Saturdays votes were: 2A, 1C, 1ABC, and 1 AB. So, the A’s have it.
Two days into their journey, the seas turned rough, and Ace watched in shocked horror as a hoard of merpeople clung to the sides of the ship and started rocking it viciously. Everything she thought she new about mermaids was wrong. These creatures from the depths were neither beautiful nor kind, but rather they were ugly, barnacle-covered monsters.
The crew ran from hand to hand and struck it with whatever implements they could find. Tufts ordered all sails raised regardless of the approaching storm.
Once on deck, the merpeople wrecked havoc with the crew. One poor soul was ripped limb by limb as he tried to climb the rigging to safety. Smoke from pistols filled the air and clanging metal echoed on deck.
With Tufts at the helm, Ace did her best to defend her ship. Side glances at Eagen as he wielded a cutlass with masterful ease brought flashbacks of former unknown times. They had fought many battles together, that she was sure of.
“If we don’t get some help, we’ll all die,” Eagen yelled over the din of battle.
“But who could –“
Ace’s question was interrupted by a mighty roar of a conch shell behind her. It rang so loud, she covered her ears in pain.
“How dare you attack my father’s crew!”
Ace spun around to see who was speaking and was shocked to see a merman.
“Triton,” Eagen muttered under his breath.
The merpeople attacking the ship were more frightened of Triton then of anything or anyone else. Triton blew his conch again and the merpeople were attacked in the sea by dolphins, turtles, and everything else within a mile’s distance who heard their master’s call.
Without a word, Triton disappeared as the last merman fled with his life. All anyone could do was look at each other in confusion, help their wounded, and care for the dead. Ace lost three crewmen in a matter of minutes.
The seas were calm and they had a fair wind for the next six days. All were glad for the respite. Soon the sea was filled with all sorts of ships as they neared Yelta. The watchman in the crows nest kept an eye out for Matthews but everyone on board doubted he was still there.
Eagen insisted on staying on board while Ace and three men went into town to inquire about Matthews. He was fond of taverns and there was no shortage of those. Surely someone had seen him or heard him speak of where he was going next.
It wasn’t until dusk when Ace spotted the Horn Head Tavern sign swaying in the breeze. Something about the design drew her to it, and she was certain he would have been too.
Ace and her companions sat at a table near the back and watched — and listened. Talk of taxes, local strife, and sea life bored her to death, but it also reminded her of life in Glimmerton. Her thoughts turned to her old friends and what they were doing now. It seemed so long ago.
Her guard was down, and her companions were too drunk to register the danger they were in.
Everything happened in a blur. Screams, shuffling, and blinding pain replaced the false wall behind Ace and her companions. The last thing Ace saw was the tip of a cutlass stabbing through the front of her shirt and Matthews’ face inches away from hers as she fell on her dead crewmen. Her eyes fluttered and she lost consciousness.
Eagen’s worried voice, Tuft’s reassurances, and Hades’ laughter greeted her when her eyes opened again.
“Told you,” Hades said. “I know my dead.”
Ace winced in pain as Tufts applied a green slime to her wounds. She shook uncontrollably as Eagen wiped sweat from her brow.
“Thought I lost you again,” Eagen said.
Ace took a deep breath and tried to speak but nothing came out.
“Give her some time,” Tufts said.
Squawking gulls and song birds stirred Ace from a restless sleep. When she opened her eyes, she was laying on the warm grass in a large garden under the noonday sun.
Ace sat up and grabbed at her chest but felt no pain or even saw remnants of her wound. She looked around and breathed the sweet floral scent. “Am I dead?”
A harmonious chuckle responded. “No, young one. You are not dead. You are …”
Okay, readers, I am really trying to keep this under 750 words for each segment so that you can read it easily. I hope you are enjoying it. Since tomorrow’s letter is “N”, please choose from the following options and tell me where Ace is now:
A. “never far from my sight.”
B. “never better, now join us in the garden.”
C. “now under my protection.”