Writing today, or rather, editing.
Not sure yet if I captured what I wanted to capture in the intro of this chapter. I feel so rusty when it comes to writing. Perhaps it’ll come back to me when I do it often enough.
Chapter 9: Foshmea
I stood on deck and gaped at the bright land spread before me. Pyramids–in all sizes and manners of impeccable splendour–filled the desert. Their surfaces were etched with intricate glyphs, some shrouded with massive jewels visible even from up here. A glowing city of glittery rock structures and buzzing colours lay on the bed of the valley at the heart of the desert. A grand collection of massive mountains edged the west part of the valley, a few near the threshold carved into a majestic formation reminiscent of ancient Logikan castles.
The wind howled about me, heat prickling my skin as if the sun had multiplied. Bright rays pinned to the pyramid tops like golden crowns. I leaned across the railing to inspect the Foshmeans. They looked like rainbow ants, moving in groups of vibrant hues amidst the sandy rock structures. Vast hills stretched far and wide beyond the bustle. Tiny palm trees and silver streams mottled the wilderness like discarded trinkets.
“We made it, aye?” Faziel came to my side.
I turned to him. From the glistening gleam over his arms and face, I suspected he had just finished his morning exercise. I was impressed by his physical diligence. He performed his sickle practice like a priest would morning prayers. He’d told me this rigorous routine was the only way to keep his muscles from aching. I suspected he just suffered from excess energy.
“Bet you can’t wait to get out of this ship.” He secured his sickles onto his belt, his eyes on the captain.
“Having been at the receiving end of your vomit outbursts, I guess neither can you.”
Faziel gave me an indignant scowl. “I’m not usually so pitiful. I could fly this ship better than that son of a seamonster. I swear he did that on purpose.”
From the corner of my eye, I saw Captain Moosta striding in a purposeful gait towards the wheel while barking at his crew to prepare for landing.
“Morning, Moosta!” Faziel greeted the captain with a jovial grin but the captain did not even bother to acknowledge him.
“He’s still giving you the silent treatment, I see,” I noted.
“Better that than trying to kill me.” Faziel shrugged. “Foshema is a beautiful city, you’ll love it here. We have to spend a night or two before continuing our journey. I will need to make thorough preparations. It’s pretty ugly out there in the desert.”
“What kind of preparations?”
“I’m going to talk to a few people to learn about the Dreamland war and how far it has spread. Unfortunately, they aren’t the welcoming type.” He leaned closer to me. “I want to see if I can perhaps use this war as a way to sneak our way in and out without drama.”
“Right.” I did not like drama, but this smelled just as much like trouble to me. “You will share your plan with me at some stage, I hope?”
“Aye, boss. I got you hate surprises.” He gave me an affable thump with his elbow. I almost tumbled over the railing on impact. I probably would have if he had not caught my arm deftly. He grunted his apologies, followed by: “Ishman’s balls, Haisma, do you eat at all? You must weigh lighter than a feather!”
Before I could reprimand his brute-like manner, a sing-song voice intercepted from behind us, “and you, my love, always forget your manners.”
We turned to find Lady Fayma, beaming ear to ear, her eyes fixed on Faziel. I sensed his body tense at the sight of her. In fact, I noticed this instant edginess whenever the lady was near all throughout the journey. If they were a couple, they certainly made a senseless one.
“That was certainly not the way to treat a lady,” she scolded though in a cheerful voice, “and neither leaving me alone in my bed as soon as I fall asleep.”
Faziel coughed. “I sleep better on floor.”
She arched an eyebrow. “Come now, dear, you do not seem to have problems with me on–”
He quickly shut down her sentence with a kiss. I rolled my eyes. I knew very well what they were up to every night in her cabin. I had no issues with their affairs, neither cared what they did in their own time. It had been a long and boring journey after all.
The lady’s eyes twinkled when he pulled away. “And that is how you make me forgive you every time.”
“Fayma, about that offer…” Faziel’s voice trailed off.
“Oh yes!” the lady exclaimed. “I will definitely show you two around Foshmea.”
Faziel smiled sheepishly. “I’m sorry, Fayma, but as I told you, I need to go see some people but I did promise Haisma an adventure of a lifetime, so please if you could be so kind to look after her for me during the day–”
“I meant for you to join us, Faziel.” The lady’s face scrunched up to a disappointed pout. Understandably I supposed. Foshmea seemed like the most romantic city I had ever laid eyes upon.
“I can explore on my own, my lady, I do not need an escort.” The last thing I wanted was to be someone’s duty.
“Is it your first time in Foshmea, child?”
I wished she would stop calling me that. “Yeah, but really, I–”
“No, it’s my pleasure to play tour guide and provide you with the adventure Faziel’d promised.” She stopped me with her hand on my arm and a disarming smile. “Besides, Faziel’s paying. I’ll take you to the most expensive luxury retreat in Foshmea central where you will be thoroughly refreshed, you won’t even recognise yourself.”
I was about to protest when Captain Moosta bellowed from behind the wheel. “Prepare for landing!”
The pirates all scurried about to find something solid to hold onto. I copied them, curling my fingers tightly over the railing while Lady Fayma took the spot on the other side of Faziel. I could see his face slowly turning green as Umbishka rocked side to side to make her descent towards the sandy jewel-clad mound.
A moment later, the crew dispersed and began tugging at the ropes before releasing the anchor. I watched the natives bark at each other on land as they helped the Captain maneuver the giant ship into port. She hit the ground with a jolt hard enough to make me jump.
Enthusiastic cheers instantly erupted on deck. Caught in the excitement of it all, my heart beat faster as I watched the buzzing energy bursting before me. I had to grab Faziel’s arm from fear it would suck me whole.
“Not too tight, Haisma,” he hissed. “I’m about to puke.”
I stepped back. “You want me to—“
He rushed to the nearest bucket with a curse and retched.
Why am I doing this? Click here.