Kazeriu Wind: Part Two
“You there, get out of there this instant,” a raspy voice demanded. Seana opened her eyes and blinked at the bright light. She was met by a Krawk with a long beard and scales that looked like they were once green but were now colored like mold. Seana grinned sheepishly and climbed out of the crate. She was pushed up the steep stairs to the deck and saw two bitterly familiar faces.
“W-what are you doing here?” Fion sputtered and snorted water out of his nose in surprise.
“What are you doing here, and with her?” Seana snapped and pointed to the gypsy they had met a few days ago.
“I was going as a stowaway, and I guess she was too,” Fion said defensively.
“All of you quit jabbering and listen up. We run a tight schedule on this ship and we don’t tolerate idle talk,” the Krawk yelled. “We depend on stowaways to do the jobs no one else wants to do, and since we don’t actually have to feed you, you have no right to complain. If you do your jobs, you can eat. Taking you back to port would just make more work for us, you hear?”
“Oh, Captain, don’t be so harsh on them. They’re all so young after all.” A pale yellow Aisha with jet black hair practically floated up the stairs in a long blue gown.
“I’ve been commissioned to transport you back to Shenkuu, but that doesn’t mean I need your opinions on everything, princess,” the Krawk grumbled.
“The boy can be my servant, but the other two are just so plain and boring; you can do what you want with them.” The princess smiled genially at Seana.
“I guess so, you two can start washing the breakfast dishes,” the captain said and whisked off to the main cabin.
“Um, I’m Seana. I guess we’ll be working together for a while,” Seana mumbled and tentatively held out a hand.
“I’m Rae. Welcome aboard the Kazeriu Wind.” Rae grinned and clasped Seana’s hand warmly. It was such a change from her previous cold attitude that Seana could hardly tell if she was mocking her or if she was being sincere.
“Rae, welcome back. We’ve missed you for the past couple months,” a tall blue Kyrii called and messed up her hair with his paw.
“Do you know each other?” Seana asked, surprised.
“Rae is our long-time stowaway,” the Kyrii replied.
Rae shrugged and straightened her hair out. “It’s the best way to travel. This oaf is Tarin; you’ll meet the rest of the crew at dinner.” Dumbfounded, Seana just followed Rae to the kitchen. It seemed like just as they were finishing with the dishes they were ordered to sweep out the mess hall. The tasks came in quick succession and Seana’s stomach was aching.
“Don’t worry, if you make it through the first day, you’ll be fine. After that there isn’t as much work,” Rae assured her and merrily hung hammocks up to dry after washing.
“I bet Fion doesn’t have to work this hard,” Seana grumbled.
“We won’t have to work this much on any other days; it’s really not that bad once you get used to it.” Rae was interrupted by the bell clanging three times.
“You two better get in, they’re not going to wait for you to finish before they start eating,” Tarin called down from the mast and slid down the rope to the deck. Seana took his advice and quickly made her way to the mess hall. Fion waved them over and they squeezed into the space on the bench.
“Where’s your precious princess?” Seana asked.
“Apparently she takes her meals in her room,” Fion replied. “She’s such a monster, though, I don’t understand how anyone could stand her.”
“What, does she make you fan her or what?”
“No, she just...” Fion trailed off. “You’ll understand if you talk to her.” They ate silently for the rest of the meal, Rae and Seana washed the dishes and they went to sleep without another word.
The next day Rae was right; there was hardly any work for the two of them, so they could just sit outside in the salty air for most of the day. There were occasional tasks for them, but the day lulled by without much work at all.
“Aren’t you bored, sitting here with nothing to do? I thought that common people loved to work,” a soft, sweet voice drifted softly from across the deck. The princess stood poised in a red dress with gold stitching, her hair tied up in a knot on her head.
“Of course not, we love sitting just as much as you do,” Rae retorted.
The princess strode quickly across the deck and slapped Rae across the face. “You will address me as princess,” she whispered dangerously and then quickly walked back downstairs.
“Fion was right, she is a monster,” Seana muttered. Rae nodded solemnly in agreement.
“Captain, there’s a storm in the northwest heading our way,” a young Techo whispered in the captain’s ear.
“Alter our course to the north east then, we’ll try to go around it if we can,” the captain replied and the young Techo passed the message on to Gnorbu at the wheel. All of this happened without the notice of the stowaways and none of them had any care towards the weather until that evening.
While half the crew ate and the other worked, the young Techo burst into the mess hall dripping with rain.
“Kai, what’s wrong?” a Xweetok named Alara asked.
“The storm has hit us; we’re losing cargo as we speak!” Kai yelled, wiping water out of his eyes. The captain stood up, knocking over dishes in his hurry. “Everyone get on deck and lash down the cargo. Kai, are we taking on any water?”
“Yes sir, the brig is flooded, but we got everything out before there was any damage,” Kai replied hurriedly.
“You three, stowaways, go start pumping water. Everyone else, move!”
Seana, Rae and Fion rushed out onto the deck and down to the lower decks. The brig was already completely filled with water, but they started siphoning it out before it ruined any of the dry goods on the second deck. The pumps were heavy and it was hard work, but the results were starting to show on the water level. Seana’s arms were starting to ache, but relief came in the form of Kai rushing down to tell them to get on deck because they needed more hands on deck. The three young pets hurried up to a chaotic scene of waves crashing on the deck and the crew holding on to keep from being swept off the side.
“Seana, do you think you can climb up the mast and tie the sail? The rope broke and no one else is small enough to go up that high.” The captain pulled Seana aside and pointed up to the top of the mast where a sail had broken loose and was flapping uselessly in the wind.
“I think I can maybe do it,” Seana said, shivering from the wet.
“Try to keep the mast between you and the wind. You don’t want to be blown off into the sea because there’s nothing we can do for you then,” the captain suggested and pushed Seana towards the looming mast.
Without hesitation, Seana began climbing paw over paw up the rigging to repair the mast. At first she was protected from the wind by the mast, but when the ship angled in another direction, her large tail was buffeted by the wind and her back paws came loose. She scrambled back close to the mast so that the wind was blowing her towards it and continued the tedious climb up.
Against her better judgment, she glanced down at the tossing waves and felt the vertigo from being so high. The mast swayed underneath her slippery paws as she wrapped her arms around the ropes. She scrambled up to the place where the sail had come loose and crawled out across the yard. Seana wrapped her back legs around the yard for support and bent over to grab the flapping sail. She pulled it up and tied the rope back in the place it had snapped. She didn’t know if they could see her from the deck, or even if they were looking in her direction, but she still waved down. She saw someone wave back at her and they pulled the sails in so that the vicious wind wouldn’t rip them or pull the mast over. As the main top sail pulled in close to the yard, the updraft pulled her up and off of the yard, flinging her into the waves. She saw Fion’s face as she fell into the water and as she hit the icy water, she heard another splash.
“Grab my hand!” She could hear Fion’s voice above the waves but he was nowhere near her.
“Fion! Where are you?” Seana yelled, but her voice was drowned out by a thunder clap. She saw the ship, and being pulled back to the ship by a rope was Fion and a green clothed person. He had jumped in to save the princess. But was no one coming to save her?
To be continued...