The Princess and the Pirate Queen

A Fairytale

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Dedicated to my sister, who started it all,

To my best friend, without whom Amuine would have been Amy,

To my piano teacher, who taught me the importance of the final chords,

To my editor, who assured me that grins could not be heard,

And to my father, who bragged about it even before he knew what it was.

Thank you.

Once upon a time there was what there was…

And if nothing had happened, there would be nothing to tell.

PROLOGUE:

Once upon a time there was a pirate; a pirate who sailed the seven seas and captained the legendary ship, Pandora. Citizens and criminals alike shuddered at the mere mention of her name, so much so that it was taught to children as synonymous with the devil.

Her name was Amuine.

Amuine had long, red hair, bright green eyes, and freckles like spots of the sun spattered across her face. She always armed herself with a small, golden-hilted dagger with her wherever she went, and carried a sword and gun as well when she wasn't sleeping or bathing.

In spite of her high-ranking position, she was one of the youngest on the Pandora. This could potentially work to her benefit; if they were ever captured by the Navy ("Never!" Amuine would cry angrily), who would expect the captain to be a seventeen-year-old girl?

Of course, Amuine would never let herself be mistaken for a slave or cabin-girl; she would stand straight and proud and declare her rank in a ringing, indisputable voice. And then, somehow, she would turn everything around, capture the enemy sailors, and ransom them off to the Navy for a huge price. Doing the impossible and doing it well was just part of the job description.

Despite having been warned many times by her crew to stay under the deck and keep herself safe when there was danger, and despite having been laughed at for being a reckless female pirate, her crew knew that she would probably kill herself if she had to act like a proper young lady- And they wouldn't have it any other way. They all understood that an Amuine who wasn't daring, brave, and ridiculously spontaneous wasn't the Amuine who was- and for good reason- called 'The Pirate Queen'.

The Pirate Queen was ever ready for a merry dance across the ocean. Whether they were chasing or escaping didn't really matter—the devil-may-care captain made each chase a thrilling, new adventure.

Nobody could say for sure if it was the wind, the current, or pure fate that compelled Amuine to follow the British passenger ship known as the Sifreyah that clear, bright morning. But anyone could safely confirm that neither ship would ever be the same again…