The previous installment of Chloe Bradshaw’s pirate saga can be found here.
While I thought about my brother and contemplated my undead state, Luke sat nearby, eyes closed.
“I am ready to leave.” I told him when the thinking got to be too much.
I followed his lead as we both walked to the edge of the rock and jumped in. I was expecting the water to be cold, even after Luke said it wouldn’t be. I didn’t even feel wet. The current moved me up and down. The birds stayed away from us and wouldn’t come near.
“Animals are nervous around us, for we are not entirely human now,” Luke explained.
Swimming felt effortless, like I wasn’t even moving my arms and legs. Land seemed to be bearing closer, faster then possible. I felt the wind in my hair, but not the cold.
We reached Land’s End and its port. When we we climbed onto the wooden dock, I looked down at my clothes. They were bone dry. I glanced at Luke and noticed that he too had come up dry.
We started walking. Silence filled the air like a plague. The hills were breathtaking, heather covered most of them, making the hills look purple. I saw horses grazing in the nearby fields, as well as sheep. People were wrapped up warm and the leaves blew in the wind, the only sign that it was cold. As before, we came upon Sennen at record speed.
I was so content just walking through the cobbled streets of my home town. The sensation of being back really was wonderful. It felt like I had been gone for a life time. I saw Luke looking around and I had the feeling that he had not been here before.
“No,” he said when I asked him. “I never saw the point, I favoured going to places far away from home, and Sennen is too close to home.”
I felt great sympathy for Luke. It must have been grim, spending so many years alone. And I was also grateful that I would not spend years alone without anyone to talk to.
When we reached my house, the night was upon us, the moon and the stars were rising.
Everything was as I remembered it. Nothing had been moved or cleaned. I sat down upon a wooden chair which used to squeak under my weight, but did so no longer.
I heard a click of the key turn in the lock. The creak of the door followed soon after.
“Hello.” I heard Jay shout uncertainly.
“Hi,” I replied.
“Jace?” He said, restraining his excitement. He burst through the door, his face was lit up.
“Hello, Jay.” I said.
“I can’t believe it’s you, how are you?” he asked.
“You’d never guess… Jay, I have something I must tell you. It will sound far-fetched but bear with me.”
“What is it?” He asked, a frown forming on his face.
“I’m dead.” Jay looked at me with an incredulous expression, then laughed.
“I don’t believe you, why would you say that?”
“I wouldn’t if I wasn’t telling the truth.” I protested. “Here’s the proof.”
I produced a dagger from my pocket. I grasped it tightly in my hand, the tip of the dagger facing towards my heart. I put my left hand over the hilt of the dagger and forced it through my skin. For the first time since my death, I felt cold. When the blade of the dagger penetrated my skin, no drop of blood leaked out, no pain shot through my body.
Jay’s face went pure white when I withdrew the blade. I placed the dagger back in my pocket and looked into my brother’s eyes.
“Do you believe me now?” I asked. Jay nodded; he seemed too stunned to speak. When the news finally sunk in he asked.
“What are you doing back and who’s this?”
“This is Luke, my new friend and I have come back to get a new ship and crew.”
“What happened to the crew?”
“They were not as lucky as me.”
“How did Luke make it out alive?”
“He was already dead.”
“I see,” he practically whispered. “Why did you come back to the house?”
“I thought that you would like to come with me?”
“Yes, I would thank you.” His voice was both solemn and grateful. “Where shall we go from here then?”
“To Mrs Williams to tell her about the death of her husband, then back to the dock.”
We walked out of the house and down the road. We reached the house of the new widow and I rapped upon the door loudly. The door opened with a loud creak. Mrs Williams stood just inside the doorway.
“Jace!” She cried with relief. “How are you?”
“Fine,” I lied. I was anything but fine, considering that I had to tell this poor woman that her husband of forty years was dead.
She stood aside to let us in the house. The image of me walking through the house not that long ago flashed through my mind.
We sat down upon four wooden chairs. I swallowed hard.
“Mr Williams sadly did not make it back to land.” Her face looked blank, like a statue’s. I stood up and put a hand on her shoulder.
“Don’t you dare touch me!” She slapped my hand away. “You are the reason my husband is dead.” Her tone grew cold and measured. She sat there as still as water on a calm day. I opened the door and walked out into the night.
I looked into the sky and saw the moon. It was large and yellow with wisps of cloud in front of it. ‘You are the reason why my husband is dead’ – The words kept swirling around in my mind. I know she was right, I also blamed myself when I saw him die. I shouldn’t have gone on that ship.
“Jace !” I heard Jay shout. I heard heavy footsteps and knew he was running to catch up with me.
“Jace she didn’t mean it.” I looked at my side and saw Luke looking at me sympathy in his eyes.
“She did, I know it.” I told him. “It was my idea to go out to sea.”
“Aye, but you did not know that there a storm that would kill everyone was brewing.”
“I suppose you are right.”
“I am right, now come on, we have to get some supplies for the ship.”
“I stayed behind a while longer to try and to make her understand that it wasn’t actually your fault.” Jay said when he caught up with us.
“Thank you.” I told him.
We continued to walk, the moon looming over us. The silence in which we walking in was impenetrable. We reached the house and walked in, no one saying a thing.
“We will stay here until the morning then we shall stock up on food and get a new ship.” I finally broke the silence.
“Another ship? Where from?” Jay asked.
“I know some people who will help us.” Luke answered.
“It’s sorted then,” I said, liking this plan.
I walked into my old room. I found everything the way I had left it. On the bed, I closed my eyes and gently drifted off into slumber. I cannot remember the dream I had that night, perhaps I didn’t have one. There was so many things on my mind I was glad that I was able to get sleep. I was glad that Jay was coming with me, being apart from him had been awful.
I awoke in the morning to find Jay standing over me.
“Sorry,” Jay apologised when I jumped. “I was about to wake you up.” I looked at him and I felt my face settle into a smile. I got out of bed and went into the nearest thing we had to a kitchen.
I saw that the fire was lit and Luke was cooking sausages. I could not smell the smoke nor the meat. I could tell that Jay could smell it by the way that he inhaled deeply and rubbed his hands together.
They didn’t take long to cook and we soon tucked in. Depression hit me when I took the first bite. I could not taste anything. Not even a tiny morsel. I looked over at Luke who was eating as though nothing was wrong.
“Can you taste anything?” I asked.
“I guess that’s what happens when you’re dead.” It was the only explanation I had.
I realised from that point that this strange “immortality” was not going to be a walk in the park. I would taste anything, smell anything, or even feel anything, forever. I had even more sympathy for Luke then. He had been living with this, if you could call it living, for a century….
To be continued.