Chapter 1:

Chapter 1: A Sea Full o' Tears

Beyond Waters

There I was, battlin’ the seas. Me boat sailin’ through. Stormin’, crashin’ an’ clashin’.
‘Ose waters feisty they were!Bookmark here

Yes! For just like the mighty Kraken, power surged through me. Holdin’ suction o’ the wheel with me jacket blazin’ in wavin’ winds, I clenched to me teeth an’ yelled at the
tip o’ me tongue,Bookmark here

- What a time to be alive!
Thunder coiled me words after lightnin’ had struck
'ose seas behind, an’ with heaven’s wrath, the clouds pounded down upon 'em with
sharp daggers o' rain.Bookmark here

Streaked golden in accent, me pitch black jacket gave ‘ose waters a wave back,
soarin’ in the winds. Me hand placed on me hat, nearly fallin’ off.
By me great Poseidon, finely decorated it was. Bein’ lined with
the same golden stripes as me clothes
which flew in the wind with pride. An’ topped off with a feather
stickin’ out from me hat's curvin’ ground.Bookmark here

An' not only were me head well assorted,
no me boots too. Made out o’ leather an’ themed to the rest o’ me
attire, with a feather sproutin’ out from each shoe, left an’ right,
holdin’ me down to 'em wooden boards that decked me Sharla’s floors.
An’ like Father Christmas, I was as jolly as could be!Bookmark here

But alas, another thunderous blow hit the waves, an’ like a jinx 'ould inscribe,
I fell with me boat, toppin’ over, under the seas.
I couldn’t swim back up, the boat blocked me, sinkin’ down with me.
What do I do? I thought, what a travesty, I thought. But you know what they say.
A captain goes down with ‘eir ship.Bookmark here

An’ down with her I went.Bookmark here

Sinkin’…..Bookmark here

Sinkin’…..Bookmark here

Me eyes widened as I span me arms around, searchin’ for somethin’ to grab onto,
somethin’ to pull me out. But there was nothin’.Bookmark here

Sinkin’…..Bookmark here

Sinkin’…..Bookmark here

Me lungs began to hurt, yet I still held on to me breath. Tryin’ to get around
me Sharla, I shook to the right—hookin’ across to the other side.Bookmark here

Sinkin’…..Bookmark here

Sinkin'.....Bookmark here

Me eyes started failin’ on me. Blurry they were. Me head were light it was.Bookmark here

Sinkin’…..Bookmark here

Sinkin’.....Bookmark here

No, I can’t let it end like this, I thought to me self, passion burnin’ inside o’ me. Yes!
Victory seized me. I pulled away from me dear Sharla an’ swam up,
lungin’ towards safety. Light was not far away. I plunged towards it.
Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

On ‘at day tears soaked ‘ose seas. Stainin’ em as so wine ‘ould a white shirt.
Whilst not visible, ‘ose stains were heavy an’ much clear to me.
Emotions whirlin’ inside o’ me. I don’t want to die! I screamed across me mind.Bookmark here

Splash!Bookmark here

"What happened next?"Bookmark here

Ah, well I ended up 'ere. I swam up to the top o' 'ose seas to find me self somewhere completely different I did! An unbelievable sight it was.
I was inside a humongous cave!
Blue moss hung from its ceilin', tricklin' with vined greenery an' flowery reds.
Glowed with luscious lilacs an' vigorous violet rays o' light, beamin' down
from the gaps in its cracks an' holes.Bookmark here

Listen 'ere lad, not every day you see somethin' like that! I was dumbfounded
by its beauty, so much so I was nearly distracted from stayin' afloat! Ahahaka!
Funny, isn't it, to be entranced so deeply by what you may call a place!
But that there wasn't just a place me boy, that was a miracle!Bookmark here

"What do you mean a miracle?"Bookmark here

Exactly what I mean me boy, a creation o' the gods an' the divine!Bookmark here

"I don't understand."Bookmark here

I wouldn't expect you to, it ain't somewhere best described by words, no not at all,
in fact, one day I'll take you up there an' you can see it for yerself!Bookmark here

"Really?"Bookmark here

Yes really, I'm a man o' me word, I can promise you that too!Bookmark here

"What else was there?"Bookmark here

Why that may be the most interestin' part to discuss!
Reachin' down upside down from the ceilin' was what we,
at me ol' home, called a lighthouse. Somethin' to give a bit o' bright at night
an' have sailors—like me—goin' the right way when we couldn't see nothin'.Bookmark here

Yet, this lighthouse was turned off. No light shone from it—mustn't have been used in millennia, you could tell from its decayed paint an' rusty attire.
What 'ould be a bright an' vibrant red was but a scruffy brown;
an' what 'ould be a pure white were a dirty, mucky beige,
flocked by lime leaves an' moss, coverin' the cracks en' dents in its coat.
Twigs broke out from within, twirled an' knotted like a dancin' bit o' seaweed
or me when I had one too many drinks at me ol' home's pubs.Bookmark here

"Heehe"Bookmark here

Yes, just like you now, I was laughin' at such a marvel, such a beauty,
such a blessin' to the eyes! Me red sore eyes were given sanctuary in
'ose moments. I didn't know where I was, what happened,
or why I ended up where I were, all I knew is that I wanted to go to that lighthouse.Bookmark here

It was callin' for me. I heard it call me name. I swear by the Whale it was true.
I'd shave me beard if it weren't! An' it took a long while growin' this thing
out let me tell you that!Bookmark here

But how could I get to that lighthouse I wondered, I scratched me head as
I looked around, scannin' for some clue to reach it. I saw some rock I
could climb, but too steep they were, if I fell no doubt, I would be
gravely injured or even die!Bookmark here

No, I had to find another way around. I swam a circle, tryin' to find
somethin' to help me up, but nowhere could I find anythin' to rise me up
to that buildin'. That was what I had thought till I spotted it,
in the corner o' me eye: a hole in the wall, the size o' maybe a small cabin or
Giant Clam. Some light shone from within it an' thus I swam over.Bookmark here

Not only could I get help on me situation an' where I was, but I could
perhaps even find a way towards that lighthouse!Bookmark here

"But why, why did you want to go to the lighthouse?"Bookmark here

Why I could not bear to look away from it me lad. It was almost as if
it was starin' at me; stuck to me, an' not tearin' away. An' nor did I,
even if it upset me balance, I could not look away from that tower.
Somethin' so maddenin'ly weird invites curiosity down to me very soul.
What wonderous thing could it have been?
That was what I had been thinkin'.Bookmark here

Swimmin' past some jagged spikes o' stone, I journeyed past some
golden rock, I'll come back fer you later, me self chimed in thought, as I made me way
through the narrow street o' stone.Bookmark here

Crossin' between each plunger in terrain, I swayed through;
pushin' off from the slabs o' grey meat, sandwichin' me in dotted checker.
Tuggin' past, I felt somethin' else came tuggin' back, me swamped trousers
were caught by somethin'. I turned me head back to me right,
noddin' down at the rusty piece o' scrap claspin' hold o' me,
an' claspin' hold o' me tight.Bookmark here

Strugglin' to snap off from the pointin' steel; strugglin' to keep me
balance in the cramped crevices o' sly slopes an' grave monuments to
names once etched in fine writin', now washed up an' drowned out in the
endless tides o' time. I was still fightin'.
Just like when I was battlin' 'ose seven seas I told you about
from the days o' me youth!
O', but no chance in the Grand Land o' Glee
was I followin' 'ose etched memorial names in suit!Bookmark here

With a cling an' clang I took hold o' 'at right rascal an' tore it
right from me ankles! Ah but I cut me self on its sharpness. Stung it did,
not a shallow scrape either. Had to take me ripped casualty o' cloth
an' wrap it round me wound!Bookmark here

An' with a tight fasten I were off. Made me way over to the lil' patch o' dry;
an' finally makin' it out from that maleficent
corridor o' clawin' manacles at long last!Bookmark here

Shallower waters now afoot, I got me self walkin' on two an' swashed
over to solid land.Bookmark here

Relief! I stretched me limbs like a starfish an' released
a refreshin' an' calm cheer, settin' me back folded in an arch.
An' with a spring I was back up again,
strollin' along, into the cave's cold, orange glow.Bookmark here

But what's this? How disgustin'. How revoltin'.
A mangled ol' corpse laid toppled on its back,
its ribs stickin' out,
oozed with the same blue moss hangin' from the cavern sky.Bookmark here

"That's scary Grandpa."Bookmark here

Yes, but just like you I wore a frightened face too!Bookmark here

The corpse even had a pole stickin' out from it with a lamp attached on top.Bookmark here

But there was somethin' strange about this lamp.
Somethin' much more different than any other lamp you would see.
What was lightin' it was a cried face!
So ghastly an' putrid I might as well have been sweatin' vomit!Bookmark here

"Gross!"Bookmark here

Cover yer ears as you may lad, as gross as it was,
I've got more tales than this at me belt for a quick scare!Bookmark here

So, there I was. Next to some disfigured creature,
with a head-filled lamp on a stick,
impaled into its open belly,
an' a fresh pool o' bile which I emptied onto me once brilliant,
black boots, no longer wet from only some water!Bookmark here

Shakin' off me dread, I stared death in the face,
takin' a real look at the screamin' lamps final cry. Bookmark here

From inside was what we called a candle,
lit with red, orange an' yellow, with a warmth called fire.
It was placed inside its mouth.
Jumpin' me head down for a gag I spotted
a teared off tongue lyin' there on the floor;
leapin' back up to see the candle in its ol' place.Bookmark here

Inside o' 'eir mouth was burned an' scolded, the fire now flickerin' freely,
without a roof to hit its head on. Other than that, most o' its skin was still attached.Bookmark here

From the looks o' it, both the head an' corpse were rather recent in 'eir make.
Cuts an' scratches paved 'eir skin, spotted in coal-black patches
an' a few stab wounds holed through. How nasty. How grizzly.
But 'eir eyes left me gaze, behind it was a dark, abyssal tunnel.
So dark! Too dark! No chance in seein' through its thick haze.Bookmark here

Now, I was not sure whether to go on after seein' that wrangled body.
I thought it over; sittin' down on a stump o' log, near to the corpse,
likely bein' leftovers from one o' 'ose trees I once told you about.
It was not comfy, but it did the job.
Crimson, fluffy leaves lifted me complaints a bit,
with 'em scattered about 'ere an' there.Bookmark here

Yipes! A cold drop fell on the rear o' me neck.
Sent shivers down me spine 'at did. Lookin' forth
into the tunnel proved challenge for me.Bookmark here

Weak I were, back in me youth.
No beard did I have, nor much 'air on me chest
an' not even a single scar grazed me forehead!Bookmark here

So, what do you think I did?Bookmark here

"Ran away?"Bookmark here

Yes! I grit me teeth an' ran away.
No, o' course I didn't me boy. I may have been but a lad,
but I were no coward!
I went to run in there, after I gulped me worries down me throat an' rushed in
ready for the worst to come at me all at once!Bookmark here

Tingle, tingle ching...Bookmark here

Tingle, dingle ding...Bookmark here

What was that?
I stopped quickly, slowin' in me tracks.Bookmark here

Chingle, chime, ching...Bookmark here

Clingle lingle ling...Bookmark here

I heard somethin'.
Down the tunnel there was somethin' there!Bookmark here

Then!Bookmark here

I saw it.Bookmark here

Cold, frostbitten skin.
Leather ankle bracelets o' small bones an' shark teeth.
Fur cloth covered 'em—studded like its ankles.
Blood seamed from its moldy, dirt-covered daggers o' chompers.
What food could it have had?
I didn't want to find out.Bookmark here

I ran. Quickly, hastily. Not a moment to lose.Bookmark here

I hoped it didn't spot me. It better not have spot me.
If it had...Bookmark here

I wouldn't be 'ere talkin' to you now, would I?Bookmark here

So, I hid.
Did so as carefully as I could.
Without makin' a splash in the waters outside the cave.
Without makin' a sound in the slightest.
Without makin' a single breath or movement.
I closed me eyes like it were a bad dream.Bookmark here

So warm, so cold. Sweat drizzlin' from me face.
Out o' instinct I hid under 'ose shallow waters carefully,
once again not makin' a splash, sound nor breath.Bookmark here

Tingle, tangle, chang...Bookmark here

Clingle, clangle, clang...Bookmark here

I heard its clatterin' an' chimes again. It was gettin' closer.Bookmark here

It stepped with heavy slaps o' 'eir bare feet.Bookmark here

Clippity, clap, slap...
Slip, slap, clap.....Bookmark here

Even closer it got.
I could smell its foul odor gettin' even nearer to me.Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

Where is it? Where did it go?
I was still tryin' to hold me breath.
Gaspin' for some way to get out o' there.Bookmark here

Clap, clip, slip....
Slip, sip, ip...
....Bookmark here

It left.Bookmark here

I took a big breath in to welcome peace an' tranquillity in reward.Bookmark here

No chance was I goin' back in there!
I carefully treaded out, makin' sure not to alert that thing no matter what.Bookmark here

Yet, as soon as I left the cave, I realized somethin'.
I looked in astonishment before me eyes.
The lighthouse! It was gone! I turned me back for a lil' an'
it completely up an' vanished!Bookmark here

Why this wouldn't do, I had to get to it. Had to reach to it an' all its glorious oddity.Bookmark here

But what was next up an' struck me. Not only was the lighthouse gone,
but everythin' else too!Bookmark here

Moss, vines, leaves an' all. Even the rocky maze I ventured through. Gone.Bookmark here

I spotted one thing, one thing that wasn't there before.
A giant, gapin' hole in the waters. All o' the water was drainin' into it.
Floodin' down pickin' up in foam an' bubblin' froth,
as it whished down in a great big plummet.Bookmark here

FshhhhhBookmark here

All the flowin' water drowned out any sound you could pick up.
So much for me keepin' quiet.Bookmark here

Fshhhhh!Bookmark here

Was it gettin' louder? Why yes, yes it was. An' it was comin' from above!Bookmark here

FSHHHHH!Bookmark here

Swept me away it did. I tossed an' turned in its violent voracity.
Whizzed away, truly the wrath o’ the seas it was.Bookmark here

An' all that to end up fallin' down 'at humongous well.Bookmark here

"How did you survive?"Bookmark here

Well lucky in that department, I was.
It was pure water at the bottom, so I sank to its depths,
only came out with a stingin' body an' a few more pains 'ere an' there.Bookmark here

An' once the waters relaxed, I swam back up, it hurt to do so, yet I swam anyways.
Swam all the way back to the top, only to find the top completely sealed off!Bookmark here

How it happened I had no idea, but I was trapped with no way o' gettin' out.Bookmark here

So, I looked around. An' that was when I spotted the great Capital!
Deep down the waters it was. Not thinkin' I could make it I tried anyway.
Considerin' everythin' that happened so far could it be so
unlikely to find somethin' there, especially with its seaweed green glow
leadin' me in with curiosity!Bookmark here

Though, after a while o' swimmin' I started to realise somethin', me lungs did not hurt.
I did not notice before with that thing tryin' to catch me, but I found that I could
indeed, breathe underwater!Bookmark here

An' so I finally began me adventure in this Great Sea o' Mana.
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