Prompt 135-First Home

Write about your first home: your childhood home or your first apartment or house of your own.

“Explain something to me,” Leo said. Kita dropped her gaze from the stars, narrowing her eyes querulously. He went on without waiting for a response. “How does a mainland ninja end up all the way out on a black market island half overrun with bandits?”

She smirked and looked back to the sky. Her mask hung loosely on her neck. The rest of the crew had gone to bed so she was more comfortable dropping her guard, if just a little. “What does it matter?” she answered. “I’m here now, off to another, even more faraway place.”

He leaned casually on the wheel. The seas were calm, he didn’t need to correct their heading very often. “I’m curious,” he said. “If you’re gonna be out here with me all night the least you could do is humor me.”

A mischievous spark danced in her eyes and she straightened off the railing. “Well, if you’re gonna be out here all night, your cabin is going to be empty till morning. Maybe I’ll just commandeer it and get some shut-eye.”

“Or we could continue to stand here in uncomfortable silence,” he grumbled. “Suit yourself.”

Kita laughed as she turned around and leaned her elbows on the railing overlooking the deck. “It’s not an exciting tale. I hopped on a trading ship headed away from the mainland and when they made port in Alesana I made it my home.”

Leo frowned. “But why?”

She glanced over her shoulder at him. “Why do you care?”

Leo shrugged. “I don’t suppose I do, one way or the other, I’m just trying to make sense of you. Obviously, I trust you with my life, but I’m not sure why.”

“Because I’ve already saved it twice?” she grinned.

“I’m still trying to come to terms with the idea that a ninja has saved my life. A part of me feels like there’s a storm brewing off shore and wonders how high the tide will come back in when it does.” He wanted the crew to be able to trust her as he did, but he couldn’t understand why he trusted her so easily when he knew next to nothing about her. Was it really so simple as a life debt?

Kita rested her chin on the backs of her hands, staring out towards the bow. “I was exiled,” she stated simply.

“You can do that?” Leo laughed, but stopped when he saw her expression. Her lips were curved up in a smile, but there was pain in her eyes.

“Ninjas and pirates are mortal enemies. Our grandfather’s grandfathers have waged this war because their grandfathers waged it before them and so on.” Leo frowned at the history lesson. He knew it well, he was a pirate after all. “No one knows who started it or how. That’s just the way things have always been.

“But it just all seems foolish to me. I was too vocal about it, I guess. The Elders of my clan decided my idealism was too heretical, bordering on ruinous, and disowned me.” A cool sea breeze washed over them and she shivered in spite of herself. She chuckled. “It was either stay on the mainland and be hunted by the people I loved or board a ship headed anywhere else. I figured it would be hard to bridge the divide if I’m dead, so I left and lived.”

Leo watched her in silence for a while. In a way, she was like him. Orphaned, caught between two worlds. Her parents might very well still live, but she mourned them just the same. Maybe she was still trying to find a place to call home. The sea had always been his home. Maybe she could make it hers too.

Notes: So this started out as a “my home is the sea” idea which led me to Leo and Kita, but then turned into a discovery piece about Kita’s history. I ended it here because I am tired and my thoughts are starting to ramble. This was a case where the prompt inspired something not wholly related to the prompt itself, and that’s fine! Excellent, even!

I am sure I will have more to say about my first home once we’ve closed, but the timing on this prompt was almost perfect. My childhood home was massive, at least it always felt massive to me, probably because I was much smaller. It was very old, I wanna say built in 1896 or something ridiculous like that. And mom and dad’s room was basically a suite with a living area and walk in closet and master bathroom. I loved playing in there.

Anyway, that’s gonna do it for me tonight. Two days down, three to go! We got this. I’ll see you tomorrow!

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