Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chapter Five: Setting Out



Kallista Pendragon

  "Wow..." I admit it, I was impressed. But then, who wouldn't be impressed standing on a real life boat with beautiful sails stretching out like angel's wings in the night with the wind and the moon and the dark clouds above?

  The Albatross was magnificent. She reminded me of a Valkyrie warrior swooping in, dangerous and wonderful, taking the dead to their final everlasting home and leaving a memory of greatness in her wake. I grinned and spun around, drinking in the tapping wood beneath my feet and the faint aroma of the salty sea that still lingered in the air. I felt like a proper pirate and just needed to get my hands on an eye-patch and a parrot... or possibly a monkey. I smiled "Let's go! Are we ready to go? I can't wait to go!"

Jericho flashed a grin in my direction and saluted. "Aye, aye! We'll be departing momentarily." He went back to tying obscure knots I'd never heard of before, and I leaned on the mast, trying to resist untying them.

  Raven had gotten back sooner than Israel and I, which made sense when you realized her motel was right in front of Jericho's ship. She had been waiting, leaning on invisible air, her brown eyes smiling at us when we arrived. Jericho, she said, had no problem taking on the role of Captain and Commander, and he'd ordered her to shimmy down the rope ladder and wait next to it for us to arrive so we'd know where to climb up.

  I murmured, then laughed in surprise when she'd grabbed on to something I couldn't see, pulled herself up, and suddenly disappeared. Her detached voice called out, "Come on! You'll be able to see the ship when you start to climb up! I finally understand why Israel looked like a startled fish when I first saw him!"

"Oi! I have never looked like a started fish before in my life!" he replied indignantly.

I laughed and reminded him of the time I'd given him a life-size nude statue of himself for his birthday- which I still don't understand why he hides in the basement under a multitude of paraphernalia.

He shushed me, eyes darting from side to side like he was worried someone would be standing nearby and hear he had such a statue. I assumed he didn't want it stolen and patted his shoulder, nodding understandingly, before following him up the invisible ladder.

  And now here I was! Standing on a flying boat. Yeah, I was never going to get used to this.

  "Kallista!" Jericho called me, "Climb up to the crow's nest and make sure you don't see any planes or some-such headed our way! Don't want to come across something like that... again."

I grinned like a maniac, "Aye, aye, Cap'n!" and hauled myself onto the rigging. Glancing down the side of the ship, I was surprised we were so high up and hadn't even started flying yet. After another second, I shrugged and climbed, hand over hand. It was trickier than you would have thought, but I reached the top before too long and wondered for a moment how to get myself into the little bucket-like nest. "Hmmm...," but I reached my fingers up, and then I could pull the rest of myself up and over, imagining I was the great Jacky Faber, sailor and pirate supreme.

  When I was finally there, I leaned against the beam, trying to catch my breath. Then I gasped at the panorama splayed before me and all around. It was absolutely beautiful, all Christmas-y with twinkling street lights and glistening raindrops- as it had begun to drizzle once more. Houses and businesses lined different streets, and I could see for miles in all directions. There, two roads over a pair was walking, huddled together under an umbrella, and over here, something moved, and I grinned at the cat playfully attacking a ball of paper. I looked up, and the moon appeared out of the clouds, shining like a snowman's head in the sky, and I thought if I reached up, I would surely be able to touch it.

  "Kallista!"

I remembered Jericho's request and scanned the horizons, but I saw nothing. I poked my face over the side and saw a little round one looking back up at me. "Coast's clear, Cap'n!"

He thumbsed-up before grabbing the wheel, and with the kind of lurch you get in your stomach before falling, seemingly to your death after reaching the height in a roller-coaster ride [although I reassured myself that one doesn't generally die whilst riding roller-coasters] I realized we were taking off.

***

Mr. Raines

   A knock at the door. I knew who it would be and was surprised to find I was actually happy to see her. It seemed she grew up better than most of the world after all, and for once her actions might not constantly be frowned upon, at least if I reminded myself of the rest of the world once in a while. Still, I deliberated a moment, merely to make her wait. She must always know her place. "Enter."

  A head poked through the door, and I found I couldn't restrain the sigh that escaped me. When entering- no matter where one is- he, or in this case she, should enter with confidence and dignity, even if it is falsehoods and lies. Enter hesitantly or slowly and one's personal feelings of doubt are ever apparent. How many times had I told her this, and still, she didn't listen.

"Open the door fully, Persephone, and stand straight! I don't want a hunchback for a daughter." She was eighteen. You'd think she wouldn't remain thus incompetent. She straightened quickly, opened the door and slipped in. "Come here." At least she knew how to obey. I examined her. 

  Red hair straight, but stringy, was pushed behind one ear but falling in front of her lowered emerald eyes on the other side. A green blouse and ironed skirt which fell to her defined booted ankles, would highlight her eyes to the servants and anyone who saw her. She knew to look everyone in the eyes- as my daughter should be confident and respectable- except me, who was above her, and therefore deserved my own respect. Her ears were pierced, but lacking earrings, and stray a hair had fallen onto her blouse. I frowned. Her recently straightened posture was the only becoming feature she displayed.

"Why have you come?"

  Her voice was small, and I demanded she speak up before she had gotten two words in. She cleared her throat and tried again, eyes flickering up, only once. "I only just heard you were home..., and Melinda told me you were going to have a meal. Is it breakfast? May I join you?"
"It is a meal." I replied ditheringly. Meals were one thing I didn't bother about a timepiece for. I have found it curious my entire life that the world has to know what time it is before eating. Why, pray tell, not eat when it is necessary? Time, in this case, is irrelevant. "And you will call the cook by her title." Persephone's eyes remained fixed on the floor, and her lips formed a frown.
"Of course, Father. I apologize... So may I join you for... the meal?"
I thought about it. I had been away from home for some weeks, but fatherly love was for the weak. However, all too recently I had nearly constantly been in the presence of fools or scoundrels. Did I want to relax alone or have the conversation of one, perhaps slightly better companion?
I frowned, noticing the stray hair on Persephone's dress once again. She was becoming far too slack without my consistent reminders at etiquette. I sighed, "Fine. But go to your room and prepare yourself more adequately. I don't want to see a smudge or a blemish. Be in the dining parlor in twenty minutes precisely, and I shall see you there."
  The girl smiled, and her eyes found mine, "Thank you, Father," and far too hastily dashed from the room.
***
Jericho Matteus
  Ah, taking off at last! I knew it had only been an hour or two, but it felt like years since I'd flown my beloved Albatross. Absently, I stroked the wheel and leaned in close, "Let's show these guys what we've got, shall we?" I looked up at the sky. With the cold splatterings of droplets on my face, I grinned into the night. It was going to be a good flight. I could feel it.
  With an enthusiastic rumble from belowdecks in the engine room, a vibration ran up and down the wood beneath my feet.
"What's that?" Israel yelled from starboard side below the helm, hand firmly clasping the rigging to his side.
I grinned my best shark-tooth smile, "She's taking off." My eyes located Miss Raven, then swished back to Israel. "Alright, passengers, fasten your seatbelts, and please turn off all phones and electrical devices!"
Raven gave me a withering stare, "Are you serious?"
"Actually, no, but it does sound good and official, doesn't it?"
"And, um, seatbelts?"
"Oh, yeah, I lied about those too. So you'll probably want to hold on to something." Her brown eyes widened when a tremor started up again, and she swayed, grasping onto the ledge. I flashed the smile again, "And you'll most likely want to keep all arms and legs inside of the contraption at all times, as I cannot promise life in general otherwise, you know."

"I think I can manage that... Probably," shouted Raven, stumbling to the mast and holding on to one of the ropes.

  Grumbling, the Albatross lifted off the ground, and straightened, bumping into one of the street lights and bursting it into a shower of glass and sparks, "...Oops." I turned the wheel slightly, and we moved safely away from the other frightened row of lights. We rose above the buildings, and again, I couldn't helped the smile from encroaching when I saw the awed expressions on the passengers' faces. You could see just about everything from up here, but we were going to go even higher and much, much faster.

  Attacking a series of buttons and dials near the wheel in a section I'd added to the helm, the wings on either side of my angel spread out into the open night air, and the Albatross growled appreciatively. With the drizzle still persistently sploshing onto the ship and making her gleam, and the moon peaking out from behind her cloud bank, I spun the wheel, glancing at a shiny golden compass I always kept in my pocket, and turning my ship in the correct direction. My hand clasped a lever, I yelled, "Hold on tight!" and pulled.


2 comments:

  1. EPIC!!! :D :D :D
    So much detail :D I LOVE IT!!!! :D

    Can't wait for the next chapter :D

    I feel bad for Persephone, having a dad like.
    (I have a suspicion that Mr. Raines is Kallista's dad in disguise..)

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  2. *hugs Sky tight* AM so sorry my 1st comment did not show.
    But that is ok cause it gives me another chance to rave over another epica chapter written by a master writter (who is also very lovely and my beloved sister) YAY
    I loved this peace so much! I love the adventure that is to happen and teh way old friends are together and the way a new friendship is starting. I love the creation of your villian. SO very brilliant!
    Loved that bit about Kall's gift to Israel. XD
    So epic! I am just wondering who did she commission to do the peice?
    BWAHAHAAAAAAHAAA Maybe Hestia?
    Fantastic chapter! Can't wait for more!
    BRAVO!

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