Primus carefully changed the wet cloth on his guests forehead. The young woman had been washed ashore on his secluded island just last night, naked, already running a fever and delirious. While the scene had been illuminated by lightning, he had thought for a split second that his deceased grandchild had been sent back to him. The short hair, the frail stature, it had him reminded so much of his sweet Susan…
He brushed the single silver tear from the corner of his eye. The past was in the past and couldn’t be changed. He lived in the here and now and could still help to make sure the woman would have a future. That was, if she pulled through the fever. If he only could understand what she was murmuring in her fever sleep. But all his ears caught were musical sounds that made no sense for him.
Where did she come from? What weapon would leave half curved scars on a human throat this evenly? And not only her throat. She had similar, longer scars left and right of her torso. Her short hair was unevenly cut, as if someone had butchered it off.
Her dreams were a confusing mix of pictures, becoming one and then becoming many again and always in between she is seeing herself as an outsider of her body, sitting on the shrine, facing of Rassilon and Omega.
The quiet taxing of each other is interrupted by the wailing of a child. The leader’s smile is making her sick. Her eyes narrowed as that sick idiot dared to speak to her. “You don’t have it in you Missy. Now, be a good girl and we will let your brother…”
Silently and without resistance the shell glided through her hair, cutting it off to the horror of everyone. She placed her still beautiful locks on the shrine. Maybe fish wasn’t enough for a wish as big as hers.
“You see, I have it very much in me and more.” She already felt her magic leaving her body, weakening her further. “Mother of the Sea! Grant me my wish to become human! Have my magic in exchange!”
With a gasp she wakes up, her body too weak to do much besides breathing and blinking her eyes. She is disoriented. Everything looks, smells and feels strange, the most prominent thing concerning her, everything is so damn dry.
What a strange dream… Primus was standing besides his body, who had fallen asleep in a chair near the bed. The woman was still plagued by the fever, bright red demons with sharp teeth and little horns on their heads, crawling over her head, heavy, rock like beings laying on her chest, making it so much harder for her to breath and above her head was a candle floating, its flame flickering ominously.
Dread settled in his stomach as he looked up and there above his own head was a candle stump floating, the flame dead, the wick still glowing a faint red and smoke rising up. After all those years his time had come…
From the corner of his eyes he saw Death approaching him, a scythe in its skeletal hands. “I am ready to go, but I beg you, spare her. Sent someone to take care of her in my stead.”
THAT WON’T DO. YOUR FRIEND THE CAPTAIN IS STILL A WEEK AWAY FROM THIS ISLE AND HE WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND. NOT YET ANYWAY.
Death touched the illness demons with one skeletal finger, turning them to dust. Instantly she started to breathe more easily and the candle flame became stronger, shining brighter.
SHE WILL NEED A FRIEND, TEACHER AND A GUARDIAN. YOU WILL SOON UNDERSTAND WHY. DON’T LET THE CAPTAIN SEE HER YET. THEIR PATHS WILL CROSS WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT. WHICH ISN’T IN A WEEK. THE NAME OF YOUR CHARGE IS MISSY.
The finger that had destroyed the illness so effortless relit his candle.
The gasp of another person rose him from his light slumber. What a strange dream… His eyes widened as he looked upon his guest. He saw a candle still floating above her head, before it disappeared. A chill ran down his back. He could worry about the dream later and got up, noticing, that he felt stronger and more vital than he had in recent years.
Death had spared him, to watch over this woman… no, Missy as he recalled. He removed the dry cloth from her forehead, checking the temperature with the back of his hand. The fever was finally broken. Warry blue eyes watched him. Grabbing a mug with water he had ready on the nightstand, he carefully lifted her head up, holding the mug to her lips. She refused to drink.
Of course, why should she trust a stranger? He took a sip from the mug, making sure she saw him swallow the water, before he tried his luck again. This time she accepted the water, draining it in hasty gulps. She drank 3 more until her thirst was quenched for now.
They watched each other, assessing what they were seeing. Not to scare her he took her hand slowly from beneath the blanket, moving her joints like he had done for her whole fever sleep of the last 6 weeks. Soon she stretched her fingers of her right hand on her own.
He proceeded with her left hand and arm and she hadn’t tried to attack him yet. He took this as a good sign.
That stick fin sure was a strange fellow but he seemed to be no imminent threat to her life. Missy was not only grateful for the water, but also for the help in getting a feel for her arms and hands again. Now she would finally be allowed to take stock of her body with her own hands.
She started with her head, where she felt her short hair, chopped off as a sacrifice. That would grow back with time, but would it also bring her magic back? She remembered quite clearly offering her magic to the mother of the sea.
Her face felt the same as usual and her hands came to a sudden halt upon touching her throat. Left and right where her gills used to be was only raised skin, scars where she once was able to breath water.
Her hands started to shake as she wandered down her body to her chest. She couldn’t directly touch the skin, but felt the scars their as well. Her wish had been granted. She was a human now…
Tears sprang to her eyes as the finality of it all began to sink in. In an impulse to go after her littlest brother she had given up everything she knew for a great unknown and she had not even the faintest idea how she was supposed to find her brother and how to help him. She knew nothing of this new world. Stupid, stupid Missy! She chided herself.
Primus saw the conflicted reactions on Missy’s face and also the tears in her eyes. He took her in his arms, offering her his shoulder and comfort. He wondered not for the first time what her story was if she only could talk in a way he would understand.
To his surprise his top wasn’t wet by her tears. Upon falling from her eyes they turned into pearls. Missy was crying pearls and seeing this triggered a memory of something he read at the monastery where he had undertaken his priest training.
The witches of the sea are extinct because they were able to cry pearls instead of tears and were hunted for this unique ability.
This was what Death had meant, when they had said Missy needed a guardian. She was a sea witch trapped in a human body!