Waking up from my nap, I experienced a moment of disorientation. I had been dreaming about running, a man, no face, had been chasing me. The dream was fading fast, and as I sat up I was more disoriented by the feeling of movement beneath my feet. I jumped up and ran to the window, the ship was flying just under a layer of clouds, over the ocean. I had never seen such a wide expanse of blue, the sparkling waters blending into the sky surrounding the ship. I leaned out for a bit, letting my hair blow in the wind, until I heard a whistle. I looked around, one of the crew members was working below me on the outside of the ship. I flushed, I wasn't dressed! I ran back inside and closed my window and curtains, it was then that I noticed a bundle on the end of the bed, placed there while I slept. I went to it and picked it up shaking it out. It was a dress, and not just any dress, more like a gown. Made of silk the color of a forest and lined with hand stitched gold and silver embroidery, the skirt fell in heavy folds to the floor, showing off more embroidery. I pulled it on, doing my best to fasten the rows of buttons going up the back, when at last I had finished, I smoothed the skirt and looked in the mirror.
The dress was elegant, there was no other word for it, it was cut in a way that made me look taller, the neckline didn't go downward as in the more common fashion! it went out! towards my shoulders! showing off my neck more than my chest. It was far more pleasant and comfortable to wear, I thought.
I pulled my hair into a loose bun, and after another look at my finery, I went to the door, that was when I noticed the card on the floor.
"We can't have you run around in the same dress all the time, now can we?
Breakfast is at 8, follow your nose. J"
J, Jericho. He had thought to bring me a dress, that was kind, well, a bit more so, because this dress was more fit for a queen than for a upstart maid. Despite that I had no intention of taking it off and returning to my black one.
Confident in my new dress I strode down the hall, following my nose like the card had instructed. It led me well, I found the breakfast hall in no time, arriving before my companions. I walked up to the table where Jericho sat eating his own breakfast, he had three empty chairs next to him, I took one and began helping myself to the food spread on the table.
"Thank you for the dress, Captain" I said. Jericho gave me an approving look.
"It suits you," he said. I nodded in thanks and started eating, I was ravenous. It was then that I noticed the catcalls and hollers coming from the crews members, I looked up from my meal when I realized it was all for me, I grinned, I'd never been noticed in any way before, and considered myself quite plain in ordinary circumstances, this dress did wonders! When Eddy walked in the jeers got louder, but she somehow ignored them, standing straight and striding to our table.
Her dress was blue, cut in the same fashion as mine, with silver beading on the bodice as well as embroidery, it fit her station, and she looked amazing. Apparently Jericho thought so too. He stood up when she arrived at the table, and pulled out her chair for her. They exchanged some quick banter for a moment, I recognized a flicker of something in Eddy's eyes, something I'd never seen before. Eddy's eyes were laughing. I don't think Jericho realized just how big of an impact he made on her. I smiled, happy for her.
Jericho leaned back in his chair and spoke to both of us. “Now once we’ve all got a bit of food in our bellies we can talk more about where you all are headed.”
“Actually, I wanted to ask you a question, Jericho,” Eddy asked him, I looked at her sharply, she had a plan? “Have you heard of a place called Fyre?”
An odd look came over Jericho's face. What were they talking about? “I have. How has a lady of such esteem as you heard of this place?”
I“I read about it in my father’s journal once I cracked his code." Eddy squirmed uncomfortable. "It was circled in red ink on a few of the pages leading up to his death. I thought for a while that it was a name, but the last entry said ‘going to Fyre’ so I thought…maybe it’s a place…”
I was shocked, she had never mentioned anything like that to me! I reached over and grabbed Eddy's hand. "What are you saying Eddy?"
Eddy looked grim. “I’m saying, I think that’s where our men went the night we lost them.”
Our men, my father, my brother, her father too, but they had all come back, hadn't they? When I thought back I couldn't remember, when had my father vanished? I thought back to my fathers journal, the last page, written with the scratch of a pen that was almost out of ink.
Maybe it's in Fyre. I had looked over it, thinking it meant something else when all this time I had missed the vital clue to my fathers location! It wasn't the element of fire, it was a place! I knew I was turning pale, all the blood draining from my skin to make it translucent. It wasn't a pretty sight I knew, but I had to keep thinking this through.
Eddy looked at me in alarm, "Aster are you all right?" She had that bit of motherly concern in her voice. I hated when she used that on me. We were the same age! At least almost. I held up my hand.
"Where is Fyre?" I asked Jericho. He grimaced.
"Not a place you ladies want to go, it's an island off the coast of India, they do some crazy stuff out there, bizarre, they have strange temples and..." He trailed off uncomfortable. Eddy and I gazed at him, willing him silently to go on. He did, reluctantly. "Some say, they can, and often do, raise the dead." A hush fell over the table, impervious to the sound of the crew enjoying breakfast just a few feet away. Eddy nodded.
"That's where we need to go."
Jericho looked shocked, he bolted out of his chair. "Why in blazes would you want to go there!" The crew hushed, looking at their captain.
"My father and brother are there." I said quietly. "Or at least a clue to where they are, and..." I looked to Eddy.
"There's something's I need to know." She said simply. Jericho didn't look happy, but he didn't say anything else either. He looked out to his crew who were watching us all intensely.
"Let's get back to work, you bilge rats cans it around here all day!" With a laugh every crew member stood up, dumped their dishes in a slot along the side of the hall, and walked out to do their various jobs. Jericho looked to us. "Ladies, if you don't mind, you can stay as long as you wish, I have a ship to run," and he turned on his heel and left as well.
"He doesn't like the plan." I said. That startled a laugh out of Eddy.
"Are you sure?"