Child of the Drenched: Part Four
The youngest Drenched sister had finally caught up with the Revenge. She couldn’t understand how it could have gotten all the way out into the middle of nowhere in the shape it was in. It looked like it had been in a bad storm and maybe a fight with another ship. She was desperately worried about Child.
Captain Scarblade was pacing the deck, fuming. His men were working to get the ship ready to sail again. She was surprised that Scarblade didn’t have Child working too.
“I can’t believe the little sea witch turned on us like that! Why in the world would she have sided with Garin? Everyone knows the Drenched held his first mate captive, you would think she would relish destroying them for escaping,” he was ranting to no one in particular.
Her heart froze with fear. This was worse than Scarblade; that Kyrii would almost certainly hold a grudge. If he learned about Child’s past, she was doomed. This time she had to use magic. She located the ship of the coast of Mystery Island. She swam off as fast as she could, hoping that she would find Child safe on Mystery Island.
The Black Pawkeet reached Mystery Island and sailed into a hidden bay. Garin and Jacques were to go to main port. There they would make contact with the buyer, tell him where to pick up the petpets, and collect their money. The other pirates would be unloading crates of Kadoaties onto the beach while they did that.
Mara was to go with Garin and Jacques so she could go find Heather. A little sailboat was lowered into the water next to the ship and a ladder was tossed down. Garin and Jacques went down first. Mara said goodbye to crew then got into the boat with them. They sailed off and soon came to the port and tied up to a pier.
“I wonder how I am supposed to find Heather since the man who was bringing me to her was on Scarblade’s ship,” Mara mused as Jacques helped her up onto the pier.
“Jacques, you help Mara find this Heather lady and I’ll handle the buyer. I’ll see you back in three hours, no later,” Garin said.
Mara hurried off down the pier and Jacques followed her. Mara was quickly overcome by the Island. She spun about in wild glee as she took in the colorful sight. He bought her a lei and put it around her neck. She giggled as she looked at the flowers and thanked him.
Although he tried to appear carefree for Mara’s sake, Jacques was fairly desperate to find Heather since all of Mara’s possessions had been left on the Revenge. If they couldn’t find her, Mara was helpless because the Black Pawkeet couldn’t stay longer than three hours. Mara didn’t seem to realize the trouble she was in because of that.
She skipped and twirled like a girl half her age, every new sight exciting her more than the last. He realized that they couldn’t just expect to bump into Heather, so he decided to ask the Island Mystic. He expected that he might know most of the Island’s residents.
Taking Mara’s arm so that he wouldn’t lose her in the crowds, he made his way towards the hut. There was a long line of people waiting outside. Many of the people kept giving him looks like they thought they knew him, though he was dressed like an islander. He really hoped that they wouldn’t put it together. Finally it was their turn to go in.
“So, who is this?” Mara asked as they went in.
“With any luck, he is someone who can help us. Normally he is useless, but in this case I think there is a chance,” Jacques replied.
“Welcome to my little hut. Ahh, I guess you came here to have your fortune told, eh?” Mystic greeted them as they entered.
“No, not today, we are looking for someone here on the island. A woman named Heather. Do you know anyone named Heather and where we can find her?”
The Mystic didn’t seem to hear him; he was staring into Mara’s eyes.
“You have the eyes of a young mother who came to me long ago to ask if I could tell her if she would see her child again. She had come from an island between Krawk Island and Scurvy Island and had gone many places to try to find someone who could help her find her child,” the Mystic told Mara.
Mara jumped in terror and tried to run out of the hut. Jacques caught her arm and forced her to stay.
“How long ago did the child go missing?” Jacques asked.
“I’m not sure, but I believe she would be about the age of your companion. This child disappeared by the ocean and I can feel that your friend must have come from the ocean. You should seek out this mother to find out if you are her child or not. She might still be waiting,” Mystic said.
Jacques took Mara’s hand led her out. Once outside she pulled against him.
“No, Jacques, no! Please, let’s just find Heather,” Mara pleaded.
“Mara, she could be your mother; you could have a home waiting for you,” Jacques said, pulling her along.
“I have a home and three mothers already. Jacques, this is foolish!” Mara cried, tears spilling down her cheeks.
“Mara, they are kidnappers who couldn’t even bother to give you a name. Your talent for magic is the only reason they wanted you. Mara, think about the woman the Mystic told us about, a woman searching for her daughter. Think about all the years she’s waited; hoping her daughter would come home. If you are that child, think about how much joy you will bring her. If this woman isn’t your mother I won’t ever say another word, I promise,” Jacques said turning to look her in the eye.
“But, Jacques, what if she is? That makes everything you said about my mothers true! I don’t want to find out that my entire life has been a lie,” Mara protested.
Jacques let go of her hand and asked quietly, “Do you really want to go back without finding out the truth? Even if you don’t find it, the truth remains unchanged; your life will always be a lie. On the other hand, you could find out that it is the truth and this woman isn’t your mother and you can be happy among the Drenched once more. Do you really want to risk that?”
Mara turned away and sobbed, “I do and I don’t! I want to believe they are my real family and yet that Mystic seemed so convinced that I am the child, and he saw the mother! Jacques, I don’t know what to do.”
He put his hands on her shoulders and said, “It is your decision, but remember it’s not just about you. If you want to go, I know Garin will take you if I ask him.”
Mara’s sobs grew quieter and a minute later she said, “I came up here to find out about a world I have never seen, but maybe I have seen it before. You’re right; it’s not just about me. I owe it to that mother to find out that I’m not her child. If I am her child... then I guess I’ll figure that out if it happens.”
“You’re making the right choice, Mara,” Jacques said.
She turned to look at him again; there was no trace of tears on her Maractite face. He smiled at her and she tried to smile back. They made their way back to the boat. Garin looked surprised when he saw Mara returning with Jacques.
“It’s only been an hour,” Garin said. “What’s the matter?”
“We went to see the Mystic to see if he could tell us where to find Heather, but instead he told us that he was certain that Mara’s mother came to see him years ago and she lives on an island between Krawk Island and Scurvy Island,” Jacques explained.
Garin sighed. “Now you want us to ferry the girl to an island quite a bit of a distance from here to see a woman who may not even be her mother? We’re pirates, Jacques; we’re not supposed to do things like that.”
“Garin, what if it was your mother?” Jacques asked.
“Oh, don’t bring her into this. I love my mother dearly, but she frowns on the whole pirate thing,” Garin protested.
“What you’re doing isn’t exactly legal; did you really expect your mother to be proud?” Mara asked with a grin.
Garin shook his head at her, his mood lightening a little.
“All right, but this is the only time. If this woman isn’t your mother, then we’re done. I’m not hauling you all around the world to hunt down someone you don’t ever remember,” Garin gave in.
“Fair enough, that’s all I want. This is all Jacques's idea anyway,” Mara replied. “Anyway, I’ll earn my passage. I’ll help out around ship to pay for the trouble.”
“Okay, but before we go anywhere, you had better take her back down to the shops and get her some more clothes since she’ll be coming with us,” Garin said. “Don’t worry, we’ll take it out of your pay.”
Mara looked down at her dress. She had been wearing it for the past week straight; it would be nice to have a fresh outfit.
Two hours later they were setting off in the direction of Krawk Island. Mara stood on the deck and watched the island shrink in the distance, hoping that they would find that she wasn’t this child and she could simply go home in peace. Not far away, the youngest of her mothers felt the ship begin to move and altered her course to try to catch up with them and save her child from what she believed was certain doom.
To be continued...