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She caught her bottom lip with her teeth, snagging a thread of skin that ripped off viciously, leaving behind a pearly bead of blood; she spoke slowly, her voice raspy from the words coiled in her throat that she didn’t dare let escape because they might interrupt the dull, monotone sounds that constituted her days. Her eyes flashed a beautiful mess of magic and light, mystery and a darkness shrouded in broken glass that stared watchfully at the world passing around her, seeing nothing and everything. She was so empty, so numb.
So she stirred up a little bit of trouble here and there- a snappy, sassy comeback the ignition for an argument, and such a wisp of magic would force the hand of the other person and she thrived there, her words tumbling out of her while her veins buzzed with some maniac energy derived from the thrill of the challenge while her opponent grew madder and madder as she laughed. But it ended. It always did and she was left alone again with the same empty hollowness that echoed through her being, a distillation of her pain that begged for something to take off the edge. She gambled, not with money as humans are apt, but with her life, dancing along the edges of broken buildings, her hair flying in her eyes as she felt so alive flitting so near to death.
But even that wasn’t enough. Once the edge wore off, once the excitement was gone, it was still that same numb emptiness that filled her until her heartbeat echoed in her ears like it was the last sound on earth, taunting her.
Then she joined a pirate crew. The leader, a girl with flashing eyes and brown hair and a quick tongue, took her in, like a sister. They sailed the seas, terrorizing anyone who dared to get in their way, veering haphazardly from adventure to adventure with that delicious buzz of adrenaline always humming in her veins. They were quite the pair, the crew always making jokes about them being a couple. They were cool with it though, even though they weren’t actually a couple. It got them out of many an awkward encounter when they would dock their ship and the other crews (composed mostly of men) thought it might be fun to catcall. Oh man, were they feeling it the next morning when they finally woke up- much to the amusement of the rest of their crew, who watched them get beat up by two very strong (and quite possibly a bit tipsy) girls. They had stories upon stories from their escapades that only grew more embellished with each telling as they met in internet cafes with their beat up laptops pillaged from some government building to drink tea and discuss where they should go next. They and their crew were the terror the seas.
Then it happened.
The girl had taken ill, curled up in bed, unmoving. The leader, whom the girl fondly called “Dessy” hired the best doctor possible, trying to help her friend. The doctor couldn’t seem to find anything wrong with her, telling Desdomona,
“She’s just sad.”
“That can’t be it!” Desdomona snapped, crossing her arms. “Catty is made of stronger stuff than that.” Catty rolled over with a soft smile gracing her lips as she watched her best friend yell at the doctor before turning to look out of the porthole of the ship.
“Hulllllo!” came an echoing call from outside. Catty shot upwards, peering out the window, while Desdomnoa and the doctor started in surprise at her sudden movement. From outside, Catty saw a face peering at her, water streaming past the soft, golden tinged scales that glinted in the sunlight.
“Who’re you?” Catty asked in a low voice, her throat raspy from disuse.
“Arlyn!” Came the eager, excited reply. “M’name’s Arlyn. And before you ask, I’m a water dragon, please don’t harpoon me.” Catty laughed, surprising both herself and everyone else around her. Desdomona pulled her into a hug before spinning her around the room, laughing as well. The next day, Catty ventured above deck to meet Arlyn, who sprang eagerly on board, his massive bulk transforming into a slender boy with peculiar eyes. He joined the crew shortly after, quickly learning how to scale the mast and tie knots. Catty still had lapses of silence, but she seemed to be much better as she traveled with her two friends.
Then she met a boy and everything changed. He wandered with her on the ship, and they spent many hours talking about anything and everything. He brought her flowers and small gifts from places he had traveled and even as Desdomona warned Catty about men like him, she didn’t listen, far too lovestruck to listen to any sort of reason.
And he left, tossing back hurtful words like knives that most certainly served their purpose. Catty lapsed back into her usual silence, her eyes hollow and her smile not fooling anyone as she wandered listlessly among her shipmates, doing what she had to do to get by.
It was a long climb back to normal, but she got there eventually.
So they sailed onward, this time, their course sent for the edge of the earth as they traveled from coast to coast, refueling, getting supplies, and large amounts of chocolate. No one knows why these three happened to end up in the same place, and with misfortune always dogging at their heels, they ignored their tragic back stories and looked only for the future. A future, they hoped, that everything would turn out okay.