A/N: Yay! It's me again with a new story!... I know I have other stories I should be writing but... please don't kill me alright? ^_^*
Well, this idea has been on my mind for a while already and I have most of it written and/or planned on my computer so I thought, yeah, why not publish it? Marco doesn't get half the attention he should anyway! Honestly it's silly, with much randomness and highly unlikely situations, but hopefully you'll enjoy reading it just as much as I do when writing~
I'll update it every week on Friday, I know it may seem slow, but for me it's a lot already... And it's the fastest I can do while at the same time meeting my standards for the quality of the writing and plot. I thank you in advance for your patience!
Lastly, since I'm not a native English speaker, I hope you'll forgive me for all the mistakes in the text. I do my best and re-read each of my chapters ten times at least but some always manage to somehow escape my notice... Not to mention that my English is far from being perfect yet so don't hesitate to point out any of them, it'll be greatly appreciated!
Disclaimer: (it'll stand for the whole story) I, of course, do not own One Piece and for this particular chapter I do not own the Happy Song: all credits respectively to Oda-sensei and Kate Micucci.
And without further delay, the first chapter!
This diary is my very first diary.
I know that it can sound weird considering that I am already nineteen year old. But contrarily to most girls, as a child and then a teenager, I've never felt the need to write a diary. Why, would you ask? Well, the first reason would be that I was never much interested in the main subject of any good diary: boys.
No, that came out wrong. I am interested in boys—in men now, considering my age—of course! But, let's just say that during the first of my teenage years, I had much more important things to worry about (family problems, we all had some of those). Then I buried myself in some obscure studies that I'd better not write about in a diary, thinking I could still take care of my sentimental life later. Which gives way to my second reason for never writing a diary before: I simply didn't have the time.
So why start a diary now? Well, that, also, is quite simple actually: I have all the time in the world and it's pretty much the only thing I can do to distract myself from my impending death. But maybe I should explain from the beginning…
My name is Kim Grey. I'm a native of Flowa Island, a very small chunk of rock lost in the middle of the Grand Line where I've spent my whole life. I've been brought up partly by my father, former scientist who took care of my academical education, but mostly by his two parents, Gramps and Granny, who preferred teaching me other, less traditional stuff (like poker for example). My father died when I was twelve and I kept on living with my two loony grandparents until they died themselves about three months ago. After that, I spent the next couple of months closed up in my room, wallowing in self-pity, until I realized I had something much more important to do with my life: keep the promise I had made to my father to one day follow in his footsteps and achieve his dream. So I packed my things up, sold all the rest and one week later, I sailed out and never looked back.
That was three days ago.
Now, I'm still in my boat, somewhere on the Grand Line, but where exactly? I'll be damned if I know.
I'd thought that reading books about navigation would be enough to sail on my own—after all, what could go wrong since I had a log pose? Well, maybe I should've thought a little bit more carefully, because obviously, it could go very wrong: I am completely lost, there's absolutely no ship or island anywhere in sight and I don't have enough food to last more than one week (my cute little boat could only hold so much).
I bet you see now what I meant when I wrote 'impending death'.
Which leaves only one last point to be explained: why the potato bag?
Well, firstly because right now, I am in a somewhat foul mood and I don't feel like saying anything close to a compliment to myself. After all, if I'm dumb enough to get lost only three days after the beginning of what should have been the biggest adventure of my life, this diary should have a name that reflects it.
Secondly because every time I think about my current situation, I have this image that comes up to my mind. You know how potato bags get carried around and don't decide of anywhere they go or what happens to them? Well, it's kind of the impression that I have right now when I think about myself: the waves and currents and winds carry or push me wherever they feel like it and I have absolutely nothing to say in the matter.
No? Can't you just picture it? I guess it's only just me then.
Not that I look anything like a potato bag though—I look human enough, thank you very much. Actually I'm really small and skinny… People always tend to think that I'm way younger than I really am… And some foreigners who came on our island one time even thought that I was a boy, thanks to my short hair… But I'm not writing this diary to complain about my body—I hate self-pity. I'm writing to complain about my current situation and about how furious I am with myself! My life-changing-journey has barely begun and look where I am now! What would my father say if he saw me? And Gramps and Granny would never let me hear the end of it!
I can almost hear them:
Gramps: Well look at you! You were so determined when you left Flowa and look at you now!
Granny: And you're so red! You're like a human-sized tomato! You should've tried playing poker against us while looking like that!
- Yeah, maybe for once you would've won…
- Because we would've spent the whole time laughing!
You think I'm exaggerating? That old, nice, cute grandparents would never make fun of me in such a dire situation? Then let me tell you something: they taught their one and only grandchild poker (and other things)—do you really think they would hesitate a second to make fun of said grandchild when humiliating her in card games was part of their daily routine? No really, I can just picture them, laughing so hard that they're crying…
Speaking of tears, my feet are wet.
Hey! Where did all that water come from?
Kim scooped a bit of water in her bowl and threw it unenthusiastically overboard. She'd been stuck on her small boat for ten days already, and to prevent it from sinking, she'd spent half of these ten days scooping up water and throwing it into the ocean. The result: she'd barely slept, her food supplies were now running really low and she had sunburns all over her body (capris and a tank top had seemed like a good travelling get-up at first though…).
Kim closed her eyes and sighed deeply, trying to chase away the image of her grandparents laughing so hard they were sprawled on the ground, breathless and cheeks streaked with tears… Yeah, had they been there on the boat with her, it would definitely have been their reaction—they were, after all, weird, crazy, loony old people. But now she had no time to think about them.
So she scooped some water and threw it away. And then repeated the process again. And again. And again.
Minutes ticked by slowly at the uneven rythm of the splashing sound of water. Each second seemed like a whole hour and Kim felt her eyelids beginning to close on their own while her automatic, scooping and throwing movements grew sluggish. She soon stopped, letting go of the bowl altogether. Lack of sleep and food had left her exhausted and staying awake had become a battle—a battle that she was gradually losing.
As she started to nod off, she shook her head energetically to try to come back to her senses. No! She couldn't give up so easily! She had to fight!
But what could she do?
Slowly, her eyes travelled around her boat, examining the few things she'd brought with her and what would be most apt at keeping her awake. Her eyes came to rest on her ukulele, which she would usually have considered an efficient and enjoyable way to keep her eyes open, but she shuddered, almost repulsed by the simple idea of touching the small instrument: she'd spent so much time playing that thing during the last ten days that right now, she wanted more to throw it away than to play, no matter how much she loved it. But she didn't really have that many other choices, did she? She sighed resignedly and grabbed the ukulele with a grimace, tuning it distractedly as she thought of which songs she hadn't already played today.
She'd been taught how to play the traditional instrument of Flowa by her grandfather ever since she'd turned five, as it was customary for all the children of her island and now that she'd turned eighteen, she was a pretty decent player. She knew all of the island's traditional songs, as well as a good number of her grandfather's composition—it's one of those that she started playing without really thinking about it.
And it was ironic how unfitted the song was to her current situation… She laughed humorlessly and sang in a voice raw and scratchy from the lack of water.
I am happy you are happy
Let us be happy together
Whether the weather is rainy or sunny
I will always be your funny-honey-bunny.
I am lucky you are lucky
Let us get lucky together
Whether the weather is cloudy or breezy
I'll be there to say "hey come on let's take it easy."
And isn't it nice to have the friends that you do?
And isn't nice to have the skies so blue?
And isn't it nice to say I love y-
She stopped her playing abruptly as a faint splashing sound could be heard in the distance and looked all around, heart beating fast. Maybe there was a boat of some sort nearby? Maybe she would be saved? Maybe she wouldn't die from starvation on this cursed dingy boat?
But as she looked all around her and spotted no boat whatsoever, she felt disappointment and resignation wash over her.
Kim let her head hang in defeat and let out a desperate whine. How was it possible that in ten days, she'd seen absolutely no vessel? Not even the smallest one? She was on the Grand Line, for crying out loud! Wasn't it supposed to be filled to the brim with pirates and marines since the execution of Gold Roger a few years prior and the start of the new era? True, she hated both factions with a passion but at the moment she was so desperate that she would've taken absolutely any help.
Another distant splashing sound caught her attention and she once again raised her head, but more cautiously this time. Nothing surprising though: the seas were just as calm as they'd been for the past ten days. Maybe she was having hallucinations? After all, she was completely dehydrated and most likely sunstroke so hallucinations were a more than likely option.
Kim shrugged and resumed her song on her ukulele, not even bothering to sing this time.
She frowned and played the chords louder. This hallucination was persistent…
Wait… Wasn't this sound getting closer and closer?
It was definitely getting closer. But hallucinations didn't do that, did they?
Kim stopped playing and raised her head, trying to keep a cool head and not raise her hopes too high this time. However, when she finally spotted the origin of the sound, all caution was thrown to the wind and she suddenly felt like shouting with joy. She jumped to her feet, so excited now that all her hunger, thirst and exhaustion were instantly forgotten.
It was a dolphin!
Why was she so elated at seeing a dolphin, you ask. Well, dear reader, you are very right to ask such a question. But it is a rather long story, so let's just say that the inhabitants of Flowa favor dolphins more than any other animal, thanks to an old legend about the first inhabitants of the island, survivors of a shipwreck and saved by dolphins that brought them on the island.
With this legend in mind, Kim was now hoping that this dolphin would… well… save her since there weren't any humans around.
"Hey!" she called as loud as she could, waving her arms in the air—ukulele still in hand—to catch its attention. "Come here, buddy! Come here!"
She barely held back a squeal of ecstatic joy as the dolphin effectively changed its course to head towards her boat. For the first time in days, a dazzling smile lit up her face: things were finally looking up!
"That's it, buddy! Come here!" Kim encouraged, clapping her hands on her thighs as she would've done with a dog. "Come here! Come… here…"
Her voice faltered as she realized that the dolphin had been much further than she'd thought at first—much, much further—and as it was coming closer, it was also growing… well… bigger… Like, much bigger. At first its size grew to that of a big shark and Kim frowned slightly: a dolphin that big was unusual, but not unheard of. Then it grew bigger until its size was closer to that of an orca and Kim stopped encouraging the dolphin altogether. Two seconds later, it had definitely grown larger than a blue whale and Kim's face had turned very pale despite her sunburns and her natural tan.
Then it hit her: she'd just called a Sea King to come and eat her.
Paralyzed both by fear and shock she cradled her ukulele against her chest and she watched, wide-eyed, the ridiculously huge Sea King close in fast on her. Suddenly, dying a slow, peaceful death by starvation didn't sound so bad anymore compared to the fate now assigned to her…
Kim shouted as loud as she could, downright terrified, as the Sea King jumped out of the water and prepared to plunge down on her boat to gobble it in one go. She held onto her ukulele for dear life, incapable of closing her eyes or even turning them away, and watched with terror mixed to a curious kind of resigned detachment the monster rise in the air until he was almost above her, hiding the sun.
As the enormous shadow of the equally enormous monster fell on her and all hope seemed lost, a man suddenly appeared between her and the Sea King. He punched the oversized beast and sent it flying in the air, far away from its trembling prey, before heavily landing on the boat next to the small Flowan woman. Without missing a beat, he whirled on her and grabbed her roughly.
"Hang on tight, girlie!" he shouted as he tackled her to the floor, his much larger body covering her own.
The Sea King crashed into the sea and the impact of his body with the water raised huge waves that rushed towards the small boat. During a few minutes the ocean seemed to turn into a genuine storm and the boat was almost turned over at least a dozen times by the violent surges. Thanks to some sort of miracle though, it kept its two occupants relatively safe and dry until the waters of the Grand Line came back to a semblance of calm and they were able to stand upright without being thrown back down.
When everything was over, the man got to his feet, pulling a trembling Kim up with him by her arm.
"BWAHAHAHA!" His roaring laughter almost deafened the young Flowa native after the long days she'd spent in silence. "That was a good after-lunch exercise!" Kim just stared, obviously not realizing what had happened just yet.
He had punched a giant dolphin. And he was laughing about it and calling it a 'good exercise'? What kind of monster was he?
As he turned around to face her, his white coat floated quite dramatically in the wind—which had conveniently picked up at the same moment—and revealed a black double breasted suit with a white button up shirt and a dark red tie. Kim felt herself tense as she finally realized who her savior was: a marine officer.
Not noticing her defensive stance, the stranger laughed some more and ruffled his own hair, black with dark grey strands on his temples. As he looked at her, he smiled widely, the cheerful (and slightly goofy) expression not really softening his sharp features and his ever-frowning brows.
"Well, girlie! That was close! Are you okay?"
Kim nodded mutely and the man's booming laugh exploded again, startling her. Although she didn't see what was so funny, he didn't seem to be laughing at her so she didn't ponder over it for too long. Instead, she concentrated on the one detail that was bothering her: this man seemed familiar, she was positive she'd seen his face somewhere before…
"Who are you?" she finally asked.
"Vice Admiral Monkey D. Garp!" the man answered with his trademark toothy smile. "And you?"
The Vice Admiral raised an eyebrow at the name and his eyes sharpened briefly, but as soon as Kim had caught the look, it disappeared and the large man was smiling again, leaving her with the certitude that she'd imagined the fleeting expression. He took a brief second to look over her small boat with small, sharp eyes.
"Looks like the Sea King wasn't your only problem, wasn't it?" he roared and laughed again. To further his point, he splashed one of his feet in the water that was slowly but surely rising from the bottom of the boat.
"Well…" Kim muttered, her cheeks already turning red from embarrassment. She usually would have had no problem to reply to this kind of comment but suddenly it was like her brain just wouldn't work. As the adrenaline gradually drained from her blood system, she could feel herself shaking from head to toes and her exhaustion came back full-force.
"Vice Admiral, sir!" a man suddenly shouted in the distance.
Kim turned around to find a huge marine vessel towering over her own boat despite the distance separating the two. She gulped down as she watched the dozens of men in white uniforms running on the decks of the vessel, the large white sails clapping loudly in the wind and most of all, the flag with the Marine Corp insignia.
"SMOKER!" Garp suddenly barked in the direction of his ship, making Kim start slightly. "BRING A BOAT OVER HERE! AND I WANT TEN VOLUNTEERS IN ANOTHER BOAT TO GO GET THAT SEA KING AND BRING BACK THE MEAT ABOARD THE SHIP!" Reluctant groans could be heard faintly as the marines on the ship heard the last order. "NO COMPLAINTS OR I'LL CHOOSE THE VOLUNTEERS MYSELF!" The marines instantly began running on the deck to execute the orders and Garp reported his full attention to Kim next to him while they waited for the rowboats. "And where do you come from, girlie?" the Vice Admiral asked then.
"Flowa Island," the young girl answered distractedly. Suddenly she didn't feel so well: she was light-headed and everything around her seemed to be swaying more and more, the lack of food was making her nauseous and her throat, already raw from the lack of water, only hurt more after her shrieking. She gingerly sat down on a bench and clumsily put her ukulele back in its case.
"You know, you don't look so good," the tall grey-haired man frowned and finally lowered his voice a tiny bit.
That had to be the understatement of the year! Kim snorted slightly but as it made her head pound, she moaned faintly and grabbed her skull in between her hands.
"What happened to you, girlie?" Garp asked, his brows furrowing further as he looked over her hunched over form.
Kim raised her head and looked at him dazedly. She frowned a few seconds and slowly processed what she'd heard to try and find the appropriate answer. Finally, she settled for the simplest, quickest and less likely to hurt her head one:
"Got lost," she muttered.
Garp nodded sharply and Kim could only think vaguely how strange it was that he didn't laugh to make fun of her. But she didn't have the time to think much of it: a rowboat with six marines inside was finally coming for them.
"You're coming on my ship," Garp decided and he turned to the men on the rowboat. "SMOKER! HINA! As soon as we arrive you'll get her to the medical bay!"
Two young teenagers on the rowboat, a boy and a girl, momentarily interrupted their rowing and saluted the Vice Admiral. "Yes, sir!"
Having finally understood what Garp had said, Kim felt apprehension fill her and she swore softly: she kept getting in situations worse than the previous ones! Her on a marine ship? No, no! Bad idea! Very bad idea!
She made to stand and refuse the assistance of the Vice Admiral but lost her balance instead and almost fell overboard—Garp grabbed her arm and steadied her.
"Wow, there! Careful, girlie!" he said with a straight face.
"No, I don't need-" Kim shook her head to try to get rid from the dizziness. "-your help! Leave!"
Garp burst out laughing but didn't answer and continued to watch his men maneuver closer to them. As the rowboat finally arrived he jumped in, towing Kim behind him as if she weighed nothing. Two men in white uniforms jumped on Kim's boat and took the oars to bring it back to the marine vessel as well. "BACK TO THE SHIP!" Garp ordered in his deafening voice.
"No… no…" Kim moaned as she watched the marine vessel getting closer and closer. "This is a nightmare…"
Finally, the exhaustion, the stress, the hunger, the sun, the fear… It all became too much to bear and she lost consciousness. The last thing she saw was the curious stares of the two teenagers in white uniforms and then everything went black.