Chapter 2: Help

Chapter 2: Help

A Chapter by bunmal
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North meets a supposed "swimmer" out at sea named Elodie. In return for saving himself, North helps Elodie onto land. North quickly learns how dangerous it is to be by Elodie, but he agrees to stay.

"

"Hello!"


The sound of a voice startled North, and he flailed in his seat, turning agitatedly to find the source of the noise. As his head went back and forth, he found himself after half of a second sitting face-to-face with a girl, bobbing innocently in the water.


"You're a swimmer," North noted bluntly, stunned to find something that even remotely resembled a human being. It was the first thing that he could think to say, and, yeah, it was very uncreative. He looked over the girl floating there, but everything under her shoulders hidden by the waves and the side of the boat.


"I hear people calling us that." She remarked, tilting her head to face the sky as she thought. Then, much to North's surprise, she laughed. "Do you need to get to land? What are you doing out here?"


"My ship…" North coughed, trying to find the right way to describe what had happened without being too straightforward. "My ship and its crew sunk, and I'm stranded out here." Gosh, how not-straightforward.


"Why don't you row back?" The girl asked, tilting her head in question.


"It'll take days from here… we're hundreds of nautical miles away." You would think a swimmer would know her distance.


"A hundred nautical miles…?" The girl repeated, and then she began to chuckle lightly to herself, causing North to share a confused expression. "Not quite. Not near a hundred. My guess would be somewhere around twenty."


"Twenty?" North exclaimed, causing a stunned expression to flash across the other girl's face before she grinned cheekily at North. "You're joshing me."


"Not at all," She beamed. "If I were to guess, it might take you, at most, three hours to get back to shore if you put a lot of effort into it." The girl seemed to be floating effortlessly. North couldn't find any signs of her kicking her legs or anything of the sort. He soon noticed that he hadn't said anything in response, and he quickly thought up something to say.


"May I ask what your name is?" He blurted. It was the first thing that popped up in his mind, and it sounded alright in his uneducated opinion.


"My name?" The girl recited, before she chimed her answer. "It's Elodie."


"Okay, Elodie…" North rehearsed the name, trying to plant it in his head so he wouldn't forget, "I've heard a lot of stories about you swimmers. If you're a swimmer, how come you didn't drop under the water like the rest of you?" He squinted at Elodie, expecting an elaborate answer, but that's not what he got.


"We don't always sink under," She began. "We're supposed to... help sailors. We're like dolphins, almost. Except without tails."


"I see."


North expected Elodie to continue on that thought, but the air was awkwardly silent, excluding the waves. Was that it?


"I need to ask a favor of you." She looked up at North.


Guess not.


"What will it be, then?" North inquired, leaning over against the side of the boat to hear over the waves. "If you need a favor, I'll do it. You've practically saved my life."


Elodie sighed, following by inhaling sharply, ready to start a speech. "If you take your boat directly east, you will hit a little town called Emberwood. It's a large but awfully quiet town, surrounded by stonewalled docks for unloading cargo. If you go north along the coasts, you'll get to a little bay, almost like a beach. There are no walls around it, unlike the docks. When you get to Emberwood, dock in this unguarded bay and drag your boat into the forest, but not too deep to get lost in. It doesn't have to be that well hidden. Cover it in a few leaves and make it seem as if the boat has been abandoned there.


"Once you do this, go into town. I could hear your coins in your pocket and it's not a light load, so when you get into town, buy some food for you and I and some clothes for me. Something nice, not like those sailors wear. Something pretty like the girls in town." Way to be blunt about it.


"When you finish shopping, go to any inn on the outside of town. There's a nice one on the edge of the forest that would be best. I've seen it from afar. You'll know it when you see it. Get a room for the night, and once you're done there, go back to the place where you docked and bring the clothes. I will be waiting there."


"All of that?" North sighed. Demanding.


"All of it. And you can't forget anything."


North didn't know what to think of all this. "Isn't that a lot to ask of a stranger?" He inquired, lying down on his back as the waves rocked him. He gazed up at the sky to hear Elodie's answer.


"I'll pay you back somehow…" Elodie mumbled, and the slight twinge of sadness in her voice was enough to have North sitting back up. His attention was now focused on her, which pleased Elodie. "Now go to Emberwood. I'll be following you there." And she dropped under the water.


North didn't know how he was going to put up with this Elodie. She was a difficult one.

 




Although North's arms were as sore as ever, he knew he wouldn't make it to shore in time if he stopped for a break. At some rare times North could see Elodie's hands gliding back and forth under the water as she pushed herself along with North's boat. She hadn't stopped either, surprisingly enough to North. There were two reasons that came to mind for this: she was loyal to even strangers, or she didn't get tired when it came to swimming. Maybe it was both.


Elodie had already suggested that North take a break after rising above the water to check on him, but he refused. He was beginning to sweat through his coat, and his throat was as dry as the sand on shore. Every breath was a painful reminder of his dehydration. Not much longer now, though.


As soon as North noticed the tiniest sliver of land up ahead and the timber buildings barely jutting over the horizon, North nearly leapt out of his seat in the boat, but the boat was so small that it could have tipped over at any moment if he had done what he wanted. He decided the best for him and Elodie was to just sit silently as he mechanically rowed gradually and deliberately towards shore, grinning delightedly to himself.


"There it is!" Elodie exclaimed, pointing in the direction of the petite buildings ahead as her head popped out from under the waves to the left of North's boat. "We're in the correct place." Elodie turned to North, the elated expression on her face causing even North to respond with a discreet grin. "Go northwest now. Do you see that bay over there?" Elodie gestured towards the noticeable sandy shores ahead. Although they were rather far away, North could still spot it from such a distance. "It has sand instead of stone walls. Past the bay is nothing but forest for a whole day's walk."


North didn't bother to respond, but instead he continued to row onwards. After a few seconds, he heard the sound of Elodie plunging under the waves. North felt a nudge on the rear of his boat, realizing that Elodie was making some effort to push the boat along, which was positively helping North with his rowing.


Elodie's head audibly lifted above the water line. "Make sure to go further north than a normal person would. We don't want the townspeople seeing you."


North usually would have asked why he should have done this, but he didn't care enough to ask. He was tired, honestly. He just wanted to get to shore and eat and drink and fill his howling stomach. He made a partial effort to go further north, but he gave up halfway through, simply rowing straight through the mouth of the bay. Land was so close…


They began to pull into the bay, much to the two's ecstasy. North rowed harder and faster than he had the entire trip, making the most effort just to arrive at shore. As soon as he felt the tiniest bump of his boat against the soggy sand, he leapt off the side of the tiny canoe, soaking his legs from the knee-down. He let out a sigh of relief, stretching his limbs as he cooled himself off in the water. Mid-stretch, he turned to Elodie, who had backed up around ten feet.


Unfortunately, Crispin had been absolutely correct about the "stark naked" comment. Luckily for North, Elodie was kneeling in the murky sea water, her entire body veiled from her shoulders to her feet. Elodie lifted her right hand from out of the water, waving it in the direction of the boat.


"Do you remember what to do?" She asked nonchalantly, looking up at North from her half-kneeling position in the water. Her hand still dangled in the direction of the boat. North nodded, making his way towards the boat. The waves rolled over the shore, erasing North's footprints as he exited. They washed away a layer of sand and retreated, leaving behind sodden, moist puddles on the grimy sand.


North began to tug on the front of the boat, yanking it back to drag it into the forest. Elodie observed from a few feet away, her arms slouched at her sides as she watched. North began dragging the boat across patches of crushed leaves and in between thick trees, maneuvering carefully through the forest. Eventually he got far enough where no one, including Elodie, could see him, and he tilted the boat up on its back end, leaning it against a crowd of dense trees. He tossed some leaves into the bottom of the boat for good measure, concealing the boat a bit and blending the tree in as if it had been there for years as Elodie had advised. The underside of the boat was still damp, but it would surely dry out before anyone got to it. As North finished the task, he ran back to where he had left Elodie, although he knew already what to do next.


"Finished," North huffed, wiping his grimy, calloused hands against his half-soaking pants.


Elodie still stared expressionlessly down at her reflection in the water. "Do you know what to do now?" She asked him predictably, not caring to look up from the water as if she was being entertained by her own expression.


North didn't seem to be concerned by Elodie's strange behaviour, and he dismissed it. "Of course. Should I just go into town and buy from the first merchant I see?"


"As long as you get back before sunset, it doesn't matter much to me where you shop."


North thought about this for a moment, planting a temporary idea of what to do in his head. "Alright," he agreed, turning to leave.


"I won't move from my spot," Elodie affirmed suddenly, and North turned for a brief second. Her eyes, still downcast, were staring at the petite waves that surfed around her shoulders. He looked over her expression, her face, her eyes… he could have safely said she wasn't happy, but he was sure she was fine. She had the wits and strength to make a plan for the two of them. She had even helped push the boat to shore. She would be fine alone for a while.


North turned back around, walking up the hill that gradually formed a cliff on its right edge. After a while of walking on the trodden dirt path up to town, the cliff began to form into a stone wall, the wooden docks and insignificant buildings taking form. As he moved closer to the center of town, he could hear the lively noises of people shopping and kids running around. All he had to do now was find the market square or a few merchant's stalls and he would be ready to go.


 

The sun was high in the sky now, most likely mid-afternoon. People were crowded around stalls, finally just finishing their shopping when North was just beginning. There were stalls of all kinds selling fish, fruits, vegetables… some were even selling clothes, fortunately. Where was he supposed to begin?


Why was he even doing this anyway? He was helping a person he didn't even know with something so random. Elodie could have fled into the forest by now… but why would she? She would have fled or swum away with no clothes. They had only just met, and North trusted her to stay put while he bought things for a girl he only knew the name of. Why had she chosen him for all of this? How could she have thought up a plan so suddenly and trusted some random former ship captain with her shopping?


Former ship captain. The words resonated in his head, sounding out in different tones and syllables and meanings…


He started at a stall at the far end of the market which seemed the most vacant. He gingerly dropped fruits of all kinds into a burlap sack: apples, oranges, pomegranates, and etcetera. After a while of this he unraveled the bag of coins in his pocket, handed the merchant what he was due, and went on.

 




North had finished with the food, the sacks of fruits, water, breads, dairy, and vegetables slung over his shoulder. They were weighing him down more and more the further on he went shopping, but he had learned to ignore them after a while. He had treated himself to the apples and cheeses he had bought, and every bite was like opening a new door to paradise.


After a while of shopping for food in the square and snacking, he was starting to realize that he may have looked out of place with his coat and hat. He fit better on a boat than on land. But he soon remembered that he was in a town on the sea, so he didn't need to worry. He would ditch the hat later.


He had the food Elodie had wanted, and the sun would be sinking below the horizon soon. He needed to get those clothes.


As he approached a clothing stall, he realized how strange it would be for a grown man to be buying a whole girl's outfit. He quickly made up a story as he waltzed towards the merchant standing behind the counter. He could do this. No reason to panic. He would be as vague as possible to avoid suspicion. Vague. Right.


"Hello, sir!" The merchant behind the counter greeted North with a smile, straightening up. "What can I do for you?"


"I need an outfit for a friend of mine," North began. "Would you have anything in particular that would look nice? She's got long brown hair… she's about three hands shorter than me…" He glanced up unintentionally, thinking of other ways to describe Elodie. The height was a complete guess, but it sounded right.


The merchant's mouth fell open, and he clapped his hands as he remembered something. "I have just the thing!" He announced, ambling over to the shelves of folded dresses and such in the back corner of the stall. It was rather dark in the back, with a makeshift tarp shielding the clothes and the stall from the harsh midday sun, but somehow the merchant was able to sift through the stacks of clothes to pull out a dress set. It had some assortments of… it could have been ribbons… resting on top of the fabric. The merchant, with the dress in hand, returned to North, setting the folded heap on the countertop. North leaned against the edge of the counter with his arms crossed, looking over what the merchant had picked out for him.


"A traveling family sold this to me this morning," The merchant informed, brushing the ribbons and accessories off the dress to unfold and reveal the exterior. He let the bottom of the dress fall out, and it straightened itself out. North looked it up and down. The shoulder length was right. It would have fit Elodie's shoulders. It definitely wouldn't be too small. But North really hadn't seen anything under Elodie's shoulders... not that he should have. This seemed to be the best fit though.


The dress, although faded slightly, was magenta in color, with elbow-length sleeves. The long, white, button-up collar was lined with lace, as was the bottom of the dress. The bottom lace seemed to be some kind of attatched, thin underskirt. A few black buttons ran down from the white collar to the midwaist, cut off by the spotless downy skirt. If North had to bet, he would say this was the dress that fit.


"I'll give you the few accessories the family left with me, too," the merchant offered, grinning up at North. "There's a hair ribbon here, some white gloves, and some matching socks. Is your friend's hair long enough to tie back with just a ribbon?"


"I would think so, yes," North answered, watching as the merchant folded the dress and laid it back down on the counter.


"Does the dress interest you at all?" The merchant asked with a polite smile.


"It does," North nodded, running his fingers along the bent line of the dress. Abruptly, he looked up at the merchant with sudden realization.


Now the biggest problem would be the shoes.


"I'll need some shoes, too. Some nice ones for running around or something." Would they be doing any running? "Do any come to mind?"


The merchant looked up at his tarp for a moment, seemingly in thought. "I've got a few things that might work with that outfit. Give me a moment." He went back to a worn, wooden chest, lifting up the lid to reveal a collection of boots, shoes, and other footwear. His hands examined and strained through the mound of shoes. He selected two pairs of shoes, pulling out both shoes of the two pairs one by one. He set the four down beside him on the floor, finding the final shoe. He shut the lid and scooped up the two pairs. He straightened out, turning and shuffling towards North with the pairs in his arms.


"Here we are," He nodded, sighing heavily as he dropped the shoes onto the counter. "I have two pairs here." He organized the two pairs so they matched side by side, the correct shoes on the precise sides facing North. "This pair�"" the merchant placed his hands on a pair of lace-up, brown leather boots "�"came in a few days ago. I had bought them off of a traveling peddler." They were a pair of what could be unisex boots, with flat soles... well, flatter than the other pair, at least. The leather was light and looked rather faded like the dress the merchant had shown. The merchant must have pawned clothes, then. The shoes might work on Elodie… but they didn't leave much of an impression.


"I don't exactly remember the story behind this pair." He gestured towards the pair on his right. "I bought them off of a complete stranger. Don't remember her face." He rested his right hand on top of the dark brown boots. The boots were laced up to the top, the tongue stretching up at least a foot tall. They seemed like a rather sturdy pair of boots. The tall boot shaft probably went up to Elodie's knee, if North had to guess. The heels were just slightly elevated, but still good for walking and running. These boots were clearly in much better condition.


North hadn't seen Elodie's feet but once, when he had turned his head and noticed Elodie kicking her way ahead from under crashing waves. It was a short glimpse that only lasted half a second before her feet returned under the boat. She had more petite feet than normal, so both pairs would probably work. But North was fonder of the tall, dark brown boots. The second pair was his choice.


"I'll take this pair," North said, gesturing towards his choice as he retrieved his bag of coins. "How much for the whole outfit?"


"Two gold coins, sir."


That wasn't too much for an outfit like this. If he had to guess, North probably had about one hundred gold coins in the pouch. He dug his hand inside the bag, pulling out two gold coins and handing them to the merchant. The merchant smirked, planting the two coins in his pocket. "Thank you for your time, lad!" He chortled, tipping his hat.


"Thanks for the clothes," North responded, scooping up the pair of shoes and the outfit with his left arm as he flung the bag of food onto his shoulder with his right. He turned right, exiting the square.


The square was mostly empty now, with nearly everyone in town finishing their errands. North could hear the wild singing and stumbling travelers in the pubs all around. The sky had turned scarlet. Hopefully Elodie was a patient person.




 

North was honestly surprised to find Elodie in the exact same spot when he came back. Elodie immediately brightened up when she saw North approaching from behind the trees.


"I got clothes for you," North announced, dropping the sacks of food on the ground as he held out the outfit. "I didn't know how tall you were, and I didn't know how small your feet were, so I just got what I thought would fit." He set them gingerly on the ground, turning away politely from Elodie as he sat down on the muddy earth. "I hope they're alright."


Elodie splashed out of the water, and North listened as her footsteps grew closer behind him and began on the grass connecting the shores to the forest. "Thanks," She said, bending to pick up the dress North had chosen for her. The sounds of the ruffling dress were shared between them. "They look alright," Elodie affirmed, slipping the dress over her head.


"I realized I was being rude before…" Elodie's voice was muffled by the dress draped over her face. "I meant to ask earlier, but what's your name?"


"North," he responded, crossing his legs under him. He took a swig of chilled water from the canteen in his bag.


"Nice to meet you, North." Elodie's voice was clearer this time. She must've gotten the dress over her head. "There are buttons on this dress…" She scowled. It was uncomfortable enough with the sea water gluing the soft fabric to her skin.


"Please tell me you know how buttons work," North sighed.


"Of course I do," She scoffed, rolling her eyes. Just because she was a swimmer didn't mean she was clueless. Well... it should have meant that, but it was different for her. Her arms slipped fully through the sleeves, her forearms exposed once more. "I like these sleeves," Elodie grinned, admiring the trim as she straightened out the seams. She buttoned the top button on the collar, finally spinning to observe the skirt below. It flared out, folding in lovely, elegant ways over her knees.


"It fits fine," Elodie affirmed, and North grinned to himself.


"Does it?"


"Yeah!" She giggled, taking the shoes and unlacing them. "I don't know how to tie laces, though. You'll have to help me with that."


"Of course," North smirked.


Elodie began with the white wool socks, slipping them over wet feet and calfs. As she had finished with the left after the right, she slipped the right boot on the correct foot, rotating the shoe on its heel as she gazed at the sides of her shoe on her calf. "The shoe's a bit big," she mumbled, "but I'll make it work." She slipped the extra gloves and ribbons into the outside of her right boot. "We can just hope I don't trip. Can you tie these for me, North?"


"Sure," North grunted, pushing himself off of the ground as he rotated on his heel. "Here." He knelt down, crossing the laces over and over until they hit the top of the boot sleeve. He began to tie the lace into a neat bow, and then he repeated the process with the left shoe.


"There," He grinned, patting the toe of Elodie's boot to affirm he had finished the job. It was then that he realized he had been right about her height.


"Thanks," She beamed, kicking the toes of her boots against the wet soil. "So, did you get a room at an inn for the night?"


"A room?"


"Oh, for God's sake!" Elodie groaned, throwing her hands in the air jokingly. "You forgot, didn't you?"


"I wish I could say no."


"Do I have to do everything myself?" She muttered.




 

The inn at the edge of the forest was about a decade old, smelling of aging wood and rum. It was run by a man and his wife, who both appeared to be very kind, open people. As Elodie and North entered the inn, they were greeted by the voices huddled in circles telling stories and tales of adventure and myth. The inn seemed to be a gathering place for sailors and merchants to share their stories with others. Men sure do love their stories.


"Hello!" Elodie greeted the couple standing casually behind the counter, and they responded with a wave. "We would like to each get separate rooms for the night."


"How long will you be staying?" The man asked Elodie, leaning against the counter with his forearm. Up close, he definitely wasn't mean. His voice, although throaty, was friendly.


"I can't say," Elodie admitted. "Probably just one night."


"That'll be fine, lass," The man nodded, grinning down at Elodie. "If you need more time, you can just let us know."


"How much will it cost for the both of us?" North asked, stepping forward.


"It would be ten gold for you both…" The woman (most likely the other man's wife) responded, "but for the pretty girl in the dress, I'll lower it to eight."


Eight? There was no way North would get a better offer than that. Elodie turned to North, beaming with bliss. It's best to be proud while you can, and North was just as happy for them both.


"Thank you very much!" Elodie bounced up in down with delight. She was already paying for herself.




 

As they walked along the open-air, wood walkway, North noticed the sky shrouded with thunderclouds. The bags of food seemed to get heavier with every step, and he desperately needed to rest.


"Here's where I will stay," North announced, unlatching the door and stepping in to the room. It was honestly one of the nicest family-run inns he had seen along the coast in a while. Elodie peeped in from behind the doorframe as North dropped his bags of food down beside his table. It was a dark room, but that would slightly change once he lit the oil lantern. He looked around, thinking about what he would do.


Most of the furniture was made from solid oak, including the bed frame, the chairs, and the inn itself. There were other assortments of furniture made from other wood types, but trees weren't North's forte. The stuffed blankets were plush and clean, which was unfortunately rare for inns, but this inn was passing all the tests.


"Before you leave," North continued, "let me give you some food for dinner." He bent down over the assorted bags, unloading their contents onto the table. Elodie stood watching silently, her hands gripping the vertical doorframe. She stood stiff and silently, not wanting to say a word.


After a moment, North rose, collecting breads, fruits, and water that he had piled up at the end of the table. "Here we are…" He grinned, going over the pile in his hand. "Will this feed you until morning?"


Elodie responded with a silent nod, taking the food from North as he dropped it into her arms. "I guess we're not eating together, then…"


North looked up, puzzled by the comment. "Did you want to eat dinner together…?" He asked, stooping over to see her hidden face. Her eyes shifted up before they shortly darted away. Once again she nodded silently. At this North straightened back up, grinning. "We'll eat at the table, then."




 

They were both starving, of course, ripping out huge bites of bread and apples, and although they were both preoccupied with eating, North hated how quiet it was with just the sound of chewing exchanged. Elodie was eating much slower than himself, her eyes still downcast at her half-eaten bread loaf.


She hadn't spoken much since they had arrived. If he was going to be honest, any joy Elodie had expressed was forced and fake. She picked at the food in front of her constantly, gradually taking bites before she grew on to mouthfuls of bread.


North had problems of his own, too. He was nothing without his ship and its crew. All he had left was his compass and the bag of coins in his pocket. He would either have to find a new job at sea or get a job on land until he could afford a cabin. Either way, he was starting all over. Starting from the beginning, and he didn't have a choice.


Elodie had been bouncing in between these moods of delight and depression, and it was making North concerned and even frightened. He didn't feel the need to ask, seeing as they had only just met and it felt like she was having personal problems of her own. North looked back down at his slice of bread, taking a generous bite out of the side once more. He glimpsed back up at Elodie to check on her, noticing for the first time the thick tears rolling down her cheeks. The light from the lantern glittered off her face, and her head drooped further as she tried to hide her already-discovered tears.

"Elodie!" North exclaimed, dropping his food as he painfully swallowed the whole bite of bread in his mouth without thinking. "What's wrong?"


Elodie sniffed, the tears tumbling down her cheeks that had been stuffed with bread. She chewed the food gradually through her sobs and runny nose but swallowed it hastily. She held her balled-up fists to her eyes, her elbows leaning against the tabletop. At times like this North wished he would have had a lady back home so he had known what to do at a time like this, but he was utterly clueless. And Elodie wasn't holding back.


He held a hand out to her, the back resting on the table. Elodie took this as an offer, scooping up his hand in her clammy one, and she held it to her soaked cheek. "I don't know what to do, North. I don't…" The rest of her sentence was muffled by her blubbering as she held onto North's calloused hand.


"Elodie, tell me what's the matter…" He sighed, arching over to see her face, but it was useless. Was he being too demanding? Too direct?


"I…" Elodie mustered, sniffing sharply, "… We could be in a lot of trouble, the both of us…"


"A lot of trouble…" North recited. "What do you mean, 'a lot of trouble'? Should I be concerned?"


"Of course you should!" Elodie shouted, dropping North's hand as she slammed her fists into the edge of the table. North flinched, his chair screeching back on the floor. Only then did her eyes widen at the realization that maybe she had gone a bit too far. Her lips sealed as her tears thinned out, watching North's expression drop with shame. He wouldn't know. He was just as confused as everyone else.


"Let me tell you something important that you really ought to hear now," She murmured, leaning over the table as she wiped stray tears from her eyes. "The reason those stories are going around Earth is because the swimmers themselves have planted them here on land. Do you understand?"


North nodded.


"They are out to control the world by slowly killing off all normal humans until there are only swimmers left. Lucky for you, swimmers, since the beginning of our time, have been almost completely clueless about life on land. I might even seem a bit clueless, but in all honesty, I probably know more about humans than any swimmer alive now.


"For all I know, half of the population here could be swimmers. Swimmers can find others just like them when they're on land, but they're often in groups, and it's hard to tell where it's loud or crowded. We're dangerous people. Sooner or later, someone will accuse you of a crime you did not commit, and the people who judge you will be swimmers. I'm only here to research what life is like here, and now that I have made it, I can't go back. If I do I will be banished, and, unfortunately, you're stuck with me unless you want to die.'


North stared at Elodie in disbelief, but Elodie was completely serious.


"That's a lot to take in."


"… I'm just sorry I had to drag you into it. I can't just go waltzing into town bare-naked."


"I understand."


The last of the oil was burning out in the lantern. It desperately needed to be refilled, but that could wait.


What if things didn't work out like she had planned? What if North had been an unreliable man and left Elodie to die?


The two of them were nearly opposites. North, a captain with little perserverence and proper education. A wealthy, quiet man who belonged on land but lived on the sea. Elodie, the girl who was born from the sea. A determined, poor young woman who was planning on taking over what could be half the population of the world, and over the course of an entire day she had shown no emotion.


And now she trusted a stranger with her life, believing that they could run away and somehow kill or take down half the population. Just the two of them.


"We're incredibly lucky that we didn't run into any other swimmers, though," she added. "But by tomorrow we have to be off. We have to be dead to the world."


"Listen," North interjected, his head down, and immediately Elodie's stern expression dropped. He was going to reject her, she knew it. He would turn her away and it would become one against one hundred million. "I know we've just met. We've only known each other for, what, half a day? That's acquaintances. Friends if you want to push it."


"You don't have to continue."


North's head darted up at Elodie, and she was still leaning against the table. But now her expression was sullen, destroyed. That was the complete opposite of what North had wanted.


"I'm going to stay. I'm not leaving. Where else am I supposed to go?"


Elodie's eyes widened, and she shot up from her chair. Her palms slammed into the tabletop, her chair falling back as she jumped forward. "So you'll do it? You'll stay with me?"


North harshly shushed her, gesturing her to sit back down. "Of course I will," he mumbled. Elodie lifted the chair back up on its legs. "We both don't have a choice, anyway."


Elodie smiled sympathetically. "I'll let you sleep on it, then. It's a lot, I know, and I apologize. But you and me… I think we can make it."


"Of course."


Elodie bent down to hug North. "I'll see you in the morning." Elodie whispered, her hands sliding off his shoulders as she turned. The door unlatched, creaking open to reveal the first drops of rain outside. Elodie turned back once more to North, the darkness escaping between the gaps of her silhouette. "If you get up before me, come wake me up, alright?" And she closed the door behind her.



© 2012 bunmal


Author's Note

bunmal
Here is the second chapter for North Star! You finally meet Elodie, who has a mysterious life (that I have yet to reveal). Tell me what you think!

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Reviews

Hey I think this is really good. I think you write well and kept my interest. I hope you continue.

Posted 8 Years Ago


darn...now I have to wait for the next one !

Posted 8 Years Ago


Okay, I want to know Elodie's secret. Love the story...

Posted 8 Years Ago


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Kes
Great work so far!
K

Posted 8 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


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Added on May 19, 2012
Last Updated on May 19, 2012
Tags: friendship, help, fiction, fantasy, adventure, friends, journey, sci-fi, ocean, past, partner, support


Author

bunmal
bunmal

Dallas, TX



About
I'm Bunny, 19. I'm a girl with the dream of becoming a novelist. I've been on WC for five years. I write such things as fantasy, romance, angst, and suspense. I love all forms of criticism,.. more..

Writing
SHEEP SHEEP

A Book by bunmal