Chapter One: Foreign seas
I tried to open my eyes, but it was impossible. It was as if they were crusted shut. I tried to lift my arm but it felt awkward and heavy. When I finally managed to touch my eyelids all I felt was numbness. Using my fingers I ripped one eyelid open, ignoring the pain it caused. I had a feeling i'd just lost a few eyelashes. I blinked a few times before opening the other. My vision was blurry and my whole body hurt. I could tell there was a texture covering me, but my senses were too dulled to figure out what exactly it was. It looked like some kind of blanket. I sat up and with the help of my arms, hefted my legs over the edge of what I assume was a bed. I attempted to stand up but my legs gave way instantly. I ran my fingers over the ground. Feeling returning to my body enough that I could tell it was wooden floorboards. Floorboards? Those aren't on planes! My mind whirled out of control, imagining the worst. That the plane had crashed and was buried at the bottom of the ocean. Me being among the few survivors and my dad lying dead and frozen on the ocean bed. I reached out grasping hands and found another piece of furniture, a wardrobe I think. I leaned my body on it for support. And saw a small, wall mirror ahead of me. I blinked a few times to clear my vision and understood why my eyes couldn't open before. Small particles of ice glistened around my eyes. My skin looked a worrying shade of blue as did my lips. My violet eyes were ringed by red. I'd never looked so fragile. I was wearing the same jeans, T-shirt and hoodie I'd worn on the plane, though they didn't smell exactly pleasant anymore. I was in a small room. The only light radiating from an oil-lamp on a nearby desk. The floor beneath me felt unsteady, like it rocking back and forth. I saw a small round window at the head of the bed I'd just left and crawled to look out it. What I saw was crashing waves. That made sense I thought, crashed plane in the Bermuda triangle, I'd have to be rescued by a boat. Though the room still seemed a bit odd. Surely by now a helicopter would've arrived and dragged me to a hospital.
I heard a door open behind me and turned to see a tall women. She was wearing skin-tight, dark brown trousers with a few patches sewn onto them. Her shirt was a pale cream colour whereas her skin was dark and marred by a few scars. The one my eyes were drawn to instantly was one that ran from the left side of her forehead to halfway down her cheek. It stilled looked sore and fresh and her dark curly, tied-up hair was dripping, watery streaks gliding down her smooth coffee-coloured skin.
“Your awake. Good” She said with a relieved smile. I noticed she had a a small bowl in one hand. She walked into the room and sat beside me on the bed.
“We weren’t sure how long you'd been in the water when we saw you floating on the waves. We worried you'd never wake”.
“How long have I been asleep?” I asked, noticing that a strong spicy smell invaded the air, alongside a subtle sweet one.
“Three Days. Here, take this. It will help you to recover,” She said, handing me the bowl. I quickly realised this was source of the smells and gave her a questioning look.
“Ground cayenne mixed with milk and honey,” she said quickly - “It will help you to recover from your ordeal,” she added reassuringly. Her voice and soft brown eyes reminded me of the mother I never had. I noticed something else, those eyes were scanning my body. I hoped she was just checking I was okay, but her gaze kept flinting back to my eyes. I murmured a thanks, taking the small ceramic bowl and using my hair as a curtain, hiding my odd eye shade from her scrutiny.
“You shouldn't be ashamed. I imagine you have come across some who would proclaim you a demon. But I am not a fool. A powerful colour would not be given to just anyone.” I felt my eyebrow raise in confusion. Demon? What kind of talk was that? Besides, who was she to say things like that. It annoyed me.
“It's not really your business.” I said, instantly regretting the icy edge of my voice when hurt touched her face. I opened my mouth to apologise but she silenced me with a hand raise.
“Your right,” she said with a small nod. She stood up and opened the door.
“You should rest some more. We'll reach the Bevian shore shortly. Its your choice to depart the ship then. Or you can endure two more days of a swaying boat and travel with me, I always welcome company.” The door shut with a soft click and it was only after deep contemplation for a few seconds that I realised she had never told me her name, nor had I ever heard of a place called Bevian. I knew I couldn't sleep now, so with a frustrated sigh I stood up, on much steadier legs, guess the brew helped afterall. I walked into a corridor so thin my shoulders brushed either wall as a walked. A few doors lined either wall and a small set of stairs led me into the cool night air. One step creaked as I climbed but I didn't pay it any attention as I reached the deck. I was shocked by my surrounding. Okay so I don't go on many boats but I was pretty sure they didn't have huge sails and a wooden wheel on a raised platform anymore. My surroundings reminded me of something fromPirates of the Caribbean. Despite my overall confusion, I did take some comfort gazing over the edge of the boat into the deep luminous depths of the sea.
“Beautiful right?” I turned at the sound of the hushed tone. A tall, slightly intimidating guy was behind me. Befitting the strange style of clothing, he had a white linen shirt and simple brown leather trousers. He had long black hair tied up at the back and on his head sat what looked like a pirates hat. Jeesh, things were getting weirder and weirder today. At least it was a good distraction from the very real and scary possibility that my dad is dead.
“Don't worry, Gale paid your fare,” He said. Misunderstanding my expression, and fare? Why do I need to pay anything, I was a helpless person. Everything wasn't making sense. God, if I didn't know any better I'd say I was in a whole other world!
“Gale?” I asked, seeing he was waiting for some kind of response.
“The women who spotted you in the sea. She raised the alert and you were dragged on-board. She insisted on paying. Though even for someone of my sort I thought it a bit unseemly,” He explained. Gale must've been the lady from before I thought. I let my gaze wonder back to the sea. Wondering what I was supposed to do. Wasn't there some kind of protocol? Shouldn't someone be telling me about the crash by now? I mean it doesn't take that long to gather news and statistics...does it? I realised it was pointless rambling in my head and turned to face the guy.
“Can you tell me anything about the plane?” I asked and confusion marred his face.
“Yeah, You know. The plane that dive-bombed into the ocean and caused me to almost drown.” I said with raised eyebrows, a gesture he matched.
“I don't know what this “plane” is, but its gone now. And if it was why you almost drowned. I'm guessing that's a good thing.” Okay, I had to still be asleep. Thats the only reason any of this was happening.
“Jeeesh, where are we, wonderland?” I asked with a small laugh. But again he didn't understand.
“No, your floating on Xi'ana sea, the Bevian coast is a day away. The Captial of Amadore, Queli another two days. Where exactly did you think you were?” I had to stop my mouth from dropping open, or worst from shouting at him. This was a really cruel practical joke. Xi'ana? Bevian? Queli? Amadore?! None of it made sense.
“I thought I was flying over the Atlantic ocean in a plane.” I added emphasize to the last word - “An hour away from Florida, America at most. I fell asleep for five minutes and dreamt of what I guess was my own almost drowning and then wake up here,” I said. My jaw and fist clenched tight, something very unpleasant twisting in my stomach.
“I've never heard of a place called Florida-America. Just like I don't understand what a plane is.” He replied, his eyes shining the shade of green you only find in water hugging coastlines near the equator. “And I have grown up on this ship. There is no such thing as an Atlantic Ocean.”
I had to grip the side of the ship. I couldn't tell if the reason behind my wanting to throw up was having my whole entire world – or non-world should I say – turned upside down or because this was my first time on a boat, and apparently I get seasick. I could hear the guy barking orders to his men, I think he was asking for Gale. The thought left my mind though as a I noticed something worrying; very dark, very scary and very big clouds above out-of-control, unruly waves. The ship was heading straight into the array.