The open sea unraveled itself like the most luxurious silken blue fabric. It’s waves rolled and tumbled, as if pulled and shaken out by unseen hands on the horizon. The moon reflected on the water like a radiant woven tapestry, one of brilliant silver string. Every breath I took in, I felt the curl of the sea in my chest. Filling me up and rolling through me like a wave itself. The wooden boards beneath my feet creaked and groaned with every sway, sounding like a chorus of desperate and unwavering spirits. I stood and stretched my arms above my head. Truly, there is no greater peace than this?
A lonely ocean feels more home to me than anything I had back on land. On land, a lady mustn’t wear trousers or cut her hair. She mustn’t slouch, or spit, or chortle. Smiling too wide may cause wrinkles. Laughing too loud will bring unwanted attention. Sleeping too little will cause violet rings under your eyes. Hoisting a banner high to wave proudly above a sail will cause a lady’s hands to blister and crack, but oh do I wear it better than I wore any bracelet or lace glove.
Now don’t get it crossed, I love a pretty lady just as much as the next lad. However, shouldn’t I be able to choose which path I walk? Should it truly matter which state I was born in? Why should my body decide my fate? If I were born a man, I could go anywhere or do anything. I wouldn’t have to live my adventures through the sons I might bare some day. I want to stake my claims to lands, board a dozen ships, and keep a name that’s truly mine. No Katilyn Levidis of the Western Moors, a name I’d barely keep until my parents wifed me off to a man they would choose for me.
The day I left the home that bore me, I abandoned that title to anyone who so desired it. I can’t bring myself to regret leaving. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my family. I adored my lovely mother, with her kind and caring visage. She was graced with many gifts, but her most valuable would live within her patient heart. My father was a good man. He cared and provided for his family, and never raised his hand in anger. My sister held a precious place with me, for she had carved her beautiful mark in its own tidy corner within my soul. She was everything I could never be. A graceful beauty, so perfectly filling the role we were born into. Promised to a man she loves, and looking forward to a future of children with him. Truly, I am happy for her as I hope she is for me. I hope she doesn’t miss me too terribly, and with all of my heart I pray she understands why I left.
“Kit! Are you going to continue to doddle, or are you going to actually get to work”, a gruff voice broke me from my thoughts, and I quickly turned around. I was rolling my eyes before I could stop myself.
“Truly the man who sailed us in the wrong direction for three days isn’t trying to give me orders”, my eyebrows knit together in annoyance. Such a pain, this oaf.
He mocked offense, and chucked a neatly wrapped package at me squarely missing my forehead. With an exasperated wave, he turned for his leave. “At least eat something, would you? I won’t be held responsible when you starve to death”.
Despite his crusted exterior, Elias was a good man and a loyal friend. Fresh out of his adolescence, his limbs seemed too long for the rest of him and his face too young for his height. One of the youngest on the crew and by far the tallest. He reminded me of the trees that grew by my home on land. The tall pale ones with great and skinny branches. I remember the first day I boarded this great heap of timber, Elias was the first one to speak to me. He didn’t stare or gossip as I walked by, or make hushed and degrading comments. When it came to the brute work, he was one of the few not afraid to rely on me. He didn’t treat me as frail or second class, to him I was an equal. I don’t know if I’ve ever thanked him for that. I suppose it’s a bit too late for that now; I wouldn’t want my gratitude going to that stubborn head of his.
“Are you sure that’s how you should be speaking to me”, I taunt, feigning disbelief.
“Aye, you may be the captain now, but to me you’ll always be that skinny lass who barely knew how to tie a knot or hold up a sword”, he grinned at me, his burnished copper eyes still round and youthful as they were only 4 years ago. His downy blonde hair sticking to the sweat of his brow as it raised to me.
“Ah, but let’s see you pick up that sword now. Or do we remember who knocked who on their arse the last time you ran your tongue?” I placed a flippant hand on the handle of the iron at my hip. My words were challenging, but there was a smile in them. Elias was the little brother I had always wanted.
He let out a bellowing laugh, and his palms raised in his defense. “Absolutely not, Kit. My ribs haven’t even healed from the last time you cracked them. Eat, and come below deck. You need to approve the next port.”
I nod and wave a dismissing hand above my head. I pick up the wrapped package that had previously been thrown and revealed it’s contents. A slice of cheese, half an orange, and a helping of bread coated in a citrusy sort of jam. The warmth from the bread and the sweet aroma of the fruit tinged my senses, and I ate quicker than I’d like to admit.
I stepped to the bow of the Wuthering Maid and gripped the railing once more. I let the ocean spray adorn my skin, rising my soul and my spirit from its tired state. My eyes surveyed the water, watching where the skies and the sea blended together. The sun was rising from beneath the waves as the moon took its leave behind the ship’s rear. It’s warmth heated the chill the crisp night air had left lingering on my shoulders. The light that began to spread glistened and gleamed like diamonds dancing in a flame. On the mornings I miss my family, this is where I find myself. Standing above the great waves, the sun growing beneath my feet, and my spirit but a feather on the ever changing winds.
You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.
Hi Aerin, really enjoyed this, your descriptions are poetic! Would love to read more of this - maybe fighting for some hidden plunder, or boarding an unwary vessel!
Hello, James! Truly, thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad you enjoyed my story. I will keep your comment in mind when moving forward with this heroine and her tale. Thank you for taking the time to write!
Yes, yes, yes! I need this story by candlelight on an old desk with a large mug of ale 🙏
Thank you so much! I appreciate you taking your time to comment. This was my first story so I was definitely nervous, but I’m happy people have seemed to enjoy it.
You amaze me everyday, Aerin ♥️
I love your writing style <3
Thank you, and thank you for commenting! I am so happy you enjoyed it.
This was really good 😳 I need this as a whole book 💯
Lol don’t get me tempted! I’ve been meaning to write a pirate tale 🥰