Enchanted Stories: Adventure on the High Seas - Part Three
The days passed quickly and soon we were only three days away. I was excited when we got up that morning. The excitement quickly turned to worry. The sky looked ugly, but Garin assured me that it wasn't going to rain on us. Still, something felt wrong that day, the air was charged with an almost static tension. I wasn't alone, everyone seemed on edge.
It was about noon when things began to happen. I was looking over the aft rail of the ship when I saw a black speck on the horizon.
"Blue, what is that?" I asked.
Bluejay, who was standing by me, pulled out his telescope and said, "It's a ship. I can't tell what ship, but it looks scary. It is flying ragged black sails. It might be another pirate ship."
Suddenly Chloe rose up over the side of the ship, carrying Kanrik on her back. He was wearing a seaweed necklace like the one that had allowed Garin to breathe under water. I did not like this turn of events. I was an avid reader and knew the way books of this kind worked. I knew that this was about the point where there should be a twist, were the bad guys come out of the mist to throw some action into the story.
Hannah ran to him, calling, "Kanrik, what are you doing here? How did you even get here?"
"Good to see you too, Hannah," Kanrik said deprecatingly. "It is a strange and long story, but I'll be brief. I had a dream telling me that I had to go to Krawk Island to see you. Despite the fact that I thought it was nonsense, I went. By the time I actually got to Krawk Island you were gone. However, a Maraquan Aisha was there and she told me that she had a vision of disaster for you and that she was supposed to help me get to you before it happened. She gave me this necklace; I've spent the last few days clinging to a giant fish to make it here in time to help you. So, what is your disaster?"
"Everything has been going great; I think she must have been wrong," Hannah replied.
I then did the only thing I could in such a situation. I started to bang my head against a wall. They all watched me and asked if I knew something they didn't.
"Yeah, we've got a ship bearing down on us. It's probably Scarblade, we'll totally lose, I'm gonna get marooned, and Bluejay will probably get eaten."
"What?" Bluejay shrieked. "Why would I get eaten? Why am I always the one who is going to get eaten?"
"Calm down, Blue. You know that's her way with coping with irritating statistics. The odds probably aren't in our favor, though," Elise said.
The tactical part of my mind was already working, and I knew that the odds would be completely against us because this was a story. What we needed was a way to get Lilias' map off the ship. We were passing close to another small island. It was perfect, probably too perfect, which was why it was there. All part of the mystery writer's master script. Right now we had to adhere to it as best as possible to get the right outcome.
"Garin, from the distance that ship is from us now, would they see if someone left the ship by flying?" I asked.
"No, they wouldn't," Garin replied.
"All right, here's the plan," I said. "We need to get Lilias and her map off the ship now. Also, I would like the younger ones off the ship in case this does go bad. Princess, you'll have to take Inna. Chloe, Bluejay, and Yanli, you'll go with them. Go to that island and wait there. If everything goes well, Elise will come get you as soon as this is over. Chloe, don't argue, I want you to watch over them." I gave Lilias the map, which she had given to me for safekeeping. "Lilias, do not let your map leave your sight, do you understand? All of you, stay out of sight on the island, we don't want them spotting you."
"I understand," Lilias answered.
I handed Inna to Princess as the group gathered by the side of the ship to fly off. Inna cried and reached for me; she knew something was wrong. I just kept smiling at her as the group quickly flew off. I didn't have time to watch them go or worry. We had bigger concerns.
"So, Garin, you know the most about battles at sea. It's your turn. How do we best engage them?" I asked.
"We turn the ship around and fight them head on," Garin said.
The fact that I was a part of a fight between two ships at sea with a famous crew and Hannah and Kanrik was a high point of my life. Well, it was a few years later after I got over the trauma of the adventure itself. But, that is beside the point.
We met them halfway and quickly the roar of cannon fire filled the air. It was a deafening sound and chaos reigned. I could see the wicked Pirate Lupe barking out orders on his ship. I had been right about it being Scarblade. I could tell that things were not going well for my side. Scarblade was soon preparing to board. I grabbed Elise and pulled her away.
"Elise, if this goes bad, can you get Anita out of here?" I shouted.
"It'll be tight, but yeah, I can get her and make it to the island, she's light enough. I can only go if I'm unobserved, or else we'll only lead them the girls and Blue. I won't be able to tell you when I go," Elise yelled over the noise. Then a thought occurred to her. "But, what about you, Kristy? I can't leave you and I can't get you both off!"
"Yes you can. I'll be fine. Just get yourself and your sister out of here safely."
"I can't leave you!"
I cut her off. "Yes, you can. Let me worry about myself. You just take care of yourself and your siblings. Elise, listen to me, I can't take care of myself if I'm worrying about you and Anita. Go!"
That was the last I would see of Elise and Anita for a while. We lost, of course. No big surprise there, all part of the story. Soon we were rounded up and forced to surrender. They force us over onto their ship and tied us to the mast of their ship. Then they looted Garin's ship. Once they were done doing that, they just left it floating there, abandoned. No one seemed to think this was odd. It gave me hope, we were meant to get that ship back.
Captain Scarblade looked us over and had Garin, Hannah, and Kanrik removed from the group tied to the mast.
"I heard you were after great treasure, the greatest treasure in this part of the world. You will tell me where it is."
I mentally groaned in annoyance, replaying the events on Krawk Island in my head, wondering if we did something wrong back there or if Scarblade would have known no matter what we did. Probably the latter, had to add some action to what was otherwise a fairly dull story so far.
"Not happening, barnacle breath!" Hannah shouted.
Garin and Kanrik didn't even respond. Garin wouldn't give up that information and Kanrik didn't even know what we were looking for. Scarblade looked toward the mast again, his eyes settling on me. Not surprising, I was a human girl among thirty-some male Neopets. They had also confiscated a fairly expensive weapon from me. I was dragged out and dropped before him.
"You, you're a human of means; you are obviously the one leading this expedition. Where is the treasure?" he demanded.
I locked my jaw tight and stared him in the eye.
"Where is it?" he roared in my face.
"I'm not afraid of you," was all I said; it was only half a lie.
"Fine, keep your silence for now," he bellowed.
We four were tied together and left on deck while the others were moved below.
When there was no one near enough to us to overhear I asked, "What do we do?"
"We keep silent and look for a chance to escape and free the crew," Garin said.
So we kept silent and waited. Thus far, two parts of my prediction had come true. Now I only had one left, Bluejay getting eaten had so not been serious. I watched with a sinking heart as we sailed past the island where my pets were hiding. I hoped they would be okay there for a day or two.
We sailed for another day. The afternoon of the day after we were taken prisoner another island came into view. My heart sunk as they steered toward the island. I laughed hysterically as they set the plank out.
"She's been predicting that she would be marooned the entire trip," Hannah explained to Kanrik.
"Do you have psychic powers?" Kanrik asked.
"I wish. This time it was just a very good knowledge of the way this kind of adventure always turns out," I sighed.
"I didn't get marooned last time I had a run in with Scarblade." Garin told me.
"No, you got tossed into the ocean to die, but I'm not normally so lucky, Garin," I replied.
Scarblade came strutting out and he grinned malevolently at us.
"Well, who wants to tell me what I want to know."
"Depends on what you want to know," I said sarcastically. "I can tell you where a great barber is so you can get rid of that lame little goatee thing there."
He cut me away from the others and dragged me out onto the plank. Once again, I was regretting where my stupid mouth had left me. He walked to the end and held me up over the edge. I examined the fall and the distance to shore and decided I'd be fine.
"One last chance," he threatened.
"I'll take my chances," I answered.
He let go and I turned in my fall to dive, plunging deep into water. I kicked my way back to the surface, and then swam a safe distance from the ship to watch. They pushed Hannah out on the plank. She just jumped off without waiting for him to offer her a chance to speak. Kanrik and Garin followed and soon we were all on shore watching Scarblade sail off.
To be continued...