Driftwood [cyclopsedoe & upscalerat]

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by upscalerat, Apr 4, 2015.

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  1. There was always some fun for mermaids after a particularly nasty storm. Though they were rather solitary creatures, they would often group together to loot through the lost goods and treasures of a sunken ship, and they were often rather civil about sharing what they found. This storm had been particularly violent, though, and Talora was, for now, alone in her searching. Admittedly, the skies were still dark and rumbling, and the water still lapped angrily around her, but Talora had not wanted to wait. She wanted to collect what she would and move on, before the sharing started.

    Perhaps, though, the silver tailed woman was too hasty, as when Talora broke surface, the ship was still quite intact. She pouted and pushed her black hair out of her brown eyes. Yes, there it was, still floating, rocking against the waves. She was too early. The mermaid watched lightning crack through the sky. It was followed by a low rumble of thunder, and if she strained her ears, she could hear the shouts of people aboard the ship.

    She could imagine them, little ant-like figures from this distance, running around with ropes, tying them and untying them in an attempt to be safe. They shouldn't have come so far, Talora thought, if they wanted to stay safe. Here, large rocks jutted from the water. It was perfectly navigable in clear weather, but no one wanted to be in it in stormy waters like these. The mermaid envisioned the ant-men preparing their life boats and readying emergency supplies. How quaint.

    The ship lurched forward, and smashed against a rock. Little things fell off. Wood? People? Goods? Far away as she was, Talora couldn't tell. "But if I got closer... Maybe I wasn't too early after all," she told herself, and slipped back down beneath the water to go see. The journey underneath the water wwasn't much easier; true, she didn't have to deal with the waves crashing over her head, but there were more rocks that she would have liked. It took her a few minutes to reach the ship, where she surfaced again.

    Wood... Wood.... Wood. More wood. Talora sighed. "Nothing of value? What use are they?" While drifting through the broken pieces of wood, though, the mermaid noticed this one was oddly shaped. She swam over, and put a hand on it... Hair. This was a human! She looked up, but the sailors seemed to be busy running about, doing whatever it was they were doing. None of them had noticed this one's fall, apparently. Talora turned his head to make sure that his nose wasn't submerged with water, and started to drag him away.

    Swimming while holding onto something- or someone- was difficult enough; swimming while holding onto something that couldn't go under water was nearly impossible. It took Talora several hours, if not longer, to drag the man over to an island not so far from where he had fallen overboard. It wasn't a particularly large island, but there was fruit and some animals on it; enough resources for a human to survive, at any rate. Pulling the man onto shore was the most difficult part. Talora had to pull herself up, too, until she finally managed to get them both out of the water.

    She put an ear to his chest; he was still breathing, but... Talora tilted his head sideways again, and pushed down on his chest. Some water spluttered out. Much better. And the sun had come out from behind the clouds, in time to set the skies ablaze and set. Talora stayed on the shore and watched it until her tail and hair were dry. The scales fell off until she had legs and, shakily, she stood. Taking a step nearly caused her to fall, but still, Talora went to the forest and, as best she could, collected some of the fruit growing from the trees.

    She only collected an armful before returning to the still sleeping man. Talora dug a hole in the sand, a few feet above him, and put the food in there so it wouldn't roll away, then sat by the man again. "Wake up," she whispered to him. With no sign that he'd heard her, Talora crawled down to the water, and shifted herself so that her legs were under the waves. After a few splashes, her scales grew back, and Talora crawled back to the man with her tail in tact, and sat beside him, ready for him to wake.
  2. [​IMG]
    Elias Evans || 31 || First Mate
    pb: Henry Cavill
    Since leaving England for the much warmer waters of the Caribbean, the weather had been less than cooperative. For the last several days, the clouds in the sky were thick and shelf-like, growing darker by the hour, swelled with water and ready to pour down on the entire ship. It was times like these when the Destiny was surrounded by water, top to bottom, did Elias Evans realize just how vulnerable he and the crew truly were. The power of nature was endless, greater than any force of man or invention, and as the wind continued to whip the formerly calm waters of the Atlantic into a frenzy, Elias was preparing the crew to secure the ship. In a storm, there was little that anyone could do besides hold on, ride out the choppy waves and pray that no one went overboard.

    A loud clap of thunder signaled the start of the downpour, and soon enough, the storm that had been looming in the atmosphere all day was upon them. The crew was struggling to move against the howling winds and the heavy rain pelting their skin like tiny bullets, and Elias had put himself in the thick of it all. With the captain at the helm, shouting orders as he wrestled between the ship and the waves, Elias was on deck, giving his own orders. It was hard to get a word across to anyone over the sound of the relentless waves crashing against the wooden sides of the boat and spilling water up onto the deck.

    Somehow, Elias and the crew managed to secure the sails, flattening them against the strong winds as the storm continued to rage on. In the distance, Elias could see the fleeting traces of a small island, but there was no telling how long it would take to get to shore, and the risk wasn't worth it in such violent weather. The waves were becoming more forceful, nearly rocking the boat parallel to the ocean's churning surface and Elias was having a hard time staying on his feet. He had already fallen twice, his body hitting the solidly slick deck with all the gracelessness of a newborn faun.

    It was the third fall that sent Elias over the edge. He scrambled to hold onto something, a rope, the railing, his reflexes weren't fast enough and the dark-haired man found himself thrown into the ocean. The saltwater rushed over him, easily overtaking him but Elias swam strongly toward the surface, breaking through the water just before he ran out of breath. He gasped, sputtered from the seawater that he'd swallowed and found the ship once more. “Help!” he screamed, but no one on board could hear over the rumbling thunder. “Help me!” he tried again, desperate, only to be swallowed again by another wave.

    Swimming against a storm was quickly draining Elias's strength and with each new wave that pummeled his body, he breathed in more water. His movements were slower, his frantic waving and kicking slowed down, reduced to a pathetic raise of his arm between coughing the ocean out of his lungs. Saving himself wasn't going to happen, and Elias began to sink, another sailor lost forever at sea. His head had just dipped below the water when Elias felt something tug at his body, but unconsciousness was already gripping at him. Whether it was the Kraken or the grace of God come to save him, Elias didn't care, he just didn't want to drown.

    Hours later, Elias began to come around. Vaguely, he was aware of the sun on his face, back from behind the clouds to reveal a sunny, warm day, and the sensation of sand stuck to his skin and clothes was rough and uncomfortable. Elias coughed, feeling a full cup of water dislodge from his lungs. He coughed again, harder this time, the force of it causing him to sit up. He was hardly aware of his surroundings, and more amazed with the fact that he was alive. Finally, Elias's blue eyes began to focus and he took a look around. His breathing was still rather heavy after his choking fit, but he was feeling much better.

    The island looked to be a little slice of paradise with a forest of some kind directly behind the beach. There was no sight of anyone from the ship—no crew, no captain, just...a woman and the brilliant scales of her tail glittering in the afternoon sun.

    A mermaid. Elias had heard the stories about them, but the skeptic in him had never believed the playful creatures actually existed. For a long moment, the sailor just looked at her, eyes wide and blinking, mouth slightly agape. “You...you're...” he stammered and trailed off, hardly eloquent after nearly dying. “Where's the ship?” Had the Destiny been lost, had they even noticed that he was gone?

    Shakily, Elias stood from the sand and looked out to the ocean. The tide was gently lapping at the shore and the rippling, blue surface stretched on for miles in almost every direction. There was no sign of the boat, wrecked or in tact. Elias whirled around, damp hair clinging to his head. “What happened?” he demanded of the mermaid. For some reason, he expected her to know.

    //hope it's okay. Let me know if you'd like me to add or change something!
  3. ((Nope, you're perfect!))

    What a man! Talora didn't have much experience with humanity herself, but she'd heard the stories growing up. They were always so intent on getting back to wherever they were from, and had no patience for anything short of that. This one was no different from the rest, she thought, despite him being her only evidence of human personality at all. Surprisingly, the man managed to stand and look around, and repeat his question to her with some force. He was a hardy one, she had to give him that. The mermaid turned over, onto her back, and supported herself with her elbows. Her tail was starting to feel dry again, she noted; it really hadn't spent enough time back in the water. She would have to fix that.

    "There's some fruit, right above me, for you," she started, instead, taking in what the man looked like, now that he was no longer half dead from the sea. "There was a storm. I was waiting for..." The man wouldn't trust her if she admitted that she was waiting for it to crash. If he didn't trust her, he might not talk to her, and then this whole thing would have been boring and pointless, wouldn't it have? Sure, some altruism had dictated her actions, but Talora also saved him for her own sake. "Well. You fell overboard and I saw, and your crew didn't, so I took you here. It's nice here! Wasn't even that far."

    She glanced up. The sky was also blue, and clear now that it had emptied itself. "I'm Talora. Do you have a name?" Humans were strange; perhaps they recognized each other by scent, or sound. Talora knew some animals did that. Or perhaps they weren't named until late in life. Though this man looked full grown, and about her age, but she was only guessing at best. Still, rather than wait for an answer, Talora pushed herself up to sit, then fell over, facing the water now, and pulled herself to it. Drying out her tail once was more than enough for one day; twice was excessive, if not dangerous, particularly so soon after the first.
  4. Growing up on the water, and having come from a long line of sailors and fisherman, Elias's youth had been full of tales of the sea. From grindylows and selkies, and all the way down to mermaids, Elias knew almost every fairy tail and warning that there was to know about the water. However, he had always thought that the stories his mother and father told him as a child were mere cautionary tales, nothing to ever put any stock into, even if the other sailors that he knew swore they had saw one mythical creature or another in their lifetime. And now, here he was, stranded on a beach with a mermaid who seemed all too pleased with herself to have him there.

    After being thrown overboard during the storm, Elias hadn't expected to live. Suddenly, he was starting to realize that he owed this woman a favor for saving him, something to thank her for her effort of dragging his limp body to shore when the waves had been almost as tall as the Destiny itself. “Thank you,” he said to her, but was still a bit unsure of her overly cheerful tone. Mermaids were strange creatures, sometimes described as harmless tricksters, and other times compared to the deadly Sirens. Luckily for Elias, he felt comfortable trusting this one; if she wanted to kill him, she wouldn't have brought him to shore first.

    Without knowing how long he had been out for, Elias had no way of knowing how far the ship had gone. His best course of action was to try and get a message to them at the next port, but it was hard telling if that could even be accomplished. “Where exactly are we?” he asked, bowling over Talora's request for his name. “Are there other people here?” Just from where he was standing, Elias was unable to measure the size of the island, but he hoped that luck would be on his side for a change.

    Feeling rather hopeless, the former first mate resumed his position in the sand. “My name's Elias,” he finally indulged her. “Why did you save me?” he asked, apparently full of questions.
  5. Did all of them ask questions before answering the ones posed to them? Talora splashed her tail about for a moment while she considered. Was she supposed to do the same? Perhaps this spontaneous decision was going to bore her. She could always leave him to his own devices, but, oh, she might feel guilty if she did that. And maybe he would be interesting! She at least owed it to him to stay for a little bit, to see if humans really lived up to what she had heard, or if there was anything she could learn. And oh, the stories that she would be able to tell! Others would beg her to sing songs of human kind for her- she could become a bard, immortalized by this encounter...

    Now that she had had a moment to daydream, though, Talora came back to the island, and to the man. Well, she could ask her questions later; there would be plenty of time to ask him, later. "We're on an island," she said, slowing her words down to be sure that he understood. What a silly question! Either humans were dull, or this man was disoriented from his sleep. "Others? Oh, I don't know, I didn't go in very far, just enough to fetch you some food." He had heard that she'd left fruit for him, hadn't he? The man hadn't done anything to indicate he'd understood, but maybe humans didn't do that.

    "Elias! You do have a name! It sounds strange. E-li-as," she tested, with a giggle. Did all of them have such strange sounding names? Or was Elias some other sort of name? Perhaps it was his clan, or something of that sort, and he had a more normal sounding one for himself. At least she could say it- Talora had heard that humans had unpronounceable names, like J'n, or D'm, or J'ds. It was a pleasure to know that was at least not completely correct.

    "Why did I save you?" Strange, she never thought that was something to ask of someone who had saved you. Talora shut her eyes and raised her shoulders in a shrug, then looked at Elias again. "I don't know. I was there, you were there. It seemed like a proper thing to do at the time." Then, she tiled her head. "Would you have preferred that I not have? I can drown you still, if that's what you wish." It would have been a boring encounter, sure, but a human who wished only to perish would be no more interesting over time.
  6. The encounter was proving to be a strange one, and Elias was beginning to trust the mermaid less and less. Her social customers were strange, just in the way she spoke, Talora seemed too excited about their current situation, almost giddy. At the same time, the way she reiterated herself suggested that she didn't understand what he was asking of her, or even why he wanted to know. Unlike her, his home was far away from whatever island he had been dragged to, and while he was grateful that a spirit had been looking out for him, getting back to the crew was his main priority. If the mermaid, with her tail splashing happily in the warm water, failed to understand that, then Elias wasn't going to waste his time explaining it to her.

    I know we're on an island,” he said, his tone just as slow and patronizing as Talora's had been. “I meant the name. Does this island have a name?” If it did, then it was sure to be populated somewhere, it was just a matter of finding civilization and getting off the beach. Elias was suddenly daydreaming about a port town, people who would be happy to get a message to the captain, or even take him to his original destination. The circumstances that he had crafted in his drifting mind were much more ideal than being stuck on a remote island with a creature who had just offered to drown him.

    The culture of mermaids certainly was different. Elias found himself backing up in the sand, just putting a bit more distance between himself and Talora in case he needed to outrun her. After all, it didn't seem like she used her all that much. “I don't wish that,” he clarified. “I didn't know your kind was that good-natured.” If the dark-haired sailor were to stay, he would have to find some way to repay Talora for what she had done because Elias wasn't the type to leave outstanding debts to anyone.

    Now that Elias considered himself mostly safe, the fruit that Talora had gathered was looking rather tempting. It was hard to keep anything fresh at sea, and it had been quite some time since he had seen anything more than a lime or a small orange. Once more, Elias hauled himself up from the sand, and didn't bother to brush away the granules that stuck to his still-damp clothes. “I guess I owe you twice now,” he mused, as he reached for something that looked like a misshapen apple. The flesh was soft and sweet, a taste that was very much welcome and Elias was quick to take another bite. He studied Talora for a moment, wondering if his other questions would be met with more confusion.
  7. It was almost a relief to discover that the man could recognize an island when he was on one. But, a name? For an island? What a silly concept. Islands couldn't speak, after all; there was no reason to distinguish one from another outside of landmarks, and the relatively solitary lives that mermaids led meant that it was rater infrequent that Talora needed to describe her reference points. But the island had no tongue, and if these bits of land on the sea communicated, it wasn't in a manner that Talora understood. Perhaps humans could hear the land's murmur? After all, most spent their time upon it; but if he could understand it, why not ask it himself?

    It was too much effort to puzzle out beyond that. "Perhaps. But I do not know what the thing calls itself," she said. If it had been particularly unfamiliar, she would have offered to swim around the place, and seek out other humans, or anything that looked about as smart, and ask. But the mermaid knew this area well enough to know that the land was a quieter one. True, she wasn't particularly intimate with it, and she had seen some little creatures running about, but she had yet to see anything that might have interested the human. If they existed, they did so more inland than she could see.

    But why would he care? Perhaps he had friends, or family members, or possessions. Perhaps his ship would try to land here. But Elias spoke again, and Talora's attention snapped back to him. "Oh, we can be, as can yours, I'm sure. Unless you are trying to tell me that humans are all ill and evil. But I can't speak for all of my kind. We don't talk much with each other. Or at least, I don't talk much with them." The mermaid glanced towards the waves that lapped her tail. "I didn't know your kind was... Well. I didn't know much of your kind at all." She returned her gaze to her rescuee. "Will you tell me about humans? What are you like?"

    While she had spoke, he retrieved one of the fruit. Finally! There was some satisfaction in watching him eat what she had gathered, and the mermaid grinned. "Oh, I didn't go far for it. Think little of it, Elias." Talora giggled. His name still tasted strange. "Tell me, why did you fall from the ship, when others didn't? Did they throw you off? Where was it bound? Why were you on it?"
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