The Third Moon of Cré
Human Druid of the Moon
Human Female Druid
DOB 2261, 15 Chaitra
My name is Jalana. Just Jalana, I don’t remember a last name.
My earliest memories are of playing in the rocky pools around the island my village occupied, with my two sisters and friends. I remember vividly how the fishes would kiss at my toes and swim between my fingers, and the crabs never scuttled away from me like they did when the other children approached too close. Birds as well always gathered around me.
For as long as I can remember, wildlife has always seemed be be as fascinated in me as I was in it. My father was a fisherman, he would leave in the middle of the night, just like all the other fathers. They’d leave on their wooden boats. On many occasions I remember watching them pushing out their boats from the shore, anxious to join them on their adventures to the distant seas.
Our village was of about 50 people, but comprised of only six elders to who we all looked to for the answers of the sea and storms. It would feel like we were all just one big family, and we all looked similar.. asides from myself. My sisters were both short and skinny, with curly black hair, ebony skin and black eyes. I was also of ebony skin however I was taller than them, my hair was a lighter brown and my eyes a vivid moss-green.
There was so much love and laughter in our village in those early years. During the days when the men were at sea, fishing, our mothers and aunts would typically gather oysters and mussels from among the rocky pools that surrounded our island, singing traditional songs. I don’t remember ever seeing anyone else. I never even fathomed such a world that there could be people who would take everything we had from us, as humble and relatively poor as we were.
All that changed one day. I was at least ten, but already growing much taller and stronger than the other children my age. Our fathers and uncles were out at sea just like any other normal day. But this day, they were late returning. Many hours late. The sea was lapping peacefully at the shore and the weather was calm. But soon the women of the village began to panic. This new emotion of fear upset me greatly.
The fear spread quickly, those who were effected, their eyes got bigger and glassy and they were tense, like a cats too close to water. There was a thick panic that filled the air of the camp. I didn’t know what was happening, and I didn’t feel comfortable with this sensation so I wandered off into the jungle to get away from it. The jungle, just like the rocky pools and the ocean, were always comforting to me. I could feel the jungles aura, it was indifferent, it was strong, it was calm and most importantly, it felt protective of me. I climbed a moss covered kapok tree and nestled myself among the folds of its high branches. I was high enough that I could see the ocean. It wasn’t long before I saw the ships that were bigger than any id seen before, approach our seaside camp. I watched as huge scaly creatures came off of the ships and rowed smaller boats towards our village. I couldn’t see my father among them, or any of the fathers. I heard the women yelling. they had lit big fires around the camp. I watched in fascination first, then in horror, as I saw the men attacking my family and my friends.Those i loved ran at them bravely with branches of flames and threw stones and beat their fists on their thick scaly bodies. They fell..
The sands turned red.
The flames grew bigger as they danced over the huts. I was terrified in the tree. I felt the fear now in my stomach. The screaming lasted a few minutes but it felt like hours. For so long I was too scared to move. As night fell, I felt safer in my cloak of shadows. I was shocked sick to my gut, but i knew my mother was still alive and she was wondering where I was. The monsters were still in the camp, casually sitting around our camp-fire, drinking and eating our food stocks, clams and flat breads. They were noisy and they smelt like sweat and blood. I crept into my mothers tent.
She was still alive at that point, lying on the bed. The bed was soaked in red. Her eyes went wide when she saw me, i ran to her and as i held her, she whispered ‘survive this’, I promised her i would. I left my mother after she died and made my way silently to the beach and into the water. I don’t know what came over me, but I wanted to get to the huge ship. Perhaps i thought my father would be on there. I swam out to the ship. I found the ropes and i climbed aboard. Most of the crew were on the island so I was able to creep around the ship unseen. I couldn’t find my father or any of the other men from my village. Without knowing what else to do, climbed the ship, to its highest point, just as if it were a tree.
I climbed into the crows nest, curled up and I stayed up there for as long as i could. Noone found me there for a day or so, even after the ship took sail again. A traveling sea bird kindly brought me sea weed and a small fish to eat. but the salty diet made incredibly thirsty. before sunset on the third day i climbed down, in view of all. I got a mixed response from the crew. Some where overtly excited to have a female on board. Some wanted to kill me for fun. but the captain said i could stay if I worked my keep. I agreed to.
It was really hard work. I was the only female aboard for years. But I was young, quiet, and worked hard. The pirates raided, but I didn’t have any part in it. I cleaned, cooked and sat alone in the crows-nest when all the work was done. That was my favourite place. Listening to the sky and reading the ocean. The birds were fond of me, often bringing me gifts and keeping me company. I didn’t feel lonely, I preferred my own company and the birds and the wind. But i longed for the land again, the sands and the jungles. Over the few years with the pirates grew up strong and tall. One time at the age of 12, a pirate climbed into the crows nest with me. hoping to nest with me. I ripped his long blue tongue from his disgusting mouth in one quick strong movement, then pushed him from the nest. He landed on the deck with a broken ankle. The other pirates laughed and seemed to respect me more after that.
Another day I spotted an approaching ship. its gliding oar strokes in perfect rhythm. The air was still and they had a bigger boat than us. more oars, beautifully streamlined and more speed. I heard the captain yelling orders to row harder and the pirates were whipping the slaves at our oars. I spotted large cliffs approaching hundreds of meters away, we were approaching land, we would be trapped. I told the captain and the captain ordered to to turn the boat away from the land, but as we began to turn, my skin prickled, and my hair brushed across my cheek as i faced towards the cliffs, I suddenly knew what we needed to do. I spoke up, with such confidence as i had ever known, I was filled with the sky and the ocean that became one. I swung down to the deck and I looked the captain squarely and told him to go towards the cliffs, there was a pass, which has a perfect funnel combination of current and breeze that would speed us through faster than the elves and we’d be small enough to fit.
After that they called me Pali, fondly, after the rocky and dangerous Pali Pass.
Looking back I think it must have been about three years I lived on the pirate ship.