HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope all of you were safe and happy on the eve of 2013!
I was a good girl...stayed in and off the roads. It was simple and perfect. I had great company, great food, and great wine! The best part was I got to celebrate it in my pjs! :)
Now onto my story...
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the rights to The New Adventures of Sinbad - all this recognition goes to the Creator, Ed Naha.
"Looks like you didn't get much sleep", Doubar said to his brother as they entered the dining room of the inn. They spotted Firouz, Rongar and Anders already at a table with breakfast in front of them.
"Not enough", Sinbad replied.
"I didn't even hear you come in", Doubar replied. "I was a little surprised to wake up to you sleeping in the bed next to me", Doubar teased, "I was sure Marie would have kept you for the evening".
Sinbad shook his head at how right his brother really was, "She certainly tried".
"I was pleased to see you were there", Doubar said in a more serious tone.
Sinbad glanced at his brother and knew why he was so pleased. Doubar was thinking of the little brunette who occupied his own thoughts. He didn't want Bryn to get hurt. "You don't have to worry about that", Sinbad stated as he took a seat next to Firouz.
Doubar nodded his head in understanding of what his brother meant. He dropped the subject as soon as he took his seat next to Rongar. He looked at the two empty seats at the table. "Looks like the girls are still working on their beauty sleep".
"I am a little surprised. Bryn is usually an early riser", Firouz stated.
A waitress came in and placed plates in front of Doubar and Sinbad. The breakfast was complimentary at the inn. That morning they were serving eggs, toast and sausage. Sinbad and Doubar both said thank you in unison. The waitress was shy and didn't make eye contact with either of them. She quietly said, "You're welcome", as she walked away.
The crew sat and ate their breakfast. They spoke of what their day would bring. They were all unsure of what to expect once they reached the house that Dermott told Bryn about. All hoped that the mermaids would be there. They knew that they needed to rescue them but they didn't know how to stop Captain Hawkins from taking them again.
"I feel there is something that is missing", Sinbad said to the table, "Like Mabel and Ruby aren't telling us the whole story".
"I know those stones are valuable and all, but I thought Ruby said he wouldn't be able to use them unless a merman secures it onto the hull of the ship", Doubar questioned out loud.
"Maybe he knows someone that will do it", Firouz added, or "Maybe he has threatened someone to do it".
"From what I understand, all of the mer-creatures he has taken are girls", Anders added with his mouth full of food. "Mer-people? Sea nymphs?"
"Mermaids", Firouz corrected. "That is the most common title".
The crew saw Rongar point at the dining room entrance. They followed his gaze and saw Ruby looking for them. She spotted them around the same time that they saw her. She approached them with a look of uncertainty in her face.
"Good morning, Ruby!", Firouz greeted her cheerfully. He looked behind her expecting to see Bryn, but she was not there.
"Good morning", Ruby replied. She noticed that Bryn was not at the table nor in the room.
"Everything okay, Ruby?" Sinbad asked. He could tell something was troubling her.
"Have you guys seen Bryn this morning?", Ruby asked.
"We thought she was with you", Anders replied. "Sleeping in".
"She wasn't there when I woke up", Ruby took a seat on one of the empty chairs. "Neither was Dermott".
"She probably went for a walk", Doubar stated, "Dermott is probably with her or breaking his own fast".
"I know she went to the lobby last night right before I laid down. She wanted to speak with the inn keeper about something", Ruby explained.
"You didn't hear her come in?" Sinbad asked. He placed his fork down. He could tell that Ruby was really concerned.
Ruby shook her head, "No. Her bed looks like it hasn't been slept in", she than placed the room key in the center of the table, "I found this on the floor in front of our door when I stepped out. It was hidden against the wall. I almost didn't see it. If it wasn't for the sun reflecting off of it, I wouldn't have".
Firouz reached for the key, "We all only had one per room. Was the door locked when you opened it?"
Ruby nodded her head, "I don't think she ever made it back". She looked at the crew with wide eyes, "Dermott warned us of someone following us from the tavern. I am worried that they may have taken her".
"She wouldn't have gone without putting up a fight", Doubar stated, "She's a tough girl".
"We will get her back", Sinbad stated. "If she was taken, Dermott would have followed her. He will lead us to her".
"First, we need to find Dermott", Firouz pointed out. "Or he needs to find us".
Sinbad stood up, "Keep an eye out for him. I am going to go speak with the inn keeper". He also knew he wanted to speak with the bartender from the lobby. They were most likely the last people to have seen her.
Bryn woke with a groan. Her head was aching. She soon realized that she was laying down on a cold and hard floor. It was a struggle for her to sit up because her hands were tied in front of her. Another groan escaped her lips as she slowly stood up. She was hit hard and didn't know by who or what. She stood there a moment letting her eyes adjust to the dim room. She looked around her. She was alone in a small room with wooden floors and one window. By the window she saw blankets and pillows on the floor. She sighed. No one thought to lay me there?
She walked towards the window, which was covered by a thick curtain. She tried to open the curtain but it didn't move. Most of it was nailed to the wall. Someone put a lot of effort into sealing the window. She lifted her tied up hands and with one finger she pushed aside part of the loose fabric . She squinted at the little bit of morning sun that seeped in. There was nothing to be seen but trees.
"Hello?" Bryn heard footsteps outside the closed door and turned around. She heard the familiar sound of dangling keys. The door creaked open.
"Ah! You're awake!" A man walked in that Bryn didn't recognize. He walked towards her, "Come with me".
Bryn saw him reach for her arm and backed away. "Who are you? Where am I?"
The man smiled and quickly took a grip of her arm and pulled her towards the doorway. "This little one has so many questions", he said to himself. "Just like the others".
Bryn winced at his grip, "The others?" She immediately thought of Ruby and the mermaids that they were searching for. Once he pushed her out of the room, she saw that she was in a house with very little furnishings. He lead her into an open room that looked to be a living and kitchen area. He pushed her and she fell onto a couch. She watched the man walk to kitchen and return with plate in hand. "What are you doing?" She eyed him.
"It's time for breakfast", He took a seat next to her and spooned out what looked to be warm oats and sugar. "Now open up".
Bryn glared at the man as she backed her head away, "Do you really mean to feed me like a baby?"
"Are you not hungry?" The man questioned impatiently.
Bryn lied and shook her head. She wasn't ready to consume anything from a strangers hand. Especially when that stranger has captured her and left her with tied hands.
"Fine!" The man threw the spoon on the plate and abruptly sat up. "I am tired of dealing with you mermaids!" He grunted. "No appreciation for my hospitality what so ever!"
He thinks I'm a mermaid? Bryn quickly thought to herself. He must know of the others. She ignored the man's rant, "Where are they? Will you take me to them?"
She heard her plate get thrown into the sink. "Not now! You will see them when the Captain returns. He would like to have a word with you". He made his way back towards her and took a hold of her arm again to lift her up. "Come on!"
"Is it too much to ask for you to be a little gentle?" Bryn grunted as he pulled her along the hall way back towards the empty room.
The man ignored her and shoved Bryn back into the room. He did not say anything else. After Bryn regained her balance, all she could do was listen to the key turn to lock the door. Frustrated, Bryn kicked the door in anger.
"You never saw her last night?" Sinbad repeated to the inn keeper. He watched the old man shake his head no. "Where is the man that tends the lobby bar?"
"Otis? His shift won't start till a few hours from now", the inn keeper replied. "Is there a problem with his services?"
"No, I just want to speak to him about a friend of mine", Sinbad answered, "Let him know that I'm looking for him. Name is Sinbad".
"I will do that Captain", the inn keeper nodded his head.
Sinbad heard Firouz call his name from the courtyard. It did not take long for Firouz to step foot into the open entrance of the lobby. "Sinbad, It's Dermott. He's back. He's talking to Ruby right now".
Sinbad nodded his head to Firouz and turned to the inn keeper before leaving, "Thank you".
"What is he saying?" Doubar impatiently asked Ruby.
"Bryn was taken last night", Ruby replied, "They took her to Captain Hawkins' house in the woods.
Sinbad approached them and heard the last part of what Ruby shared. "Dermott, is she all right?" he asked. He and the crew stood silently as Ruby took in what Dermott had to say.
"She was knocked out unconscious. He couldn't see through the closed windows. He knows for sure she is there", Ruby translated. She looked at Sinbad wondering what they will do next.
"Take us there!", Sinbad ordered the falcon.
"Come on Rongar! Let's prepare the horses. The inn has a few for use", Firouz stated.
"Good idea, Firouz!", Doubar glanced at his brother. "It will get us there faster".
It felt like hours until Bryn heard keys dangle in front of her door again. She was seated next to the window against one of the pillows when the door opened. The man that tried to feed her breakfast came in and this time he didn't come in alone. The man came up to her and pulled her onto her feet. "Get up!", he ordered roughly.
Bryn had her eyes focused on the woman that entered. She did not make eye contact with Bryn. She kept her head down. In her hands was a folded pieces of black fabric. The man placed his hand behind the woman and shoved her towards Bryn. "The Captain will be here any moment", he hissed. He looked at Bryn and pointed at the fabric, "She will assist you in putting this on". He than walked backwards towards the door as he spoke. "I will give you ten minutes to get changed". He pointed at the woman, "Make sure you tie her back up tight." After that order, he slammed the door shut.
Bryn looked at the quiet woman next to her. She thought she'd give this a try, "Hi. I'm Bryn. I am friends with Ruby. She asked for help".
The woman immediately lifted her head up in shock. She did not recognize this woman nor did she expect her to speak to her in the way mermaids could.
"How did you do that?" The woman asked telepathically.
Bryn smiled, she was so happy she found them, at least one of them. "I have these gifts. Some people have called it witchcraft or sorcery. I do not know which to be exact". She watch the woman's reaction. She seemed to be more at ease. "What is your name?" she asked out loud this time.
"I'm Misty", the girl replied. Misty held out the black fabric, "You need to put this on. He will be back soon".
"What is this for?", Bryn asked, she held out her tied hands and the woman undid her bonds.
"It's for the test", Misty replied, "To make sure you're a real mermaid. This dress will be easier for you to transform in. Less ties to mess with".
"I'm not a.."
"Mermaid. I know", Misty finished for Bryn. "You're the first one they've brought back who's not. I honestly do not know what they will do to you once they find out".
"This test. What does it consist of?" Bryn asked, she turned around to remove her dress.
Misty held out the black fabric for Bryn to reach when she was ready, "Underwater transformation and survival", she answered.
Great. Bryn thought to herself. She took a hold of the fabric and saw that it was a simple black, sleeveless, pull over dress. It was Long. Just like the one Mabel wore when they first met her. She pulled it over her head and flatten it down.
"You could drown", Misty stated quietly behind her.
Bryn turned around to face the woman. She saw concern in her eyes. "Misty, have you seen a large bird within the trees or in the sky flying above? A brown falcon?"
Misty was unsure of why she would ask. It took her a moment to remember that she has seen a falcon that morning, "Yes".
Bryn smiled, "My friends will be here soon. That falcon is mine. He will lead them to us. Ruby will be with them. Where are the rest of the mermaids?".
"Upstairs", Misty replied. "The door is locked as well. That is where they leave me too".
"When you return, let them know that help is on the way", Bryn ordered.
"What will you do till your friends come?" Misty asked, "Captain Hawkins will be here soon".
Bryn shrugged, "Stall".
Misty held up the rope that was wrapped around Bryn's wrist earlier, "Sorry, I need to do this".
Bryn held out her arms in understanding, "It's okay". If Misty didn't do what she was told, she didn't know what punishment she would be facing.
Sinbad and his crew were following Dermott through the woods on horseback. When he lead them off the trail, Ruby explained to everyone that Dermott was taking them through a short cut. Sinbad wasn't sure if the short cut would make a difference. Once they turned off the trail, their speed decreased due to them having to maneuver their horses through the thick trees and heavy undergrowth. As much as he wanted to speak up, he knew he needed to trust his eyes in the sky. Dermott has never let him down.
"Sinbad, how are you holding up?" Doubar rode along side his brother. "I was trying to get your attention back there, but you seemed a mile away".
"Sorry, Doubar. I must not have heard you", Sinbad replied. He made eye contact with his older brother and sighed, "I'm kicking myself for not being there for Bryn. I should have been there".
"No one knew that this would happen", Doubar replied, "You shouldn't be giving yourself a hard time".
Sinbad reigned his horse as close as he can to Doubar's to whisper, "I was the reason she went down to the lobby in the first place. She wanted to talk. I said I would meet her and I never showed".
"Why didn't you show?" Doubar whispered back.
"I had a situation with Marie; which occupied my time", Sinbad confessed quietly. "My attempts to leave earlier failed".
"Oh", Doubar didn't ask for details, "Why are we whispering?"
Sinbad looked over his shoulder and glanced at Ruby. She was sharing a horse with Anders. Her cheek was resting against his back. "Bryn made it clear that she didn't want Ruby to find out. I think it has to do with the night we went on Hawkins' ship".
"Well we will soon find out because Bryn is just ahead of us and we will be with her soon to get her story", Doubar was firm and convincing.
Sinbad smiled at his brother's effort to make him feel better. He turned around to the sound of Firouz getting their attention.
"Do you guys hear that?" Firouz asked. He looked at Rongar and saw that he heard it too.
Ruby answered for all of them, "It's the sea. We are near the coast".
Sinbad and Doubar were ahead of the group. They saw a clearing in front of them. At the tree line there was a view of the sea. When you look down you could see larger boulders and rocks hugging the shore. They watched Dermott fly downward and to the left of the large rocks. That is when they saw the wooden house nestled against the trees. There were horses in the yard and smoke rising up through the chimney.
"Someone's home", Anders stated as he looked towards the house as well.
"Ruby. Do you sense anything?" Sinbad asked her.
"Yes! They are there!" She closed her eyes in deep focus. "They are alright! " She opened her eyes and smile.
"Bryn?" Doubar asked out loud for all of them. He was eager for more information.
"The mermaids were expecting us. She told them we are coming", Ruby explained.
"She's awake!", Firouz exclaimed. "That's good news!".
The crew exchanged smiles. "Good job, Bryn", Sinbad said out loud. "If they are ready for us, that will be to our advantage".
From a distance, the familiar beat of hoofs hitting the earth got their attention. "We've got company. Men on horseback", Anders pointed at the path below.
"It's Captain Hawkins", Firouz stated.