My heart pounded with frightened anticipation as Peter led me into the captain’s quarters. I couldn’t believe that I had opened my mouth. But I couldn’t have resisted. Silthia was where my father died. He went on a trip and never came back. His final letter to me said the words, We are stuck in Silthia, son. If this actually gets to you, I need you to remember never to go here. People don’t come back. I already lost some of my good friends. And I know I’m not far behind…After being missing for six total months, my mother and I knew he would never come back.
“Wait here,” Peter told me as the captain told him to enter.
I tried not to listen in to their conversation, seeing as that didn’t get me anywhere last time I did it. A few minutes later, Peter came out and told me that the captain would like to see me.
I cautiously opened the door, but Peter pushed me in. I took off my hat for the captain, as he turned around. He had a big burly beard and long hair under his captain’s hat. His attire was clean and polished and he looked mighty professional. He was a great deal bigger than me, although that wasn’t difficult to do.
He stuck out his hand for me to shake. “Captain Weatherford. And you are?”
I shook his hand nervously. “Isaac, sir. Isaac Lorraine.”
He didn’t let go of my hand. “Yer shakin’, Mr. Lorraine.”
I pulled away suddenly. “Sorry, sir.”
He laughed a hearty chuckle. His whole body moved as he did so. “Don’ worry so much, boy. Yer gonna give yerself the permanen’ shakes.”
“Sorry, sir, I mean…”
“So, Peter told me that you have a little problem with where we are headed to.” His tone became serious as he moseyed about the room.
“No, sir, I-”
“He said some lads were talkin’ ‘bout goin’ to Silthia. And you shot ‘em down pretty quick, I hear.”
“Well, I mean. Silthia’s dangerous, sir. My father…he went there…and he never came back.”
He looked at me more sincerely now. “Sorry to hear that, son. But I ain’t got any plans to go to Silthia. I know how dang’rous it is. I been sailing since I was a boy, ‘about yer age to be frank. I lost people there too.”
“Sorry, sir. I didn’t mean to assume. I just…they said-”
He patted me on the back. “It’s a’right, son. You got scared. Fear makes men fools. But we can’t let get to us here. When fear is ‘board this ship, there’s no tellin’ what could go wrong.”
I nodded, unsure of how to respond. He was a nice fellow, and it was an honor to meet him. I was glad that I didn’t get in trouble like I thought I would. My stomach growled slightly. All the hard work and anxiety was making me hungry.
“Sir,” I asked cautiously, “where are we going then?”
He laughed. “It’s a surprise. Now, go get back to work or whatever you were up to. Nice to meet you.”
“You too,” I replied as I made my way out the door. I hoped that there would be food when I got back to the deck.
I only saw Charlie and Flint there eating some food in the corner. My eyes fell to the table of food and I hurriedly grabbed a tray to join the other boys in the feast. There were slim pickings left over. I guessed most of the crew had already gotten their food. I put as much as I could fathom onto my tray and rushed over to join the other two boys and find out the whereabouts of our missing colleagues.