5001 WORDS (I'M COUNTING A DIFFERENT THING I WROTE FOR THE SECOND CHAPTER WHICH I TOOK OUT, CAUSE IN THE END I WROTE IT FOR NANO).
How could it possibly be that I had forgotten my parents? Not forgotten, for I have no memory, no echoes of never remembering. The weight of my thoughts grows upon my shoulders as he stares straight into my eyes as no person should. What must he think of me, a woman with no memory of the people who bore her?
And so I say fundling with my hands, “I’m sorry.”
“Forget it Amara. Tell me, what of your future?”
I weaved a tale like I weaved my clothes of a future in the city with my uncle. We were to work in the royal libraries after a recommendation and we would live and breathe with the biggest book collection in the world. He asked me of my marriage as a young woman and I told him the truth this time, I was not to marry for marriage did not appeal to me. He listened to me as I let out the lies and truths I had kept boiling inside my blood for what seemed like an age. And so I forgot, I forgot.
Breathing my stories for what seems like and age, I finally find that I am happy. But then a woman enters the room, a striking woman clad in a long flowing indigo gown and cropped mousey brown hair. Dove looks at her sitting along rather than me and so I sit with pangs of jealousy. Though there was nothing to be jealous of, of course. He should be free to do whatever he pleases.
So when he went and asked her to dance, I tried not to look for too long at the fitting couple they made and distracted myself with the sounds of a duet of an ocarina and harp. Relaxing as it was, I could not help but stray my thoughts away towards the fact that I was so very deeply alone.
“Madam, how was the dance?” asked Leila as soon as she entered my room at sun’s first light.
“Very good,” I lied for I did not want to dishearten the poor girl. Pleased with herself, she collected the laundry from the basket and begun to walk out of the wooden door.
“Wait!” I said, almost immediately regretting it. Leila looked at me questioningly. “You.. Her.. The dressing table is dirty. Polish it.”
To my surprise, she smiled. Leila did not do very much polishing in the hour that passed, as she talked and talked about the gossip and the latest news. I didn’t mind as much today, realising that I had grown to like her smalltalk however small it may be.
When Anne-Marie (who I had just learned was Leila’s guardian) came knocking on my door, I was not surprised. We where treading on a thin line. She did not scold although what she said next surprised me,
“Leila. There is to be a trial of a robber at the sun’s highest point. You need to go report to the captain. He needs you to check with him for refreshments for the passengers who attend the trial.”
I choke on a bite of an olive. Anne-Marie rushes up to me and puts one hand on my shoulder in motherly kindness that I immediately push off. No-one touches me.
“Who is the robber?”
“A woman. She danced with the owner of the ships and attempted to steal his silver chains. She would have got away was it not for a passenger who spottened her rushing into the washrooms. It was uncovered that she was infact a stowayay, to add insult to injury. You may have seen her? In the ball?”
After a quick shake of my head she continues, “You could not have missed her... Did you not go to the ball?”
“... I left.”
Anne-Marie turned towards me and nodded her head. A sigh of relief escaped my mouth, as I relaxed over the fact that I would not be pressed over this matter. I did not want to explain myself.
Except I was curious. I dressed myself fit for public once more and entered to a commotion I was not ready in any way to see. The crowd I had seen yesterday, dancing gracefully to the sounds of music, the same crowds stood fists clashed in the air with a snarling expression on their faces, making disagreeable noises and grunts. With the daylight upon them rather than the light under the stars, every single man and woman had gained years upon their skin. I could see the spots on the lady I had commended the night before for her flawless completion. I could see the wrinkles on the man who I had wrongly judged to be at least 10 years younger than how he looked know. Daylight shows the truth in people, I noted. I will remember that.
The person for whom all the bad attention was meant for I could not see, no matter how I tried to tiptoe and squint, the people enclosed her like a lion kept another from seeing its prey. My height had always been a flaw. I am not short enough to be used as a benefit and yet I am nowhere near average to be well average.
As if to my recue, Dove strode in and ushering the crowd to be quiet with a quiet word of him being the Owner. My mouth dropped open as I thought. It would explain how rich he appeared, but that would mean that the person on trial was the woman who took him to dance.
Caught by a flare of emotions, I was strangely happy that the woman and Dove did not have any relationship after last night, though my conscience was telling me not to think of such things. I sat down at the back of the room and smiled at Dove, who noticed me and smiled back. The crowd dispersed into chairs and finally the sight of the woman was visible.
She still wore the indigo gown though it was no ripped and covered in what I think looked like the Stew that was served last night. How could I have missed this spectacle? Dove strode in front of her with a deadly calm as if this peculiar turn of events did not in the least affect him.
“What Is your name?” He said.
She continued to look downwards, her mousey brown hair covering her emotions and humanity. Dove stopped after a minute of hushed silence and pulled her chin upwards forcefully. She smiled as if she had her very own secret and dove laughed. It didnot sound like the laugh I had heard, no, the laugh was more of a huff like the wolf towards the three little pigs homes. He was trying to break her and everyone simply watched, I was simply watching. But she deserved it. Robbers must be punished or the masses will think it upon themselves to sin. It is what is right and just.
“WHAT IS YOUR NAME?” I gulped, the sheer monstrosiousty of his voice sending a shiver down my spine but she remained unaffected simply continuing to smile.
“Keep your mouth shut. For it does not bother me. Under the rule of Alswerth, I charge you with attempted robbery of a silver chain, of robbery of Lady Astha’s engagement ring, of robbery of a gold necklace, of robbery of food, of robbery of our sleep, of robbery of our happiness on the winter solstice, of robbery of this trip to people who actually pay and of robbery of money from the ship’s safe and for trespassing on private property without paying.”
As he spitted the last word, the people in the deck stood and begun chanting,
“Throw her off! Throw her off!”
Yet she still smiled. She could smile through all this hatred and hurt and loss.
“Off to the sea it is,” said Dove pushing the woman to the edge of the ship’s safety. I looked over the wood, no-one would be able to swim anywhere. Even if she could swim, there was no-where to swim to for miles. It would be murder. But she deserves it, I tell myself, she deserves it. Robbers deserve it.
But I can’t see why she should deserve it. All she did was steal from someone who looks like he has far too much money than any man should. This is what happens when I leave my rooms. I am questioned. Life is so much easier without actually living. Living requires patience and judgement, I have neither.
“Stop! Stop...” I shout at first, only to whisper it a second time to a now silent crowd.
UGH NOT BOTHERED.