The Scarred Goddess Chapter 4

Fiction By Bridget // 4/23/2009

That was the first of the many vivid dreams I had. No, Lalata was not dead. In fact, by the next morning, the fever had broken, and she was improving. I do not know what caused this, but I was very thankful, for this meant I could return to my work on the docks.

The sea smelled wonderful; that salty, seaweed smell. I went back to helping Mante with his work on the ships. I caulked the decks of the ships that were going to go out to sea soon, and I made repairs to the sails on ships that had just come back through many a storm. I would cling to the sails and let the wind fly past my face and tangle my hair.

Once, my hair nearly caused my death. I was repairing the sail of the Scarred Goddess, and Hurh (one of my many friends on the docks) was repairing the mast. My hair was wrapped around my face, practically. Of a sudden, there was a creaking, a shout, and a very near sound of something flying past me. I lost my grip on the sail and started tumbling down, my hair still in my face. I could not think (have you ever noticed how hard it is to think rationally when you’re flying downwards towards you-know-not-what?) except to think I was going to die, and I wondered if it would hurt.

Then a splash, MY splash, told me that I had not landed on the deck. It took me several moments to surface, coughing and spluttering and shivering all over. The water was ice-cold; it was October, after all. I was a fast swimmer though, even when I was cold, and by the time someone jumped in to rescue me, I was nearly at the shore, and by the time they caught up, it was of no good, because I had already arrived.

Hurh told me that the broken mast had cracked at the bottom, and in the midst of repairing it, it tipped over and “swooshed past you”.
Mante insisted that I cut my hair after that, and I willingly complied. I was not terribly fond of the way it flew into my face whenever I was doing something important.

I liked Hurh because he was funny, always inventing new words and games. He was my age, sixteen, plus a little more. Sometimes it seemed that he was trying to get everyone to go as mad as he. I had no doubt that he was slightly crazy. It was obvious, and he accepted it without question.

Despite this fact, he was brilliant, and war was his specialty. He was full of ideas and dreams of the battlefield. If I hadn’t known better, I would have said that he wanted war. Whenever he wasn’t working, he was drawing diagrams with little boxes representing battalions. He was always happiest when he did this, and his grey eyes would flash with excitement as if he saw what was happening from the front lines themselves.

It surprised me that although Lalata was alive and rapidly improving, Finde would continue to leave for long periods of time. I had assumed, like everyone else, that he had gone because he was worried about Lalata.

I didn’t follow him much anymore; I had too much work on my hands. Jimte was six years old now, with all the curiosities that age implies. It was impossible to keep anything from him. Whenever he was caught doing something he knew he wasn’t supposed to, he would tuck his head down and tilt it to the side with an infectious giggle. It was hard to get mad at him. He was always poking his nose into the kitchen to see what Liuna was making, while I was in the living room trying my best to keep the other children occupied so that they would let Lalata alone.

On certain occasions I would get time away, when Thia and Jimte were napping. Finde was, of course, away, and Domtu was absorbed with his locksmithing. At these times I would go to the market. I loved to stop by the spice stand and breathe in the pungent scent. These spices were too expensive for me to buy – they came from across the sea, and were apparently hard to obtain – but there was nothing preventing me from smelling them. I would go by the cloth stands, where they would sell fine fabrics, but none of them were equal to the robes I had once owned on the hill. These were rougher, coarser, although by the city’s standards they were the finest that money could buy.

I loved going here. The market was in the middle of the city, but you could see the ocean from its edge. The sea breeze was covered with the scents of the market; the fruits, vegetables, spices, medicines, and baked goods. So this was what drew my mother here, on those rare occasions that she would dress as a housewife (didn’t I mention that?) and make her way through the market. I was lost in memories for the rest of my trip, and didn’t buy anything.

Hurh was there already when I and Mante arrived the next evening. His face was a strange mixture of fear and excitement. He seemed to be trembling all over in anticipation. He was quiet the whole night while the other sailors told jokes and stories and sang songs about pirates of old. He simply worked with that shining light in his eyes – the same light that I saw when he drew his battle diagrams. Only this time it was tinged with something else – I could not tell what.

When the nights work was finished, he pulled me over to where it was dark and pressed a folded piece of parchment into my hand. “Think carefully before you decide.” I was confused. Part of it may have been that he smelled good – like sea air and cinnamon, I decided, which was strangely intoxicating. Part of it was wonderment at what he meant.

I didn’t get the chance to read it until I was back at the cottage. Liuna was sitting up waiting, as she usually did. I didn’t hesitate to go to my small, curtained off area that was considered my room. There I opened the note and read, first with bewilderment, then understanding, and a spark of horror that came suddenly and left before I had a chance to properly feel it.

"The pirates have returned. They are terrorizing the seashores on the East. They call for war. I am going. This is what I always wanted. You know that. All the help we can get, we need. It would also be nice to have a friend aboard with me. That said, it is sure to be dangerous, and not something for a lady, even an extraordinary one like you. I would not ask that you come with me, but I decided that you may want to be informed. It is your decision. Our ship, the Sea Dancer, leaves next Monday."

Your loyal friend, Hurh.

Excitement coursed through my body, along with the sharp realization that I could not go.
Too many depended on me. But what of Hurh? Could I abandon him to this alone? Yes,
I decided, I could, and I had to. This had always been his dream; to fight and win.

But it was a dream that he would have to fulfill alone. I had my own life. I won’t pretend that I felt no pangs of regret when I decided this. An image cut through my head of Hurh cut open and bleeding on the deck of a ship, pirates laughing over his body. I shook it out quickly and shuddered silently. I undressed with gritted teeth, trying to shut out the pictures that came unbidden to my brain. I climbed into bed and forced myself to go to sleep.

The next evening at the docks I informed Hurh of my decision. He didn’t press me to change my mind, but shook his head sadly. It was hard for him to stay like that all night, though. The dancing light would show in his eyes, and you could tell that he couldn’t wait until Monday. I asked him if he was excited. He looked at me with those silver-grey eyes and nodded. I asked him if he would miss me. Immediately I regretted asking that; it seemed too bold, but he said yes. He was quiet the rest of the night.

I was there Monday when Hurh left. He couldn’t contain his grin, and it spread over his face and crinkled his eyes. It was then that it hit me that he might die. I had seen pictures in my head, but frightening as they were, they weren’t real. I painted a smile on my own face and waved for all I was worth. Hurh looked at me, laughed, and blew a kiss. I blushed to the roots of my hair. Someone might think we were sweethearts, when we definitely weren’t. By the time I was back at the cottage, I realized that I liked it. I also realized the sinking feeling in my stomach, like when you’re returning from a holiday.

I hoped I would see him again.

Comments

Hm, Hurh sounds very

Hm, Hurh sounds very interesting, and you didn't kill Latala after all! Hurrah!

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"Gold in its natural state is but dull, unornamental stuff and only lowboard metals excite the admiration of the ignorant with its ostentatious glitter. However like the rest of the world I go on underestimating men of gold and glorifying men of mica." ~Mark Twain

Sarah | Fri, 04/24/2009

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

I was trying so hard not to

I was trying so hard not to laugh when I got your replies to the last chapter. I had already decided I was going to bring Lalata back. Hehe! Thank you!

"When reality sucks, try insanity." - Unknown

Bridget | Fri, 04/24/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

Oh... that's kind of sad.

Oh... that's kind of sad. She's not going with him.

I bet something really exciting is going to happen next. And what's up with Finde?
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I'm lost. I've gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, please tell me to wait.

Anna | Fri, 04/24/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Hurh will be back. And I'll

Hurh will be back. And I'll do something with Finde sometime soon. And I can't tell you what's going to happen next! Could be nothing at all!;-)

"When reality sucks, try insanity." - Unknown

Bridget | Fri, 04/24/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

:O

So the boat is the "Scarred Goddess", not the girl? Am I the only one who needs to go hit my head with Father's hammer (known to the squirrels as the "Death Stick)??? Please advise me as to which direction I should go...out to the barn or on to the next chapter.
lol ;)
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"Yes, words are useless! Gobble-gobble-gobble-gobble-gobble! Too much of it, darling, too much! That is why I show you my work! That is why you are here!" --Edna Mode (the Incredibles)

Ariel | Sat, 04/25/2009

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"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Just wait, you'll see! "When

Just wait, you'll see!

"When reality sucks, try insanity." - Unknown

Bridget | Sat, 04/25/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya