As soon as she could barely see the island, Jessina stopped rowing and untied the sail. She looked to the sky to see where the sun was in comparison to the horizon, and then combining that information with the direction of the wind she swung the entire mast around so the sail was facing the right way.
I’m only supposed to sail out for two days, she thought. Then I can drop anchor and spend the rest of my time in that area. She sighed and sat down, basking in the warmth of the sun. After a while though, she got bored and began to look around. Seeing nothing but the sea in any direction she settled in to looking at her boat. The Starwave, as she had named it, was about six paces long from bow to stern and nearly three at the widest part. Attached to the side of the boat was a floating square platform, five paces either way, which she was would use to prepare and cook her food, sleep, or whatever other use she found for it. She sighed. This was going to be a long 4 weeks. She trailed her hand in the water as the boat was carried on the breeze.
Around noon she brought her hand out- it had been a few hours and it looked quite wrinkled. She put the other one in. At home about this time, she thought as she twirled her hand around, I would be spending time with my friends in the gardens. She sighed again. But I suppose if I am going to eat this evening, I should try to catch myself some fish. She dug in one of her packs and got out a long line. She baited the hook and put it into the water, hoping for a bite…
After what seemed like an eternity, she caught a large fish. She prepared and cooked it, and then after she had eaten most of it with some of the other supplies in her bag and decided to save some for morning. She pulled a thick cloak out of a bag and wrapped it about her tightly- nights on the ocean this time of year were cold. She looked up at the stars and began to hum a song taught to her as a girl, something an ancestor had come up with long ago about the sea:
Nights so cold and days so long,
But beauty unsurpassed.
The sea shall be my home for all,
The sea shall ever last.
A maiden clothed in blue and green
A man in silver-white
Her flowing hair, his long gray beard
Shimmer in the night…
She left off where she could not remember the rest. Standing, she took down the sail and tied it securely around the mast. She then looked up to the stars and the horizon, and then to the moon, to make sure she was still on the right course. She anchored the vessel and took two blankets out of a bag and laid one on the small seat in the bow of the boat. Rolling up her cloak for a pillow she lay down as best she could and covered up with the other blanket. The soft, gentle rocking of the boat and lapping of the water against the hull soon sent her off to sleep…
“Ahhh!” Jessina shouted as yet another savage wave hit her. 2 weeks into her journey, a terrible storm had blown up and she now seemed to be in the middle of it. She had fallen asleep on her boat in the middle of the day after a bit of a rough night, and when she had woken up it was windy and raining like mad. She was worried that she had been blown off course, as she hadn’t had the anchor down, and was now frantically trying to get the sail tied down before she was blown much farther away or it was ripped off. It had come untied at the bottom and was now whipping around in the wind, the rain making it very slippery and hard to grab onto. She finally got a hold of it and was beginning to wind it around the mast when it slipped out of her hands again and whipped her in the face. She cried out and stumbled back a bit, her hand to her cheek. She looked at it and saw blood, which only served to make her angrier. The spray of saltwater made the cut burn painfully, and she set to work wrestling with the sail. Finally she got it tied down.
“This isn’t good,” Jessina muttered to herself. Not that she could actually hear her own words above the roar of the wind and the waves, but she was right; it wasn’t good. She didn’t know if, or rather, how far, she had been blown off her course, and one of her bags had ripped and half of her spare food and herbs were gone. Plus she now had a giant bloody gash on her face.
She went to get the oar so she could steady the boat and possibly try to maneuver it so the side wasn’t facing into the wind- she worried about it tipping- but found that the oar was also missing. She cursed her stupidity; she should have been watching. She tried to put the anchor down, but there was nothing suitable for it to catch onto so in the end she decided to wait the bad weather out.
After a miserable few hours of trying to sit it out, Jessina began to feel afraid. It hadn’t let up yet and she was cold, hungry, and tired. And yet the wind blew, and the waves crashed, and the rain pelted down on her harshly. She couldn’t see more than a few feet in any direction due to the spray- not as though it would have helped much if she could have.
Suddenly, there was a harsh grinding noise and the small boat came to a sudden stop. Jessina was thrown over the side. There was a sharp, startling pain in the back of her neck and everything went black.
Jessina awoke to a painfully bright light in her face and icy waves splashing at her legs. She sat up and began to cough, water pouring out of her mouth, the salty taste making her feel sick. Her head instantly began to throb at the sudden motion, and she carefully felt the source of the un-godly pain- a large lump on the back of her head. After taking a moment to adjust to the light and the noise and the motion, she looked around. She was on an island, obviously small with naught but a few sparse trees and a hill rising from what seemed to be the center. She then looked out to sea and found her boat was no where to be seen- nothing was there but some rather large rocks and a few ominous-looking boards that she guessed were from the Starwave.
“Where am I?” she asked herself quietly, her voice sounding lonely and scared.
((Thanks again to all who commented last time! Please keep it up, that way I know if you want to read more. ))