Birdie

Sophia has lost both her parents within months. With her only companion her boat, Sorin, Sophia embarks on a voyage that will lead her to mystical lands far above your imagination. Will she be able to let go of things that hold her back and let the spirits truly guide her? Will she be able to achieve her dreams and reach her destiny before it's too late. This is an entry for the young movellist of the year so please like/ fav and give me some feedback! :)

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1. Alone on a wide wide sea

 

The photograph in my hands was dog-eared and ripped. Most people would’ve got it re-printed by now but, I like it this way, I think it just shows how much the people in the photo are loved. My photograph is full of solemn faces of people that I’ve never met, but it was just that one smiling face that I was focused on. My mother, with her curly Golden locks of hair and rosy cheeks. I’ve been told I look just like her, but I don’t think so. My face is rigid and tight, there are lines of stress and anxiety. They say you can read a whole person’s life through their eyes, and if that’s true then you’d see distress in mine. There aren’t any worry lines on mum’s uniquely smiling face in the photo. But I know that there was just the one when she died. It’s not surprising really; she was never really the same for the last few months I had with her, the months that followed dad’s death. I didn’t see her excitable, crazy side again. But I can still see her final smile. It was in her last moments, her final words “Play your duty in life my daughter. Take your chances, and the spirits and my love will guide you.”

And now staring at this photo, I’m trying to decipher what she really meant. I wished the spirits would guide me now. This map wasn’t exactly helping me that much. Let’s just say that my talents do not lie in map reading, but then I’m not one who’s fond of following the rules anyway. I have to explore, to discover it’s my dream to be out on a vast ocean, and have the power to change direction but also choose to go where the wind takes me. I love living here on Night Siren; I don’t know what I would do without her. She gives me the exhilaration I need to keep on going, that and the wind on my face and the salty taste of the air. “Come on Sorin” I whisper. The etched name on the side of the boat says Siren, but when I was younger I just couldn’t say “Siren,” so I said, “Sorin,” instead and now it’s stuck. Sorin is my only real companion when I’m out on the ocean. But she is all I need to ride these roaring ocean waves. She can be completely tame at times but sometimes, I would swear she has a mind of her own. The way she crashes around the waves. And it’s pretty much always during the night. They don’t call her Night Siren for nothing you know!

On my fifth birthday, even dad couldn’t control her crazy rocking. If he couldn’t do anything then we were in trouble! My dad was a master at sailing, because he’d lived on a sailing boat his whole life. Like me he lived to sail. It was his passion his dream and his fortune. You think I’m a master? Well no one could control Sorin like he did. But she always tamed gently, it was never forced. It was as though he was merely soothing Sorin, keeping in calm as the waves lapped around him. My mum was completely different, in that she lacked the desire to sail, I spent the last few months with her in a hotel just across from the pier, and she thought Sorin had remained docked there for the whole time. In truth I had sneaked out and had a sail every night, when she was asleep. I have been excellent at creeping all my life. It’s what I did on my fifth birthday; mum had sent me downstairs to the cabin, worried about me being out on deck when the sea was that choppy. But I couldn’t stay down there with all the excitement above me. I felt bold and anyway, “Wasn’t I old enough yet?” So I crept up from the cabin and stood with my arms outspread towards the back of the deck. I was in the habit of tight-rope walking along a long wooden plank that made up the structure of the boat. But you might suppose I would realise that I would wobble around a lot more than usual, and you’d be right. I was so naïve that I didn’t even have a chance to think before Sorin threw me off the left of the boat. The best bit is, that mum who hadn’t realised I was on the deck was walking down the stairs to the cabin singing, “Happy Birthday,” I wasn’t saved from the vast ocean until mum had finished singing Happy Birthday and realised I wasn’t there. It didn’t matter though; because that was the day I discovered my destiny. That’s why I’m on Sorin anyway, “Chasing my dream,” It wasn’t part of my destiny, Sorin was part of the destiny of my parents. They found their destiny on their wedding night, strange, how the spirits do that. You find your destiny on an important day. Makes the day more important I suppose. I have been thrown off of Sorin at least a thousand times since, and I have the scars to show for it. But it’s more of a recognised pattern now.

You might think I’m strange, for heading for the rockiest parts of the sea but it’s a way of life. Yes the wind was really picking up now. I was sure I’d reach land tomorrow. But the best part about a rocky sea, is that if you allow yourself to be free for just a moment, you can be thrown off the side of the boat and into the waters below. It’s there that the spirits guide me, just as the guided me the first time. I could do with some comfort just now so I scanned the horizon for some rocky waters. Being an experienced sailor and most certainly not an expert, it was difficult, to truly notice as I adjusted the sails that Sorin was actually veering ever so slightly off course. Just a few degrees to the left with every few miles of ocean I covered. I struggled to keep my eyes open as Sorin – her red hull and battered brown sails illuminated in the moonlight – ploughed through the icy depths of the sea.

That’s the only problem with being the only person on a sailing ship. You have to be awake pretty much the whole time, and that’s pretty exhausting! I yawned and hoped I might find land soon. At least then I could dock Sorin and get a proper night’s sleep for what will seem like once in a life time! I just needed an island to stop at. It was just at that moment when I was deep in thought, having brought out the map and began to stare at it again with a puzzled look on my face, that I noticed it. A bird sat on the edge of the boat just a few yards away. It wasn’t any ordinary bird either; it was the most beautiful colourful bird I had ever seen. Think of a peacock, they look spectacular yes? Well think of a dozen peacocks in one large room and then add a splash of colour, and you might get a picture of something almost as beautiful as this swallow.  The silhouette of a swallow is unmistakeable with its sharply pointed, angled wings and forked tail. They are often seen darting swiftly across the sky, catching insects in mid-air. But I only ever see them when I’m close to land. Come on little birdy, take me to your home. Its glossy coat of a bluey black shade glistened in the distant light from the stars. It looked so beautiful, so peaceful and so tranquil.

The blue bird ticked backwards and forwards along the jib mast as the sun began to rise. That’s another thing I love about sailing, you get to see the sun awaken the earth below. With the new orange light I was able to spot something I hadn’t seen before, a thick mist rising over what looked like hills in the distance. The swallow turned to look at me, and then flew forwards before perching on my hand. “Hello, little one,” I whispered, “We’re nearly home.” Green mountains were looming over pink sand beaches. There were plants everywhere. As far as the eye could see, the island looked covered in green Vegetation. Intrigued, by this, it’s not normal to find such sights when you have been travelling on such an icy sea. I had no option but to head towards one of the beachfronts. Having cartwheeled nine cartwheels from the bow to the stern, I made my way towards the mast. The swallow fluttered in the air just above my head and seemed somewhat amused at my cartwheels. When I was younger I could do at least fifteen across the length of the cabin. But now I’m taller I can’t fit as many in. It is probably an indication that I am perhaps too old to be doing cartwheels but I don’t mind, I like the feeling of disorientation as my body tosses itself, head over heels.

 

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