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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #1930244
Derek is just trying to survive when he discovers a ship werck that will change his life.
Derek woke up to the chilled morning air. It was still early, the sun hadn't yet come over the mountains, but Derek had work to do if he hoped to make it through the next week. His money was starting to run low again, and his kitchen cupboard was starting to look emptier than usual. Derek got out of bed and put on his clothes, stained to the point that no one could tell what colour they had once been. Derek pulled back the grey, woolen blanket that separated his small bedroom from his not-much-bigger kitchen and dinning room. A potbelly stove, a table, and a pair of chairs were the only articles of furniture in the room. The spacing wasn't tight, but everything was comfortably close. Derek went over to the cupboard and pulled out some cheese and bread that he had bought yesterday. He ate one small loaf of bread with a wedge of cheese, another wedge and loaf went into a little satchel, and the rest went back into the small lidded box that Derek called a cupboard.

He grabbed the fishing pole standing beside the door and stepped outside. The air was chilly and moist from last night's rain. Derek shuddered from the cold as he set his fishing pole beside a basket on a sledge. The sun's rays were just starting to come through the mountains as he set out for the cove three stone throws away.

The roar of breaking waves on rocks greeted Derek as he left the trees for the open beach of the cove. The cove was still enshrouded by shadow and the water was black with the night sky that had not yet retreated from the rising sun. However, Derek still managed to make out the outline of something odd sitting in the rocks of the cove. Derek pulled his sledge harder as he moved faster to the shore to get a better look at the object. As he hurried down the side of the hill to the shore, the sun's light pierced the shadows in the cove revealing the first clear look.

It was a ship. What was left of the ship anyway. The bow was mostly broken boards on top of even more busted boards, the stern was mostly intact, and the middle of the ship was just a deck hanging over the wreckage. The opportunity was almost to good to pass up. Derek had gotten enough money from the sale of items he had found on a previous wreck to get himself his property a year ago.

"This should pay for some proper living," Derek said to himself as he raced down to the wreck.

Derek rushed towards the wreck dragging his sledge recklessly over the rocks. The tide was out exposing a long stretch of rocky seabed dotted with pools filled with a variety of sea creatures, and at the end of the whole thing sat the wreck that Derek now pinned his hopes on. He hoped to get as much stuff of the ship as possible before the tide came back in. Derek slipped on the rocks and fell into a pool. He quickly hoisted himself out, shaking the water off, and picking seaweed off as he continued his quest to the ship.

Finally, Derek made it. He immediately began sifting through the wreckage for anything that could be of value. At the bow, he found a pair of small, waterlogged chests under a pile of boards, and one small unbroken barrel of full of rocks. In the middle all he could find was broken pottery, busted boards, and . . . gold! Under a pile of rubbish Derek found gold coins streaming out of the sides a busted chest. Rushing back to the bow, he emptied the barrel of rocks, and raced back to the gold and began filling the barrel with it. Soon the barrel was full, and then soon what was left occupied the basket on the sledge. The gold was such a perfect find that he didn't leave one coin from the chest behind.

With the sweet taste of success penetrating his entire being, Derek began searching the rest of the ship to make sure he wasn't missing anything. The stern was the most intact so he hoped to find a small king's ransom inside. The sun was almost six hands high in the sky as he began to pull things from the stern of the ship. Amongst the trove of items in the stern, he pulled out a set of tools from the lower part of the stern; hammers, chisels, a saw, a couple of axes, and a pickaxe. The second level yielded three lengths of chains, a small chest, several swords, and a pair of gauntlets. The next level appeared to be the captain's cabin with its more elegant decorations carved into the walls. Searching through the debris revealed a small box. Shaking it Derek felt happy to take it along with the sheets of linen heaped in a corner. Packing the box into a tight ball of linen, he set out to leave the ship.

The crisp sound of metal bouncing off of the wood rang out behind Derek as he moved towards the hole in the wall that he had enter from. He turned around to see the gleam of a small, gold ring. Shifting the bundle to his right arm, he bent down and picked it up. Inspecting it as he left the stern behind, the light from the noon sun fractured into many colours as it hit the two white crystals on either side of the insignia in the middle. The insignia was itself stunning to look at; the level of detail was incredible. The ring's insignia was beautifully engraved with a crowned eagle flying above a seated lion with a scepter in its paws.

As Derek looked up from admiring the ring, he caught a glimpse of something floating to shore just before it disappeared beneath the window. Curious he left the ship, put his loot on the sledge, and walked around to the other side. Coming around the stern, he saw the craft that had caught his attention. It was a girl, soaked and tired, still holding tight to a busted board.

"Is this your ship?" Derek reluctantly called to the girl.

Slowly the girl lifted her head, but quickly lost the fight against gravity. As Derek slowly walked over, the girl's hands lost their strength to hold on, and she disappeared into the water. Panic ceased Derek. In a moment his coat and shoes were tossed against the rocks and he was diving into the cold water. Swiftly he dove down to her and got to her just before his ears popped. Grabbing her around her stomach with his left arm, he then struggled to reach the surface. Just as he felt like he was about to run out of air, he breached the surface. Quickly he pulled the girl onto the rocks, and, remembering what one of the villagers did when another boy had almost drowned a year ago, pushed on the girl's chest. A couple of pushes later, water splashed out of her mouth with a cough right behind it. The steady rise and fall of her chest told Derek that she was breathing again.

"Well. . . that was close," Derek muttered to himself. "Now, what to do with you?"

He picked her up and brought her over to the sledge. With a lot of rearranging, and the addition of makeshift sledge, he soon was pulling the treasure and the girl back to his house. As he pulled, Derek noticed that the sun was four hands away from setting. He quickly tied the rope around his waist and got out his cheese and bread. Refreshing himself with his meager meal, he continued to make his slow way back home.

Kalyn awoke in a strange bed cut off from the rest of the house by a grey wool blanket hanging from the ceiling. She rubbed her eyes, and noticed that her left sleeve was gone. She then became aware that the entire left shoulder of her dress had been cut off with her sleeve. Looking at her shoulder she saw why. The green cloth stained with a few dots of red was wrapped around her shoulder.

Where was she? How did she get here? Were the people here friends or foes? Panic started to claw into her. Should she call out? Should she make a run for it? Suddenly the blanket was pulled quickly back.

"Ahhhhh!" screamed Kalyn as she sat up.

"Oh!" came the boy's voice, "At least I know there's no more water in you. Oh, my ears you can scream."

Covering her mouth to hide her smile, "I am so sorry." Kalyn then noticed the ring on the boy's finger. "My ring! Where did you get it?"

"Oh, I. . . I got it from the shipwreck just before pulling you out of the water." He balance the tray he was carrying in the one hand and took the ring off with the other. "Here you can have it back."

"Thank you," answered Kalyn as she put the ring back on.

"Would you mind if I properly dress that now?" Asked the boy as he gesture to her shoulder.

"Huh, oh, yes."

The boy sat down on the bed edge and placed the tray on his lap. He then reached over and remove the make shift bandage.

"What is your name?" Kalyn asked as he got a wet sponge out of the bowel.

"It's been so long since anyone asked me that." Kalyn shuttered as the boy press the sponge onto the wound. "Sorry."

Kalyn quickly answered, "Oh, no, it is alright, but I would like to know your name."

"It's Derek." He put the sponge away and got out a roll of bandages. "What's yours?"


"That's a pretty name," Derek answered as he began to wrap her shoulder, "fit for a princess."

"I am a princess."

"Okay, your highness, where does your daddy rule?" Derek asked sarcastically as he finished wrapping the wound.

"I am Princess Kalyn Sion daughter of King Joshua Sion, King of Haven."

"Actually?" asked Derek as he set the tray to the side

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