Through a Cat’s Eyes – 8.4

Autumn Harvest, Shredder’s Day 20, Year of the Lion number 427; September 19, 1738 Agathon

They tell me we’re halfway there. For the past three days, all we could see in any direction is water. I didn’t know there was so much water in this world. I’m not convinced we’re even moving, but they assure me we are.

I’ve finally gotten over my, uhm, issues. They gave me a mop and told me to clean the deck. It didn’t take long, but I figured out it was easier when I paced the mopping with the ship’s rocking and its ups and downs. After spending six hours, I had mopped the entire deck. When I reported to Mak that I was done, he said to go back to the bow and start again. Really?

Okay. I get it. I’m also learning some of the terms, like starboard and port, bow and aft, and so on.

Today Mak said I was done mopping. For now. He had me climb up the main mast to the crows nest to relieve the watchman. My job was to just stand there and look out in all directions and call down if I saw something.

I’d only been up there thirty minutes when I saw something splashing way in the distance off the port side. I called down and several crewmen scrambled to that side of the ship. Mak used the captain’s glass. I saw the splashing again. “Don’t worry about the dolphins,” he called up to me. “Seeing them is actually a good sign. It means there aren’t any big sea monsters around.”

When my shift was over, I cornered Mak. “What’s this about sea monsters?” He laughed at me. “Oh, my, you sure are the land lubber! There are all kinds of sea monsters. There’s a kraken that lives near Greyalia Island, a dragon turtle that hangs out in the Windreef Barrier west of Robgarde, and there have been many reports of sea hags, merrows, giant sharks and giant octopi.” He was dead serious. “Not to mention pirates. Most of them are long gone, or at least in hiding, because of the witch, Syreni, but a few still sail the seas, looking for easy targets. And of course, storms will pop up out of no where. This is why we keep someone in the crows nest at all times. Most of the time we’re out here, nothing is seen for days on end, but a few minutes with any of these can end our careers forever.”

I mulled this over during dinner and the few hours before bedtime. One of the guys invited me to a card game, but I declined. “Another time, perhaps.” I didn’t want to admit I didn’t know the game, though I was sure they’d teach me.

I still have a lot to learn. I don’t expect I’ll ever know everything there is to know, but each day seems to bring new things and new opportunities. And new dangers.


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Next: Through a Cat’s Eyes – 9.1



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