Part Two: Secrets
Chapter Seven: A Way of Life
It's only been a few days but most of the turmoil occupying my mind seems to have faded. Okay, not really, I still have no clue how I got here or how to get back. But I at least understand more about this world. It's like ours in medieval times but where all the myths and legends are true. I was told the strange symbols covering the unexplored places on the map were demon territory. Places to be avoided at all costs.
I contemplated telling Gale about the demon who wanted to kill me, but the thought that for some reason anything is after me, scared me into silence. I felt s sigh leave my lips as all this circled round my head. It was only the sound of his insistent mewing that bought me out of my thoughts.
“Jeez, what are you whining about now,” I said, pulling myself from the bed to ruffle his fur. He gave me an annoyed look before righting his messy appearance. I stood up and caught site of myself in the mirror. I was wearing an old shirt that Grayson gave me, judging by the sunlight streaming through the small window, highlighting the speckles of dust floating in the air. I'd been lying awake thinking for a fair few hours. The mirror also showed the dark rings under my purple eyes, also the same colour as them in fact. Struggling to sleep seems to be the least of my problem though.
Another loud mew drew my attention away from my reflection which showed the epitome of untidy.
Hunter climbed onto the dresser, his soft paws barely making a sound as he did and poked his nose into the stem of light. Trying to attack the dust it seemed. I couldn't stop myself from laughing at how cute and silly he was being. I knew in the back of my mind that he was smart enough to know it was merely dust. But he for whatever reason was choosing to act ignorant to cheer me up.
Well at least I had one constant ally.
“Okay, another day in Amadore begins.” I told myself as I started to get changed. God I missed showers so much. My hair felt gross, my skin felt dirty. I needed to ask Gale how she kept herself looking so pretty all the time when there wasn't a bath in site on this ship.
On deck I could hear various voices shouting to one another, the sails were on display in their full glory, letting the strong wind guide the boat closer to shore. From this distance I could actually see the approaching coast, it was a thin line on the horizon, but it was one that promised. I'm not sure. Something I had yet to know.
“I see you finally decided to join those of us awake.” I turned around to meet Grayson, his voice sounded stern and serious as always but his childish grin counter-acted this, I guess he found my sleeping constantly amusing. Maybe the circles under my eyes weren't as obvious as I believed them to be.
“Thought it might be a good idea to leave that small room and cause some kind of trouble on deck,” I replied. Returning his smile. Since I was here I might as well make friends with these people, they were all I had in this crazy place.
“Ah, well as long as its not too messy I think we'll be able to handle it.” He said, crossing his arms and gazing out at the distant coastline.
“Not too long now, we'll properly have a party of sorts tonight, if you want to come that is. You do seem a bit worn out, are you ill at all?” He asked, concern touching his voice. So I guess it was noticeable, and I don't know why I'm shocked that Grayson is worried about me. I mean if I'm sick then so might his crew. Makes logical sense.
“I'm fine, just adapting.” I said. Grayson didn't comment on that last part. I think he couldn't decide if I was telling the truth about coming from another world or if I was insane.
“And sure, sounds like it could be fun,” I continued. forcing a big smile onto my face. Grayson gave a little head bow salute thing before heading up to talk to the pilot. I pushed a deep breath out and looked at the sea again. It's surface glistened brightly, but its depths were as always hidden to me. Grayson had told me that once we reach Queli I'll get to see clearer seas and any number of colourful fish. Gale also said I'd meet others like her. And that one of them would explain better than she could what had happened to me.
The part of me that made me lie in bed and wait to wake up in the real world is slowly fading. And just as Gale had ironically said I should, I'm starting to accept this as my new reality. I guess the plus is that I don't have to worry about settling into a new school and being stared at. It's weird that I feel more at home in this wacked out world than I ever did in the world I was born in. I felt Hunter brush again my feet, a little mischievous glint in his eye. I guess he managed to sneak into the kitchen and steal more fish then. I leaned again the boat and just kept watching the waves.
“Your out there somewhere, the being who controls the seas. And for some reason, you wish to steal me. I wish someone would tell me why.” I whispered it to myself and for a split second I swore I heard laughter touch the salty sea air around me. I had no clue if it was dark or light, I just knew it sent a shiver down my spine. Hunter had also frozen by my feet, his ears perked up slightly. I was somewhat reassured I wasn't losing my mind. And at the same time I panicked. If his domain was the sea, who was to say he couldn't still get me. What binding held him back?
Hunter mewed again my feet. And I pushed aside my endless thoughts to pick him up and find Gale. I needed to stop thinking about all the people that seem to be after. I need to especially keep the demi-god out of them, because I had a paranoid feeling he knew exactly what they were the instant I thought them.
Gale was busy rummaging through a huge footlocker when I knocked on her half open door. She looked up and smiled, tilting her head slightly to tell me to come in.
“Close the door behind you,” she said. Her voice sounded rushed and breathless. Then again it looked like everything in that locker weighed a ton, so it didn't surprise me.
“Here!” Gale yelled, placing fabric into my hands with a flourish. I raised a confused eyebrow at her before unfurling the material to find a dress. Okay, it was a pretty dress. It was pale blue and small silvery stones were embedded into the pointed sleeves and neckline. But I didn't do dresses. Not in my old world, and not in this one. I don't care how medieval they are. I refuse to wear a dress.
“Stop being so stubborn already,” Gale said, crossing her arms. I still found it slightly unsettling that she could read me so well. But then supposedly she can see auras like me, only with her I takes more effort and sometimes the colours are very pale so she isn't able to easily figure out exact feelings. Right now her aura was a mix of bright yellow and peachy pink, like it usually is whenever I'm around I've come to notice. She really does act like my mother in some senses. It's nice, but I have no clue how to react to it. I've never really had someone mother me once in my life.
“You will wear that, and-!” Gale trailed off, returning to the locker. When she stood up she had a silver hairpin, the design was that of eloquent curls tied into each other. The same silvery stones were placed randomly onto it that were found on the dress. With a groan I took it. Even I had to admit it was pretty. It also wasn't a huge and obnoxious thing. It was something that could in theory be quite subtle.
“Now your ready for tonight’s party, though...” She trailed off again, before taking part the hairpin. I heard her mutter a few strange words causing the air to take on an electric feel and for her aura to be stained with purple. She gave me back to me with a small smile.
“Never take it off, it'll offer protection,” She said. Her voice kind but serious. I hesitated before picking up one of the hair bands lying on the chest of drawers. I quickly pulled my hair up and inserted the clip into it. If there was one thing I'd learned by now. It was that magic was a real thing. And I quite possibly had some. Though I tried to avoid exploring that idea.