The waves smacked against the ship, rocking it side to side with each shallow up and agile down. The sun glistened over the water making it sparkle with its light, new colors of white and blue danced over the ocean's surface. With the wind, the sails heaved the ship forward with each powerful gust that pushed against the strong fabric. It was like a strong breath from powerful lungs blowing the vessel with the princess, prince, knight, and captain.
Oren's head hung over the side, Amor by his as he watched his lover in distress and pity. Oren's hair falling against his cheeks and brushing them. He'd been sitting their ever since they left, the motions of the ocean disturbed a peace he once had on land. His back arched and his head hurled as he coughed and gagged.
"She's a wicked one, I'll tell you," Theyo spoke as he looked down at the two boys. Cora paced around the deck, her hands running up and down her arms, and occasionally at her mouth to bite the nails. She was nervous. She was leaving her life behind. She left her life behind to find some goddess that she can’t completely say exists.
“Cora, take a breath, dear,” Theyo called out from behind the ship’s wheel. Cora halted her pacing and stared up the ship’s captain. His hair flowing with the gentle wind and his cuts and bruises still prominent on his face. God, what was she thinking? She can’t turn back now.
“I’m sorry. This is just a lot.” She wiped her hands on the rags she was still wearing.
“You wanted this,” Amor said just as Oren heaved his stomach into the ocean.
“So did you.” She snapped back at him, his eyes rolling.
“Cora, you need sleep. Go.” Theyo ordered.
“I’m fine.” She fired back.
“Cora, go sleep,” Oren spoke in a hoarse voice from the constant upchuck.
“I don’t need sleep.”
“Slee-hyugh,” Oren’s voice pushed back as he threw his head back over the glistening water and letting out nothing but a groan.
“Cora, you have been awake since you left the castle. We’re all exhausted, so are you and its best you get some sleep.” Amor looked at her with a shine in his eyes that made them glaze over. Defeated, Cora trailed over the deck, “where do I go?” She looked up to Theyo.
“Through that door in front of you go down the stairs and there should be a berth.” He smiled down at her. She ignored the smile and followed his directions.
She made it into the room after walking through a poorly lit lower deck with separate small beds, blanketed with rough fabric. The room was small with a bed with nicer sheets, two pillows instead of one like the others. A small desk washed pushed between the bed and the wall, the confined space constricted the bed to the other wall, hopefully, to keep the bed from sliding during the motions of the ocean.
Cora pulled at the sheets as she slipped under. Laying her head was a bit harder as the pillow was firm and would not conform to her head and neck like the ones at the palace did. Unfortunately, she had to get used to it so she did her best to relax and shut her eyes.
Even with the uncomfortable pillow and the hard bed, she fell asleep quickly. As the ship rocked, Cora’s mind swayed back and forth thinking about the possibilities of what the ocean beholds for her. Her dreams began to manifest into a reality that was confined to her mind, stuck in one place, a prison, and yearning for escape. Cora wanted them to flood her world, take a course in her life and fixate themselves there permanently.
“Cora,” she heard a voice call, slightly distorted. “Cora, come with me.” The same voice called again, this time it was clearer and it sprung Cora from her deep slumber. She looked around but saw nothing but darkness and a single beam of light streaming through the small hole in the door. She glared out it to see a bright flicker of white light.
Cora threw the blanket off of her and leaped from the bed and out the door. She looked around the deck. Starlight shone through the large holes that were meant to mimic windows, the beams of light reflected in her eyes as small pools of water in the shape of feet trailed towards onto the stairs. The same flicker of white light caught Cora’s eyes as the door closed. She looked around to see Amor and Oren next to each other, drool slipping from Amor’s open mouth and sliding down the large pillow they shared and flowing against Oren’s face. Cora shook her head to avoid distraction and memory of the pair, in the process she saw Theyo on the other side of the deck, fast asleep and splayed out on the small bed. She moved on from the three men and followed the wet footprints to the main deck and that’s when she saw all she needed.
There she stood in the middle of the deck, leaning against the mast. A woman with pure white hair that fell over her bosom, the brightest of blue eyes, and skin that mocked Cora’s complexion but hers seemed to flow like the water, rippling over her bare body. Cora’s throat constricted and dried as she stared at the woman. She couldn’t believe her eyes. Her dreams have come true, her life’s wish has been granted, her fantasies have come true.
“Cora,” she spoke with such a sultry and angelic voice. “I’ve waited so long to meet you, my Dear.” The woman gestured for Cora to step closer and, without any thought, Cora began to move closer and closer, completely unaware of how her body stepped towards the woman. She was in shock, no thoughts in her mind, nothing happening but the surreal intake fo the divine woman in front of her.
“I’ve been wanting to meet with you.” She was close to Cora that every perfect detail of her face, the lines in her bright blue eyes were so prominent that she could count them, the thousands of them.
“Who,” Cora stuttered before taking a large swallow of air. “How do you-," hesitant as pressure built around her heart, " know me?” The beautiful woman smiled so gently that Cora’s body began tp burn. Cora knew her question was dumb, she already knew the answer but she needed to confirm. All of it, the guarantee, she wanted those words to come out this deity’s mouth, her godly mouth.
“Cora, I need something of you.” The goddess reached for Cora’s hand, intertwining their fingers with the runaway heir’s. Cora nodded, quick and foolish.
“There’s a problem with my home,” the goddess rubbed her thumb on Cora’s, the cool feeling of her silk like skin sent a cold rush through Cora’s arm. As her fingers grazed the heir's skin, the same rippling waves spread across Cora's arms, sending cold surges under her skin.
“What do I call y-” Cora began her sentence but was cut off.
“Cora, there is an evil that I need you to take care off.” The woman reached Cora’s other hand.
“This evil is close to you, Cora.” She looked deep into Cora’s eyes, looking at the deep hue that contrasted the sea. Her eyes began to wander down her face, “Cora, you know this evil and it will take time for you to understand but you are the only possible threat to her threats and the damage she can do to not only my beloved home but to yours as well may be…” She paused and looked back into the young woman’s eyes.
“I don’t- I can’t-” A finger pressed against her lips, her eyes were blown and she could barely see straight. Her world was getting dizzy.
“Stay with me, dear.” The deity slipped her finger from her mouth under her chin. “This is a shock to you, I understand, but you know what I am speaking of and I want you to take your time, but it is urgent.” Cora’s mouth fell open to say something again, but nothing came out.
“Go to the Isles, gather what you must, but Aecor needs you, Cora.”
“How am I supposed to do any of that?” Cora was baffled. She was in the presence of her idol, the woman she has been searching for and here she is asking the world of her. The deity’s hair began to flow, the rippling of her skin ceased, her bright blue eyes dimmed.
“I have a gift to bestow upon you,” the goddess’s eyes, once again, left Cora’s eyes as Cora stared at her flowing hair.
“Cora, I am the Lady of the Sea, Aeonia,” Cora’s breath hitched. Aeonia. Not once did Cora’s stories give her a definite name. They were never clear on who she was. It ranged from common names to names that stretched the length of known letters, but finally, she was given a name, and a beautiful one nonetheless.
Aeonia pinched Cora’s chin and looked back into her eyes, “I give you the gift of the sea.” And before Cora could react, Aeonia pressed her lips against the heir’s and Cora’s mind fell apart, the world around her disappeared, the sound of the calm waves faded from her ears. All the feeling in her body rushed to her head. She felt lightheaded dizzy until all she could see was purely white, something pounded in her chest, something with a fire that burned her from the inside and spread through her body. It was a feeling that came quickly and then the chilling sheen of the ocean spread across her skin, submerging her back into the cold.
In a rush for air, Cora jolted from her bed gasping for air, her chest heavy and tight, her throat and mouth dry. Her eyes were still coming down from the high she had just experienced...or thought she experienced. She was looking around frantically. The same darkness was engulfing her with silence and cold. Cora threw herself from the bed, once again, and ran out of the room. There she saw Amor and Oren. Oren had turned over, half of Amor’s body hung over the side of the bed, his left arm slightly touching the wooden flooring and his leg completely thrown off the bed. She turned to see Theyo on his back, hands together at his chest and his mouth slightly open.
Cora hurried up the stairs and through the door and saw the stars that shimmered above her, the moon glaring down on the ocean’s surface.
She must’ve dreamt it. It was too fantastic, but at the same time, it felt so tangible. It was like a new memory still warm and hot on the surface, bubbling inside her head, bringing a heat to her thoughts. Suddenly, she everything rushed to her. Cora heaved and convulsed, throwing up the little she had eaten from the feast. The feast. Her reminder of that day made things worse, she couldn’t stop. Even with nothing left inside her, it continued until she was left gasping for air.
Cora cursed the sea’s name, leaving her to spew on the deck to return to her small, shadowy quarters and crawled back into the bed. It warmed her from the cold that runs deep in her veins. Sick of leaving, sick of remembering there, sick from what might have been a dream.