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Tag Archives: The Key
Swim we did, through rolling seas until we finally reached the unwillingly abandoned ship. One by one we climbed aboard and fell, exhausted, to the deck. I wanted to remain, to rest as the adrenaline seeped from my body, but Gavin urged me forward. He led me below deck to a hold full of crates and barrels. I recognized the containers as the same kind we’d found inside the castle.
“Food!” I cried as I rushed toward the nearest crate.
Gavin joined me with a tool much like the one Taya had found before.
“Step back,” Gavin directed as he wedged the metal bar under the wooden slats which formed the lid.
I complied, wringing my hands in anticipation. Continue reading
The ship continued to roll with the heaving waves, but the rain began to slack off, as least enough to be able to see. Gavin pushed from below as I pulled with all my strength. One by one we drew the twelve other prisoners onto the saturated boards of the deck until only Gavin was left below. As I looked down at him, panic began to rise in my chest. I hadn’t thought past getting the prisoners out. I could not reach him, and even if I had been able to reach, I could not lift him.
The ship lurched as the anchor released its grip on the ocean floor and wind caught the sails. A few soft moans echoed in the shadows of my new prison, where I’d spent a full day and night since my capture. My stomach moved with the ship as my last thread of hope seemed to fade away with any signs of that familiar shore.
I placed my forehead on my knees and squeezed my eyes closed to stave off the tears that threatened to fall. The clank of a chain preceded a tentative touch on my shoulder. Continue reading
I spun on my heels and gaped at the imposing form of a large man looming above me. My eyes began to water from the strong mix of foul odors seeping from his skin. Before I could scramble away, a meaty hand reached out and caught a handful of my hair. With a sharp tug, he pulled me to my feet and breathed his sour breath into my face.
“Looks like it’s my lucky night.”
His free hand began to work its way under the hem of my clinging shirt. I struggled but was no match for the sailor’s grip.
The full moon cast a shimmering path across the sea and I stared at the gentle waves with longing in my heart. My hair hung in matted clumps, the salt-stiff weight pulled on my neck. My skin itched and cracked, begging for moisture, but I could not return home, not yet.
I crept from my hiding place amidst the shadows of the trees and stood in the open , scanning for any signs of movement. The soft lap of water on sand soothed my ragged nerves as I walked across the beach toward the ship which held the man in chains. Continue reading
It’s week six and the story is still going. It’s the longest one yet and I hope you’re still having fun. You can click the following links to re-read the previous chapters: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. Thanks for reading!
I couldn’t very well go marching in the front gate, naked and unannounced, so I crept along the seaward side of the castle. Moisture slicked my palms as I pressed against the stone walls, sliding slowly, trying to avoid the eyes of the guard making his rounds on the wall above.
The protruding curve of the opposite tower seemed a mile away, but I made it in a handful of minutes. When I rounded the corner I had a clear view of the distant harbor. A harbor full of immense floating vessels bobbing on the waves like sea birds in repose. Continue reading
Eager hands accepted our offerings as we returned home fueled by adrenaline and hope. No one asked any questions, they were too busy filling their mouths, and their empty stomachs, to care where the food came from. No one, that is, until we reached the heart of the reef.
Crates and barrels were stacked atop each other, covering nearly every inch of the hard-packed dirt floor. Stepping deeper into the room I let my fingers slide along the rough surface of what the land dwellers called wood.
My hand jerked away and I cried out as a sharp pain pierced one finger. Imalia moved closer with the light and I turned my hand over to find a sliver of wood embedded in my skin. A bright red bead of my own blood welled from the point of entry. With the nails of my opposite hand I extracted the splinter and set it carefully atop the offending crate lest one of us step on the sharp point later.
“What if they find out we’re mermaids? My brother said that they would torture us and never let us return to the water.” Imalia’s voice shook slightly as she spoke.
“That’s ridiculous,” I scoffed, hoping I sounded more confident than I felt. “How would they know? As long as they don’t see us getting in or out we’ll be fine.”
My friends contemplated this in silence as we sped through the dark ocean waters. Continue reading
Week two of our new Friday Fiction story! Here’s a link to Part 1 in case you missed it.
Dragging out the suspense as long as I could I lifted one finger at a time until the full length of a rusted old key became visible. My friends, Leilani, Imalia, and Taya oohed and aahed, then Leilani looked up at me with narrowed eyes.
“How do we know this came from the land? You could have found this anywhere.”
Imalia and Taya looked up at these words and searched my face for any hint of deception. Continue reading