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The Ghosts of Rhydin Past

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The Ghosts of Rhydin Past

Post by Gypzee on Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:08 pm

For all her bravado, she was apprehensive about her return to Rhydin proper. So much transpired there – the Order, the Society, marriages and divorces, life and death – and worse. A shiver rippled through her. Returning was rather like the ghost of Christmas past – looking on with no power to change it. At least she had survived it – even if barely at times.

Between a t-shirt and the light blue button up shirt she wore rested Elven Magical Armor, made specifically for her. Though light as cheesecloth, no weapon can penetrate it. It was a gift from Wolfin when she was Knighted into the Order. A soft sigh escaped her as she smoothed the fabric of the shirt.

Donning the dimensional cloak, she decided to test phasing through objects. A gloved hand lifted to rest against her closet door. Picturing the goal in her mind, she gave a gentle push – it phased through to the other side. Startled, she lost the image but, the hand didn’t fall off or turn to wood. Withdrawing it, she wiggled her fingers, everything working fine.

Taking a breath, she put her body against the door and took two steps forward, finding herself fully in the closet. “Amazing,” she breathed. Turning, she stepped back through into the room. “Alright, let us try this,” grabbing her messenger bag and placing it in the cloak, followed by a sword. It had also been a Knight’s gift from Cerebus. It had a button on the handle that when pressed split the blade into three; quite deadly to be sure Thus far, she never had occasion to use it.

With these items in place, she stepped through the door again, uninhibited. There had been no warnings of doing this too often, and she felt just fine; but better to err on the side of caution. A twist of the knob allowed the door to swing open for her to step into the room.

Deciding to forego moving about on horseback, Beauty remained in the stables at Tel’Ranaemyn. Slipping up the hood, she quickly made her way down the stairs and to the porch for only a moment before moving to the back side of the inn. Though no one could see or hear her, she didn’t want her concentration to be broken. She pictured in her mind where she wanted to go, but after this length of time, who knew what it was now. It would be safer to arrive unobserved and silent should she land in a less than savory location.

Lids closed over sparkling emeralds, then opened slowly to find herself in Rhydin proper. Outside of a few updates, and perhaps a new building or two, it appeared the same. Its bustling activity was winding down as vendors began packing their wares as twilight approached … twilight … Twilight Omega sprang to mind. A memory attempted to push forward, a slight discomfort felt.

She diverted her attention to the shops and was soon standing in front of the Crimson Star Inn – where she met Tero; where they danced the night away, ending with a lively Irish jig. It was also host to some of their worst arguments. Fleetingly she wondered what had become of him. But wait! If the CSI was here, that meant the Order must still be around as well.

Swiftly her feet carried her in the direction of where the OCS should be. Mouth gaped open, astonished it was actually still there! She knew Vader has stepped aside long ago, Abigail taking his place. She wondered who was in charge these days. She may have to snoop around before going back.

Pushing through the doorway, she wandered the pathways that led to various legions. She began her time as a “Moonie” under Randall Flagg … in the good ol’ days before he played second fiddle to Vader. When she was accepted under Shanthaer and Undra Llas, it seemed to be run fairly and logically. When they disappeared and Vader took over, it smacked of favoritism. Still, she gave her best as she always did. She also learned about the ways of Rhydin from Malytheria.

Other legions she was assigned to before the Dream Spider escaped her as they had not been important. In the DS she had been a Major under Isabeau Vandaryn, who became her mentor, her friend; really more like a sister. A wave of sadness moved through her as she recalled her noble, yet senseless, death, leaving her entrusted with raising her daughter, Tien. She blinked away the mist pooling in her eyes. As she stopped in front of her legion, her hand rested on its entrance for a moment before pushing through it.

It was quiet and smelled musty – rather like a tomb. There were no lights, no sounds, no signs of life, and in disrepair. A hand lifted and arm moved slowly from right to left, restoring it to its former glory. A faint smile rested on dry tiers, a moment later moistened by the tip of her tongue as she continued at a steady pace.

Steps began to slow as she approached the General’s quarters. Shuddering, eyes closed remembering the chalk outline, testifying to what was declared as Obsidian’s death a mere twelve hours after they wed. The “ruse” lasted longer. Shaking it off, she moved to the Commander’s quarters.

Once there, left wrist flicked outward to throw open the doors. It was, of course, as she last saw it. When inside, smoky emerald gaze swept around its facade. Pulling out the oversized desk chair, she pushed the hood from her head then took a seat. Fingers clasped, palms flat against her stomach as she let her head rest against the back cushion.

Many months of hard work went into getting her Command while others advanced faster and with less effort. Appalling examples of their work would find its way to her from time to time, reinforcing suspicions of favoritism. Once here, she set about making it her own. It took quite a bit of labor, she not yet having her powers. Lips curled upward as she recalled one of her first nights spent here.

There was an enormous amount of arachnids as you might imagine being named the Dream Spider. She never held a fondness for them; even attempting to drive them from her quarters. One morning she stretched after waking and found a tiny tattoo-like spider web on the inside of her left wrist near the thumb. Throwing back the covers she did a quick assessment of her body, finding the same web on the outside of each ankle.

Springing from the bed, she carefully surveyed her form, but could find no other markings. Snagging her robe, she flew from the room and down the hall to the Colonel’s quarters. Wolfin was just as stunned as she. Did she feel ok? Feel any different? “Yes … No.”

He fixed her a cup of tea to help her relax. “Someone is at the door,” said softly as he handed her the cup. Five seconds later there was a knock. He gave her a funny look before going to collect the scrolls from the messenger who stood there. When he returned to her, she had finished half her tea.

“Well, I guess we know something has changed. I will just have to see what else transpires.” One thing was certain, she gained a new respect for spiders, instructing the hall’s custodians and grounds keepers to leave their webs alone.

A chuckle softly echoed at the memory. Indeed, some of her senses had multiplied considerably. It took a bit of work to make them manageable. Mainly it seemed to focus on her intuition, sensing someone was near, and her sense of touch, which was why she wore gloves much of the time.

Sitting there a moment, she soaked in all the good memories of the DS.  Swiveling the chair to the side to stand, her gaze came to rest on the sitting area. A niggle at the back of her mind caused now darkened emeralds to narrow as she felt that discomfort again, shadows stirring slightly.

“What is going on?!” she growled. Storming from the room, steps led her to the hall’s doors. Hands shot forward, flinging them open so violently they nearly came unhinged. With a gust of wind she was gone, the DS contorting back to how she found it. Had anyone been there to hear, they may have thought the shadows laughed.

Last edited by Gypzee on Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:30 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Re: The Ghosts of Rhydin Past

Post by Gypzee on Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:25 pm

There were few places that would afford her comfort or peace at this moment. The only one which came to mind was the Day Dream. Standing there now with the moon reflecting off the water, she began to calm. Drawing in a deep breath, she held it a moment before releasing it slowly. She relaxed her hands which had been clenched in tight fists; only the gloves had protected her palms from the sharpness of her nails.

She planned to visit here in the morning, to go over the books as she did at Carrick-On-Shannon. True enough, she did not need permission to do so any time she wished; but she did not want to break trust with anyone. Idly she wondered if the quarters above the office were vacant. Passing the slips, the Raven was the only one docked, besides the Day Dream itself. That meant the other five were on voyages. She was a bit disappointed the Jewel2 was not in port. ‘Probably just as well’. The office was dark as she passed through its locked door.

Not a sound was heard within, and she could sense no one save for the spiders in the store room. With a smirk, she removed the hood and headed for the corner desk, flopping into its chair. Opening the drawer, she withdrew the bottle stuffed in it. It didn’t much matter what it was. She conjured her own glass and filled it half way. Tossing it back, she closed her eyes, enjoying the burn as it slid down her throat – Irish whiskey, and a top-shelf brand judging by its taste.

Refilling it now, she placed the glass and the bottle near the edge before leaning back to prop the heels of her boots on the desktop. Pulling off the gloves, she stuffed them into a cloak pocket. The glass was lifted for a few sips as she let her mind wander.

The story of Nightshade or Drexn could not be told without overlapping the other.

A mere twelve hours after she and General Obsidian Nightshade were wed, he was dead and in the morgue He was bludgeoned to death outside his quarters after retrieving his wedding gift for her: a golden locket with an “N” delicately etched in the center. Inside was a picture of him and her; on the back their names, June 9th, ‘Soul mates for life.’ She recalled the trauma of having to identify his body and make funeral arrangements.

The one bright spot was learning she was expecting twins! Misty Hollow was readied for their arrival. It was simultaneously a time of happiness and sadness. At least she would have hers and Obi’s children to comfort her.

Alas, that was not meant to be as the mid-wife, Meren, whisked them away immediately, claiming they had been still born of some dreadful disease. She was not allowed to see or hold them lest she might also catch it. The twins were buried beside their father and she was left to grieve again. Her duties in the Order were the only thing that kept her sane. At least it occupied her days though the nights were haunted by what was lost and what would never be.

Several months passed and she was visited by a new member, David Viertel Drexn. He was seeking counseling and since she was not certified, she offered to refer him to someone else. However, he was insistent so she relented and spoke with him. It was interesting to say the least, and he came to her a few more times, though not for counseling, but for conversation. Before long, he had crept into her heart. An impromptu wedding took place before the selected date and they settled into wedded bliss.

Well … for the most part. He was kindred – LaSombra – and his ‘family’ was quite chaotic causing a few problems they were able to deal with. The biggest obstacle between them was his ex – Aria. They had twin children – Calla and Wyatt, which were very dear to Gyp’s heart having lost her own. For their sakes she tolerated conversations regarding Aria and references to their previous marriage. When Aria passed, the situation became more tolerable especially having finally gained custody of the children.

David was growing impatient with not hearing anything from the OCS Knight Commander about his application. He wanted to receive his acceptance and start his training. She took exception to the tone of his letters, though claimed it was something she could overlook. What disturbed her was an overheard conversation where David stated his first loyalty was to Gypzee, not the Order; and if she left he would follow. Larrisyn said she could not have a Knight who might disregard her orders for those of a “woman who happened to share his bed.”

David was not the only one angered by the slight made to Gyp, but she let him handle the situation. He fired off a letter saying he had found hers to be derogatory and hate-filled, and stated he thought she should apologize. He copied Vader … who was less than accepting of anything David had said, and ordered him to apologize to Larrisyn or face demotion from his current position of Colonel to that of Private. Rather than do so, David resigned. Unfortunately, Gyp could not follow him as he had declared he would do for her. It was then they decided to start their own guild – the Society of the Blood Rose.

She had intended to resign from the Order once the Society was more established and stable; but then Vader sent for her to discuss the similarities between the SBR documents and those of the OCS. He wanted to know why credit was not paid to the OCS and it must be rectified immediately. She had the pleasure of pointing out to him that credit was given to the OCS, as well as every other organization – in existence or closed – that they had borrowed ideas and documents from. However, he demanded “Plain, obvious credit that is not small print.” She replied she would take it under advisement.

No doubt he had expected her to cower down before him, but she would not, did not. After that, she could not resign. It could not appear she had been intimidated by him when she was definitely not. Besides, with the separation of duties in the SBR between her and David, she could easily manage both organizations.

Gyp was the happiest she had been in some time … then came rumors that Obsidian had returned.

The hour was late and she needed sleep. Finishing off the drink, the glass disappeared and the bottle was returned to the drawer. Rising and pushing the chair back to where it had been, she teleported to the upstairs quarters. It looked clean enough as she removed the cloak and laid it across the back of a chair. To be safe, fingers snapped, changing all linens on the bed and turning back the covers.

Slipping from her clothes, she slid a leaf-handled stiletto dagger beneath the pillow. Sitting on the side of the bed, she chanted softly, placing a barrier of protection around the perimeter of the room. Satisfied she was as protected as she could be, she settled into the still comfortable bed and was soon sound asleep, oblivious to the shifting of the shadows as if forming their own veil of protection around her.


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Captain Sharpe and the Day Dream

Post by Gypzee on Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:38 pm

She slept soundly through the night. If she had dreamed none was remembered. The sun’s rays pushed against closed lids, forcing her under the covers. At least she was in the west bedroom, the larger of the two. This room housed a queen size bed with two side tables and lamps atop them. The space had one bathroom that was accessible from the master bedroom, as well as from the main area.

Across from the bed and to the side was a pot bellied stove for those cold nights. Near it was a bay window lavished with cushions and pillows for a southerly view of the harbor. In the center area were two rocker recliners with a western view which could be seen through the double French doors. Between the recliners was a single table. The balcony stretched across the entire side of the building, the bedroom end having a swing, and each end with outdoor furnishings to comfortably enjoy any time of the day or night. The view from here was even more breath taking at sunset.

Opposite this bedroom was a fully functioning kitchen. Its black appliances were a nice compliment to the off white color of the walls and cabinets. The backsplash and floor tile was a gray, black, and white speckled pattern adding to its lavish appearance. It also had double French doors which opened onto the same undivided balcony as the bedroom.

The smaller bedroom on the east side held a double bed with a bench at its foot and two side tables with lamps. Its bay window view overlooked the town to the north. It had a small pot bellied stove as well. The room next to it was the main area, furnished with two couches, coffee table, and a chair with a side table. The seating faced double French doors through which you could see the east harbor view. The southeast corner held the largest pot bellied stove of the three. Again, there was a balcony that ran the entire side of the building with outdoor furnishings. The only difference was the addition of an outer stair case.

All indoor furnishings were made of the same material but of varying colors: fabric leather with thick pillow-top seating and arms, and stitched backs that provided superior upper-and-lower back support. The tables were dark cherry wood, differing only by design. It was a comfortable space. Originally remodeled as a loft area, she was glad she had it enclosed, making it a full second floor. Since leaving Rhydin, it had only been used for Day Dream VIPs that were in town.

While trying to decide whether to attempt more sleep or simply get up, she sensed someone drawing near the building. Moments later, they let themselves into the office. Footsteps could barely be heard making their way to the galley kitchen. Soon the aroma of coffee reached her nostrils, causing her stomach to lurch – not because she didn’t like the aroma; she did, even though she couldn’t stand the taste of the liquid itself. It was simply expressing its displeasure at her failing to eat last eve.

Rolling from the bed, she went through her morning routine. Dressed in dark camlet britches and a short sleeved rose colored blouse, she also put on an outer sweater of black cashmere for she knew it would be a chilly morning on the docks. Removing the barrier, she took a moment to make the bed knowing the person would be alerted someone was up there. As she opened the door to the downstairs, she heard an authoritative voice call out: “Be ye friend or foe?”

A few steps were taken where she knew her boots could be seen, and then a couple more before she responded gruffly: “If’n it ‘ad been foe ye would no’ know I was ‘ere ‘til it was too late.” A couple more steps cleared the bulkhead and her emerald gaze met the deep blue of Thomas Sharpe. Grin mirrored grin as she moved from the bottom step to the floor. His tanned face was framed by blonde hair made golden by the sun, tips curling slightly to the shoulders of his black shirt. Gyp found herself wanting to know if it was fine linen or burnished cotton.

Linen was her answer as they stepped toward each other, a hug given. They had known each other far too long to make do with just a hand shake. Even with her boots on he was a good three inches taller, putting him around 6’1” making it a comfortable hug.

“When did you get in? Want some juice?” moving toward the kitchen, knowing she cared not for coffee. She took a seat in the chair across from the desk where she had sat last night.

“Around two I think. Glad no one was bunked upstairs. What time did you get in? I noticed only the Raven was docked.” She took the glass he offered before he claimed the chair opposite her.

“Wel-l-l-l …” he drank from his mug before sitting it atop the desk. Her brow lifted as she grasped the cold glass, watching him over the rim as she took a drink. “The Jewel was to set sail five days ago for at least a ten day voyage. That would have put me out of port during the time of the wedding. Couldn’t have that,” he flashed a grin showing pearly whites.

“Oh? Did you finally succumb to some wily maiden’s charms?” she chuckled.

“Hardly … I’m waiting for you,” mug lifted and a wink given before he took a drink.

Good thing she had already swallowed hers. “Surrrrre ... So who got married?”

“Catherine … now all the sisters are married – thank God!” laughing.

“Weddings can be costly, but you have done your Dad proud seeing to it. What about your brothers?”

“Only Jeffrey. Robert is an avowed bachelor, or so he claims. We’re starting a pot to see how long that lasts. Want in on it?” laughing again.

“I may at that,” laughing with him. “So who is on the Jewel?”

“Donahue. He usually has the Raven, but it was booked for short hauls. So Wagner and I have been handling those. It should be going out again in two days time. Luckily for me, it’s his turn,” grinning at her. When all the vessels were out, Fergus came out to mind the office so she wasn’t concerned.

“Sounds as if we’re keeping busy. I’d like to look over the books while I’m here. Shannon is in the black. I’ve turned the Storm Whacker over to Nate for six months. He had some really good ideas. I’m eager to see how they pan out.” Another drink of juice was taken.

“I’ll wager he does quite well. Miller’s been holding him back. If you had let him come here, he’d be a Captain by now,” leaning back into the chair, muscular fingers resting around the bottom of the mug. “But I understood why you didn’t want him here at the time. But now maybe? We could use a lad of his intelligence.”

“We’ll see what the results are in six months, though I expect they’ll be favorable. Do you have time to look over the books now?” Her stomach growled in protest. “Or maybe after breakfast?” she laughed, cheeks flushing slightly.

“I’ve already eaten but …”

She held up her hand. “We can make it a working breakfast, and after a tour of the Raven, I’ll let you take me to lunch.”

“Deal.” He spun around to take the logs from the file cabinet and sat them on the desk. “More juice?” She nodded and he took the glass and mug into the kitchen for refills. Turning to come back, she was munching on a Danish, having rolled the other desk chair beside the one he had been sitting in. Watching her for a moment, he took his seat, glass set in front of her. “I’m curious to see how we are doing in comparison to Shannon.”

As he began opening ledgers, she glanced at him. He was quite a distraction and this close she could smell the subtle scent of musk and pipe tobacco. “Well,” a lick of her fingertips. “Rhydin has three more ships than Shannon, so you had best be doing better,” she chuckled.

Seeing her lick icing from her fingers, he nearly forgot himself. With her this close she smelled of the forest and somehow of strawberries. She glanced up, meeting his gaze. “Well, yes, there is that, but we can compare based on volume,” he finally managed, swiping his tongue across his lips as he focused on the ledger.


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Captain Sharpe and the Day Dream

Post by Gypzee on Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:47 pm

For the next few hours they went over the numbers. They were indeed in the black, and considering size and volume, Shannon was not too far behind. While he returned the books to the cabinet, she took their dishes to the kitchen, giving them a quick wash and setting them on the towel to dry.

They headed out to tour the Raven. It was in good shape, a few things pointed out to her. The sails, too, would soon be in need of light mending. She told him about Nate’s idea to camouflage the stitching. “I told you that young man was intelligent. He no doubt gets it from his mother,” he grinned with a wink.

Laughing and giving a shake of her head. Even though ships were inspected every six months, she told him, “Since business is good, let’s go ahead with inspections as they come in and make whatever repairs are needed.” He nodded in agreement as they made their way to a café he was sure she would like. It served “new world” cuisine, as well as the best regular fare the port offered.  

It had strange names to be sure: Submarine sandwiches, Chili, separately or on a hot dog, Nachos? The latter intrigued her. So that, along with something called a soft drink, is what she ordered. She was pleasantly surprised. During lunch Thomas caught her up on the Sharpe family news. Since his father past six years prior, and as the eldest, he had taken on the task of raising the family. Of course, they were all almost in their teens then, so that helped; plus the fact they were pretty well behaved due their father’s influence.

With lunch finished and the check settled, she told him to be sure and report it as a business expense so he would be reimbursed. “If I do that I can’t call this a date,” said with blue eyes twinkling. She shook her head and laughed. He did flirt a lot, though it was noted it seemed to be only with her and no other … at least while they were together.

She had always found Thomas attractive but wasn’t sure it was a good idea to mix business with pleasure. She would never find another Captain as good as Sharpe. As tempting as it was, if anything were to happen, he would have to make the first move. She did not want there to be any misunderstanding and him to feel obligated since she was the boss.  

“If I don’t take you to see the family, I’m going to be in a heap of trouble,” he grinned; “unless there is more business?”

Shaking her head she replied, “No, nothing I can think of.” As they walked, he pointed out some new businesses along the dock. The port was indeed growing, which could only mean more business for the Day Dream. They drifted in and out a few of the shops.

Soon they arrived at Mary’s. She was the eldest sister, married four years with 2 children. Catherine had been married less than two weeks. Jeffrey, married for 2 years, had one child. The avowed bachelor – Robert – was the youngest of the family. He was an incorrigible flirt, but lacking the confidence Thomas had. The one or two times she would flirt in return, he seemed to freeze up briefly.

Everyone was there for the evening meal which, of course, they bade her stay. As they were eating, laughing, and talking, she realized she was homesick. Her gaze met Thomas’ across the table, mirroring a smile before Mary drew her into conversation about all their children.

It was nearing 9 and she began to say her thanks and goodbyes. They started the walk back to the offices, laughing and chatting on the way. “I want in on the action you spoke of earlier … about how long before Robert marries? I’m in for 12-14 months.”

He turned his head to look at her. “Are you sure? That’s not all that far away.”

“Aye, but the first time a woman truly receives his flirtations, he will be a goner,” she laughed.

“I see your point,” joining her laughter.

All too soon they were on the porch of the Day Dream. The sky had exploded with stars and the sliver of a moon. He unlocked the door and swung it open for her to enter first, pushing it closed behind him.

“I’ll light a lantern.”

Her hand outstretched to rest on his forearm. “It’s not necessary,” said softly. The moon’s hovering was positioned just right so the office was awash in a soft glow.

He lifted his other hand to rest atop hers, glancing down to meet her gaze. “How long will you be staying?”

“I’m not entirely sure. I’ve not been here in a while. I want to look around, see what’s changed, who is still here and … whatever else might come up.”

He closed the gap between them. “No one is expected at the Day Dream, so you’ve use of the quarters for as long as you can stay. I’ll try not to wake you in the mornings so you can get your beauty sleep … not that you actually need any,” a warm smile given.

“Being near the water has always helped me sleep,” looking up at him. “So I think you’re safe,” she chuckled.

His hand lifted to brush back an errant strand of hair from her face. She held her breath a moment as his head dipped down to brush his lips lightly against hers. Lids closed, sending soft lashes to rest upon her cheeks. His lips were as soft as she had often imagined they would be. Her heart pounded against her chest as they brushed hers again.

Slowly she licked her lips as he pulled back, eyes still closed as he rested his forehead against the top of her head. “I’ve wanted to do that for a long time,” stated huskily, his breath warm against her hair.

Finding her voice she managed, “What took you so long?”

“You’ve always been attached or someone was around,” drawing back to look at her.

Gaze lifting to meet his, “How do you know I’m not attached now?”

“I don’t; I just decided to take a chance. I figured the worst that could happen was a slap to the face,” he offered with that heart-warming smile.

Emeralds twinkled as she spoke. “I’m glad you took the chance,” fingertips touching the stubble on the side of his face.

“Breakfast in the morning?” his hand moving to rest lightly at her waist.

“Aye aye Captain,” she laughed softly.

“Sleep well, Gypzee,” said in a low voice as he lightly kissed her.

“You, too, Thomas,” whispered against his lips,

As he moved to the door, she turned to watch him. The lock clicked, and he paused outside with a look at her bathed in the moon’s glow. With a dip of his head, he turned and was gone.

Her heart beat was beginning to slow to normal, licking her lips again and enjoying the taste of him. With a broad smile, she turned and made her way upstairs for another restful night’s sleep.


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Captain Sharpe and the Day Dream

Post by Gypzee on Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:57 pm

Sunshine snuck into the west bedroom. Turning, she stretched lazily. Fingertips lightly touched her lips which spread into a smile recalling the night before. She jumped out of bed, dragging a brush through her hair. It was pulled to the side and held in place with a black onyx comb. Having no idea what else might be planned for the day, she opted to wear a light blue colored dress, one side of the neckline off the shoulder and belted at the waist with a sash of a darker blue.

Sensing someone was approaching, she slipped on a pair of shoes and made her way down the stairs just as Thomas swung open the door. “Good morning,” he smiled at her. “Sleep well?”

“Aye,” smiling in return.

“Shall we?” he asked. With a nod and a broad smile, she took his offered arm.

The food was good, only over shadowed by the terrific conversation. They talked the morning away, people now filing in for lunch. With a laugh, they left and went for a walk through the village area. By mid-afternoon they wound their way back to the Day Dream offices. Standing on the porch, she shielded her eyes to gaze out to the vessel the business was named for.

“Has she been out much?” They did occasionally use it for cargo, but mostly it was for private passage or rental for special occasions.

“Not in a few weeks. We had Catherine’s reception on it, but didn’t leave port. Are you thinking of taking her out?”

She lowered her hand and glanced over to him. “Even if it’s just across the harbor and back it might be fun.”

“The Vandaryn will be in this eve. We can use that crew to run her out,” he nodded.

“It wouldn’t be too soon? Won’t they be tired?”

He shook his head. “They’ve not been out that long and they’ll welcome the extra pay,” he grinned.

“Aye,” she laughed. “I imagine they would. It sounds like a plan then.”

It was invigorating to be on the Day Dream again. Sailing in the moonlight was exciting any time, but especially standing on the deck with Thomas. It had been late when they reached the other side and dropped anchor. It allowed the crew to have a bit of a rest. Assuming no restaurant or tavern worth going to would be open at this hour, she pulled together a meal for them.

The moon had grown to a quarter of its fullness, glorious light spilling over them as they strolled the deck hand in hand. Never had she thought to be here with him like this. It was an evening of pleasant conversation and enjoying the other’s company. Soft kisses were exchanged outside her door, each saying their good nights, but both reluctant to actually end the evening. The hour was very late, and with a final, bit more passionate kiss, they parted.

After docking the next day, she had gone upstairs to change while Sharpe tended to some business. Coming back down, she saw several papers spread across his desk. “Looks like you’re going to have a busy day.”

“Aye. I’ve got about a seven day round trip. We’ll use the Raven and put the short haul on the Vandaryn to give the crew a days’ rest. Looks like I’m up, too,” he nodded making notes on a few documents.

“When do you leave?” she dropped into the chair across from him.

“Later this afternoon ... They’re loading now, inspecting and doing inventory,” he glanced out the window to the docks, then back to her. “What will you do?”

“I’ll probably do some exploring of Rhydin as I mentioned before.”

Nodding he said, “I forgot to show you something I uncovered in the store room. Do you want to look now?”

“Sure,” standing, she tugged her gloves from her back pocket and pulled them on as they crossed the room. Better not to rummage through a dirty store room bare handed. He opened the door for her and she stepped inside, amazed at what she saw. It was not only clean, but very well organized. “Wow! Did you do this?”

“Aye,” he nodded. “I was a bit bored. But don’t worry – no spiders were destroyed by the cleaning of this room.” They both laughed. “That’s when I discovered ... this,” coming to stand in front of a shelf holding a chest. Not just any chest, mind you … one that had a brilliant patina on it from centuries of wherever it had been before.

A huge padlock held the lid and bottom closed tightly; but there was also a very thick chain wrapped around it and padlocked as well. A third lock joined the other two. Someone did not want anything in this chest disturbed. “Where did you find this?” she questioned, quite curious

“In the very back east corner, surrounded by a pile of unclaimed freight. I’ve managed to match about 60 per cent of it to bills of laden, which has been delivered and paid for. The rest has been posted in the local paper, and if not claimed by month’s end, will be on the auction block. That is unless there is something amongst it you want to,” he grinned, knowing her penchant for claiming the unclaimed. “It’s that section over there,” her gaze following where he pointed.

“Aye, I can do that.” Her attention turned back to the chest. “Can you please move it to the table?” He carried it from the shelf as requested. She walked around it, studying it. It was but 19 inches, more like one would think of as a treasure chest. “Are there any markings on the bottom?”

“Now that you mention it,” he turned it to its side. She bent forward for a better look. On it was ‘N.O.U.S.A.’

Brows knitted into a frown. “I would guess the ‘U.S.A.’ is an abbreviation for United States of America – the new world. Something stirred in the deep recesses of her mind. She should know the significance of this. He returned it to its upright position. She bent forward again to study the metallic clasp. “I think something is etched on here.”

He brought over a lantern for a better view. “It looks like an initial of some kind, but I can’t make it out.” Leather covered digits brushed over it, trying to see it more clearly. It responded with a soft hum before she pulled her hand away. Sharpe seemed not to have noticed anything amiss. “Hmmm … how far back in the bills did you look?”

“Everything we have. Thanks to your organization, that even included most of the bills from when Tero was in charge, at least when he kept one. There is nothing that describes this item, or anything that is just a generic bill,” said with a puzzled tone.

“So who have we had as Captains that are no longer here?” She stepped back, left arm folded across her, palm upturned for the right elbow to rest in it. Fingertips tapped on her chin as she tried to remember what it was she had obviously forgotten.

“Only three … Williams, Dunn, and O’Toole. They’re puzzled, too, or appeared to be.”

“O’Toole had a fondness for making deals under the table. Could be something he just doesn’t want to admit.”

“Funny thing about O’Toole ... He quit kind of sudden about 10 years ago. People say he began acting strangely, drinking more than usual, acting paranoid. About a year later in Bristol, they found him slumped over his drink when the tavern was closing. Dead he was though not a mark on him. The doc figured he had finally drunk himself to death or had a heart attack.”

Silently she caught her breath. With her back to him she had a moment to compose herself. Whispers were heard within the shadows. Sharpe seemed not to have noticed. “Well, place it back on the shelf and I’ll see what I can find out while I’m here.”

He returned the item. She was glad to see there didn’t appear to be any lasting effects from his handling the chest bare-handed as he dusted them off. They turned to leave the store room, she taking a glance back at the trunk. Shadows coalesced around it; though if protecting it or restraining it, she wasn’t sure.


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Captain Sharpe and the Day Dream

Post by Gypzee on Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:08 pm

Back in the office, the first mate came in to say all the cargo was loaded. He sent him to notify the crew they would sail in an hour. She was still thinking of the chest when he came to stand in front of her, drawing her attention and gaze up to meet his.

“Sure you won’t be bored?” he grinned.

“Not bored, but looking forward to your return,” she smiled coyly, the chest forgotten for the moment. She rested her hands on his arms as he stepped toward her placing his at her waist.

”I’ll be looking forward to it as well,” his head lowered to brush his lips against hers. “Sure you don’t want to come along?”

“And throw your crew into despair at the bad luck a woman brings on a voyage?” she laughed. “Not that I believe in that; but no. I have much to do here. Besides, how can you miss me if I’m there?”

“Truth,” his laughter rang through the room. “I have always missed you, and shall even more now,” he kissed her lightly, then with more pressure. Her hands traveled up the length of his muscular arms coming to rest at his shoulders.

“I’ll miss you, too, Thomas. You had better get some rest before you sail.”

“I’ve plenty of time to rest once we’re underway. I don’t want to waste a moment of my time with you,” he pulled her into an embrace. Her head turned to rest her cheek on his chest. Never had she expected anything so pleasant on this trip. Idly she wondered what, if anything would come of this.

He pulled back with a sigh. “But I do have last minute things to tend to. See me off at the dock in an hour?”

“Aye, I will be there.” He kissed her again lightly, and left to tend to business.

Alone now, she turned to look back at the door to the store room. She canted her head slightly, hearing a slight hum. This was going to require more research, but that would have to be later. She would not miss seeing Thomas off as promised.

She had stayed on the dock until the ship was about to leave the mouth of the harbor. Though she could no longer see details of the boat or her Captain, she knew he was watching through the spy glass. She gave a wave before turning from the dock to go back to the office.

Walking to the store room door, naked hand hovered over the knob. She stepped back, pulling on her gloves before reaching again to open it. Letting the door close behind her, she stood in front of the shelf that held the chest. She could hear the soft hum that had only started when she rubbed the clasp. Sharpe never mentioned hearing anything so she assumed it was for her alone.

Shadows unfolded from the chest and began to swirl around her, gently caressing her completely, almost lovingly. Brows knitted into a slight frown as it seemed familiar yet …

“Remember,” they whispered to her.

Shuddering slightly, she tried but slammed into a wall. Hands went to her temples as she winced. Shadows had long been with her, though she had no recollection of when or why.

Again a gentle push from the shadows and she stepped back. These felt different … more intimate. Why did it hurt to try and remember? Another pain shot through her mind. How were they connected to this chest? Concentrating, the next pain brought her to her knees, a groan passing across her lips, as she slammed into a black void, shadows attempting to comfort her.

Standing slowly, she backed away from the chest, the shadows reluctantly releasing her. Pausing, she felt a sense of sadness they did not stay with her. Slowly she turned, steps carrying her through the door and up the stairs. Falling across the bed, the pain began to subside. Finally she succumbed to a restless sleep.

It was dark, pitch black in fact. The shadows were thick like quicksand. She could sense someone across the room but could see nothing. Every three steps forward would push her two back.

“Who is there?” Murmurs were all that greeted her, unable to discern its gender. Again, she pushed forward with the same results.

“Who are you? What do you want?”

“Remember … “

“I’ve tried! I can’t!” she was beginning to get angry. The shadows seemed to thin slightly.

“Just tell me who you are!” she moved forward without a pushback; then suddenly precious ground gained was lost as she was driven back to where she began.

“Enough!” she yelled, hands lifting the winds to blow the shadows away to reveal … nothing, no one. She looked all about the room but it was empty.

“Noooooo!” she screamed, sitting straight up in bed, a bead of sweat on her brow. There could only be one explanation for this – someone had purposely blocked her memory. And there was only one person who could have achieved it.


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Re: The Ghosts of Rhydin Past

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