It was a cold day, I remember waking up on a comfortable bed or as comfortable as a bed on a boat could be. The smell of salt water filled the air; I felt the boat sway side to side. I lay there just staring at the top of the bedchamber, thinking about what my father had said. "You have to marry a prince before you're 21st birthday." He had said. His words echoed in my ears. A single drop of water landed on the tip of my nose. I sat up and slung my legs over the side of the bed. My birthday was in a couple weeks. How did he expect me to fall in love so fast? I took a deep sigh and climbed out of the bed. I changed into a black skirt and a white shirt with a red belt. I threw on my black flats and climbed on deck. The sea was tossing the ship from side to side; the men were dancing and singing while some played music. My big black and white fluffy sheepdog Shay came up and licked my face with her big slobbery tongue.
"Shay!" I laughed trying to pull her off me. My black hair swayed in the crisp wind as the smell of salt water hugged my nose. I pulled my hair back with a red ribbon to keep it out of my face as the wind whipped it around. I picked up a flute that was lying next to me and started to play and dance with all the men. It was so much fun. Soon I ran out of breath and sat on a barrel when two of the men started talking. "Aye, beautiful weather was having." One said he was wearing a red and white-stripped shirt and black pants.
The other was wearing the same thing with a red scruffy beard, and matching red hair scoffed. "Aye, the good Queen Trina looks down upon our voyage." He said messing with one of the fish that the men had caught.
My chamber maid Greta on the other side of them hanging over the ship's edge. Her face green with sea sickness. She was a rather thin women with gray fluffy hair. A purple and blue petty coat tied at the waist atop a black dress. She leaned back upon the ship pushing back some of her hair as she took a deep breath. "Oh, please. You don't really believe that." She said in a very sophisticated way.
A few of the sailors laughed. Although I was very confused. "Who, who is Queen Trina?" I asked curiously.
"Only the Queen of the whole sea your highness." One of the sailors said bowing.
Greta scoffed "Sailor tales milady. Fish people, really?" She said leaning over the boat side again.
The red haired sailor started moving the fish as if it were swimming. "I'm telling you, down in the depths of the ocean they live." He said as the fish slipped out of his hands over the railing of the boat into the sea. All the sailors and I laughing as the fish flew over the railing. He tried to grab the poor fish but it was already well underneath the waves.
Greta straightened herself up and dusted off her petty coat when she gestured some of the sailors to hall out a large covered up block of some sort. "Well given the occasion I might as well give this to you know." Greta said. She waved her hand and two men uncovered a great statue. "Happy Birthday Erica!" Greta said clasping her hands together excitedly. A few of the sailors tore the tan fabric off of a stature of gray marble. The stature, of course. was of me... standing with some man as he held a sword like a needed saving.
I looked at it with slight interest and a bit of disgust at the image I saw. "Wow, Greta." I said looking at it again then I turned to her. "You shouldn't have."
Greta looked at me. "Well I had hoped it would be a wedding present by now." She said taking a kerchief out of her pocket and dabbing her lips for no reason.
I never understood why people did that. I couldn't help but huff at her remark. "Your not still upset that I didn't fall for that Prince of Glandier are you?" I asked as I tossed my flute to her.
She almost failed to catch it. "Oh, princess. It isn't me alone." She said as she finally stopped the flute from spinning in the air. "The kingdom would like you settled down with the right boy." She said. I could hear the sympathy behind her voice.
She was right. Everyone was expecting me to be married to a prince that was perfect. It wasn't that the prince from Glandier wasn't rich or deliciously handsome. Its just that everyone leaves out, conceded, snobbish and an all around jerk. The problem was most princes were. "Don't worry Greta." I said. I am fully confident I will find the perfect prince. I know it. "When I find him, I'll know." I said as I sat on the edge of the boat. "It will hit me like, boom. Like lightning." I said as I flashed her a smile.
As if right on cue a giant loud crack of thunder and flash of lightning lit up the dark sky. "Man your stations!" The cabin boy on the crows eye yelled. "Hurricane a coming!" People were screaming, grabbing ropes and barking orders. I ran to help a man with the sails.
Greta grabbed my arm. "Princess please." She said dragging me back underneath the ship. "We need to get you somewhere safe." I looked at her. I didn't need saving, I needed to help. I shoved her arm of mine and ran toward the dangling rope. It was pouring now. Large cold sheets of rain fell on me, within seconds I was soaked to the bone. I pulled hard on the rope that would tighten and bring up the sail, the great wind almost blowing me off balance. A loud crack sounded and another flash of lightning hit the sail post. The once white sail burst into flames and the post began to fall. I jumped to the side nearly being crushed. The ship was burning now. I screamed as I fell to the floor boards. My black hair falling loose from the ribbon. My hands were blistered from the wet rope and trying to catch my fall. "Erica!" I heard Greta's scream. She was in a row boat off the ship. I jumped into the boat with them. We started paddling away when I swore I heard barking.
I panicked. I turned back to the ship to see Shay frozen and barking on the deck of the burning ship. I couldn't just leave her there. I stood and dove into the water. Its really hard to swim in a pleated blue skirt. A rope hung from the ship that I used to climb up. I kicked off my shoes for better traction. "Come here Shay." I said to the dog. She was shaking but finally came close enough to me to through her over the side. She yelped and kicked wildly as if she was swimming in the air. She landed in the water with a big splash and started swimming toward Greta and the others. A sigh of relief passed over me but I still had to get off the ship. I was about to jump when a wave smacked into the side of the ship. I went flying over the side and hit my head on the boat. I heard Greta calling for me frantically as if I was still on the boat as another wave scooped me up and through me under, everything went black.