Still Alive - first chapter
370 days ago
The seas were violent and the sky was erupting into a wicked storm that soon had us surrounded. Our ship was more of a boat and it was not an ideal size for this kind of weather. My uncle grabbed me and he tossed me into my room. “Stay in here! Don’t move!” I remember hiding under my covers and trying to stay calm. We have been through thousands of storms but this one was different. It was almost as if the sea was angry about something and its tantrum was wrecking our lives. But the sea does not care about a small group of people on a boat. It never would care.
The sea would torment us by swallowing us and spitting us back up. I remember at some point I tumbled to the ceiling and then I fell back onto my bed. Then a huge amount of water takes me from my room and I find myself sinking to the bottom. I looked up and I could see the damage that was done to the boat. All the crew members, including my Uncle, were being pushed down with the boat into the cold water down below. For some reason, I found it in me to swim up and make it to the surface where I gasped violently for air. My tiny body was beaten by the waves and I drank in quite a bit of seawater as I tried keeping afloat. I remember feeling hands grabbing me and pulling me up onto a wood surface.
Being taken by people I did not know was traumatizing and made me very confused. They also scared me because they did not look normal, far from it. One of them takes me and I soon find myself resting in a new bed. “You will be okay. Just drink some of this Salty.” My name was never Salty but my mind was so moldable that I went with it and I have forgotten my true name. One thing that is for sure was that it was never Salty. The new crew sort of adopted me and I was always called Salty, born from the sea. This crew never really treated me as a family member more like a dog. They even petted me and fed me on the floor. I did most of the chores and I worked hard every day with little thanks. It was never rewarding work more like work to keep my mind off my old life.
One day the crew was successful in collecting loot from another ship and when I was cleaning as normal. Then something slipped out of one of the old trunks the men were carrying. I remember picking the coin and being mesmerized by the gold shine it had. Then something terrible happened. My hand withered away in front of me and it turned to bone. It made it all the way up my arm and up to my shoulder. When I dropped the coin the transformation stopped. I can still feel the pain of it today. The other members were not as lucky as me. Even when they let go of the gold they continued to decay. Eventually, they were all nothing but bones. They all died and I was the only survivor.
Days went by and I live on the ship and I soon found weak and starving almost to death. Without a proper team, the ship took me a long time to figure out while trying to learn how to cook something edible. A five-year-old is not normally that intelligent but I guess I was an exception. I worked the ship and I learned to fish. The storms were hard but it was my only chance to collect fresh water. I kept buckets everywhere and when they were filled I would store them away down in the lower part of the ship. My dead arm still moved and it could lift things better than my normal arm. Not sure how that worked.
Then one day another ship passed by and was scared because they did not look like a friendly ship. Thinking fast I managed to take the crew that I did have and I placed their lifeless bodies randomly around the ship. If this did not spook them I don’t know what would have at the time. Again I was five and I only knew a few things. What I really needed was an adult to look after me and show me life, but all I had was instincts and my own thoughts. The old memories of the people I did know and what I learned from them. As the other boat approaches, I remember hiding but my curiosity made we look at what was going on.
I was spotted and the other ship boards mine. Feeling scared I cowered and I let them find me. Don’t know why I did not try to run or take a dingy but I was only five. A woman walked up to me and honestly the first time I meet her I felt my world stop. She was the first woman I had ever seen and she felt like a dream to me. I got to finally see an adult version of me. Well, her hair is a wavy brown color and mine is black with white on the top with some streaks. The woman was fairly thin and pale. She was interesting for sure but she was most intimidating. “Stand!” I slowly stood to my shaky feet and she looked at me in shock. She was looking at my arm and it made me feel uncomfortable. “What happened to the crew and what happened to your arm?” I pointed to the chest of coins. She picked it up and I screamed at her bravery. Nothing happened to her, there was no change and she did not turn to bones. “Well, whatever happened to you I am sure it was a curse. We shall not do the same mistake.”
After that, the woman took me to her ship and I was tossed into a small room. The door was nothing but bars and I felt scared. I know now that it was a cell and the woman was keeping me as a prisoner. She hardly fed me and she hardly came down to visit me. One day was different though she came and forced me to put something together for her. I had no clue what it was. It was black and shiny. I now know what it was it was a gun and then after I was finished assembling the thing she pointed it at me for a very long time. It was only a little scary because I did not understand what was going on. I watched as her hands shook and her nerves, got the better of her. Thank goodness she did not kill me.
The weeks went by and I was eventually put to use. The lady had put me to work. I was to clean and prepare almost everything. My once soft hand became calloused and cut up. Most of the time I use my bone hand because it never hurt and it was stronger. Slowly I became left-handed. Every time I was finished with a chore I was sent back to my cell. It was a sad way to live for sure. At least I was alive.