“Cora.”, a name called in my head, “Cora.”
I felt weightless, like I was floating.
“Cora.”, the voice whispered, “Open your eyes.”
I held my eyes shut as hard as I could for a moment before I let them open. As my blurred vision faded away, I was able to see a crystal blue backdrop all around. I looked closer to discover that I was under water. I was in another dream.
This was the first dream that I had entered since the day Phineas and I got engaged. I had nearly forgotten about them. But I remembered that I wanted to find myself here, I needed answers, or at least some clues on how to obtain those answers.
I looked down at my body, covered in translucent and iridescent scales. I wish I had a way to see what my entire form looked like, maybe someday I would. Right now, I needed to focus and gather all the information that I could.
I remembered the voice that urged me to open my eyes. Where had it come from? There was no one around me that I could see, not even any sea creatures or fish. I decided to try and project my thoughts since I couldn’t speak with my mouth.
“Hello? H-hello? Is anyone there?”, I asked to the emptiness around me.
I swam around, looking for signs of where I should go or what I should do.
“Hello?”, I thought again.
“Cora.”, the voice rang through my head. The woman’s voice sounded familiar to me.
“Hello? Who are you? Do I know you?”, I asked.
The voice invaded my mind again, “Yes, Cora. We are old friends. And soon to be family, if I am not mistaken.”
I knew then that is was her, “Sedna.”
“Yes child, Phineas’ mother.”, she responded with a sense of pride in her voice.
“Why can I only hear you? Why can’t I see you?”, I thought.
“Because we are in a dream. You are not really here, and I am not really there.”
That just made me even more confused. So, I wasn’t really breathing under water? Did I not really possess any of these abilities? I had never seen them in real life, only ever in my dreams.
Sedna answered my silent questions for me, “Yes Cora, this is all real. You are destined to be Queen of the Sea, or Kraljica a Teku, as we sea folk will call you. Your powers have not been fully revealed yet, only after your eighteenth birthday can you make the full change into your Goddess form.”
“Then, what will happen after my eighteenth birthday? I won’t become Queen right away, will I? I do not know a thing about ruling a kingdom, or the entire ocean for that matter.”
Sedna chuckled softly in my head, “No dear child. You will have a long while before you obtain those responsibilities. After your eighteenth birthday you will officially be Princeza a Teku until you are ready for the life as Kraljica. You will have a very long lifetime, much longer than any human. You have the blood of the Gods in your veins, Gods and blood from another form of ancient magical creatures. You were destined for life of Kraljica when your mother and father first met under a Lignum tree.”
“A Lignum tree? I was named for the Lignum tree, I never knew the reason why…You mentioned my mother….who was she? What kind of magical blood are you speaking of?”, I asked, trying to get every answer I could from her.
But she left me with no other answers, “Those are answers you must learn for yourself. The time will come soon. Be patient, enjoy your budding love, and always follow your heart to the sea.”
Her voice faded away and left me alone in the blue water, floating in my thoughts.
When I opened my eyes, I could see the sun beginning to rise out of the water and brightening up the blue sky. For once I felt refreshed after waking from one of my dreams. I had been given more answers and clues than I had planned to receive. I just needed to share my new findings with Phineas, so we could try and fit more pieces together.
I turned my head and caught sight of a sleeping Phineas. His long dark hair was laying around his head and pooled over his shoulders. I studied him for a while as he slept. His chest rising and falling with each breath had me hypnotized by his divine beauty. I could swear that the golden tan on his skin contained microscopic flecks of gold. The harder I looked, the more I could see it. He really was descended from the Gods.
I made my way out of the bed and wrapped my blue velvet robe around my shoulders. I made myself busy with the alterations for my new pirate wardrobe. I poked my fingers only a couple times as my hands moved swiftly over the various fabrics before me. I decided to make myself three garments, all with the same design but all different colors. As my fingers worked I was getting more excited for my new clothes. This was the first time that I was permitted to design my garments in any fashion of my choice, and it would be a fashion all of its own. I chose to make the garments a mix between both women’s styles and men’s styles. The trousers were proving a bit tricky for me, I had never attempted to make trousers, and my wide hips did not provide me with any help when it came to the measurements.
I pricked my right index finger and decided that I needed a break. My eyes went to my sleeping God, he looked so serene and at peace. Then I laughed loudly when someone knocked on the cabin door and he shot straight up out of the bed, fully nude with a small dagger in his hand at the ready. He noticed me laughing from across the room and began to relax his stance and let out a long breath.
The knocking started again, “Captain, Miss Jatau, please forgive, I need to speak with you.”
Lekan’s words sounded urgent, but he did not sound as if the situation were dire.
Phineas plopped himself down on the bed and began to pull his undergarments and trousers up his legs, he shouted towards the door “Aye, give me a moment, lad. And send Danny to bring us some breakfast.”
I stood up from my chair and waked to the door to let the large African man into our cabin. He came in and carried a tray filled to the brim with biscuits, fruit, porridge with potatoes and salted beef, and hot tea. I cleared the table that was covered with scraps of fabric and thread to give room for Lekan to set down the tray. My mind forgot that I missed breakfast, but my stomach was suddenly reminded when it started growling at me to be filled.
Lekan chuckled and handed me a biscuit to nibble on while he set up the table for me and Phineas to eat. Lekan pulled the chair out for me to sit at the table, then proceeded to pour me tea. By the time Lekan set the tea pot down on the table, Phineas was in the seat across from me shoveling porridge into his mouth.
Lekan and I looked at one another and burst with laughter. Phineas briefly looked up at us, but quickly went back to his meal.
“Why are you so hungry this morning, dear?”, I asked him before I brought my cup to my lips, concealing my smile.
Phineas looked up at me and smirked with those soft lips he wore so well.
Lekan cut in jokingly, “Perhaps the Captain should have made time to eat something other than Miss Jatau before retiring for the night.”
The look of shock on my face did not match the amount of shock I felt inside my body. I could not believe Lekan spoke so vulgar in front of me, in front of Phineas. When I looked at Phineas I expected him to be red with anger, but he was lightly laughing at his first mates rude statement.
Then I remembered; these men are pirates, they are used to speaking openly, rarely in the presence of a lady. The words did not bother me, not in the slightest, it was just something that I would need to get used to.
“A-and what, Lekan, may I ask, has led you to believe that I was on the menu last night?”, I said cooly.
The door to the cabin creaked open and Kwasi stepped inside the doorway, “Must not be shy now Miss, all of crew heard your meal, as been every night since Jatau come on the Esmeralda.”
Kwasi? Why was he here? And why was he talking to me so freely? It was the most I had ever heard him speak. I could see that the barrier Kwasi had put up for me was not as strong as it had been before. Was he finally accepting me? Please, I hope so.
“What are you doing here Kwasi?”, Phineas asked.
“To speak with Jatau and the Captain, Captain.”, he bowed his head to Phineas slightly.
I couldn’t hold myself back from speaking, “Jatau, you called me Jatau…Only Lekan calls me by that name, why are you using it for me now?”
He replied, “Is this not what you are?”
I replied vaguely so I didn’t give away our secret, “I am many things, but I also do not fully know who I am.”
His face lit up in a smile, I was surprised at how warm it was for a man who always seemed to be in a dark state, “Aye! Aye, that is why I come to see Jatau.”
I turned to Phineas with my eyebrows arched high above my eyes, his were drawn together, both of us had no idea what Kwasi wanted or what he knew. Lekan motioned for Kwasi to sit at one of the chairs and pulled out one for himself as he sat down.
Phineas turned towards Lekan with anger in his eyes, “What is the meaning of this? What did you tell him Lekan? You swore to keep our secret from the crew.”
Lekan shook his head, his eyes looked slightly sad, “I did not tell any secret. Kwasi told me something about Cora that I did not know, that I know she does not too. I bring him here to help Jatau. You do not need to tell the secret, but I think Kwasi can help.”
Phineas replied, “Help her how?”, then he looked towards Kwasi to start talking.
Kwasi laughed and shrugged his Captain off, then turned towards me and spoke, “Miss Jatau, have you use powers before or made medicine?”
I was caught off guard by his question, was he talking about my Fairymaid powers?
“No, I have never made medicine, and to what powers are you speaking?”
He smiled big, he looked very excited. Like he knew the biggest secret in the world and he was dying to tell it to someone. This man before me was not the same man I met days before.
Kwasi finally spit out his words, “Miss Jatau, you have blood of healer in you, blood of magic. You are Sangomas.”
I remembered when Lekan told me that Kwasi knew the ways of healing and black magic from his family in Africa, but why was he telling me that I was too? Wasn’t the medicine man thing exactly that…a practice for men?
I started laughing, this had to be a joke. I looked to Phineas and saw that he looked deep in thought. He looked up at me and started to study me, like he had on the first day we met.
“Phineas, you don’t seriously believe this, do you?”, I spoke to my fiancé, trying to get him to see reason.
Phineas spoke, “Cora, I think you should hear more of what Kwasi has to say.”, he took a sip of tea and set his cup back down on the table, “I had a dream last night…the voice who spoke to me said that we need to ‘find the other half’ and something about ‘ancient magical creatures’ and a Lignum Tree.”
My eyes widened as I remembered my dream with Sedna, “Y-your right Phineas. I had a dream last night too. I spoke with your mother, Sedna. She told me that half of my blood came from an ’ancient magical creature’ and she spoke about the tree too.”
Kwasi cut in, the large smile on his face had faded away, “Sedna? Captain Tucker, your mother is Sedna?”
We all looked at Kwasi, puzzled.
Phineas asked, “You know who Sedna is?”
“I know story. My people tell many stories of Sedna, she always help us with fish.”, he paused and shook his head, “I never thought it was true…but there is story of pact my tribe make with Sedna. She like the powers of the Sangomas, she trade fish for healing medicine and magic. It is said one day blood would unite to create Queen of Sea. She be half Sangomas and half Sea.”
Kwasi looked at me with wide eyes, as if it were the first time he was truly seeing me, “You?”
He shook his head then looked at Phineas, “It was said Queen be married to son of Sedna, together they will rule the sea. You are son of Sedna? You are God of Sea?”, Kwasi looked shocked beyond belief, as if he just found out his father was a chicken.
“Half Sangomas and half sea? Well that explains a lot.”, I looked to Phineas, “But I still don’t understand what a Lignum tree has to do with any of this.”
Phineas replied, “We will find out. I believe I know someone in Nassau who can help. We should reach the harbor sometime this evening.”