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The Tripoli Chronicle
“Where are you going?” I asked, sticking out my hand to stop Coley from walking onto the bridge. He had to pass me to get to Bridge Merthina, but from the way he was dressed, I knew he wanted to get on the ship that was ported on the opposite side of the bridge.
“Nowhere, just going for a little adventure,” he replied, shoving my hand out of the way and trying to slide past me. I blocked his path with my foot, causing him to stumble awkwardly and fall to the hard ground. He rose to his feet angrily, covered in the wet grass and fresh mud. “Move, Shiloh. My father waits for me.”
“Your father’s dead,” I spat out coldly, and gave him a harsh glare. He breathed heavily, “Look, if you don’t move out of my way, I’ll throw you into the river.”
“You can’t move me, Coley. You can’t even move a fly.” It was obvious. Coley’s skinny boney body was as limp as a skeleton.
He tried to lift me off the ground, but my hard body stayed glued to the ground. It was rather laughable; I was a girl and he was a boy. I remember when he met me and thought I was a boy. He served Sir Donohue when I was to receive the master’s inheritance. With my short hair and tight built body, I guess I did appear masculine. I hated wearing dresses and skirts and suffocating petticoats, but I didn’t have to worry about that since my parents died when I was a baby and Sir Donohue allowed me wear what I wanted: trousers and boy’s undershirts.
Coley gave up breathlessly and crumbled to the ground. “Shiloh, if you don’t move, I’ll give you a kiss,” he threatened.
I wrinkled my nose. He had found my weakness. I hated kisses, especially from him. I held up my hands in surrender, “Fine. Get yourself killed like your father did.”
He snickered at me and pulled up his baggy trousers. “I can take care of myself, Shiloh,” he said, walking across Bridge Merthina.
“I know you can. It’s the pirates I don’t trust.”
“Well, you can stop worrying about me. I’m twelve now and don’t need to be told what to do by some girl.”
I posed angrily and screamed in annoyance. “Fine! Have a nice death!” I watched him march across the bridge and disappeared.
It was then that I discovered the frigate. It was terrifying and nightmarish, and just looking at it made my lip quiver. The black sails were deathly and ripped by the claws of bitter wind. Unlike most tales I’ve heard in which ships had mermaids as their symbol, this ship had a ghostly she-skeleton covered in a torn dress.
Then, I saw Coley. I could tell his fears were just now pouncing upon him and sucking his confidence like a leech. From where I stood high above him, I could still see him swallow a large gulp.
The terrifying captain now stood in front of Coley, his face a tapestry of scars and black tattoos. I could see his piercing sword in his hilt. He talked to Coley and I knew it wasn’t pleasant.
Suddenly, the captain spun on his heel. It was then that I realized he wasn’t the man I thought he was. He was Coley’s father! How the devil did he survive the pirate attack?
The vessel began to move slowly, then gain speed. It was going faster than any I have ever seen. I knew I would never see Coley again, but I learned that he was more of a pirate than I anticipated. He had his father’s blood in him.
I watched solemnly as the ship began to disappear out of my gaze. The moon hovered over me, sparkling a ray of light. A faint smile began to draw across my lips, and I knew the next time I saw the ship—if I did—it wouldn’t be Coley’s father as captain.
Behind the dark bridge, the frightening frigate disappeared into the cascading mist, into the water guarded by the evil pirates waiting for their revenge.