She stared hard at the dark expanse of water, trying to see how she came to be here. Alone.
Everything was muddled. There had been a large piece of their ship floating nearby and a good thing too, for she could not swim.
The ship, she realized, seeing beyond the dark waves to the memory of black sails that had billowed against a clear blue sky. The captain’s fury and the wailing women. Terrible booming and cracking sounds and then fire and smoke. And then she was alone and drifting.
Arabella pressed her hand into the sand, turning slowly to her back. Her salt and sand-crusted skin felt like curing leather pulled taut across her bones. She would die of thirst as she watched the ocean, waiting for the moonlight to catch on the mast of ship, waiting for the navy to miraculously appear and take her home.
What she saw was not a ship but a curious shape rising out of the water not too far from shore. Was it some great fish? A dolphin perhaps? No. Silhouetted against the moonlight, she saw the shape of a man—head, broad shoulders and the gleam of eyes. Eyes that locked on hers. “Are you from the Swan?” she called in a tremulous voice. He did not respond. “Are you a member of the crew?” Arabella tried again.
He only stared, bobbing back and forth along with the tide.©2013GwennWright