*THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF THE STORY "YOU'VE HAD YOUR FUN"*
He woke up to a dull grey light filtering in through his eyelids. “What in the world . . .” he murmured as his lashes blinked open. “Where am I?” A quick glance around settled that question in his mind.
Stephen laid in a cot in the corner of a somewhat shoddily cleaned house. On the other side of the one-room structure worked the fisherman who had pulled him out of the water. The old man had skillfully gutted two fish and was quickly and efficiently scaling them, scraping the sharper side of a knife against the fishes’ bodies. Stephen sat up and looked at him. The fisherman didn’t notice, and Stephen cleared his throat. This gained the fisherman’s attention. “Ah, the miracle boy! You’re awake. Good! Come over here and help me, and we’ll get ye some eats.”
The baffled young man stretched his limbs painfully. “Ooh . . .” he groaned. “I feel like I was just pulled from a grave.” He stood and shuffled his stiff body towards the fisherman.
The old man laughed, slightly nervously. “Well, in a manner of speaking, ye were. That thing -- keep it away from me, now -- brought ye back to life, somehow,” he said. His crooked finger pointed towards Stephen’s neck. The boy looked down. At his chest flashed a bronze medallion. It seemed quite familiar, but Stephen couldn’t put his finger on why that was. All he could remember was waking up in the old sailor’s boat and coughing up water. “You drowned. No other way to put it,” the fisherman continued.
“What’s your name?” Stephen asked suddenly.
“Er . . . Salty Gyrin, but most just call me Ryn. And ye are?”
“Oho, somebody’s learnt their manners!” Ryn chuckled. “No need for ceremony, you’re on Devian now. Now, come ‘ere, we’ll get ye some food. I can see yer ribs through that tunic!”
True to his word, Ryn soon had both fish roasting on a spit over the hearth -- or, rather, he was watching Stephen turn them. “Aye . . . I mean, yes, that’s it, you’ll need to get it even on both sides,” he advised. “There ‘tis, now lift it off and put it on this plate.” The fisherman held out a clay platter. Stephen cautiously lifted the spit and slid both perch onto the offered plate, mouth watering excitedly.
“Now let it cool, and I’ll show ye where me . . . er, my garden is,” Ryn stuttered. Stephen looked him in the eye carefully, and Ryn’s head turned away. That was twice that some other accent had slipped through the fisherman’s guard, Stephen noticed.
No matter. The younger man followed his guide out a back door onto a somewhat groomed lawn. The grey sea air filled Stephen’s nose, along with the distinct scent of salt. “Devian, you said?” he murmured. The name seemed familiar, just as the medallion had. Ryn hadn’t heard his question, so Stephen followed him to a corner of the lawn where a patch of black dirt was populated by a number of green, leafy plants. “Devian?” he repeated.
“Yes, Devian’s where we’re at,” the old man responded distractedly. He started pulling up vegetables from a row on the far side of the garden. “Help me with these parroots.”
Stephen bent over and joined Ryn in pulling up the strange pinkish roots. “I wonder why they’re called such a silly name,” he commented.
“Eh,” Ryn grunted, and pulled up the most massive parroot that Stephen had ever seen.
Wait, why did he know that it was the most massive he’d seen in his life? He didn’t remember . . . no, but he did! The last place he’d seen one even near that size was at a marketplace in Giride, when he was . . . oh, and he’d lost it. “Curses,” he muttered under his breath.
“What was that?”
“Nothing.” Stephen yanked up another couple of parroots, and Ryn nodded.
“That’ll be enough,” the old sailor assured him. The pair walked back into the hut carrying their vegetables.
Behind them, a furry head popped up out of a hole where a parroot had once sat snugly in the ground. It rustled the earth slightly.
Ryn’s head swiftly turned back towards his garden, and Stephen looked to see what was the matter. “Not this time, you little thieves!” the older man cried, and snatched up a mallet from where it leaned against his house.
Four more heads bounced into view around the first. “Charge!” Ryn shouted. Stephen, not knowing what else to do, grabbed the nearest thing to his hand he could (a watering can) and followed the garden-protecting warrior towards the garden patch.
When he reached the smug, furry faces, Ryn started laying about with his weapon. Heads popped up and down in the earth. Almost all of them avoided the fisherman’s blows. Stephen hesitated, then jumped in to help.
Finally, Ryn managed to catch one on the side of the head, dislodging it completely. The creature flew through the air, squealing as it did.
Now Stephen got a clear view of the creature’s strange shape. It had a very furry head, with almost no sign of eyes or nose, just an underjawed mouth and two big ears. Most of the rest of its body was quite scaly, and a bluish-green color. A long, whip-thin tail slashed through the air as it was thrown against a fence. The black claws on its feet scrabbled for a hold on the wooden planks. Its stomach, which was also covered in brown fur, scraped against the splintery surface. It was about the size of a rabbit or large rat. “Ha! I got ye, ye deck-swabbin’ mangebits!” Ryn crowed as another two of the things joined their companion against the fence. He didn’t even attempt to conceal his foreign accent.
“What are those?” Stephen cried in disgust as one attacked another over a bit of food ont he ground.
“Grabbyts!” The sailor errupted into a stream of curses as one such grabbyt bit him on the leg. “Foul creature!” He smacked it with the mallet, and the scaled body was thrown over the fence and into the nearby bay.
Ryn stood, sweating and with a satisfied look on his face. “Aye, that’s all of the little fleabags,” he decided, and turned to go back into the house. Stephen dropped the watering can and followed, still carrying a few parroots. “Set those on the table over there, and we’ll soon have a good fish breakfast!” Ryn called from another room. Stephen followed the orders immediately, then went to take the medallion off, for it had been covered in dirt during the “battle” with the grabbyts.
The moment he took it off, he felt a tingling sensation moving through his hands. He hesitated at this, but still set it down by the parroots -- which promptly burst into flame!
“Woah! Ryn! Something happened to the parroots!” Stephen cried in astonishment. The old fisherman rushed back into the room, then also gave a yell.
“Make it stop! Do it, now!”
“What?! I don’t know how to!”
“Just tell it to stop, ye Tylien spawn!”
Not even stopping to consider that last phrase, Stephen yelled at the fire, feeling quite silly. “Go away!”
The fire vanished in a whirl of smoke. All of the parroots looked perfectly cooked. “Well,” Ryn said, sounding somewhat miffed. “I was going to do that meself, but it appears that ye’ve gone and roasted our breakfast. To a perfect degree.”
Stephen hurriedly put the medallion back on, rubbing it on his shirt to get the dirt off. “I, uh . . . hm. It . . . hm.” He had nothing to say.
“Well, go on! Put them on yon platter, then swab the table fer yer scorch marks,” the fisherman ordered, and Stephen quickly moved the vegetables from the table, where they’d left no trace of ash. “Huh. Well, all the same, ye’d better keep that fairen-make medallion away from me and me things from now on!” Stephen nodded mutely and shoved the bronze inside his shirt. “No matter what ye are, time fer some grub,” Ryn said grudgingly.
“Thank . . . thank you. Sorry ‘bout the food and your table,” Stephen apologized.
“Eh, it’s of no matter, anyhow, and it ain’t often one gets to have one of them Elvenfairs as guest.”
“What? No, I’m . . .” Words started pouring out of his mouth. “I’m Stephen Whyplash, sailor upon the goodship Angel, from Giride, and I’m to bring this medallion to Opal Harbour!” Stephen’s eyes widened. It was all coming back now! His captain had entrusted him with this . . . cursed thing, to bring to the port! Then the storm, and . . .
“Nonsense, ye’re an Elvenfair enchanter, and a damn good one at that! If ye’re not, I’m not Gyrin Saltbreather, pirate, looter, and otherwise occupied seafaring scum,” the fisherman replied, setting the fish and parroots on the table.
“I mean it! I barely even know what an Elvenfair is, only that they live across the Jenntils Sea . . . wait, you’re a pirate? From Sloneri?” Stephen asked. His memory had fully returned.
“Aye, young master, that be I!” Gyrin chuckled as he dished out the food. “Let me see yer eyes, boy.” Stephen looked him in the face after a bite of the delicious fish. “Mhm. Just as I believed. Stephen, lad, what do ye recall about Elvenfairs?”
“Well, they’re blessed by the Savior, live across the Jenntils Sea, and are fantastic blacksmiths,” Stephen said through a mouthful of food, relaxing now. “Their capital is Tylei. That’s about it.”
“Let me tell ye somethin’, lad. I am, truly, a scandalous man o’ the sea (we don’t like the word pirate), from Sloneri, and I’ve seen some things,” the man began.
“Aye. On the outside, they look relatively the same as a human: two arms, two legs, nose, mouth, and ears. Their eyes and hair are what’s different. Both bright silver, shining like the moon on a dark night, the hair long as a falling waterfall. Stephen, did you know your parents?”
“Yes, my father. Never met my mother.”
“What color were your father’s eyes and hair?”
“They were . . . silver, but I thought that was because he was old . . . and besides, his hair was short!”
“He cut it, lad. Sharks and bottlecorks, that musta hurt him some. It do hurt them to do it. Son, what color are your eyes?”
“Blue, of course!”
“Maybe they were before you used that fairen magic of yours, but now they be silver. See?” Gyrin held up a mirror. Sure enough, his eyes were a vibrant, shining silver, surpassing grey and even white.
“By the Savior!” Stephen cried, and put a hand to his head. In the mirror, his hair still looked dark, but he could see faint traces of white and grey at the tips near his ears. “I need to cut that off!”
“Oh, no, lad. If’n I was you, I wouldn’t: I already told you that it hurts Elvenfairs,” Gyrin cautioned. “Don’t do it.”
“Then what do I do? I can’t look like this!”
“Oh, aye, ye’re right. There’s some who would like that there trinket ye’ve got, and even ye yerself. So, we’ve got to disguise ye,” the pirate decided. He hurried over to a cabinet under the kitchen counter, looked inside, and came out with a cloak and a large floppy hat of some sort. “Quick, put these on!”
As if on cue, somebody outside the house started banging on the door. “Open up!” a deep voice called.
I love fiction, fantasy, roleplaying, and reading. Nice to meet you too. All of my tales are little kid-friendly, except perhaps a few stories in the Rogue Captain universe. Those are more geared towards teens. Check with your parents, just in case.