGinty wasn't paying attention to anything except the pool of dried blood that he was trying to scrub off the deck. That damned Far Eastern girl was determined to ruin his clean ship one way or another and her latest trick was to get shot and then bleed everywhere. How inconsiderate!
McGinty was especially determined to get the Steamhawke looking its best because the Captain had announced that they'd soon be making landfall. They were lucky to have such a dedicated lookout on board, certainly not somebody who would be creeping up on McGinty with only mischief on her mind.
Luckily, there wasn't only mischief on Grey's mind, but also mayhem. And behind wasn't her style, but above surely was. Grey climbed down the mast slightly clumsily, with one paw full of thin paper confetti. Once, when she was running from her siblings in festival season, she got covered in larger pieces of the confetti paper while her fur was wet, and they dissolved almost instantly, leaving her grey coat covered in brightly colored splotches. She just knew if she followed along above and behind McGinty that she could sprinkle the confettis all over the deck where he'd just swabbed and it would make the deck sparkle with bright colors. They didn't stain or anything, she was sure. They'd come right out of her coat when her mother bathed her, so they'd come right back up off the deck, too. But the look on the old swabbie's face would be priceless when he saw the bright colors following him!
Lost in the rhythm of swabbing back and forth, Chops McGinty didn't notice the cloud of confetti in the air behind him. The last of the blood was almost mopped up. In McGinty's experience blood was one of the hardest stains to clean, which is why he had mixed his own special cleaning material in with the water. The recipe was a secret, but it was cleaning the blood off a treat. The only side effect was that the deck behind him would be extremely sticky for an hour until it dried off in the sun. McGinty was sure to wave his mop threateningly at any pirate coming his way, because if anyone stepped too close their shoes would be stuck to the deck forever.
Eventually McGinty put his trusty mop back in his trusty bucket and turned around to admire a job well done.
Grey finished her handful of confetti, sad that she had only the one handful of festival confetti with the sparkles in it, but she was determined to get more, because this was most definitely her best bit of mischief ever. She looked back over where all of the confetti had fallen on the wet deck, and was so shocked she almost mewled and gave up the gambit. The confetti wasn't melting as it hit the water. It was.. well, she didn't know what it was actually doing, but it sure looked like it was sizzling, and some of it wasn't staying the same color it had been, because she never had any red or orange confetti, just the blues and greens that they made dragons out of. That water.. must not be just water. Or at least, not just water and soap. Or it was weird soap? Grey didn't know what it was, but she knew that something had gone horribly wrong, and she needed to get out of there and back up to her nest in a jiffy. As quietly as she could, she swung her way back up to her nest, and looked down upon the impending madness she had wrought, her tail twitching. At least it should still wash right off...
The old man's screams woke up every pirate catching forty winks below decks. The surface of the deck around the main mast had turned into a glittering rainbow, and the sunlight reflecting off the sparkling confetti was dazzling McGinty. "What in the blue blazes?" he cried, instinctively reaching for his mop and getting to work trying to wipe whatever it was off the deck. But straight away the mop was glued to the wood, and try as he might McGinty couldn't pull it loose. With a sharp crack Chops McGinty's wooden friend snapped in half, and the old man was sent spinning to the floor.
He landed on his back in the middle of the rainbow, and would be stuck there for quite some time.
Grey looked down out of the crow's nest at the swabbie, stuck amidst the sparkles, and laughed. This was marvelous! More mischief than she'd wanted to get into, but just the right kind.