I watched Pat and Ashwin walk away to the engine room. Peter walked away also, but said he’d be back after a word with the captain. I would have liked to join the boys and see the ins and outs, but I didn’t know much about the engines, and I knew they wouldn’t have let me down there unless I was useful. I wanted to find out where we were going, but I didn’t figure anyone would tell me if I asked.
Flint continued his work, as did Charlie. I followed along and moved my mop and bucket to the next spot I needed to clean, unsure if they wanted to talk about what they could do or not. Instead, I just listened to the propellers and the wings as we sailed off. I loved the sound, and felt at peace as I listened to it.
Charlie frightened me slightly whenever I spoke to him. He seemed like a great fighter, and for a small guy like me, that was a bit disheartening. He appeared nice enough though, and always smiled when he looked my way, which I suppose was good. I didn’t want to be making enemies on this ship, and besides, we were the same age.
Several members of the crew were hustling about on the ship, running around and completely their tasks. I moved my mop again, to see if I could listen in on the conversations of the crew members taking a break and sipping water.
“Where we head’d to now?” one of them asked, his long hair tied back in a ponytail.
“I dunno. Cap was talkin’ about heading to Silthia. We ain’t never been there.” This guy was big in the stomach and shoulders. His legs didn’t seem to fit his body.
My stomach dropped. Silthia. I knew exactly where that was, and my dad told me never to go there. Any sailor that went there, didn’t come back alive.
My mop handle fell to the ground and the two sailors looked at me. “What you looking at, boy?”
“You said we were headed to Silthia,” I said, unsure of how to speak to these men.
“Yea. What’s it to ya?” The big one said.
I wasn’t sure how to respond. I could feel my face turning red, and I was afraid they’d laugh at me if I told them why I was so shocked.
“Erm…haven’t you heard about how bad it is to go there? Sailors don’t come back when they go there. We…we shouldn’t…I mean, sorry sirs…we really shouldn’t go there.”
“You sure got a big head, boy. If it was that dang’rous don’t ya think the cap woulda picked a diff’rent place?” The big guy puffed out his shoulders.
I noticed the other two boys stopped mopping and looked at me in fear.
“I mean…sorry, sirs. I’ll get back to mopping. I just…sorry.”
The sound of Peter’s footsteps seemed to be a godsend, and I was ready to talk to him about what I could do when the sailor with a ponytail spoke for me.
“This boy thinks he can navigate the ship, sir. He don’t like the captain’s idea of going to Silthia, sir. He thinks he knows better.”
“That’s not true, sir, I-”
“What’s your name?” He narrowed his eyes at me.
“Isaac, sir. Isaac Lorraine. I didn’t mean-”
Peter put up a hand as if to stop me from speaking further. “Alright, you smarty pants, you’re gonna come with me. We’re gonna visit the captain.”