The Catalyst

Siren on the High Seas

Vanessa EIfler, Fiction Writer

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ship_1_t“Oi! You awake?” I, startled awake, hurriedly poked my head over the side of the crow’s nest, smoothing down my ragged hair as I did so.

“Ahh, uh, y-yeah…” I called down in my usual shy manner, “Wh-what d-do you n-need?” He runs his hand through his orange hair and sighs before shooting me a pitying look as he responds.

“Take a breath Quickbee, I just needed to tell you your shift is over.”

“Uh-um, well, I-uh, it’s f-fine Rox, I-I don’t wanna…uh-”

“Karin just-” he sighs again as he cuts off his slightly angered tone, “Just go ta’ bed Quickbee…” He was mad, I could tell, I was always good at reading people. I combed a hand through my purple hair flitting my eyes back and forth out of habit as I tried to think up an excuse.

“I-uh, I, well, I c-can’t…”

“Why not?”

“C-captain’s orders s-sir…” It was true, she had told me I was to stay here all night and I wasn’t exactly sure if she had meant it or not. I wouldn’t risk getting in trouble though, so I took everything quite literally, though sometimes it was that denseness that got me in even bigger trouble; especially when it came to things called, ‘a figure of speech’.

“I thought we were over the whole ‘sir thing’ Quickbee.”

“S-sorry, i-it’s fine th-though, I’ll be o-okay…” He started to climb the ladder and I, out of an irrational fear, hid myself under the tall stool we kept up there; my hands over my head. He sighed again, putting a hand on my shoulder in concern. I just barely manage to stop myself from lashing-out at him and I could hear his breath catch in surprise.

“Karin…” I slowly turned my head towards him peering at his form through my short bangs, focusing my gaze on his chestnut face rather than his yellow eyes, which glowed in the lantern light like fireflies, “Come on.” He took my hand, I flinched but followed along anyway; though at a distance. He held my hand tightly, already knowing that I would run and hide if I was startled during our journey but thankfully only held my fingers so I felt more safe in his grasp. Eventually we made it back below the ship, the sun beginning to rise just as we went below, I smiled a small smile to myself at my tiny victory as a yawn escaped my lips. For once, it was good to be nocturnal… When we made it back to the main room the rest of the crew was still sleeping, he quickly shoved me into the room and retreated to his own to catch a few more Z’s. I glanced at my reflection in the lower window as I passed it, taking in my tired eyes with a sigh. I then dumped a heavy pot on the floor, flinching at the sound before scampering back to bed, hearing voices as the rest of the crew woke up.

“Not again…” one groaned, “I hate waking up like this everyday…” I could hear another pick-up the dented pot and return it to its proper place on the table.

“Come on guys, get up!” I heard another shout, “We just docked!” No more shouts were audible as I fell asleep, though I did hear the last voice again, saying,

“Just make sure you don’t wake up Karin alright…?” I sighed, falling into the pleasant darkness and quiet at the relief of my weariness from watch duty. When I woke again, I was alone. I briefly glanced out the window as I ran a hand through my wet hair (the other crewmates always made it a habit to keep me from drying out when I sleep-in). It was dark outside, obviously nighttime, though I could scarcely see due to the new moon tonight. I sighed as I glanced at the somewhat empty-feeling sky before turning to look around; wondering if everyone was offshore partying again. Though, I didn’t remember the Captain saying we were going to stay at the next island…and why did everything feel so…strange? It was silent, the only sound being the fierce echoing of my footsteps on the wood “floor” of the lower deck.

“This doesn’t feel right,” I spoke aloud as the room seemed to become longer and longer, “Rox? Samson? Guys?!” Silence. I blinked, noticing my surroundings had changed, I was standing on the ocean waves. Standing on the ocean. I crouched, placing my hand in the water, it was thick, not like water at all. I stuck my head in, slowly pushing myself beneath the waves and then I was falling. Falling into darkness, it consuming my form as I looked up and felt myself sinking lower and lower, slower then faster. A beast then filled my vision, horned and fur-covered as it snarled from above, it’s pelt splattered with blood as it dragged its claws downward and across my form; turning as it did. Then, I saw its eyes, its blood-red eyes so filled with hate, pupils dilated as if they were unaware of the pure genocide the beast seemed to crave, eyes shining with unshed tears as they witnessed what they could not control. It was then that I realised.

“Those are my eyes…”

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Siren on the High Seas