The Pirate Captain tells me that he has traveled the world, to places that no other man dare step foot. He and his crew use a compass, a magical timepiece, to enter realms closed off to humans and it’s been there, at these realms, that he has not just witnessed magic but stolen it. It’s more of this magic that he wants from me. I protest and tell him that I know nothing of magic and gardens filled with golden apples, of time pieces that tick away the past, present and future but he tells me that he has kept me alive for one purpose and that is my breathing apparatus. “My what?” I ask, unable to comprehend how he knows such things. “Don’t try to pretend that I don’t know such things”. He says close to me, his breath warm and dry on my skin. I remember developing and testing my under-water breathing apparatus in a shallow stream that empties into the mill near my town. I had never told anyone about my fear of the water, about my fear of drowning about my nightmares of drowning in the ocean. I built and carried my breathing apparatus with me everywhere, even while I slept. I never told another soul. “How the hell do you…” “Know about your invention? Don’t be silly mate, I can go anywhere, see anything. Do you really think you boarded The Ambassador by chance?” He laughs and the tick of the clock grows louder. “I don’t have much time before they go back to where they came and then I won’t be able to follow…” “What are you talking about?” I ask, suddenly annoyed. “The mermaids!” he yells “use your breathing invention to enter the cove of the mermaids and bring me back one of their pearls!”
Aged black vanilla, brine-coated wood, dragon’s blood resin, salty sea spray, otherworldly spiced incense, and ocean waves crashing upon the deck from the slash of the beast’s wooden tail.