Chapter Twenty-Four: Prelude to a Calamity
Tonight on the boat was particularly quieter than usual. The three of us were all in separate spaces and keeping to ourselves. I decided to stay in my room and read a random book that I picked from the bookshelf called Segregatorum Consuetio. It was a dramatic love story about two people, a young woman, who was a musician, and a young man, who was a sailor with a mental disorder. They were both madly in love with each other, yet to him and because of his illness, in his mind he thought that he was in another relationship. I got about halfway in the book and then decided to stop and cook dinner.
Tonight’s dinner wasn’t anything special, roasted chicken with potatoes and chard. However, there were no words said during the meal, no small talk or frivolous chitchat. The only sounds that permeated through the still dining area were the sounds of the waves softly massaging the edges of the boat and the faint feedback of the radiotelegraph in the living room. Parauvin was munching on his last bit of food and reading a global newspaper. Andrias, however, was staring blankly into space and slowly swirling his chard around his plate with a fork. I cleared my throat and then decided to speak to break the silence.
“So, how is the dinner?” I ask, my question being as awkward as the silence itself. Parauvin coughed and then sipped his coffee while Andrias continued to swirl the chard.
“Tis fine, Maris. I’s like the chicken.” Parauvin responded. I smiled.
“Thank you, Parauvin. Is everything alright, Andrias?”
“Swell.” He replied in monotone, still staring blankly. Standing up, Andrias quietly put down the fork and then walked off from his half-eaten plate. I looked at Parauvin with a confused countenance. He shrugged and then continued to sip his coffee.
“He’s just going through a few things ‘ternally. Give him some time, lass. ‘Dris will come around.” He said. I sighed and then got up from the table.
“I understand.” I said. I took our plates and washed them. After doing the dishes, I decided to go off to my room and practice a few spell with a small cup of water.
Initially, using the spell book was no simple task. Pronouncing some of the words was difficult being that they were in a different language. However, after I got the gist of casting three of the spells, I didn’t need to say the words. I just needed the write hand movements and to think of the spell’s name in order to cast it. After I decided that I was doing well enough with the spells, I decided to go out on the deck and get some fresh air.
There was something about the air tonight that wasn’t the same. The air was unnaturally thick with a blue-grey fog, and the sea was so calm that even the ships moving in it wouldn’t disturb it. The most peculiar thing, however, was the moon. Enshrouded by the fog, not only did the moon appear to be quite large, it also glowed with a ruddy tinge to it. As I looked at it, I began to feel a bit uncomfortable and chilly from the drastic drop in temperature. I went downstairs to get a light jacket and then returned to the deck. I walked over to the bow and looked out onto the water. I inwardly cringed a bit from discomfort, a discomfort that I couldn’t even describe. The gem began to glow an intense red colour, something that I’ve never seen before. I held it for a while to see if it would change colours, but to no avail. The gem stayed that colour. I slid down the walls of the bow and onto the deck floor, sitting and trying to figure out what the gem could possibly be telling me. After a few minutes, I was completely absorbed by my thoughts.