Skull and Shackles

Vaneet's Wormwood Journal

Entry 1

When I awoke I felt so cold and alone. More so than I could recall feeling in so many years. As I started to come to my senses, the world became more clear. The familiar sensation of waves felt through a large ship, the smell of treated wood and The taste of taggit oil.
I realized why I felt so alone. The bond I shared with Franceen was weak. She was being held elsewhere. Alive, but not happy.
The man who woke me and several others started to bark orders at us while we were still dazed and confused. Clearly it would be wise to comply with their wishes until I understood what was going on.
We were on a pirate ship called the Wormwood. They called us new crew and set us to compete amongst ourselves for their entertainment and to assess our skills. I danced for them and played along as best I could. Clearly they had done this all before. One wrong move and I would never see Franceen again.
After they had their fun with us, they assigned us our roles aboard the ship. I spoke up when they asked for a cook. Afterall I could catch, fillet and serve a fish better than most. And what better way to get on the good side of those who knew how this ship operates?
I spent the day working to feed the crew a decent meal of turtle meat. My thanks go out to the sea for such a fine bounty. Afterwards I went about the crew and did much to sway their attitudes towards me. Even so, it was clear that none of those I met would or likely could help me find Franceen.  All attempts I made for clarity were quickly dismissed.
In the evening, they made sport of killing a mad who had done wrong by them. They made him into chum after a violent and painful death. At least he didn’t go to waste; I used him to lure a large shark. And again I cast my thanks to the sea for providing what I needed most during what had become a set of unimaginable trials.
The shark did his job well. As his flesh was consumed by those of influence upon this vessel, so did their spirits rise. This was my chance. I asked if I could keep my pet with me in the kitchen as I worked. As it was a simple matter to them and they had more pressing thoughts on their minds – they agreed. And that was that.
At last, I had her back. Although only for a day, being separated from Franceen felt as though I had spent a lifetime lost at sea. With every step the men took as they hauled her cage into the kitchen … I could feel the weight crushing my soul melt away.
She behaved herself quite well as they let her out into her new home.
I assured her that we would be alright here. She could spend her time in the kirchen while I was out and I promised her we would fish and swim together whenever able. Here she would be safe and here we could eat our fill. This would not last forever and I reminded her that there was no reason to be inpatient.  She agreed to behave and settled herself into a vacant corner of the kitchen.
With this only being one day, a part of me dreaded what a week on this ship would bring. What of a month or year in this life? For those answers we would need to wait and see. And that is just what we shall do now that we’re together and that terrible coldness has gone away.

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Kasamaru

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