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A Superstitious Seafarer's Tale


by rejenerated

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“Brace yerself, Nika! Tis sure to flood the deck!” a raspy voice screamed amidst a raging storm. He barely had time to get the words out of his mouth when a massive wave crashed against the port side of the ship, sending the cannonballs reeling about and flooding water into the cargo hold. Once they regained their bearings, the Admiral and his shipmate stumbled about the deck, tying down ropes and securing anything valuable they couldn’t afford to lose over the side.

     Despite the turbulence of the sea, the Admiral, a pirate Eyrie, had a calm look upon his face. He moved with ease from one task to the next, knowing exactly what needed to be done and doing it quickly from ages of practice. Though some would see him as too old to be manning a ship with only one other helping him, he conducted himself as though he were a gentleman of twenty-five. Many grey strands lined his long, dark beard and wrinkles crept into the corners of his face. His knuckles were gnarled with arthritis, but that didn’t seem to bother him as he tied off the cannons. As he finished tethering the mast, he looked to his shipmate, Nika, and bellowed as best as he could over the roar of the sea, “Now, ye see how yer voodoo sorcery angers the sea ‘erself!?”

     Unable to bite her tongue at the snide remark, Nika snapped back in her thick accent, “Weren’t ME dat be causin de sea t’ be cross! If anythin’, dat be yer doin’, ye greedy ol’ ting!” Still fuming, she turned back to her responsibilities while mumbling in obscure tongues. She was a Tyrannian Peophin and had a harsher, wilder look to her than that of the Admiral. Though he was older, she had more signs of having endured harsher times. A long scar ran from her ear to her chin and her hair was snarled and knotted. She was not, by any means, pretty to look at and there are very few who would call her a “lady”. That being the case, the Admiral felt at ease around her despite his superstitious belief regarding bad luck following women to sea.

     The storm raged on for days, pitching the ship about like a bath toy. The two sailors waited it out below deck where they could never fully manage to dry off or sleep considering the constant water rushing into the hold and the resultant need to bail it out.

     It was late at night when the storm suddenly stopped. An eerie stillness overtook the boat. A moment sooner, they had been flooded with water from yet another large wave. It poured in down the staircase, yet, now it wasn’t moving at all! It appeared as a waterfall would were it to suddenly freeze over. The Admiral stood paralyzed with superstitious fear while Nika curiously approached the staircase. She held out her hand and cautiously touched the glistening water. It was not frozen, but felt exactly as water should feel. She grinned in amusement as she turned toward the Admiral. Still in his fearful trance, she took her hand from the water and flung the water droplets in his direction. Suddenly realizing how cowardly he must look trembling in the corner, he approached the stairs in a huff, pushed Nika aside, and began to climb them, ignoring the water beneath his feet.

     On deck, a peculiar fog had overtaken the ship. The Admiral nearly froze in horror again were it not for Nika pushing him through the hold door. Scoffing at him for being pushed aside in his rush to climb on deck, Nika ventured out ahead into the mist. The Admiral, not wanting to be left by himself and unable to see Nika any longer, slowly moved forward, spinning nervously to make sure nothing was behind him as he went.

     Suddenly, the Admiral bumped into something, causing him to spring around with his sword drawn. Heart racing, he breathed a sigh of relief to discover that it was just the mast. He placed his sword back, looked around to make sure Nika hadn’t witnessed the ordeal, and then continued on. He chuckled to himself as he walked, which helped to relieve his anxiety since he was still a bit shaken up. He had finally settled his nerves and was feeling a bit better about the fog when he surprisingly collided into something else. As he turned around to see what he had hit this time, he heard an unexpectedly feminine voice pronounce, “Oh! Pardon me, sir!” Knowing that accent couldn’t possibly belong to Nika, he quickly sought for who had come to be aboard his ship.

     Squinting through the fog, the Admiral noticed a small figure blanketed by the mist. “Aye, who be ye there?” he questioned in a booming tone.

     A slight voice replied, “My name is Oiiv. Please forgive my intrusion, but it was not by my will that I came to be here. Fate, it seems, has decided that for me.” At her words, the fog lifted from the ship and the stars shone in a clear sky. The full moon’s light radiated upon the ship and Raioo and Oiiv were able to see each other for the first time.

     Absolute horror swept over Raioo until he was as white as a freshly bleached sail. He gawked in terror at undead creature before him - a zombie Aisha with the cracked smile and glazed eyes. A scream, the likes of which could have come from a school girl, echoed through the mist as Raioo fled for somewhere to hide. He disappeared into the Captain’s cabin, slamming the door behind him. Nika must’ve already found sanctuary there for shortly after his vanishing, Oiiv could hear the mumbling of two different voices behind the door.

     With a saddened look, Oiiv lifted her paw to study the disfigured corpse she had become. From what she remembered, she was stunning at one time with soft, peachy skin and auburn locks. She wore fancy gowns and elegant trinkets about her neck. Visions of waltzing, laughing, and delighting in quick-paced piano fortes brought back vivid memories of a past long behind her. Despite the dreariness of her current condition, the corners of her cracked lips rose into a curled smile and she chuckled slightly. ‘To think that I should scare such a rough and masculine pirate when I’ve never been able to scare so much as a snowbunny! How splendid to play tricks with no effort at all! I do not know how I came to be here nor why I am awakened, but I must say that this may be quite an interesting voyage...’ With that thought, Oiiv decided to make the best of the situation thrust upon her and stay aboard the ship, for she knew she would be given no trouble from its crew given their paranoia over her physical form.

     Though many ages have passed since that accursed night, and there is little sign of Oiiv's presence, it is claimed by many that she still remains onboard, haunting Admiral Raioo's ship to this day. Stories tell of a noble-looking lady in white, dancing around the deck on moonlit nights when the mist rolls in off the sea.

The End

 
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