A tune floated up from one of the buildings that lined the shore. The sea was dark and the clouds were bringing rain from the west. I stoop on the pier and wrapped my coat around me and stared at the clouds. They were ever changing and heavy with water and souls. Souls of those that had died at sea. Souls of those not worthy enough for heaven. Souls of sailors and pirates alike. The ocean had put them purely at the mercy of God. Everyone who ended up there was put to the test and their true personality was revealed. The British captains in the service of their king had fled from pirates who had just escaped from years in prison. And everyone had their stories.
I wanted to be one of them. However, I still needed to accept reality.
" Bianca, come and do your job. I'm not paying you for standing around!" These terrible words came from inside one of the small wooden buildings. It was an old, two-story inn called "The Hatchet". It was time for me to get back to work. I turned around and started to walk towards my prison of success. The further I went from the ocean, the louder the waves sounded. I took one last look at the emerald water, one last look at the grey clouds and ran back into the inn. Sure enough, Miss Selina was waiting for me, holding out an apron.
"Bianca, why do you waste your time staring at things? Talking to the sailors? Your parents sent you here for you to get educated about running an inn so you can take over your father's business, and that is what I'm trying to teach you! Why do you not listen to me? Do you really think that one day you will go to sea?" she scolded.
I tried to find the right words. I didn't want to anger her anymore, but she had to know the truth. "Well, maybe someday I want to maybe go on a passage with the navy but…."
"Never." She interrupted. "You will never join the navy, you will never be able to keep up with anyone on a ship. The ocean is an ugly place. Your place is here and I know it!"
Your place is here. Those horrible words echoed through my head. How could it be? Did Miss Selina really think that she was in charge of what I did with my life or who I talked to? She was a bitter old woman who bragged that she could "break anyone into work in a matter of a week". I was glad she was having a hard time with me. None of her magic oaths or concoctions entered my system. But breaking my dream was another thing. That could not go unpunished. As I washed dishes, cooked and cleaned I thought about how much better all this work would be on a ship. A ship going somewhere. A ship that could go to new exotic places and set the workers free on some dreamy island with palm trees and waterfalls. If that was the case, all my work would be worthwhile.
As I was scrubbing the floor I fell into sort of a rage. The dirt was flying off the wooden floor. Then I saw it fly onto someone's shoe. It was the shoe of Daniel Jackson. He looked down at me with a thoughtful expression, and turned back to the paper that he was writing. I apologized and moved to the other side of the room. I did not want to stay and bother him any longer. He has stayed at the inn for a week now and I only saw him interact with another being once before. It was the time that a sailor came and tried to get a glimpse of what he was writing. Daniel put down his pen and with a burst of force pinned the sailor, who was almost twice his size, to the wall. No one dared to approach him again.
The sun outside the window began to sink, turning the water a golden red color. I was at the window to watch this daily miracle until Miss Selina told me to get up to my room. I took one last look at the sunset and heavily walked up the stairs, making plans for my nightly escape from prison. The Hatchet was not built like a prison, in fact is was quite a lovely little place. There were sea shells adorning the walls and a large case filled with all different types of swords. These were what Miss Selina called the "dust catchers". She was the only thing that made The Hatchet feel like a prison.
I slipped away silently through the window and into the candle lit street. I passed the theaters, taverns and the shops. There was only one thing that I wanted. I walked straight to the beach and took my shoes off when I reached the sand. There was nothing more frightening than the ocean at night, but there was nothing better than it in the entire world. Anyone who had ever stood near the ocean at night could not help but wonder what terrible creatures live inside. No one could avoid imagining an octopus with his power to strangle or falling into the jaws of a shark.
"Out so late?"
The voice startled me. It was Daniel Jackson, wearing a long dark coat. What was he doing out so late?
"Mr. Jackson! Did you...." I did not know what to say. How did he find me?
"So you want to go to sea?" he asked. I nodded my head yes. " I have a ship. Perhaps I can work something out."
"Oh, would you?!" I did not know what to say or how to thank him.
"But we leave tonight. I hope that you do not have many things to pack. I know how much you want to leave. I saw you look at the sea today. Wonderful luck will come to my crew if you join us. You seem to be blessed. Once you actually set sail you will gain even more knowledge, dark and good. Meet me back here in a quarter hour." He smiled and walked away.
The situation was strange and I had no idea what I was getting into. This did not bother me at all. At that point I would take any way out of Miss Selinas' oppressive rule. I ran to the inn and slipped on the wooden floor. Then I heard footsteps.
"Bianca! What are you doing out this late! You will pay me with blood!" Miss Selina shouted.
At that moment a strong, salty wind flung open the door. I could see very clearly the wooden case with the swords and I ripped off the door with a single try. In a matter of seconds, Miss Selina lay in pieces on the floor and I was headed to the ocean that was gleaming like a dark gem.
A figurehead of a lion with greeted me as I was pulled into the warm glow of the ship. It was the first day of the rest of my life.