An Unexpected Course

Ship at Sea

Ominous clouds rolled overhead as a wave slammed into the side of the ship. “Oy, We’ve got lightning, Captain,” Naive shouted from the crow’s nest. Captain Grimsley pursed his lips before crossing the starboard side. He examined the skies for a moment then considered their next steps carefully. From the corner of his eye, a lanky fella approached him on the left.

“Captain, that’s not all. We’ve veered off course,” the first mate commented. He pointed at the charts and flashed the compass in Captain Grimsley’s general direction. “I venture that you have a reason to have lost us at sea, No Knees.” His voice was stern, yet not unusual in this situation. “I-I…” No Knees struggled to find an answer. He tried to remember the last hour and couldn’t think of a reason that they’d fallen so far from the original plan other than he’d lost himself in daydreaming. Captain Grimsley shook his head and took hold of the wheel. “Well don’t just stand there. Adjust the sails. Make yourself useful and out of sight. I should throw you overboard for your idiocy.”

No Knees drooped his shoulders but did as ordered, the rest of the crew falling in line. Captain Grimsley took stock of their predicament and considered their best outcome. Thunder cracked, causing the other pirates to shift uneasily aboard the ship.

His attention focused on the water below as pieces of another ship floated alongside them. “Gods of the sea, protect us in this insanity,” he muttered, not really believing in the power. He’d heard about the power it held for other crews though and hoped for the sake of everyone that it would work. The waves rose higher, tossing the Phantasm from side to side. “Hang in there, my pet,” he cooed. They’d need a lot more than the power from some almighty sea god for this storm. Their paths crossed with the hull of a third ship and Captain Grimsley rose an eyebrow. The damage done was not from a storm. Something had chewed right through the middle, leaving shattered wood and supplies behind.

“Alright, crew. Change of plans. Prepare the cannons.”

“Sir?” No Knees looked pale in complexion. “You’ve heard my order, first mate. Shall you disobey a second time in a day?” No Knees blushed and nodded. “Yes, Captain. As you wish.” Captain Grimsley rolled his eyes and released a sigh. “If only I had a crew with half a brain, we might survive the night.”

Captain Grimsley steered the Phantasm to the right and ordered for everyone to ready. As if on cue, the ship groaned as tentacles climbed the edges. “Here we go,” he muttered.

_ _ _

Hey all!

Thanks for reading this short excerpt. I’ve decided to share my work with you all after I host a prompt night on the Discord server I’m on. I plan to share something with you on Wednesdays and Fridays, if possible. I hope that you enjoyed this little nugget as much as I did. (: It isn’t very long, but who knows, maybe it’ll turn into a novel.

Until Next Time,
Shay

The Choice

Dear Diary,

Sometimes, I really hate telling the truth.
It’s not so much that I can’t. More no one wants to hear it. At least, not the way that I have to say it.

Today, I have to give a speech concerning my stance within the magical vs. non-magical realms and substances. If I tell the truth, there’s no going back. The other mages, wizards, and witches will want my head for leaking out important information of our kind and the ones listening may not even buy that I’m telling the truth in the first place.

Not to mention, my parents will kill me.

We’re supposed to keep this world secret, hidden from all who would desire what we have. There’s the covenant to consider, also. I’d be breaking about a hundred rules. I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do here.

And if I cave to what we’re supposed to do?
Behave how we’re naturally taught to react.

I give way for more criticism, allow for judgment to pass on my kind, and people will go on living without the actual knowledge of what lies behind the shield. We’ve done it for years, so why do I care so much? It’s not like my destiny is written in stone. This isn’t my burden to carry.

If I don’t, however…
Who will?

Sincerely,
Raine

~*~

Raine rolled onto her back searching the ceiling in her room for inspiration. There was no way she felt comfortable speaking about her kind, but the topic was assigned, and she was left with one choice. Part of her wished to be like the other kids. If she were, she could take the topic and go either way without any additional consequences.

But you’re not normal.

Raine released a sigh. Shaking her head, she answered herself with, “I know” before looking at the clock. She gathered her things then left for school, a knot forming in her belly. “Whatever happens, happens. Take it with a grain of salt. Or something like that.” Her eyes focused on the sidewalk lines as she passed them, allowing the loneliness to sink in. Before long, she arrived at school with more uneasiness than when she’d left the house.

“Raine!”

Raine glanced up and noticed Melanie, her best friend since second grade, running along the fence. “Hey, Mel.” She tried to hide her gloom as she smiled. “Hey yourself. You look like you’ve had zero sleep in like a week.” Melanie cocked her head and examined Raine’s expression. “What’s going on?”

“I-I don’t know,” Raine offered after a long pause. “I guess I’m not looking forward to this speech later.”

Melanie laughed. “Girl, you’ve got this. We’ve been debating since our mouths could move. Ask our parents. If anyone can argue a valid point, it’s you.” Raine knew she was right as they turned the corner onto Welsh St. “I don’t think that’s the problem,” Raine answered. “I think… I’m afraid I’ll tell the truth.”

Melanie’s eyes widened as she froze, her arm extending across Raine’s chest. “You can’t.” Raine took a step back, placing her hands on her hips. “Don’t you think I know that? But honestly, what choice do I have?” Their silence was interrupted by a boy on a red bicycle blazing past them. “You could choose to act like a normal person. Raine, what are you trying to do? Get kicked out of the coven? We’re hardly even in, to begin with.”

Raine kept walking. “And if I don’t, all of these people go on believing that magic is a myth. I make a mockery of the craft.” She shook her head. “I-I can’t. No, I won’t. I refuse to betray our heritage. The legacy.”

They were close to the school, reaching the edge of the parking lot. Melanie wrapped her hair in a ponytail. “Our elders put the shield in place for a reason. Maybe… Maybe it’s okay if the heritage and legacy only stay within the covens.” She offered a weak smile, but Raine couldn’t return it. “If I lie, I’ll hate myself.”

“And if you tell the truth, the coven will hate you.”

They were quiet the remainder of the way to the entrance. Raine chewed the bottom of her lip as they maneuvered through the other students to their lockers. Melanie squeezed Raine’s shoulder. “Just lie, okay?” She smiled one last time before veering off toward her first period.

Raine’s shoulders slumped. Isn’t honesty better?

The bell rang, and she headed to her class still unsure of what to do. Part of her wished she were still in her bed, under the covers. At least there, the weight of the world didn’t rest on her shoulders, and the fate of her position within the coven wasn’t left on the outcome of her speech.

~*~

Hey all!

As you may have already guessed, this is another blog challenge from Amanda. We were given three words: honesty, hate, bed. I wanted to take this another route, but Raine’s story really resonated with me in a way that may end up in a novel somewhere down the road. It may not be what everyone else came up with, but I can say that I am happy with how it turned out. I really hope you enjoyed the struggle she had in a way that I did and that it makes you wonder what will happen next. If it did, let me know in the comment section below. (:

As always, make sure to check out everyone else’s responses here, here {NSFW}, here {NSFW}, here and here.

Until Next Time, My Darlings,
Shay