I used to love to look up at the sky and see the twisted purpley blue clouds swirl around the sky. See the pirate ships fly around the sky. They were always so beautiful no matter how small the ship may be. Ships always had a certain ... grace to them. It was hard to explain but I had always just enjoyed watching them.
Not after what happened to my parents.
I sat on the Skull Island docks splashing my feet in the water smiling slightly as the cool water helped with the agonizing heat that of the warm summer day. It was the middle of a giant heat wave and everyone was in a desperate frenzy to get cool in one way or another. It was a pirate refuge and most of the pirates here were ranging between the ages of 11 and 18 so naturally as children and teenagers everyone had come to one conclusion. Going to the shore to swim and splash in the water. I however, wasn't one for getting wet. I'd soak my feet and enjoy the cooling ocean breeze but that was all I wanted to do.
"Aleta! Get in the water! Don't be a spoil sport!" my friend Billy Morris looked up at me from where he swam in the water
"I don't want to get wet" I replied
Billy rolled his eyes spitting out a bit of water as he pulled himself onto the dock to sit by me. I laughed slightly as I saw his swimming trunks. They were a hot pink, I wondered where my friend had found himself such ... feminine ... swim trunks.
"What?" Billy asked "Honestly, there's nothing wrong with wearing pink. It just shows that I'm tough enough not to be worried about wearing pink!"
I frowned at him "You look strange in pink. I'm so used to you wearing white and black...Seeing you wear pink it so strange"
Billy rolled his eyes "So, why don't you wanna get in the water it's sizzling up here I'm surprised you haven't started baking up here-"
"My gosh Billy please just get back in the water" I sighed
Billy sighed as well "I wish you'd lighten up and have some fun once in a while you know that right. You're going to burn yourself to a crisp when you're out here you know"
I glared at my friend before pushing him off the dock and into the water cackling, Billy swam out of the water choking and coughing as he looked up at me a tiny bit of anger in his eyes.
"Whatever. I don't want to hang out with you anyways I guess" Billy glared "You're a bad person you know"
He glared at me a final time before going off to swim with some of the other pirates. Billy had been my best friend since I was a child but things had changed very recently. He'd begun to treat me differently more anger in his eyes when he spoke to me. Less words, less jokes, less friendship. He'd been hanging out with the other male pirates lately. A lot more than me. I suppose that's what happened when you turned 14. Having a girl for a best friend wasn't cool anymore.
"That was sort of cold what Billy said to you"
I spun around to see Mina Quarton. I quiet girl about a year younger than I. She sometimes worked at the tavern to get more gold and had been part of countless treasure hunting expeditions. Frankly she was a very impressive girl. She was more accomplished than I was yet she was small and fairly weak looking. She was a buccaneer though which showed her true strength. She was still tiny though...
"I know" I reply "Nice to see you Mina"
Mina smiles brightly, I never talked to her much so I suppose the younger girl must think that me talking to her was some sort of a special prize or something. Who wouldn't want to be spoken to by the daughter of the greatest two pirates that had ever lived.
"Billy is a good boy though" Mina shrugs sitting next to me "He'll come to his senses eventually I know he will"
I gaze out over the sea looking at Billy splashing two other boys I recognize as Noah and Tyrone. They all looked happy as they laughed wildly. I felt tears brim up in my eyes but I wiped them away before anyone had a chance to notice. Mina looked at me a bit of curiosity and fear running around her amber eyes.
"Eventually" I sighed
Mina smiled "Would you like to come sailing with me, it's a nice day despite the weather"
My eyes widened "N-No!"
Mina seems to notice something suddenly "Oh gosh I'm sorry. Your parents died in a shipwreck, right? That's sorta insensitive of me I'm so sorry!"
I look down sadly "Yeah...I'm sort of terrified of getting on a ship again after that"
"That's ... so sad ..." Mina gives me a sympathetic look
I shrug slightly not responding. My parents had been great people and when they died back when I was 8 it broke my heart. I'd always loved the ships as I stated before but after knowing my parents died at the fault of a ship...It scared me. I was placed in to live with my cousins Serena and Malik Davis. They were both very smart and would probably do a lot better in school that pillaging things and treasure hunting but it was always good to be smart I suppose. Better at reading maps and stuff. They had both tried to get me over my unrealistic fear, I was a brilliant captain, I'd be a good pirate if not for my fear. But every time I got on a ship I'd whimper and get a death hold on the closest thing or person I could get to.
"I should probably get going, would you mind telling Billy if he ends up looking for me that I'm going home" I sigh
Mina nods "Sure. If you ever want to talk to somebody then remember I'm always around"
When you're not around getting more treasure than anybody else I've ever met I sighed
I was jealous of Mina to be honest. Very, very, jealous.
I walked into the small bunker where my cousins and I lived. Malik was sitting at his desk ignoring the dust falling from the ceiling as cannons rocked the bunker around.
"Hey Malik" I say happily jumping into my hammock yawning slightly fanning myself for a few seconds before my hand became a bit too tired, the heat always made me tired and lazy
"Hi Aleta" Malik smiled up at me
I sighed "Are there any good books around for me to read? Like one I haven't already read?"
Malik shrugged "I think Serena picked up some new ones the other day but I'm not sure where she put them try your desk that's probably where she would have put them"
I yawned sitting up, I loved reading. Serena often went around to lots of other places while looking for treasure with her crew (she was hardly ever home anymore) and everytime she brought back books. She'd come back earlier today and my guess but her absense she'd left just as quickly.
Our bunker was simply 3 hammocks, a tattered red rug and 3 desks. As you can probably guess only 2 hammocks and 2 desks were used most of the time.
I slowly got back out of the hammock and made my way over to my desk and as expected 3 new books sat atop it. One was a story about a girl who turned everything she touched into crystal, the next was a book about the history of Mooshu and the final was a book about different skills I could master as a witchdoctor. I myself being a witchdoctor would obviously be quite interested in that sort of thing.
"She got some good ones this time" I grin happily
"Doesn't she always?" Malik laughs
I shrug, not always. Once she got me a book about shipwrecks. I have no idea what she was thinking but frankly I wish she hadn't gotten it. I loved books quite a bit so banishing a book to the back of my desk never to be touched again made me a bit sad.
I pick up the story and smile kindly at my cousin.
"I'm going to go down to the tavern to read it" I tell him "I'll be there if you need me"
Malik nods and goes back to whatever he had previously been working on. Probably something important knowing Malik. Captain Avery always had him working on some task or another, the creator of this pirate refuge was never one to do his own work so many people had to do it for him.
I walked down to the tavern, it was a bit surprising how empty everything looked with everybody off trying to cool down. I kept walking around the life fountain, just a quick loop to splash some of the cool water on myself before walking to the tavern.
I was surprised more people weren't in the tavern. Inside it was actually fairly cold. There was, naturally, the bar tender Skinny Pete. Most of the other people that were usually there were gone. The only other person that appeared to be there was a boy slumped over on a table drinking yum. By the crushed way he carried himself I guessed he'd just lost a battle or something. It was sort of surprising he hadn't gotten Yum-N-Ade but I guess maybe Ryan the boy who ran the Yum-N-Ade stand was at the docks as well or something.
"Hi Pete" I say with a smile
"Oh Hello Aleta" Skinny Pete greeted "Would you like some yum?"
"One of the reasons I'm here" I laugh
"Let me guess the other reason is to read" Pete sighed
"Yep" I reply "But last time I tried to read without buying anything I thought you were going to chop off my head"
Pete chuckles and starts pouring my yum "Well I can't be having that Mary. Would almost be as bad as that hoard of treasure hunters always gathering in the cellar"
I laugh "I know"
I sit at the only empty table and cracked open my book but I couldn't help looking at the boy at the other table everytime I finished a sentence. It was like a reflex to have my eyes flick up at him. His blond hair flopped over his dark purple eyes and he looked absolutely miserable. I eventually decided that something needed to be said to him he just looked so ... crushed.
"You alright?" I asked
"I'm perfectly fine thank you very much" the boy said in a heavy Marleybonian accent
I frowned a bit at the boy's rudeness "Alright but if you don't want anybody to ask questions about how you're doing you may as well at least act like you're not about to start bawling"
The boy gave me an angry look "Well I don't know who you are but you have absolutely no right to speak to me like-"
"Aleta Webb" I introduced myself "Bold Aleta Webb"
The boy stared at me in shock for a moment "Wait so does that mean your the child of John and Anne Webb?"
"Yep. That's me." I reply
The boy blinks "O-Oh...My name is Warwick...Warwick Quentin"
"Well nice to meet you Warwick" I reply "So now that you know who I am, care to tell me what's wrong?"
"I may know who you are but chances are you have no idea who I am" Warwick replied "I have no reason to share my problems with you"
"I'm curious" I reply brushing a lock of my dark brown hair out of my eyes to get a better look at the arrogant boy's face
"I suppose it wouldn't hurt" Warwick sighed the annoyance apparent in his voice "I've just come here from Marleybone. I'm a Swashbuckler...but I have a bit of a problem" Warwick laughed nervously "I was fighting some annoying boy earlier today and he stole my sword and my parents disowned me when I went to become a pirate so I have no money to buy another one"
"Who was it?!" I ask enraged, nobody should get something stolen from them
"The boy said his name was Corrupt Billy Morris" Warwick says with a sigh
I felt an odd snap inside my chest. I knew Billy was getting a bit out of hand with his new friends but the idea of him stealing something from someone seemed so silly. Billy was the sort of kid that would take butterflies out of spiderwebs. The kid who taught me how to make flower chain necklaces to make me feel better after my parents died. The kid who taught me how to fight with a sword even if I didn't really need to know how to. The kid who taught me how to swim...
The kid who stole someone's sword.
The kid who abandoned me to hang out with others.
I wasn't completely sure I knew Billy anymore.
"He's my friend" I admitted
"Well can you please help" Warwick asked "I can't exactly do a thing without my sword"
I nod "I'll see what I can do"
I chug down my yum and tuck my book safely into my bag.
"I'll be here all day" Warwick muttered sounding more than a little upset "It's not like I have anything better to do"
"I'll help" I promise smiling "Billy will give your sword back"
Warwick sighs and grumbles something I couldn't exactly make out but he agrees. I walk out of the tavern and get ready to scream at Billy.