I was scared to get on the boat- the boat my dad had died on, protecting his skirl. I was told it was an honor. I was told he died a hero. How much of an achievement can it be, if it ends in death? I stared at the boat. Could I really get on it? Could I really spend months with the crew that had let my dad die? At least in Hallasholm I could avoid them, but ships were just too small. I knew I wasn't being fair. There was nothing the crew could have done to save him, but it made life easier. It was easier to curse at the crew here than to curse at some pirates that had been dead for years. I guess I would have to get over my grudge at some point. Maybe being in a new place would help-
Something attacked me from behind and I fell straight down into the sand. My scream was quickly cut off by the fact that sand tastes horrible.
“Down Kloof. Bad girl!” a voice behind me shouted. As soon as they yelled that the weight, probably Kloof, lifted.
“Are you ok?” the voice asked.
Looking up I see a young man. He's wearing a sheepskin coat and a black knitted watch cap. He stretches out his hand. I take it. My whole body aches as I stand up. My mouth tastes like sand. Great. Now my mouth will be gritty all day.
“I'm so sorry,” the man says, “I thought I had Kloof trained by now.”
As he says that an enormous dog comes up to his side. He starts scratching her head, right between the ears.
“You named that dog Kloof?” I ask. It doesn't seem like that good of a name.
“Yeah,” he says sheepishly.
At that moment the dog opens her mouth and says ‘Kloof!’
Smiling, the man says, “That's why”
By now I'm laughing. Of course that's how he named his dog. Kloof decided she has had enough of the man and pushes against me, nearly knocking me over. I start scratching her and her tail starts wagging. I guess she likes it.
“Looks like Kloof likes you,” the man says.
“Good thing too,” I reply, “If she didn't she could probably have taken me down.”
“She already has,”
He points down to my clothes, which are covered in sand. I had forgot all about that. The chat with this pleasant man detracted from any negative thoughts.
“Hal!” a voice yells, “You've wasted enough time chit-chatting. Start checking the sails.”
The man, Hal, turns around, waves in acknowledgement, and starts to climb on the boat.
“Sorry, I gotta do what Thorn wants me to. Would you like to help me?” He asks.
“I...I can't. I don't know how.”
“Then how about you keep me company?”
I want to tell him no. I want to tell him I'm scared. But, something about him makes we want to keep talking. Something about his manner, how easily he started a conversation. So I nod my head and walk on.