This is a serial series I will be posting every week on Thursday. Please find the earlier posts on my blog.
There was no sunset that evening and the gray sky just gradually became black. There was no moon and all the stars were hiding behind their blanket of cloud cover. Maxine had been hoping for at least a glimpse of the moon so she could see a resemblance between this world and hers but it seemed that her fate was dragging her along on blind faith alone.
“Dude, how was your first day in Morynha?”
“Mor-what?” Maxine stopped gazing blankly into the dark waters of the ocean and turned to the person addressing her. It was the young man who had nodded at her earlier. She took a closer look at him. His black pants looked vaguely modern–maybe even jeans–but his shirt was definitely a style she was unfamiliar with. “Wait, did you just say ‘dude?'”
“You aren’t from Lake Huron, are you?” he said.
“That’s what I said, right? What does it matter? None of you guys even know where that is, anyway.” Maxine baited him with a side-long glance.
“I’m from Michigan.”
“I knew it!” Maxine almost jumped with excitement. “Your accent. The drawn out vowels, the ‘ya’ instead of ‘you.’ I know a Midwest accent when I hear it!” It was the best thing she had heard all day.
“Whoa, calm down, calm down…” The young man motioned with his hands and looked around a bit nervously. “Most people here will think you’re crazy if you start talking about different worlds, so I would maybe thwart that storyline.”
“Thwart? Is that something people say in the Midwest?”
“My mom was a little strange. She liked reading the thesaurus at dinner. I’ve alway had an affinity to that word…” he trailed off and then smiled. “Anyway, I’m Kevin, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you, Kevin. I’m actually from LA. My name really is Maxine.” She shook his extended hand. She had a thousand questions for him–How did he get here? Was there a way back? Where exactly were they?–but she remembered his warning and decided there was a better time for that. Instead, she asked, “So, do prehistoric beasts often attack? That was pretty catastrophic, not to mention traumatizing.”
“That one has been following us for some time. I’m sure it will be back. It has a bit of a vendetta against Aprene since she killed his mother a few years ago.”
“Back? It isn’t dead?”
“No, but we’ll be at Minka’s Port tonight, long before it’s healed itself enough to attack again.” He thought for a minute and started to ask her a question but then hesitated.
“What?” asked Maxine.
“Ah, that sword. Who gave it to you?”
Maxine picked up the weapon that she had left leaning against the edge of the ship. They had let her keep it after the battle with the serpent. Maxine figured it was because she was obviously not very adept at using it. “Um, Falcon?” She still felt weird calling a man by a bird name, like she was in a Marvel film.
“Did he tell you anything about it?”
“No, he literally just shoved it into my hand.”
“That sounds about right. He’s a bit of an ass,” said Kevin. “However, maybe you should ask Captain Gray Wing about it.”
“Why can’t you just tell me?”
“It really isn’t my place. If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m not very important around here. If we ran out of food right now, I would–” Kevin didn’t have a chance to finish the thought before someone yelled “Minka’s Port! Prepare for docking!”
Maxine gazed to the front of the ship and could just vaguely make out the dim lights of a city through the dark night. She was about to ask Kevin about the city but he wasn’t there anymore and a large, brown hand landed on her shoulder.
“Waters, with me. And put on these clothes. You have an important meeting on shore.”
To be continued…