As you stretch the sleep from your body you don’t feel too many aches. Sitting up you straighten out your shirt and wonder why you’ve bound your breasts. You haven’t padded your waist though so there’s a slight dip to your hips. Looking around for a mirror you pout when you don’t see one. It’s probably best that way, given that your clothing looks dirty and crumpled.
Running your hands through your hair, you start again. Well if it’s cut short you must have been disguising yourself as a boy. You smile. It’s a good thing you haven’t fully blossomed into womanhood then, if you remember your family’s looks at all. Excitement creeps into your youthful veins. You’re a girl disguised as a boy, locked in a tower.
There really isn’t much to see in your cell, so you gingerly stand upon the cot. By raising yourself to your tippy toes, you can look through the barred window at your surroundings. A sigh escapes your lips. How did they ever know you wouldn’t be able to stand a cell without a harbor view?
The sun is rising and the docks are starting to come to life. You’re eyes flick over the three boats currently docked and at the men loading them. You suspect they are probably all muscled and perhaps have their shirts off by mid day. Oh, but that’s not a very boyish thought. You berate yourself. Trying to be a boy is hard and you wonder how you managed to do it before.
Still you are alone in the tower and looking won’t hurt, so your eyes move to the fourth boat. Here the cargo is being taken off the ship and then, barely visible on the horizon, a fifth boat catches your eye. Something about that boat which makes you squint to peer at it. The flag of origin, a white seal on a field of blue awakens memories inside you.
Turning you sit back down upon your bunk and review those memories. The first thing that comes to mind is that your name is Jordan. You were raised in Barrio, the land of ice and snow, far from this port. But why is the ship here? Has it come to take you home? Do you want to go home?
Your stomach growls, and a wave of homesickness washes over you. You’d never get this hungry if you were at home, where your every wish was granted. But to get home that means you need to board that ship, somehow. First, though, you need to get out of this cell and eat. Staring at the door opposite your cot you decide to...