Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 10 - "Reflection"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

changing names, changing luck

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Horror,Sci-fi - Published: 2009-11-22 - Updated: 2009-11-22 - 1385 words - Complete

“Are you alright?” Abu-Sharrah called out as they drew near, having reached a safe distance.

“A few more bruises, but what of that?” Max replied, deciding not to think about what might have happened if he was still on that ship when the pillar hit.

“Yeah, we’re fine, old man,” Justin assured him, “no thanks to that idiot.”

“I heard that,” That Idiot muttered as he emerged from the cabin to join them. A strange turn of events, he reflected, having their own ship. Then again, at least now they would no longer be a burden to the old man. “Oh well. The important part is that we’re all still alive.”

“Yes, but you should really be more careful in de future,” Abu-Sharrah advised them. In spite of their inexperienced and reckless style, perhaps they did have what it takes to survive on the high seas of the Sixth Dimension, he reflected. At any rate, it looked as if they were no longer in any immediate need of his help. “Remember, dis world is vast beyond reckoning. Even an old man like me has never been to all of de different realms in dese waters, so do take care.

“If you’re still thinking about searching for de Tri-Medals,” he added, “I have a request. You may seek dem for the de rest of your life, and dere is no guarantee you will find dem. But if you do find dem in your possession again, I ask you to at least protect dem and keep dem out of de hands of dose who would hurt others to pursue de treasure.”

“I understand,” Max said solemnly. From what he understood of it, whoever it was who originally gave his father the medallion had apparently entrusted it to him in a similar manner, and thinking about that only made him feel worse for losing his.

Shades and Justin nodded, keeping their own reasons to themselves.

“So,” Abu-Sharrah asked them as they came aboard to collect the rest of their belongings, “is dere anything I can do to help you?”

“I think we’re alright now,” Shades told him. “We just stopped to talk, and also to thank you for all the help you’ve given us. With everything that’s happened lately, we have a lot to talk about.”

“I see.” The old man nodded.

“Thank you, Abu-Sharrah,” Max said to him.

“May you have a safe journey,” Abu-Sharrah offered his own blessing. This young man, Max, still seemed strangely familiar, like he should know him from somewhere… Figuring that if it was of any significance, he would remember it sooner or later, he finished, “Wherever de winds may take you.”

“You too!” Shades called. “Thanks for everything!”

“Goodbye!” Max was starting to get the feeling that, whatever Abu-Sharrah’s business was in life, it was bigger than all of them, in some way he couldn’t quite work out. Much like with DJ, though, he got that mysterious feeling that they were bound to cross paths again, somewhere down the way.

“Thanks for the lift!” Justin was just glad they now had their own ship.

“You’re always welcome aboard with us!” Shades told Abu-Sharrah as the old man headed for the helm. Once again they were on their own, but at least this time around they had better resources.

“Don’t say things like that,” Justin muttered. As much as the guy may have helped them, he still thought the old man was a little on the crazy side. “It might actually happen. Now, let’s put some distance between us and that monster.”

“I’ll second that,” Shades conceded, figuring that, after this, the next time all he had to say was that he had a “bad feeling” about something and leave it at that. Surely Justin wouldn’t tempt Fate a third time.

“You know, I don’t think we have to worry about that anymore,” Max told them.

“Why’s that?” Justin intoned.

“Yeah, that thing can go through walls and shit,” Shades pointed out. In retrospect, he was still amazed they even survived against such an enemy. “What’s to stop it from coming out here with that grenade-launcher?”

“But it couldn’t even get past the dock,” Max informed them.

“What do you mean?”

And so Max explained about the dust-devil with the gun, concluding with, “It just fell, like it lost its grip or something.”

“But what if that was just an act?” Justin pressed, as his trust was in short supply anymore.

“I don’t think it was,” said Shades, beginning to see what Max was getting at. “And as pissed-off as it was earlier, don’t you think it would have done something by now? It looks to me like it can’t even leave the island. Now that I think about it, I don’t think it can touch that coin, either. Think about it. If it could hide the damn thing, don’t you think it would have?”

They both thought it over for a long moment.

“Maybe you’re right,” Justin admitted, “but I still don’t like it.”

“Whatever,” Shades muttered. “There was some pretty fucked-up shit in that basement, but I could have got some interesting books if that thing hadn’t tried to kill me.”

“Ha!” Justin scoffed, “That’s nothing compared to what I went through to get this!” He held up the coin so he could admire it again. A gesture that reminded Shades of all too many RPG’s he’d played over the years. “I had to fight that bastard every step of the way!”

“That place was a lot more dangerous than it appeared to be,” Max agreed.

“You can say that again,” Shades seconded.

“That place was— oh, right.”

“And you almost got yourself killed over that thing,” Shades told Justin, “but I guess that’s your business. Personally, I’d have left it behind.”

“Wouldn’t wanna go through all that trouble for nothin’,” Justin retorted, shoving his prize back in his pocket. Bruised and scraped and sore from head to foot, he was glad not only to be alive, but to have something to show for it. As far as he was concerned, the coin was only the beginning of many exploits to come. “Don’t know about you, but I don’t like to walk away empty-handed.”

“I suppose. But now that we’ve got ourselves a ship,” Shades wondered aloud, “where do we go from here?”

“Wherever the winds may take us,” Max suggested, inspired by Abu-Sharrah’s farewell. It was just starting to dawn on him that, after all these years, he was finally in a position to go off on that adventurous voyage he’d always dreamed of. And he was pretty sure both of his friends felt the same.

“Hell yeah!” Shades agreed. All his life, he wanted adventure, wanted to go on a journey; back on Earth, he would have had his road trip to Alaska with Arthur, a part of him fearing that might be all there was, then a lifetime of his nose to the grindstone, but now he was here in the Sixth Dimension. Rather than doors closing on him one by one, the horizon was wide open again. Looking at the name above the cabin door, he said, “But I think we should lose the name.”

“But what’s wrong with the…” Justin paused as he read, a look of disdain settling on his face, “Rose Marine Queen?”

“The Rose Marine Queen?” Shades echoed mockingly.

“We need a new name.” Max made it unanimous.

“But what?” Shades was drawing blanks.

“How about the Maximum?” Max suggested, inspired by Shades’ chant back at the beach.

“After all,” Shades said, “this was his idea.”

“Yeah. Sure,” Justin agreed. “Well, it’s our ship now, so let’s have a look around.”

Shades nodded, thinking about an old superstition of the sea. Wondering if there was anything to it, in this world or his own. To change a ship’s name is to change her luck. Then again, given its last voyage, he couldn’t see how this ship’s luck could get much worse.

Then they set about inspecting their new ride.
Sign up to rate and review this story