Prelude to the Gods
by Katelin Edge
Rainswept skies bit her skin angrily, sending horrible chills through her body to reach into the depths of her soul. The flaying body of the emaciated child smashed against the side of something hard and solid. The scurry of boots and the shouts of men above could not melt her dark, clouded mind. The sea around her began to rise over her head, dragging her down and embracing her like a sated lover.
"No child, don't do it!"
Leaping from the boat, the youngest of the pirate crew of the Reaper's Mist skimmed into the ice water, which immediately began lashing angrily at him like a thousand enemies' knives.
The murky depths were silent, though from above they roiled, bucked, and screamed angrily at any travellers attempting a ride upon its broad back. Somewhere in those depths, one child found the other, and lifted her out, her skin pale and purpling, his still retaining its seaman's tan. There were shouts from above and a rope ladder was dropped, and the two water logged beings were brought from the sea, one into a life he had always known, and the other into a life she would have to.
Twelve years later...
Kali awoke and rolled out of her bed, bringing the sheets with her. She wrapped her frail body in the plain sheet and padded over to the porthole in her small window. She leaned her head against the cold glass, closing her eyes for a moment, hoping that the ship would just fade away and she could return from where she came from... wherever that was. It seemed she couldn't remember anything since that time twelve years ago when Demitri had pulled her from the waters. She was grateful to him most of the time, but some times she wished she would've drowned. She slid her hand between the sheets she held around her frail shoulders to between her legs, and tears stung her eyes.
Kali glanced around the room, and her eyes locked on the dagger belt, which was thrown over her clothes. She had retrieved them early this morning from the store room, and had laid the garments on the back of the rickety chair in her room with shaky hands. She walked over to the pile, dark eyes unseeing as she held out a hand to feel the texture of the black cloak. Sliding her hand over the material her finger tips touched the cool leather of the belt and then traced its smooth face to the obsidian handle of the dagger. Drawing it slowly, she watched the blue tinged metal hiss out of the scabbard. She studied the blade methodically, running her slim, musician fingers over the sharp metal. Cold, unfocused eyes watched as the blood welled out in droplets before cascading down her fingers in bright lines that stained her slightly tanned complexion.
Slowly, as if something was drawing her, her eyes roamed upwards to lock with those in the cracked, slightly warped mirror across her room. She carefully laid the dagger on the scarred desk, the only furniture in her room besides the rickety chair and the bed that leaned to one side, and padded softly over to the mirror. She let the sheet she held around her shoulders drop in a pile at her feet and tilted her head slightly sideways, studying herself. Her bloodied hand was clasped in a fist and held across her chest, and she placed the other on her face. She traced the gentle slopes of her cheekbones, the scimitar shaped scar on her jaw, and the set of her obsidian, silver-flecked eyes. Her hand went up to her forehead and she ran it through the hip length, straight silver and white locks of her hair. She stepped back, still studying herself, and saw the frail shoulders, concave stomach, slightly curved hips, and the beginning of her short, yet shapely, legs. Calmly she walked back to the mirror, and raising the bloodied fist, she smashed it. Shards of glass clanged to the floor and she watched them, almost reverently, as they shattered against the cold, tongue-and-groove wood.
Kali studied the shards and noticed one larger than the rest. She lifted it from the ground, the edges making a scraping noise against the solid wood. She shifted the glass to where she held the point at her wrist. She began to press, feeling the skin breaking from the pressure of the shard. Then there was a knock on the door and she jumped, the mirror shard falling from her hand and shattering against the floor. The knock came again, and she stood, wrapping the sheet around her shoulders again, and walked over to the door.
Easing it open a crack, she saw Demitri standing by her door, a strange look on his face.
"You ok, Kali, I thought I hear something breaking," he stated, his voice even as he ran his hand nervously through his shoulder length jet black mane.
Kali nodded before forcing a smile, making sure that her bleeding hand was hidden behind the door. "I'm fine, Captain, the mirror just fell off the wall."
He nodded skeptically and studied her with raw silver eyes. Kali stared back evenly at the chiseled, darkly tanned features of the Captain, Demitri. He was practically the exact opposite of Kali: dark tan opposed to her light one; silver eyes opposed to her black ones; black hair clashing with her two-toned silver and white; white and gold fancily embroidered clothing against her plain black and silver. Broad shoulders that tapered down to a slim waist and hips completed his design.
As if just noticing her undressed state he looked away and turned adding gruffly, "Get dressed and down to breakfast before everyone eats everything. If you don't get something in your system you'll tip overboard when the wind picks up. There's a storm over the horizon, and we don't need that."
Kali watched his broad back as he walked away, his sea boots thunking solidly against the wood. Carefully she pulled herself back into her room and eased the door closed. She leaned her back against it and looked at her once bloodied hand, which was now clean and perfect, just as it was before she had woke up this morning. She clutched her hand in a fist and slid to the floor with her back against the door. She pulled her knees up to her chest and rested her forehead on them. Tears began to spill down her face as she started laughing, her body heaving with jointed mirth and pain, the sound echoing eerily around the small enclosed chamber.
design ©2001 by Cindy Rosenthal
Shackled © 2001 by Katelin Edge
What is copyright?