The sun set low on the horizon as we ran threw the sugar field. The sun was a tiny orange dot among the reds and yellows painted on the sky that drifted into periwinkle blue then to a deep rich and royal blue.
"Erin, Josef, get in here now!" A shrill screeching voice pierced threw the air. The birds grew silent with the crickets as my brother and I looked up towards our magnificent house.
"Oh Marcus, you must quickly finish the story!" I the tiniest of the three and also at the age of five whined still looking towards the house. " She won't yell loud, we can take it, you must finish, what happened to the sailor?" I gripped my dirt-covered dress.
Marcus looked to Josef, who danced on his spot eager to get home. "ERIN.JOSEF!" Another scream came but this time from a deeper voice with rage in it. "Tomorrow, I shall tell you." Marcus said standing up and bolting for a house just as splendid as ours on the hilltop. Josef grabbed my arm and dragged me towards home. We raced barefooted up the hill of large rocks. To arrive in front a plump man whose face was red with rage. Grabbing us by the collars he dragged us inside. His coat smelt rank with the sent of rum.
"You two." He started but was cut off before he could scold us by a tall slender lady who flew in to the front entrance like a hawk on its prey.
"Erin Pirica!" Her hands flew from her sides at the sight of my appearance, which was being covered in dirt from head to foot. She screamed, "What in heavens name happened? Anna-Maria! Anna-Maria! Child can you not go a day even two with out ruining a dress! Your father works so hard for you and your brother. You think you could show some respect what so ever." She screeched in my ear and was about to continue when dark skinned woman enter in. "Its about time! Take Erin and get her dressed appropriately." She shrieked once again and thrust me towards Anna-Maria's feet. It was hard not to flinch at all the screaming going on. Finally it was Father's turn to speak.
"Enough, Josef, I expected something like that from her," He puffed pointing at me. " But not from you. You know better than to go off in the dirt and when it's so close to dark. Now please, Anna-Maria take Erin and get her dress for our company, and Josef I can trust you will get your self cleaned up."
"Yes sir." Anna-Maria said helping me off the floor where I lay and up towards a great spiraling stair case that led to many rooms. Anna- Maria and I started up the staircase when she let out a gasp, she clutched her stomach. When she saw me looking at her she smiled lightly and grabbing the rail continued to climb.
Anna sat me down in front of a large mirror, and started to brush out the tangled knots of my dark chocolate curly hair.
"Oh my miss, you sure have gotten your self into a whole lots of trouble." She said struggling to get the brush out of my hair. " And not just with the mister and misses, but your hair!" She laughed quietly. I smiled at the reflection of her in the mirror.
Anna was so gentle; she was like my real mother in my eyes. Not like that witch that screamed at me for ruining my dresses. I might have been young but I was not blind or stupid. Mrs. Ravenous was a scoundrel, playing off my father's sorrows when Josef's mother and mine died. She seemed a sweet lady that understood us, our problems. After father remarried to her, her true devil came out. Nothing was good enough for her, not even I. You wonder why our father would have to remarry to such a whore like she. Our father is a large ship business owner with a fair amount of ships and a great sum of money and it is unheard of to have two children and not have a wife as a motherly figure. Josef often talks about our real mother; says ma and pa truly loved each other. But when I was born, mother died giving me life. Father has never truly gotten over it. He often says I look like her and remind him of her. But he rarely says sober enough long enough anymore.

Anna helped me into another tight fitting dress. When it was all done, I stood in front of the mirror. Anna smiled. I took my precious necklace off the cupboard beside me for Anna to put on me. It was a red ruby that had been cut in the shape of a teardrop. It had been my mothers.
"Perfect." I heard her whisper. Suddenly she let out a quiet cry of pain, and once again grabbed her stomach. I looked at her in horror. " Find Mercedes and Cherry."
I ran as fast as my legs could take me down to the kitchen. Mercedes was Anna's daughter, she was about my age, I had only met her a few times because I was forbidden to see her. Yes forbidden, because of Mrs. Ravenous thought is was disgusting to mingle with dark skinned people. Cherry was a chef in the kitchen.
I rammed my self threw the door. "Mercedes, Cherry!" I tried to scream but I could not take in any air. I kept frantically running around until I was finally stopped. I ran into Cherry's leg.
"Miss, is you alright?" Her accent was heavy and her English not so good.
Finally I was able to catch my breath. " Anna.hurt!"
"Find Mercedes!" She said as she ran up towards my room. I quickly went on my search again.
"Easy Anna," Cherry cooed as Mercedes and I burst threw into the room. Anna moaned holding her stomach. Mercedes rushed to her side.
"Momma." She barely whispered.
"Merc," She smiled, then whispered something in Mercedes ear.
"Of course. Momma." A silent tear rolled down her Merc' s cheek as Anna-Maria slowly passed away. Cherry though let out wails of tears.
That night before dinner Anna-Maria was buried under her favorite tree. The reason for her death was unknown.

"ERIN! Come down here this instant!" I hurried down the stairs trying not to trip, a man by the name of Mr. Smith and his wife and son where our company for dinner. We dinned on only the greatest of the foods. Mrs. Ravenous and Mrs. Smith connected very well. A little too well for my likings, they blabbered on and on. The spoiled, rude, boy named Keith was three years older than me and made friends quickly with Josef. I how ever stuck to watching the moonrise above the ocean. I did not want to be anywhere near these people. I could see Merc under the tree beside her mother's grave. I wanted to be beside her more than anything. It was like I had lost a second mother.
The chatter went on as I retreated to our balcony. The moon had risen a way above the sea and the stars had finally come out. I looked down to see the tiny fires spread out across the beach where people of all sorts laughed and drank. I only wished that I could be one of those free men and women to stay on the beach and not have to live within an encasement. As I sighed heavily as Father came out onto the balcony.
"Sure a beautiful night out, don't you say?"
"Yes, Father tis very beautiful." I sighed once again, cause truly it wasn't that beautiful. One of the closest people to me died and I was stuck in a cage with rules of all sorts.
"Mr. Smith has left now why don't you come back inside. We can read a book before you must retire." Father said with a smile. He knew I loved to read and wished I could do so.
"That would be just fine." I said with a fake smile. We headed to my favorite room, the library, where he picked out a story about pirates, named The Voyage. It had been my favorite for many years now. He thought at first it would scare me too much, but when I finally convinced him I had fallen in love with it. After an hour of reading, I had fallen asleep in his arms.

~5 years later ~

"Marcus! You never say such a thing again!" I shushed him.
"But tis true!" I blushed to a deep crimson red. He smiled at his victory.
"Erin!" Josef yelled from the house, "It's lunch."
"Marcus if you ever say such a lie again I will have to beat you up." I said as I started up to the house.
"But its true, I lo."
"MARCUS!" a thin lady appeared at the door to his house. Seeing the opportunity I ran to the house as he looked to his mother.

I ate my lunch in the dinning room but was not accompanied by my brother or father for some strange reason. After lunch I headed out to our stable, which my father had acquired. With only that 'finest' horses. On my way down I met up with Mercedes.
"Hey, Merc." I waved. We both being at the age of ten learned to ride horses that year. Merc and I had become close over the years. We both shared the same devastation. But she still treated me like her mistress, which I hated, we where both human beings of equal rights. As we grew closer though Merc taught me to read and write, as Anna had taught her. My father was totally unaware and oblivious to this though.
"Where will be going today, Miss?"
"Merc, if you call me miss one more time.I don't know what I will do.but it will be bad. And stop looking at the ground" I said with a smile.

We decided to head up to a look out point that was abandoned. We headed out at a quick pace. The Hawaiian island was beautiful just before winter. We headed up a steep hill to reach our destination. The birds flew around us and sang us their songs. It was not long before we had reached our destination. We dismounted and sat atop a large bolder that let us see down into the port below.
"You know what Marcus said to me today?" I finally started up a conversation.
"What would that be?" Merc said lying down on a rock so she could look up at the sky.
"He said, why is the navy here?"
"What?" Merc asked propping her self up on arm.
"No! I didn't mean that's not what he said." I tried to regain my train of thought but was lost in the large fleet of ships sailing into port. They had large white sails and the men wore blue with funny little white hats.
Merc looked down to follow my gaze. "They must be here for new recruits."
Everything clicked in my head now. Father and Josef not being at lunch, Josef's harshness towards me. He was going to be in the Navy.
"Come on Merc!" I didn't have time to explain. Merc followed behind me as I jumped on my horse and galloped down the hill. We came to the edge of the hill that led to another; from there we could see the men and boys heading down towards the docks. I quickly dug my heels into the horse's sides; there was no time to lose. I did not check if Merc still followed me, I was too determined to get to the docks. Josef could not leave at least not with out saying good-bye. We sped down Main Street in a full gallop. People on the road jumped to get out of the way. I could see his blonde hair and his navy coat that hung low and too wide for his shoulders.

" JOSEF!" I screamed. I could see him heave a sigh as I drew closer. He put down his bag as I dismounted and ran to him on the docks.
"Erin." He started but stopped him self. I could see he didn't know what to say so I said it for him.
"You're leaving for the navy. Why didn't you tell me?"
"Father didn't want me to tell you he thought you wouldn't be able to handle it." I didn't know what to say, I didn't want him to leave he was the only family I really had.
"Will you be back?" I finally managed to ask.
" I don't really know." I couldn't take it, maybe never seeing Josef again! In one leap I mounted my horse and galloped back threw town. But I didn't stop at our house. I pasted the house, the barn, the sugar fields; I didn't want to stop running. I wanted to run and hide from everyone.

I stood under a large tree upon a cliff that over looked the town and port. How could Josef leave, how could Father not want me to know? I had to many questions running through my head. I let out a long sigh as a patted the black horses neck. He nickered softly as buried my tear stained face in to his mane. I let a small smile escape my lips. Moving in front of him I stroked his nose. None of the horses in the stable had names yet so I decided to name him.
"Black .Tango.hum..Wind Chaser..Taz" A low whiny confirmed it. "Like that one?" Whipping my eyes for a last time I hopped on his back and started walking down the cliff.

~5 years later~

Josef did come back, every second month for at least one weeks stay. Marcus did not go into the Navy like Josef. He said his father wanted him to take over the family business, which was a blacksmith. When Josef did come back though he brought gifts for Mrs. Ravenous and Father. But for me he said he would teach me every thing he learned. So I learned to fight, but not just with the sword, but also man to man, and he taught me how to shoot with a gun and so on. On the day of my 15th birthday he brought me a small birthday present. It was a pair of ruby earrings to match my mother's necklace. He said the suit me well, and I look as beautiful as the setting sun. It was almost dinner so I headed up to my room to change in to better attire. Merc helped me change and helped me with doing my hair. I was ready to head down to dinner when a soft knock came on the door. Merc left as Josef enter my room with a box wrapped in a simple red ribbon. The asked me to sit down so we could talk before dinner.
" Erin, I've missed you so much." He started, looking at floor, " I don't know what to say, but I can see you have become a wonderful woman."
"Tis only because Mother has confined me to this .cage." I spat distastefully. "I am forced to learn to draw, sing and play the harp."
"Don't say such things! Mother has helped to expand, but let us not talk about her now, tis your birthday and you should be able to celebrate it, happily. I have brought you one other present." He smiled handing me the box. " Open it now."
I carefully untied the bow. My curiosity overcame me to carefully lift the lid away, so I threw it across the floor.
"Easy there." He laughed. In the box sat a black revolver. I looked questioningly to my brother.
" You have learnt well over the last while and I figured you deserved one, I know its not very lady like for women to carry them around, tis why I give it to you now and not in front of Mother and Father. Also you are not like any other lady and could handle it."
"Thank you Joe," I beamed " Tis better than any other present."
"But I don't suggest you use it freely, rather think of it as more of a decoration." He said as he got up to leave. "Don't use it for something you will regret though."
"Tis like a pirates rifle." I said quietly remembering my favorite book, The Voyage.
Josef started to smile but stopped, "It's nothing like a pirates rife, such life is forbidden. " And with out another word he left me to sit alone with the revolver in hand. Another knocking came at the room and a muffled, "Miss, time for dinner."
After yelling thank you I placed the pistol in my sock the wrapped it carefully in another piece of ripped material then started to the dinning room.

"Pirica you aren't serious are you!" Mrs. Ravenous' s shrieking voice came from behind the door where I stopped to listen.
"Lucy don't start this now." Father's voice pleaded "Its Erin's birthday."
"Don't Lucy, me! I don't care if it's that brat's birthday. If we are bankrupt we need to talk about it now!"
"Don't call her a brat!"
"Well she is, that adolescent isn't worth even a second look from another human. She is almost as bad as the slaves!"
"Enough!" Father's voice boomed, " She might not be perfect but you shall never call her such things again!"
I figured I had heard enough and it was time to make an appearance.
"Good Evening, Father.Mother."
"Ah Erin," Father greeted me with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. " Happy Birthday to you. Come, come and eat." Dinner was huge, four course and more. Father had, had the best of our food prepared. Josef joined us late in the meal but made sure he got a fair portion. The table was dress by candlelight the food none stop and the moon shinning in threw the windows. We ate in quiet for the beginning but conversation finally started when Father proposed a toast.
"To my wonderful daughter, who we all love and cherish, Erin." He said raising his cup, " May you live a wonderful life," I slowly started to drink. " And may you prosper with your husband to come."
"Husband?" Josef asked for me, as I started to choke on my drink. I coughed uncontrollably as my face turned red.
"What," I finally managed to cough. I could see Mrs. Ravenous' s smirk grow upon her lips.
Father looked at me confused.
"Did you not know of this?"
"NO!" I still coughed.
"Who is she promised too?" Josef spoke up for me.
Father looked to Mrs. Ravenous then back to me. He slowly sat down.
"Your mother has not told you I see. You have been promised to Mr. Smith's son. Keith I believe his name was." Mrs. Ravenous smirk grew even more. I knew she had planned this some how.
I looked down to the table studying my plate of food. " I think I'm going to be sick," I said quietly as I stood up from the table and headed to the door but before I left I turned around to look Mrs. Ravenous in the eye.
"You're not my mother, and never will be, you dirty whore." And with all my might I ran up stairs. I didn't know what to think. What did I do? Where will I go? I followed my feet, which led me to the library.
"Find her!" I could her my Father boom. I grabbed a bag and grabbed my favorite books. I was running away. I could here foot steppes coming. I locked the door and pushed a chair in front of it. I searched around franticly for a way out. The balcony. It over looked the barn and I could easily jump.
The door shook and people pounded on the door to get in. As I looked back my father and brother burst threw the door. " Good bye." I whispered and jumped down.
I could here them scream, and yell for everyone to get down to the barns. I had to get away fast time was running out. I raced towards the barn. I would take Taz down we would go somewhere, but where? Just before I ran into the barn a loud explosion came from the port.
"It's a pirate ship!" I heard a servant scream from the sugar fields. It was my chance to get out. Quickly I ask someone who hadn't heard of my run away to saddle Taz, though I called him the black horse.
"But my lady, its sure getting dark out and some one has spotted a pirate ship." He said as I mounted Taz.
"Good." I said shortly and galloped out of the barn. We raced into the woods. I set out for the highest cliff I could find. I didn't know what I was going to do, but all I was sure of was that I was going to leave to somewhere.Forbidden. I finally reached the highest cliff we could reach. I could see down into the port. Where a ship with black sails floated. I hadn't paid much attention at first but then I noticed the black sail that flew above it. On it was sewn a skull will two long swords crossed behind the skull. Little crafts sailed onto the shore. I could see tiny figures racing towards the inner city, and then loud shots being fired. Screams and shrieks rang out. I could see one of the buildings start on fire. I looked over to my house and Marcus's where there was a terrible cry then fire billowing up from Marcus's home. My mind raced furiously, where was Marcus? The next house to go up into flames was our neighbor's meaning mine would be next. I had to get down there. I didn't care what Father would say. Jumping back on Taz we dashed down to Marcus's home. As I entered back into town it was hard not to run into people. Men ran around firing off their pistols. Women and children screamed furiously. I tried desperately to find Marcus. Taz danced illogically and afraid. That's when I saw him running from his house. His mother was right at his side.
"Marcus!" I screamed when a heavy man grabbed his coat and dragged him to the ground. I raced over to beside him. As the man looked up I kicked him backwards with my foot. I leaned down trying to grasp Marcus's hand. I reached down as he reached up half standing. The tips of my fingers reached to a gold ring he wore. "Marcus." I cried leaning down further.
"Arge!" A short man screamed whipping Taz's hindquarters causing him to rear just as I reached Marcus's hand. His hand grasped my necklace and I clasped his ring. With another whip Taz took off, I with Marcus's ring and he with my necklace. I could hear him as turned around.
"I lov." But was cut off with a blow to the head. Taz ran towards the house when another horse came cantering down the road. On its back was Merc. We stopped in the middle of the road still trying to keep our horses still.

"I have to leave!" I yelled.
"I will come with you!"
" No, I have no idea where I'm going I cant ruin your life."
She laughed a humorless laugh, "Ruin my life, you think I like being a slave? I'm coming with you and it's final." I could see from the determination in her voice I had no choice.
" You family is busy with the pirates, we can sneak in and steal what we need." Merc yelled as we raced back up to the house.
Leaving the horses in front of the barn incase of a quick get away, we slipped in the back way. The first stop was at my room where we gathered only a few dresses, and necessities. Then headed towards my brothers. From his room we grab his clothes and weapons, two more pistols and some cutlasses. I guessed he had taken them from a pirate. We quickly grabbed food from the kitchen and headed out again.
Running down Main Street, we needed to pick a destination. We decided to hide out at a small town only a few miles away from home. We would stay with Merc' s family until we could figure out a better plan. We followed the beach to the town, called Kiamana. Its translated meaning is diamond. We rode threw town up to a small house at the top of the highest hill.
"Gandma!" Merc called up to the house as we unsaddled the horses.
"Mia, Mia, Eia no au nei." A quiet voice yelled from inside the house. Leaving our packs in the tiny barn we headed into the small hut. A petite woman stood stirring a pot of an open fire while a just as equally small man rummaged through the back of the hut. When the woman saw Merc her face little up into a great smile.
"Mercedes!" She yelled giving Merc a large hug. The two exchanged a few quick words then Merc introduced me to her grandmother and grandfather. Her grandmother gave me a hug to then motioned for us to sit. "Aue Ka nani" She said looking at my hair.
I gave Merc a questioning look.
"She says your hair is beautiful" I blushed slightly. I was not used to getting compliments. Merc's father tended to the small fire, in the middle of the hut. Merc and her grandmother quickly started into conversation as Merc's grandfather left to get more wood.
Merc explain what had happened home and why we ran away. After she finished we sat in an awkward silence, as Merc and her grandmother sat contemplating.
"What do you have?" Merc's grandmother finally asked Merc. Merc looked at me then our bags.
" Women's clothes, men's clothes, and some weapons. Some pistols and cutlasses" She replied.
"That's good" Her grandmother replied looking around the room. She shuffled over to a small pot where she pulled it off the shelf and handed it to me. I opened the lid slowly. In side was money. Not much, but a fair amount. It was noticeable that it had been saved. I looked at the petite woman, then back at the pot.
"Oh no I cant take it" I tried to hand it back.
"NO!" she refused, "You need for travel, saved for special reason, now special enough."
I looked at Merc questioningly. She slowly nodded in agreement with her grandmother.
"You two take boat away!" Merc's mother pointed at us then the sea.

"That could work!" Merc jumped up. " We will dress as men and sneak on the next ship that comes in to port! And live with them!" Her eyes danced with excitement.
" Yes!" I joined in to her excitement. It wasn't for a week that another boat came into the harbor, and for our luck it was a pirate ship. It seemed they had a trade happening with the few islanders who lived there. We talked to the captain, as men of course, if we could join his crew.

"Well young lads! I think we would be delighted to have you aboard the Misery! I look forward to seeing you here tomorrow morning with your stuff." The captain tipped his hat and walked back towards the pier. Once we were out of sight we let out a high pitch giggles. Tis going to be quiet an adventure.