Levi grasped the mast ropes with expert precision that only comes with on-the-job daily practise, wrapping them around their appropriate hooks. The Meister hummed below deck and Levi hoped that it wouldn’t falter again like it did before. They had to land in Friesian Territory to get it fixed, a neutral harbour but not exactly a welcoming place. Rumours of unrest flew around on the wind about the place, not to mention they were users of animals, which were very unreliable, in Levi’s experience. A deep, large scar on his hip reminded him daily. He patted The Commander’s wooden railings, a sky ship that he had lived on since he was seven.
The city they were travelling to was known as Candlewax by the sky people (those like Levi), but to more civilized tongues it was called Quillton and it was placed strategically underneath an Eden. The Eden’s branches stretched out to massive lengths, its light ochre wood bathed in afternoon sunlight. A massive cavern’s mouth was in the centre of the trunk, quite possibly housing the owl population’s Original Seed, but Levi couldn’t see from on The Commander. A small parasitic plant had latched onto the roots of the Eden, looking like a sapling even though it was still two or three times taller than the tallest building in Candlewax. The city looked modern, but dirty, the buildings looking awfully like candles (from which the sky sailor name arose) and from where Levi stood on deck he could see a small entrance on the side of the mountain on which the Eden was perched, which led to an endless staircase that went beneath the clouds, back to Ground Zero, Ground Zero being the common term for the Earthen floor of which was hardly travelled upon anymore. Apparently it had once meant something different, but Levi was not very educated and so he could not even guess.
Suddenly, Levi heard a high screech, bordering on the edge of his hearing range, and turned around to see one of those heathen owls that the city used too often for his liking. It was carrying something on its back… it looked like a house from The Commander. He glanced up at the Dragon on the back of the ship, wondering if Kipper was awake. The beastie was the ship’s main protection, even though it was an animal. He knew Kipper to be reliable. Levi could see the trail of bubbles from the engine; they were smaller than they should have been. He turned to Grant, who was the cargo master and only ten years older than himself and said “Are we going to get there okay?”
To which Grant replied with a slow and bland “I don’t know,” And turned away, uninterested. Levi looked back to the Eden, nervous. Birds fluttered around the grand tree like mosquitos to a buzz torch. Levi would have to ready the Zap Sticks just in case someone decided they made better friends in Candlewax than on the ship, knowing the Captain’s orders without even having to receive them first, having known him most of his life. The docking platform, where they would dock and get repairs, already had two birds sitting there, one flapping and the other seemingly asleep. They looked quite massive in comparison to the dock itself, as big as one of the ships already there. Levi twitched, wondering if they would get there before another ship, which he had not noticed before. It looked quite large, but only had one sail. Suspicious, Levi tried for a closer inspection, moving to the head of the boat, but saw nothing new. The clouds below them all reflected, blaring white light into Levi’s eyes before he stood back and continued tightening ropes, then moving below deck.
Whew, done! My English major work, part 1/4
Part Two (Valley of the Long Faces): [link]
Part Three (Mushroom Ravine of Fae):[link]
Part Four (Fish Bus, To The City!): [link]