I Don't Know Where It Is
The lake surface glittered under the late afternoon sun. The water rippled with the same oranges and pinks as the sky above like a giant mirror. A warm breeze was barely able to rustle the leaves of surrounding "lake-trees", how the villagers put it. A lone figure sat on the bank of the lake, making a daisy chain.
Peregrine smiled at the green and yellow crown she held in her hands and set it down on her hair. She stretched her arms and hopped to her feet, making her way back to her village before it grew darker. She was a light-hearted 17 year old, not taking matters very seriously depending on what they were. I mean, she’d show her sympathy to deaths and losses but she wouldn’t bawl her eyes out, shrieking that she felt their pain. No, she wasn’t like that; she was just an average, cheerful young lady.
Back home, on her bed, she lay staring up at the ceiling. It was a warm summer night and she hadn’t bothered to change out of her simple, peasant-style dress. She never realised until then that her ceiling was actually quite interesting. She wondered why it was called a "ceiling" as she repeated the word over and over again. Such a strange thing, a ceiling…
Screams suddenly drew her away from her interesting thought. Peregrine shot up and drew the blind of her window, which was right above the head of her bed. Moonlight illuminated her room as she opened the window. Her eyes widened as she found people running through the streets in panic. Presently, the ground shook tremendously…and it was growing stronger…
"What’s happening?!" Peregrine cried, as ornaments and books fell from the shelves.
Many of the ornaments broke as they crashed to the shaking ground and pages of the books were torn away from the middle. Darkness engulfed her room and she turned to the window. She screamed as she stared into a deep void that was a massive, black eye! The bottom arched as the owner smiled and Peregrine’s interesting ceiling began to crumble.
She shielded her head as bits of her ceiling, wood and plaster, came down on her. Moonlight illuminated her room once again as her roof was torn away from her little house. Peregrine couldn’t move as a gigantic, crooked man reached down and took her up by her sides.
There was no point in trying to struggle out of his grip or else she would fall and die. The giant lifted her to his crooked old face, grinning and revealing yellowing, rotting teeth and some that were replaced with gold ones. Peregrine scrunched her face and turned away as his rum-breath blew onto her,
"Do you mind?" she coughed, "It’s called hygiene! You heard of it?"
"My, ye’re a feisty one, aren’t ye?" he laughed, his voice loud and somewhat high-pitched,
"That means let me go, you big guloot,"
The giant scowled at his tiny captive, "Why should- "
"Yes, do let the young lady go, Pewter," a younger, more powerful voice said.
‘Pewter’ and Peregrine turned to face the speaker, both having to look up. The speaker was indeed a younger man, more than half Pewter’s age and double his height; this younger giant was huge even to the older one, maybe 200 feet or so? Big enough for her to seem like 2 inches to him. The giant held out an open palm to Pewter, smiling down softly at Peregrine with interest,
"Give her to me and go join the rest of the crew back at the ship. Good job,"
Pewter willingly gave his little captive to the younger giant and walked off, his bent old steps shaking the ground. Peregrine looked down at her village from the new giant’s hand. He lifted her up higher and all she could see were tiny figures, almost like ants, running about the streets of the village. The massive trees just outside the village didn’t even reach the giant’s knees. Peregrine began to feel dizzy as she quickly turned around, away from the edge of the hand,
"I hope Pewter didn’t hurt you, my dear," the giant said suddenly, his voice louder than the last time he spoke.
Peregrine looked up and rubbed her eyes. Something about his appearance seemed very familiar: slightly older than her, long brown hair, pale blue eyes and a scar across the bridge of his nose…no, she knew a lot of guys who had that. His coat was green and sleeveless, his white undershirt providing them instead but only down to his elbows, and was kept open along with his shirt to reveal a nicely toned torso. His pants were a dirty-white colour and his knee-high boots were black,
"Hello?" the giant spoke again, "You still with me?"
Peregrine cleared her throat since it had grown thick with nervousness. She had never been held by a giant before, let alone two in one night. At least there were no other giants she could see. Pewter hobbled away in the distance, heading for the direction of the sea. She folded her arms and shook her head, trying to calm herself as much as possible,
"Yes, I’m still with you," she answered, "And no, Pewter didn’t hurt me," she frowned, "He just tore the roof off my house,"
The giant laughed, "That’s good- you have humour,"
Peregrine rolled her eyes, "What do you want with me?"
"You’re Peregrine Wenson, are you not?"
The screams died down below but people had gathered around the giant’s boot-clad feet. Peregrine frowned, wondering how he knew who she was. And who was he? She stayed silent,
"I’ve been searching for you for a long time," the giant continued, "I need you,"
"What are you talking about? I don’t even know you!"
The giant grinned, flashing a nice set of teeth, "Oh, I think you do,"
She shook her head slowly, contradicting him, still looking up at him…and then…he was right! Her eyes widened as she realised who was holding her; she realised who towered over her village; she realised who had ordered Pewter to give her to him. His name was Feron Marinus, one of the youngest and most infamous pirates in the ocean.
He was captain of the notorious Red Crew and was known to pillage any village, town or city to obtain the most valuable treasures in the world. They would destroy anything in their path and kill anything and anyone who dared interfere with their plans. And they were good at it too. Under Feron’s lead, no one of the Red Crew died except from old age, one from scurvy but he refused to eat his veggies so Feron wasn’t to blame,
"What do you want with me?" Peregrine raised a brow, "I don’t have anything you’d want,"
"Oh but you do, my dear!" Feron said, "You know the location to something that rightfully belongs to me,"
"Don’t you say that to every other treasure you target?" Peregrine’s asked, "And besides, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Now would you kindly put me back down and replace the roof of my house?"
Feron suddenly lifted a great foot and slammed it down onto the rest of her house. It exploded under such a great weight; splinters and rubble flew about everywhere. People screamed again and retreated back into their homes,
"What house?" Feron smiled innocently.
Just as she was about to reprimand him, Feron curled his fingers around Peregrine, making a fist and shoved her into his coat pocket. He walked away, following the path Pewter had made, crushing other houses in the village. He ignored the screams and cries behind him and focused on the squirming little creature he held in his hand. It was only a matter of time until he had what he wanted, what he needed.
Peregrine eventually stopped trying to get out and decided to conserve her energy. She was glad that he hold was gentle at the least so she could think straight. She still had no idea what he was talking about earlier. What was it he wanted for himself this time? And how could she possibly know the location of that thing he wanted when she had trouble finding the right partner to a sock? Feron suddenly lifted her out of his pocket and set her down onto a wooden surface. She looked around and admired the beauty of the place she was now in.
It was the captain’s cabin of the Red Crew’s ship; Feron’s cabin. The candles from the chandelier above gave the room a cosy feel, the light reflecting off the polished wood giving the cabin an orange glow. Crimson drapes over the windows gave the cabin an elegant look and the bookshelf, standing next to his bed, gave the cabin a sophisticated kind of look. The cabin was clean too, which was good.
"Welcome aboard the Mariner, Peregrine," Feron sat down and rested his tilted head in his hand, "You know, to be honest, I imagined you to be much older,"
"Oh?" Peregrine folded her arms and looked up at him, "Is that right?"
"Not that it’s bad that you’re not what I pictured you!" he laughed, "I’m actually glad that you’re younger than what I thought. You’re quite a sight, you know. I’ll enjoy having you here with me,"
"Thanks…" she replied with disinterest, "But I still don’t know what you want,"
"Come now, there’s no need to play dumb," he lowered his head so their eyes met,
"I seriously don’t know what you’re talking about," she turned her head away, tyring to hide a blush on her cheeks, having caught sight of his eyes, "So you may as well take me back to the village,"
"No can do,"
"I don’t care if you’ve destroyed my house…"
"It’s not that, my dear," Feron laughed, his warm breath blowing onto her face, "The ship’s already cast off. You can swim if you want but you’ll have to make it off this ship first…and I doubt you can dodge the footsteps of a lot of drunken pirates out there,"
She could hear stomping, hooting and drunken laughs outside on the deck. She swallowed at the thought of ending up on someone’s shoe, or worse…their bare foot. As she was unfocused, Feron picked her up by her sides and lifted her up to his face. It was just like what happened to her with that Pewter,
"Oh, and you’ll have to get passed me first, my dear,"
There was no way out. If she wanted to get back home, she had to get passed Feron. And if she got passed Feron, then she’d have to worry about dozens of drunken giant pirates stomping around on deck. And if she managed to get through them, then she’s have to swim her way back to land probably through shark-infested waters, knowing her luck at the moment. She had those very thoughts,
"Besides…" she lifted her head, frowning and frustrated, "…how am I supposed to get out of this jar?!"
Feron had actually put her into a jar so that she wouldn’t escape! And here she thought he couldn’t be anymore…well, mean! First her house, then being taken captive and now in a bottle…she couldn’t help but feel so insignificant; she couldn’t do anything.
Ah well, she thought. I may have lost my home but at least I have a roof over my head and Feron’s not going to gain anything from me,
"I don’t know why he refuses to believe me…" she yawned and curled up, lying on her side.
At least the jar was spacious.
She woke to the sound of heavy footsteps walking back and forth on deck. Peregrine sat up and rubbed her eyes wearily, looking around and through the clear glass of the jar. She was still in Feron’s cabin- so it wasn’t a dream- and there he was, slipping on that green coat of his. He hadn’t seen her up yet so she decided to try something she had thought of just before she fell asleep.
Peregrine stood up and flattened down her skirt. She took out a comb from her pocket- that she always had for her thick brown waves- and neatened her hair to tie up into loose braid. Once ready, she took backed up to one wall of the jar and ran to the other side. Just as she reached the other wall, she jumped and kicked it hard. She tried to stay where she was as the jar began to topple over. And just as she had hoped, the jar fell with a CLINK!
Feron looked over in surprise and saw his little captive on the table, crawling out of her jar. His brows rose, impressed at her fete. He walked over folded his arms over his chest. He never seemed to intimidate her even as he towered over her tiny figure; he could try but it still wouldn’t work. Peregrine looked up at him with a smile and greeted him a good morning,
"You’re crafty, my dear," he responded, with a smirk, "I’ll have to find another way to keep you in the cabin at night,"His pocket was probably as big as her room. Peregrine lay back on the soft wall and waited- having been told that she wouldn’t be left alone on the ship. They had anchored at the harbour of a small fishing village to restock on supplies. It was a human village since they had not yet crossed the border to where giants mainly dwelt, but the people did their best to supply the giants with food and other needs…like rum…
Peregrine shook her head. She couldn’t believe that she was allowing herself to be carried around by her captor in his pocket. It just wasn’t helping improve how she felt when with him- small and insignificant. She shook her head again as she heard members of the Red Crew order the poor villagers around for more rum, food, more rope and sometimes even blackmailed them for their money. And there Feron was, watching them silently, probably with his arms folded and looking tall and proud. Well…they were pirates.
He did say a few words though. Twice his pocket enclosed slightly- as he knelt down, he asked for "just one…thanks" and then he’d stand back up again. Peregrine wondered what he had gotten but it probably wasn’t anything he or the crew needed. Eventually, the crew headed back to the Marinus and raised the anchor.
Feron set Peregrine back down on the table and took something out of his other pocket. In his hand lay a notebook and a pen, both looking of high quality. Peregrine was surprised at his gift and looked up at him curiously,
"I just thought you’d might like to have something to keep your boredom away,"
Peregrine took the notebook and pen from his hand, laughing lightly, "I’ll be honest with you. I haven’t been bored since Pewter…gave you to me," she couldn’t think of a better word to use; Pewter kind of did give her to his young captain, "But thank you anyway, Captain Marinus,"
"Please, my dear," Feron chuckled, "There’s no need for formalities between you and me. Feron is fine,"
"Alright. Thank you, Feron,"
"You’re very welcome. Now, I would like to ask you something…"
Peregrine flipped through the blank pages if her new notebook. They had a sweet, floral scent and it tickled her nose as she sniffed it even just the slightest,
"Okay," she sighed, knowing his question already, "At least show me what you want; that thing that I apparently know the location of,"
Feron smiled broadly and walked to the bookshelf. He scanned the second shelf from the top, running a long finger along the spines of the books until he tapped one of the many green leather-bound books. He picked it out and flicked through the pages as he walked back to the table. His footsteps still managed to shake the floor and throw Peregrine off balance. Just before she fell, Feron caught her and placed the book down to an open page.
The book was as big as a small park open, and as tall as a table when it was closed. Just by the look of it, Peregrine could tell that it had to way a couple of tons and therefore Feron must have been a heavy reader*1. Feron pointed to a picture on the right page. Peregrine crawled up to the edge of his hand and peeked over to see a beautiful gold and silver goblet adorned with jewels. Two mermaids seemed to hold it up as their beautiful tails supported them, their long hair flowing down their back and also over their breasts,
"Triton’s Chalice," Feron said, "It is said to bestow the holder power to control the waters. The seas will be under my command and I will rule them,"
His voice had grown so cold and fierce. It was frightening to hear after his usual gentle voice. Peregrine’s heart sank with worry as she stared it the gold and silver chalice. She had never seen it before, let alone know the location of it. And even if she did know, after hearing the change in Feron’s voice, she would have been too frightened to tell him,
"Why?" she asked, "Why do you want such power?"
"Every pirate has the dream to control the sea, my dear," Feron replied, "Mine is no different. The sea is a dangerous enemy but a powerful ally. For a pirate, you are always in the palm of the ocean’s hand; you are in its domain and you are in its control. It can kill you or it can save you,"
"…I see…" Peregrine whispered, "Well, I’m sorry. I don’t know where it is,"
With that, Feron nodded and set her back down on the table. He took the book up quickly, closing it and almost taking Peregrine’s arm between the pages. He returned the book to its space in the shelf and headed for the door,
"H-Hey! Where’re you going?"
"There’s work to be done on the ship, my dear," Feron grinned and shut the door behind him.
Peregrine began filling the first few pages of her new journal, wanting to use it since she took it from Feron’s hand. She made up for last night by writing her experience of being held by giants as her first entry. Her head was exploding full of ideas of what she could put in her journal but she was just too lazy to write anymore than just the first few entries. Nothing personal, private or embarrassing; just basic stuff.
It was getting dark when Feron returned to his cabin, finding Peregrine still writing in her book- she lay on her stomach, her legs kicking the air every so often and the pen in her hand a mere blur as she wrote at full speed. The crew had begun their nightly drunken rave and so Feron had retreated to his cabin, having had bad experiences with his intoxicated crew…he shuddered at the thought,
"What did you do?" Peregrine asked him, doodling a little pirate being eaten by a shark.
Feron gave a tired sigh and sat down in his chair. As he sat down heavily, Peregrine’s book shut close tightly. She was about to sit up when a gigantic finger held her down. Her muscles tensed and her head turned sharply, looking up angrily at him,
"What’re you…!" her body liquefied as Feron’s finger began to slowly and gently rub her back, "…that’s nice…" she purred,
"Would you like to join me for dinner, Peregrine?" Feron cooed,
"Sure…" she replied dreamily.
She thought if getting her incredibly tired and relaxed was his way of getting her to stay in the cabin at night. Oh well, she was liking the back rub at least…
Her eyes widened at the mass of food towering over her- roasted vegetables, freshly baked bread, fruits and a plump chicken. The food was served on either gold or silver plates and was just calling, yearning to be eaten. The smell was intoxicating and so enticing. It was hard to believe that pirates had the ability to create such lovely pieces of food-art.
Feron gestured Peregrine to take what she desired first, having been handed a make-shift plate of bread. Okay, the bread plate sounds weak, but this was giant food! A roast chicken would still hold if a herd of elephants were dropped onto it! Peregrine took what she wanted, her saliva waterfalling out of her mouth and her stomach barking like a Rottweiler at a postman. She began to eat just as Feron began,
"What made you want to become a pirate, Feron?" she asked, taking a chomp out of a roasted potato,
"Since my parents died, I had to live with my grandfather by the sea," Feron picked up a knife, "I guess living by the ocean just calls for a young boy to want to sail on it and rob people,"
Peregrine made a ‘riiight…’ face and nodded, "…that’s, er, nice. Did you…"
Just as she looked up, she stopped. He was still holding the knife, observing the blade as he twirled the handle between his thumb and forefinger. The knife’s edge caught the light of the candle, gleaming menacingly. It looked recently sharpened and looking ready to slice through something. Peregrine swallowed and slowly began to move back. Feron suddenly looked down at her.
And the knife came down…
Peregrine screamed. The blade tip cut through the air and was embedded deeply into the wood. Peregrine opened her eyes, feeling nothing and jumped back in fright at a giant mouse, squirming and bleeding with a knife blade through its body. Her heart raced in her chest so quickly that she couldn’t even feel it beating…unless it wasn’t beating…no, it was beating. The mouse gave a final twitch before collapsing in a dead heap.
The knife stood there, its tip cutting through a rodent’s body and buried deeply into the wooden table. It was so sharp that it could have cut a human in half with one clean slice. And it was so huge that it could have cut several people instead of just one,
"Why do you ask?" Feron took a swig of rum from a silver cup and then looked down, having heard no answer, "Oi, you okay? OH! I’m sorry! I was thinking of telling you that there was a mouse about to pounce on you but I thought you were going to keep talking," he laughed and took another swig,
"Thanks…" Peregrine wheezed, trying to recover from her scare.
They had both had their fill and were bloated. Feron slouched back on his chair, picking his teeth with an ivory toothpick. Peregrine sat back on his arm, rubbing her stomach with satisfaction. She had never eaten such delicious food in her life, nor had she eaten such a delicious plate,
"I’d like to ask you again if you don’t mind…" Feron said,
"Still don’t know where it is, cap-tain," Peregrine stretched, her back arching with the curve of Feron’s arm, "And I still don’t know why you insist on asking me where that chalice thing is,"
She fell back as she reclined, expecting to sit back on his arm again. She watched, as she lay down, Feron stand and take off his shirt and coat, dropping them onto the table. He towered over Peregrine, like he usually did, as he looked down at her,
"Mind giving me a back rub then?"
She shot up straight in an instant and stared up at him in disbelief,
"I’m not giving you a back rub!" she laughed, a part of her wondering if he was actually serious, "You’re huge compared to me!"
"So? You can still do it," Feron scooped her up into a massive hand,
"It’ll be like cutting the grass of a field using my fingers as scissors; I know nothing’s going to happen no matter how hard I try. Why don’t you get one of your crew to do it instead? And why do you want one now? Can’t you get one in a few years? I’m tired, can’t I go to sleep? Please?"
She had used up all her questions that could buy her time in a single go…smart move…NOT! Feron sat down on the edge of his bed, scratching Peregrine’s head and laughing,
"One: everyone is drunk except you and me. Two: my back is killing me after all that heavy lifting today. Three: no, I can’t get one in a few years. Four: stinks for you. And five: no,"
He had actually answered her questions, all in the right order. So there was only one more thing to do; Peregrine folded her arms and sat in Feron’s hand, unmoving and her eyes closed. She wasn’t going to give a 200-foot giant a back rub and she was going to stick by it. He wasn’t going to let him push her around just because she was significantly smaller than him. No way! Not in a million years!
"A little more to the left…yep, right there,"
It was a matter of principle. He had saved her from a giant, hungry mouse- though he scared her out of her wits in the process- and…(Peregrine sighed in defeat and frustration) he had given her a back rub first. An eye for an eye, as they say- whoever they were. Peregrine cursed them and their they-ness. Well at least, luckily for her, he was lying down.
She pressed her hands down as hard as she could into Feron’s back but it was hard trying to push through his thick, giant-skin to reach the muscles. It probably helped that he was toned but she still felt like she was doing nothing! Feron’s body sank slightly as he sighed, obviously relaxed,
"You’d better appreciate this because you’re never getting this again," she warned him coldly,
"Up a bit more, Peregrine," he said, trying to hide his laughter.
She cursed and murmured under her breath as she crawled up his back a little and massaged the spot in front of her. He was lucky she was bare-footed, which probably made her moving from here to there quite relaxing as well. This was so going into the ‘Bitter’ section of her journal.
Peregrine was just so tired that she fell asleep once she landed on Feron’s bed, having to slide down his back to get off. Feron sat up, being careful not to wake her, and gently scooped her up, cradling her in his hand. He slid back a strand of hair from her face and looked down at her. He admired this human girl: she was confident, she could defend herself, she was funny, and he couldn’t believe the patience she had with him; he was being a total jerk to her and she still put up with it.
He carefully lay her down on his pillow and covered her with a little bit of his blanket, enough for her so it felt like she had a blanket of her own. He really wished he didn’t have to be a jerk but he needed Triton’s Chalice. He needed that Chalice and he would get its location from her no matter what…but he didn’t want to hurt her. Carefully crawling out of bed, so not to wake Peregrine, he made his way to the bookshelf and took out a magnifying glass, resting on the tops of books.
He eyes the table and found the little speck that was Peregrine’s journal…She awoke, surprised to find herself on a massive pillow and covered by the hem of a meadow-sized blanket. Peregrine looked around and found herself alone in the cabin. The ship was full of movement and shouts, not what she had expected of pirates that were chugging down rum the night before. She sat up and heard Feron directing everyone around,
"Lower the mainsail, this place’s got a reef here somewhere! Keep watching out for the Navy! I didn’t tell you to slack off! GET TO WORK!!!"
Peregrine gave a laugh as he gave orders to the possible hung-over crew, and tried to find a way off the bed. She could take a peek from the crack under the door to see what was happening. At the foot of the bed, the right corner of the blanket hung all the way down to the floor. She made her way to that corner, watching the deep imprint of Feron’s body still in the bed, and slid down the blanket.
She ran over to the door and slid under the crack. She lay down on her stomach and watched the Red Crew at work. If anyone opened the door, she wouldn’t get hit so she didn’t have to worry about a massive door bashing into her head and flinging her all the way to the other side of the cabin. The floor shook as shoes and bare feet pounded around, running about the ship.
It wasn’t what she had expected in a pirate ship. She imagined the whole crew relaxing and drinking their rum at every second of the day; the captain bathing in all the gold they had stolen; and the occasional brawl that started with the argument on how gorillas are apes, not monkeys. No, the Red Crew kept the Marinus in tip-top condition. Everything was well looked after and clean, definitely not what she had expected from pirates.
There was a sudden uproar of shouts and swords being unsheathed. Peregrine found Feron with his sword in hand and the Red Crew behind him in a well organised battle formation. There was a confident and amused grin on his face,
"Are y’ready, lads?"
The loud BOOM of cannons being fired masked the cheers and yells of the Red Crew as they ran to the edge of the ship. The floor shook terribly now, greater than when Pewter and Feron had walked into her village. Something else was going on- they were attacking another ship!
The ship rocked violently back and forth, side-to-side as the Red Crew and pirates from the other ship clashed into violent sword fights. The Red Crew were just too good swordsmen! The victors leapt onto the other ship, throwing their opponents’ bodies overboard. Peregrine saw no more, hearing only distant shouts, screams of pain and hearty, victorious laughter.
She lifted herself up and tried to find her way back onto the massive table- her journal was up there! Feron’s chair towered over her, as tall as two or three castles on top of each other, and she shuddered at the thought of seeing Feron standing at his full height while she stood on the ground. He was a big man and seemed to be able to do anything. Peregrine rubbed her warm cheeks at the thought of that single-scarred face of his…and that beautifully toned body she massaged last night…
The cabin door flew open. Peregrine turned around quickly, expecting Feron to be there having successfully taken down his pirate-prey. But no, it wasn’t him. It was a scruffy looking teen with a monkey on his shoulder, tittering about like a mouse. He looked to be 16 and seemed to be part of the other ship. How did he get into Feron’s cabin? Stupid question- obviously he turned the knob- but how dare he enter!
The monkey spotted her and leapt off the boy’s shoulder. Peregrine ran away immediately, desperately trying to find a corner where the monkey’s nimble fingers couldn’t get her. The monkey was close behind her, its palms and feet slapping and shaking the wooden floor. The boy caught sight and dropped to his knees, keeping an eye on Peregrine. She refused to look back and continued to sprint, but where?!
"Got ye!!!" the boy grinned…
It was just like when Pewter had found her that fateful night. The boy’s fingers curled around her body and lifted her up quickly to meet his young face. This one had to be the youngest pirate she had ever seen, taking Feron’s spot,
"Oh, yer a human aren’t ye?"
"Yeah, put me down now," Peregrine merely frowned, too used to being held against her will to be angry anymore.
The boy smiled as his monkey perched on his shoulder once again. In its furry little hands was a gold coin it seemed to have pinched from the table top,
"I always wanted a human for me collection, and ye’re a cute one too,"
He wasn’t too bad himself but his desire to want her to be part of his ‘collection’ just had to ruin it all. And anyway, she would rather be with Feron any day. He seemed to try to act smooth but the boy here just wasn’t a Feron. He ran a finger from her cheek and down her side,
"Ew! Put me down!" Peregrine cried, her heart racing nervously about what this boy was planning to do with her, "Get away from me!"
The monkey suddenly shot up, giving a shriek in surprise. Its eyes were wide in shock and it suddenly fell to the floor, dead. The bloody slash on its back kind of gave it away,
"She’s too good for you, boy," Feron examined the monkey blood staining the tip of his massive blade.
The boy turned around and cowered back. Peregrine had a smirk on his face and folded her arms, still being held in the boy’s hand; inside, her heart was dancing with relief. Feron slowly approached the boy as he tested the edge of his bloody blade,
"It’s wrong to trespass into someone’s room," he sighed as if sorry for the boy, "And stealing as well…" his eyes flashed menacingly, "Kidnapping!"
The door slammed closed at the right time. Tears were in the boy’s eyes as he apologised profusely to Feron, pleading to be spared. He had set Peregrine down on the table, though not too gently, and dropped to his knees. She noticed that she was next to a magnifying glass but then dove for her journal nearby, embracing it like a long lost friend,
"Get out of here," Feron’s voice was a slow, cold hiss, "Your crew’s waiting for you,"
The boy jumped to his feet and ran out, fumbling at the doorknob while he saw the merciless Captain Marinus cleaning and examining his sword. He finally got the door opened and Feron smirked, laughing softly, expecting something. The roar of the Red Crew pirates caused the boy to scream as they took him by his back and pulled him away from Peregrine’s and Feron’s sight.
"What’re they going to do with him?" Peregrine asked, feeling a little sorry for the boy,
"Beats me," Feron shrugged, "You okay?"
Peregrine nodded as she recovered from her scare. She looked up at him to answer properly then gasped. His clothes were torn, sliced and stained with blood of his own and other pirates. His arms and body were cut and slashed at. Only his face remained untouched except for tiny splatters of blood- that weren’t his own,
"Forget me! What about you? You’re bleeding!" she said worriedly,
"What, this?" he raised his brows and laughed, "I get this all the time. And anyway, there’s one more rival out of my way but now…" he sighed, "I’m probably not going to get any sleep tonight,"
"Does it hurt?"
"No…the crew’ll be partying louder than usual…"
"Oh…" Peregrine suddenly looked up at him with a suspicious/peeved look on her face, "You know…you kidnapped me…"
"Yes, but I need you," Feron raised her chin up higher with a finger, "That boy wanted you for his collection,"
"You heard that, huh?"
Everyone was cleaned and bandaged up before anything else. Feron really did look after his crew even if he was harsh on them at times, but what captain wasn’t harsh? Peregrine stayed away from what the cook insisted was pork and stuck with the fruit for dinner. She scribbled down that day’s happenings as well as the rest of what had happened last night in the ‘Bitter’ section. Feron kept his arm at rest for her to sit back on as she wrote,
"You’re lucky I can’t read that miniscule writing of yours," he said, holding his head in his free hand,
"Excuse you for wanting to read it, Feron," Peregrine shut the book closed, finished for the day.
He suddenly scooped her up and lifted her up to his face, his eyes soft as he looked at her. Peregrine sat back on his great fingers, her arms folded, holding her journal, and her suspicious expression asking him what he wanted,
"Nothing, my dear," he cooed, "Can’t I talk to you without having to strain my neck?"
Peregrine laughed, "Fair enough,"
"Do you know why I want Triton’s Chalice, Peregrine?" he asked suddenly,
"I don’t know where- "
"No, hear me out for a minute," he stopped her, a massive but gentle finger set on her lips, "I told you that every pirate had the dream of ruling the ocean, well that’s not the real reason why I want it…"
"Go on. I’m listening," Peregrine said gently, taking his finger and massaging it.
"Thank you, my dear," he smiled and continued, "I was with my parents onboard my uncle’s ship; we were all celebrating my cousin’s 18th birthday. We were having the time of our lives out at sea when suddenly the waves grew intense and pounding. My uncle tried desperately to steer us back to land and he was struggling. The waves had grown to monstrous heights and crashed down on the ship with ease.
Everyone tried their best to keep the ship balanced for our uncle but I stayed in our cabin, having been told that I was too young to do anything. I just watched, hating that I couldn’t do anything. The waves pounded at my family, their dresses and suits saturated and ripped, and then…"
His heart sank. Peregrine stroked his hand, trying to be as comforting as possible even if she was tiny to him. She waited for him to continue, not forcing him, but why was he telling her this? A part of her felt like that this was just some way of trying to get her to tell him where that Chalice was; but the rest felt like he was just needed to relieve himself of some inner pain,
"A single wave took them away from me," he finally said, "In the blink of an eye, a huge wave crashed onto deck and swept my mother and father into the sea. After that…the sea just calmed and we were able to reach the shore (Peregrine kept quiet, only nodding). After their funeral, I was put under my grandfather’s care. He was a fisherman and it was from him I found out about Triton’s Chalice.
Peregrine, I just felt so useless that night. I couldn’t do anything to save them. The sea had taken them from me, and when I had heard of the Chalice’s ability, I thought of nothing else but having the seas at my control. It had played at my family that night and so with the Chalice, I could play at the sea. It would be a servant, my servant…do you understand? It sounds stupid, doesn’t it?"
"No! No, not at all," Peregrine shook her head, "I completely understand and no…it doesn’t sound stupid. I don’t think it does…you felt that the sea wanted you to be alone, especially after it suddenly calmed when your parents were swept away. But Feron…I’m sorry…but I don’t know where the Chalice is. Honestly,"
He only nodded and said, "Very well. Thank you, by the way. I just feel like I can tell you anything,"
"That’s alright. I’m always willing to listen. I’m your human ear!"
He had asked her if she could sleep with him that night, on his pillow of course. His reason: it was going to be cold that night. They had crossed into the Ice Lands and although they would be away from the area by dawn, she would probably freeze during the night if she stayed on the table. Peregrine believed him. The air had grown quite chilly, and she now knew why.
Feron lay awake, looking at Peregrine as she slept. He had given her a clean handkerchief to use as a blanket but she had also wrapped herself in his hair. She snuggled in deeper into the pillow and curled slightly as he stoked her cheek with a gentle finger. Then carefully, he sat up, sliding his hair from under and away from Peregrine, then walked to the table.
He lit a candle and picked up the magnifying glass. He searched around the tabletop until he found what he was looking for. The tiny tome that Peregrine had left laying there, its pages smelling like sweet flowers. It was smaller than his pinky’s nail but he carefully opened it and continued reading from where he had left it last night…
The sun shone through the window and onto Peregrine’s face. There was an unconscious smile on her face after a nice dream she had had last night. As she stretched, sitting up now, she remembered back to her talk and listen time with Feron. She didn’t expect him to have told her something so personal…she was flattered. That side of him really made her forget about how he had given her a hard time, which, coincidentally, happened every time she had said, "I don’t know where it is".
Peregrine smiled, slumping forward with her elbows on her things as she sat cross-legged on his pillow. Since he wasn’t still in bed, she guessed that he was outside but then a shadow was cast down on her. She looked up and jumped back,
"Hey there! I thought you…" her smile faded,
"Where is it, Peregrine?" he asked, his voice soft but cold, "Where’s the Chalice?"
Peregrine frowned, worried and nervous, "Feron, I told you before, I don’t know where it is,"
"I must know, Peregrine! Tell me now!" his voice rose considerably,
"I don’t know where it is, Feron!" she was growing frightened, "I don’t know who told you that I know where that Chalice is but I don’t know!"
"I’ve grown impatient with your lies, my dear," he hissed, towering over her ominously, "Why must you insist on telling me the same lie over and over again?"
"Because it’s the truth! What’s the matter with you, Feron? What happened to you?" Peregrine scrambled back, "Did that story you told me bring back your anger? Did it bring back your grief of the loss of your parents? What’s wrong?!"
"I’ve tried everything I could think of that may have drawn you to tell me where the Chalice is," he didn’t seem to be listening, "I tried to flatter you, make you comfortable. I fed you, protected you and still you resist…"
"So that meant nothing," Peregrine swallowed, her heart sinking; breaking, "Everything you’ve done to me…it was nothing…"
Feron snatched her into a fist. His grip was hard and squeezed her body. Peregrine flinched as his grip grew tighter around her,
"I don’t know what you’re thinking of me, Peregrine, but you will tell me where the Chalice is NOW!"
"I DON’T KNOW WHERE IT IS, FERON!" she cried, "PLEASE! YOU’RE HURTING ME!!!"
Feron seemed to have gained sanity. His grip loosened immediately and Peregrine fell back down onto the bed. A blank, distressed look was on his face and he didn’t look at her. Without a word, he left the cabin, leaving Peregrine to recover, panting…and fighting Them back…
Peregrine stayed in the cabin, sitting on the bed silently and holding her knees to her chest. She didn’t lift her head as Feron came back into the cabin, shutting the door softly behind him. It was dark when he came back and the both of them hadn’t eaten, or spoken or seen each other for the whole day.
Feron leaned back on the door and looked at her, sitting there on his bed silently and still like a statue. She was a statue. He shook his head at the thought of him saying something; he was just too ashamed. He turned and eyed her journal on the table. It had nothing about the Chalice. Absolutely nothing.
He took up the book and held it out to her along with her pen. Peregrine looked up and took them into her arms. It was there she began to write, still silent and a solemn expression on he face. It was only a few seconds until he heard her shut the book and throw it in front of her. She then lay down and fell asleep.
Feron gently took her tiny body, scooping her up and holding her just on his fingertips. He lay her down on his pillow again and covered her with the same handkerchief she had used as a blanket. She was fast asleep. He then focused on her journal, the pen lying there on the cover, and picked it up. Taking the magnifying glass from the table, he returned to the bed and knelt down on the edge nearest to Peregrine but out of her sight, in case she awoke.
The pages flipped and flipped until he found the entry from last night. Feron flipped the page again…nothing. Again…a blank page. Again…another blank page…and another…and another…and another. There were blank pages every time he turned the page until he saw tiny spots of ink where it had seeped through the other side of the paper. One more turn and he was there: today’s entry. It didn’t even take up a fraction of the page but he read it:
"It meant nothing. Everything he did, and everything he said meant nothing. I thought we had grown to be good friends but I was wrong.
I promised myself that I would never do It. I promised that I wouldn’t. Not ever. I’ve been holding them back this whole time easily but now…right now, I want to break my promise…
I wish I could cry…"
She awoke in the dead of the night to find her journal open and that same magnifying glass from the table right next to it. Feron rested his head in his folded arms on the bed, facing away from her. Peregrine kept her ‘blanket’ with her, wrapping it around her shoulders like a giant shawl and walked over to her journal, tip-toeing carefully on the soft surface of the bed.
She gave a sharp gasp to find today’s entry looking up at her. She knelt down and closed her book, lifting it up and holding it close to her chest. She bit her lips together, fighting Them back and shaking. He had read it…the last entry she had written. She jumped as she suddenly heard a soft, sad,
She turned to look at Feron. He lay there, still and sleeping, but she was definite that he had spoken. Peregrine stood and approached him slowly. She knelt down on both knees by his arm and touched it,
"…I had never meant to…but I did," he said and then stopped,
"What weren’t you meant to do?" Peregrine asked softly,
"I hurt you…only because I was grieving for my parents…" he replied, "I’ve hurt you so much today and it was only until I hurt you did I finally realise that you don’t know where the Chalice is…I should have taken your word…I’m sorry…"
He lifted his head up and found her fighting Them back again. Her hand covered her mouth and she faced away from him as if in pain. He smiled, picked her up and held her close to his cheek in a hug,
"It’s alright for you to cry…" he said.
With that, Peregrine wept and wept onto his cheek, holding none back. Feron closed his eyes and felt the warm, gentle flow of his own tears trickle down his skin,
"…I’ve always loved you…" he whispered.
He walked slowly on the deck, his hands behind his back, toward the bow. The Red Crew ran around and about, fixing this, polishing that, lifting this, dropping that, but he didn’t take much notice. Peregrine sat, perched on his shoulder, holding on to his neck and watching the men at work. Even without Feron giving them an ear-blasting, they worked hard. It still just amazed her.
He watched out for land, counting on both his eyes and the sailor’s in the crow’s nest. They needed supplies again, the ship having taken heavy damage from the cannons of the other pirates. They had already crossed the border into the giant’s realm so they could actually take a rest from the sea for a bit,
"Tell me…why did you promise yourself that you wouldn’t cry?" Feron suddenly asked her.
He knew that she knew that he had read her journal, so there was no hiding it. He had told her that he had read every entry. Surprisingly, she didn’t mind since there was nothing absolutely private in there, but she was glad that he had told her. And now at least he didn’t hassle her about that Chalice, also admitting that he would forget the past and move on,
"I saw crying as a sign of weakness," she replied, "I refused to cry, absolutely refused to do it in front of people. I didn’t want anyone to see me cry, thinking that they would see me as a prissy-sissy little girl…but I’m not am I?" she laughed embarrassedly.
Feron chuckled, "You are an odd one, my dear,"
"If I told you something now, you would probably crush me into a pulp,"
"Oh? Why would I do that?" he plucked her off his shoulder upon reaching the bow and planted a gentle kiss on her cheek,
"When you stepped on my house…remember that?" she blushed at his kiss as she asked,
"Yes, of course," he grinned,
"I didn’t mention to you that you killed my grandmother in the process,"
"Oh…" Feron blushed, "Oh geez! I’m sorry! I- "
"No, no, that’s okay. I never liked the old battle-axe since she didn’t like me; never did since Dad left me with her. Anyway, when she was drunk- which she always was- she’d always demand for a bigger cup for her brandy. One time she mentioned this ENORMOUS one she had hidden a long time ago when she was my age- the gods only know when- and so…yeah,"
"And how is that meant to make me want to crush you into a pulp, my dear?"
"An enormous cup…that she had hidden…?" she tried to hint him,
"She was drunk," Feron shrugged, "They always make up stories and want bigger cups for their beer; the crew always do,"
"…would it help if I said her name was Peregrine Wenson?"