Prompt 6-Worth It

Write about something presently in your life that is “worth it.”

Kita glared daggers at the locked cabin door, silently daring the captain to break it down and reprimand her. She had pilfered both his keys so he couldn’t just unlock it and saunter in like he owned the place. Which he did, it was his cabin, his ship, but that was beside the point.

He was above deck, shouting orders to his crew. The commands were unnecessary, his men knew their jobs and the seas were smooth today. He was angry because she was angry. Kita could almost see the storms in his green eyes from the tone of his voice.

She smirked behind her mask. She’d taken to wearing it again despite the crew’s knowledge of her face. There were new crew members on board after all and she harbored the hope that Leo and Cyril had been discreet when they brought her, an unconscious ninja, onto the blasted pirate ship. A ship that had not altered course despite her very public argument with the captain.

Her mood soured again and she ended her one-sided staring contest with the door. Turning on her heel, she stomped over to the bench on the wall that served as the captain’s bunk. The thin mattress was supplemented with extra blankets, a makeshift sickbed that she had spent the first week of the voyage sleeping in.

She fingered the shoulder bandages under her shirt. Cyril had changed them just before her shouting match with Captain Leo. The medic was pleased with her recovery, evident in his amusement of the renewed energy she exhibited when her first foray above deck was to give the captain a dressing down.

Kita sighed and plopped onto the bed, wincing as the motion jolted her mending muscles. Gingerly, she laid back and frowned at the ceiling of the tiny cabin. It wasn’t that she was ungrateful. She was even mildly exhilarated to be a guest on a pirate ship headed for parts unknown. Her frustration was with their complete disregard for her own wishes.

Instead of waiting for her to recover in Alesana, or even leaving her there with a note that they had gone on, they brought her on The Eternity and set sail shortly after. She groaned as she threw her good arm over her eyes. It was not at all how their reunion was supposed to have gone.

Not that she was even sure of her intentions in agreeing to rendezvous with them anyway, before those foolish thieves had set their plans all awry. What she wouldn’t give to know what had become of them. Leo had been less than forthcoming with that information, though his eyes sparkled with mischief when he told her it had been handled.

Kita had questions, as did Leo, and she had hoped to sort them all out in the port town before he set sail again. His questions for her were why he hadn’t simply left her. But the important question, the one she fumed over because it couldn’t be asked while she was out cold, was whether she wanted to set sail with him in the first place.

Had it been her choice, she wouldn’t be so angry. Sure, she’d still be annoyed that her sword hadn’t been recovered, but that wouldn’t have been his fault anyway. She did understand why he’d done it, a pirate can’t make money if he’s spending it all in port, and she was grateful that his actions had saved her life. She hoped that made them even.

Her jaw cracked with a sudden yawn.  She could almost hear Cyril reminding her that her body was still healing from two battles in as many days and demanded she rest. The gentle seas rocked her back to sleep before she realized it was happening.

When she awoke some time later, the light pouring in through the porthole was rich and amber. She could hear the crew’s raucous laughter from the galley below as they settled in for the evening meal. The captain’s voice rang among them and Kita smiled.

She slipped out of the bed and tiptoed to the door. She pressed an ear against it to listen for any stragglers in the narrow hall outside. Satisfied she was alone, she unlocked the door and alighted the stairs to the deck. They creaked weakly under her weight, their soft cries lost among the cacophony of others elsewhere on the ship.

The sun was just kissing the horizon off the portside bow. Kita’s breath caught in her throat as she gripped the rail and leaned towards it. The dying rays of daylight threw their shadows over distant clouds in protest of the coming twilight. The red-orange sky bled towards a creeping purple blanket. The bright flickering reflection across the water was a river of molten gold.

“It’s quite a sight, isn’t it.” Kita nodded without taking her gaze off the ocean sunset. Leo came to her side and folded his arms on the railing, leaning with that nonchalance that unbalanced her. “Odd. It’s the same sun and the same sea that can be seen in port, but somehow it’s not the same sunset at all.”

Kita sighed and pulled her mask down to face him. She fully intended to apologize for her rudeness and properly thank him for rescuing her. His smile caught her completely off guard and the words died in her throat. The setting sun cast his eyes with gold flecks that danced as she stammered about the beauty of it.

She flashed back to their last parting. Where similar shadows had highlighted his face before it was too dark to make out his features as he rowed back to his ship. Where the same sun had set just ten days prior on an island far behind them and she had first noticed those gold flecks in his sea-green eyes. Where, with a kiss, he had promised her payment for the life she’d twice saved. She felt her cheeks flush with the memory and, as then, was glad for the darkening sky.

Leo laughed at her agitation, though she wasn’t entirely certain which part was so funny. The only thing she was certain of was that this was the penalty he was exacting on her for her earlier outburst. She felt her own lips curve in a smile before she, too, started laughing. This would not be their last tête–à–tête before she apologized, and they both knew it.

Kita turned back to watch the sun sink below the horizon. The circumstances weren’t perfect, but she couldn’t complain much if she had a view like this every night. She grinned to herself. She still would, loudly, until he apologized first, but it would certainly be worth every moment.

Notes: Ah, Captain Leo and the Ninja Spaz. I love writing these two. Those of you who followed Time Well Wasted should remember them. I shared a bit of their adventures a few years back. Much like my fan fiction, I come back to them often. Their story is far from over but my inspiration for them comes and goes. It also needs serious revision. I cringed a bit rereading sections to refresh my memory. If this is your first encounter with the savvy pirate and his ninja ally and you wish to know more, proceed with caution. The original story is almost ten years old. It’s fun to see how far I’ve grown as a writer, but it’s also like looking back at awkward prom photos. But I digress.

So what do your characters value? What is “worth it” to them in the midst of all their misadventures? Is it the same thing that is worth it to you? Collect your thoughts. Write them down!

I’m also going to start doing something a little different with the prompts. I got the idea while I was chatting with my mother and working to get a couple prompts ahead over the weekend. My recent writing has infected her but she can’t work on the prompts after reading what I’ve written. It’s hard to work with a prompt when someone else’s “voice” is in your head. She requested the prompt I was working on so she could get a whack at it before reading what I came up with.

It was something that hadn’t occurred to me when I came up with the initial format but it just makes sense to offer the same courtesy to everyone. We’re all writing together, after all. This way you’ll have an opportunity to work with the prompt before seeing my interpretation of it! So without further ado, I will leave you with tomorrow’s prompt!

Tuesday’s prompt: You are the wind’s interpreter. What is it saying?

Happy Monday everyone, see you tomorrow!

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