Author’s Note – Sometimes when I write, I do it all out of order, kind of like I’m channelling my inner Quentin Tarantino, without all the blood and gratuitous use of the F word. This little snippet is one of those stories. I have a somewhat basic idea of what I’m doing with this. The main character is a human incarnation of a leafy sea dragon and for some reason I haven’t quite figured out, she’s been sent to prove the existence of the ocean to a kingdom that doesn’t believe in anything beyond the water the king controls (haven’t figured that out yet either). It was partially inspired by a writing prompt about a box of seashells, a man on crutches and a castle, so I assume that at some point, those items will show up. So why post something when I have no idea where it will lead? Because I’m hoping that posting this will jumpstart the story and at least help me flesh out the idea, even if I don’t have a chance to write it completely right now.
“What’s the matter with you?” the innkeeper sneered as he poured me a drink. “Your skin looks….funny.”
I’d been prepared for people to distrust me, but I still pulled the sleeves of my cloak down over the leafy fringe that hung from my wrists. “Oh, I’m not from around here.”
“Didn’t think so,” he retorted. “Can’t say I’ve seen one of your kind before. Where are you from?”
“The sea,” I honestly answered, not realizing the trouble an answer like that could cause. The look on the innkeeper’s face changed from one of disdain to one of shock. Before I could ask what was wrong, the man sitting next to me pulled a dagger from his boot. I didn’t think his knife would pierce my scaleflesh, but I backed away, unwilling to risk being wrong.
“The sea?” he snarled. “Everyone knows that there’s only one body of water in the entire kingdom and it’s controlled by King Isaac. I ought to cut your tongue out for such lies.”
“Sit down, Qarthos, you’ll do no such thing,” the innkeeper warned.
“But it’s blasphemy!”
“I’m well aware of what it is, but when was the last time you darkened a temple with your presence? You’re one to talk of blasphemy so sit down and be quiet!”
Qarthos rolled his eyes and sheathed his dagger. “Fine, Shirka, fine. But if you get arrested because of her, don’t expect me to bail you out!”
I turned to leave before I attracted any more attention but Shirka abruptly grabbed my wrist. “Here, “ he insisted as I turned to face him. “Take these.”
I stared in disbelief at the coins he pressed into my palm. “You believe in the sea?”
“I can’t say for certain,” he admitted, “but I do know there are thousands of men like Qarthos who distrust anything foreign to them. Be careful and for the sake of us all, stop talking about the sea.”