“Wink for me, brother,” said Captain Jean Corbeau as he brought the tip of his hooked knife to Razo’s eye. Razo wanted to struggle, but he knew what Jean was doing, and struggling would only endanger his eye. Besides, he was tied to the main mast. He wasn’t going anywhere. He squeezed both eyes shut.
Slowly, agonizingly, the knife sunk just barely past the skin of Razo’s forehead and dragged down, like dividing wrapping paper. Blood pooled around the tip of the knife as it sliced cleanly through Razo’s eyebrow. Then, ever so carefully, Jean hovered the knife over Razo’s eyelid, still trailing downward with the droplet of blood, splitting his eyelashes but avoiding the eye, only to once again sink into flesh at the top of the cheek. After another inch downward, Jean stopped cutting and cleaned off his knife on the inner sleeve of his coat, which was stained with numerous dark stripes.
Razo couldn’t open his left eye–blood pooled there–but he could open his right, and he looked up in hatred at his brother, who returned Razo’s wink. The two of them now had matching scars.
“I think you’ll agree that this is only fair,” Jean said, fitting his knife into the hilt at his belt. “I’m not unreasonable. Especially after you left me to die when you quit a life of freedom to instead choose slavery to the Allies.”
“I quit a life of piracy,” said Razo. “And I chose the sky. It’s much more free than the pirate-infested seas.”
“Maybe back when you were captain of this ship. Now, the Revenant is mine, and your freedom is gone. All I need you to do is tell me where the chest is. The one you stole from me.”
Razo lowered his head, dribbling blood from his eyebrow onto the ship’s deck. He said nothing, of course. But even if he did, Jean was not a sky captain. He was a pirate of the sea. He only understood buried treasure. Sunken treasure.
He didn’t know how to find flying treasure.