I soon got used to the rocking of the boat, the sea is where I belong after all. I climbed up to the highest point of the mast, my favourite spot and stared out at the endless stretch of ocean before me. The rest of the crew were working hundreds of feet below me, none of them looking up and noticing the figure perched on the highest point of the ship. I heard a flap of wings and a pair of claws digging through the fabric of my shirt and into my shoulder.
'Well hello your lordship,' I said, greeting my old friend Barty. 'How have you been since I last saw you.' He didn't reply, turning his beak away from me. 'I'm sorry I haven't said hello to you before, but I've been busy.' He kept his head away from me, indicating that my excuse wasn't god enough. 'Well if you're going to behave like that then I just won't talk to you.' I crossed my arms across my chest and looked the opposite way to Barty, taking the occasional sneak peek to see if he was looking at me.
'Hey Belleville!' A voice from below drew my attention away from the silent competition I was having with Barty and back down to the deck. 'You going to do any work sometime soon?' I gestured rudely down at Kelly, who was standing at the bottom of the mast staring up at me.
'I don't have time for this Barty, do you accept my apology and we can move on?' The parrot squawked his agreement and stayed sitting on my shoulder as I made my way elegantly down the mast. My boots hit the deck with a thud and I grinned up at Kelly. 'Happy now?' I swaggered off to find some work to do, smiling at the people I passed.
'Gwyn!' I felt someone grab my shoulders and use them to throw themselves onto my back. I spun round, trying to shake them off. 'Alright, I'll get down,' the voice said, letting go of my shoulders and dropping onto the deck beside me.
'One day you'll do that and I'll drop you,' I said, clapping Lily around the shoulder. 'Then you'll be sorry.'
'No I won't,' she said, sticking her tongue out at me and dancing off down the deck, grabbing my hand so I had to follow her. The men looked up and laughed as they saw us two women dancing around the ship, both laughing our heads off, hair flying as we spun round and round until we collapsed on the steps leading up to the quarterdeck.
'So how have you been?' I asked breathing heavily to try and catch my breath.
'Good,' Lily said, also gasping for breath. 'Had a good time on land, spent a lot of money and found some new men.' She winked at me at that. 'How about you? Any landlubbers take your fancy?'
'No,' I said matter-of-factly.
'Oh come on Gwyn! You've got to start living a bit more. You could have any man you wanted but you're sitting around doing nothing about it. Get out there girl or you'll find that one day the men don't follow you around any more and your chance has gone.' Lily was older than me, about twenty seven, although every year she turned twenty on her birthday. Her hair was the colour of pure gold, and she looked like a princess out of a fairy story. Unlike me, she didn't look like she belonged on this ship.
'I don't mind a bit of harmless flirting, maybe even a bit more, but that's it. Maybe if I knew the guy...' My eyes wandered around the members of the crew, not the best looking specimens of humanity, and not the best pirates in the world but all of them my friends.
'Anyone here catch your eye?' Lily sniggered.
'Yu know the capt'n would never allow that,' I said, looking down my nose at her. 'Besides, the only man I would consider is George Kelly, and we all know his reputation.'
'Maybe that's not a bad thing,' Lily said, standing up and smiling at me as she sauntered off. 'That's all I'm saying.'