The broken seas

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Food thief

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All things considered, the crew was doing well. They were given a hoard of supplies to survive the harsh terrain and only needed to worry about the ship's stability. Even though they were only given the supplies to lure them away, it was a kind gesture. Thanks to the resident boat genius, Sam, who stood beside Delilah, they were able to do makeshift repairs. However, with each storm, the boat's condition only deteriorated, and the hoard of people did nothing to help the ship's condition. While the younger beggars were bright and optimistic, they were still unable to help the team managing the ship, and no one wanted to acknowledge the uselessness of the orphans, so they all remained quiet. Elizabeth, the other girl beside Delilah, had straight chestnut hair that fell over to their backs. She wasn't as beautiful as Delilah, but she was in no way ugly. Elizabeth was the only one to laugh and Creed's harsh but fair criticism.

They had spent the night and most of the morning overcoming each upcoming wave, so it was no surprise when Tristan's stomach grumbled. Luckily, his grumble brought along a roar of laughter from the crew. Elizabeth interrupted the laughter by saying, " I'll make breakfast". She had mastered the culinary arts at a young age, so having her aboard was a treat. Since she was young, she'd completely manipulate the ingredients into creating exquisite culinary achievements. All, except Jason, followed Elizabeth into the kitchen.

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"Are you coming?", even though she knew the answer, Delilah always asked the same question. Jason merely shook his head and slumped over the railing to watch the sun. Before she could pat Jason's shoulder, Sam and Elizabeth grabbed Delilah's arms and dragged her below deck. While they were dragging her, Elizabeth muttered, " I don't know why you always ask him that, you already know what he's going to say". There was a hint of bitterness in her voice, but it wasn't out of malice, but because she had asked it so many times before. Like so many times prior, Delilah answered, " If I don't help him, who will?".

Jason would often stare at the horizon with a somber look on his face. No one knew what he spent so much time looking for, not even the person who knew him best, Jackson. His lingering stare was cut short by a female's scream. Ignoring the listless beggars and a dusty kid, he ran downstairs to the origin of the scream. When he reached the door, he gasped for air, " what's wrong?". With a cold scowl, Sam barked, " take a look!".

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Before, they had enough supplies to last them a few months. Which was barely enough to sustain the passengers for a month. Now, not even a crumb was left in the room. The only thing left was a barrel of water. They wouldn't be able to survive longer than a week at best.

However, the lack of food was lackluster compared to the reactions of the crew. Creed slumped into the corner of the room while Delilah searched each and every empty crate. Jackson kicked the wall, which left a gaping hole. Elizabeth was in tears while lightly sobbing to Jason, "what am I going to cook?". Tristan fell to his knees while in a half-dazed state. Outside of Jason, who tried to comfort his friends, Sam was the only one keeping a sound head.

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The room was locked so no one other than Elizabeth could enter, so the options were limited. The only clues available were left by the room's dusty interior. It was easy to see a collection of handprints as well as foot impressions, most of them belonged to the crew, but one set was completely different from the rest. From the size, it was obvious a child had broken in. Sam rushed out of the room to the deck, instantly studying the hoard of children. She stopped in front of a skinny child covered in dust.

The child held onto his mother, so when Sam whispered into the boy's ear, " Joshua, did your mother ask you to steal food?". He had barely any reaction. Still, he nodded his head softly in agreement. Filled with rage, Sam bellowed, " why did you make him steal food!". The mother in his arms hid a sinister smile while she barked back, "how dare you accuse me! No one here has access to the food, but you all! You're probably accusing me because you ate all of the supplies!". Sam took a step back, while the crowd chanted, " Liers! Thieves!". Sam stammered, "what i-I, no!". The desperation in her voice amplified her look of guilt.

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