|art by Robert Fyfe|
Book of the SeaJenny looked on the shelves for the book she would choose today. She loved days like this, when her mom brought her to the library and let her choose any book to spend time reading. After perusing book after book, her eyes fell upon the one she knew she had to read.
by Rebecca Fyfe
by Rebecca Fyfe
Its spine was a dark blue with gold lining. The lettering was gold embossing. On the cover, there was a picture of the ocean, and the gold lettering gave the title, "Book of the Sea." Jenny loved the ocean. Her second favorite place to visit, second only to the library, was the beach.
She waited until they got home to read it. She ran up to her room and laid out on her bed and then, slowly, cracked open the aged spine of the book. Before reading the words, she liked to look through the pictures in the book. A few pages in, she came across the first picture. It showed a pirate ship with a handsome young pirate standing at the stern and looking out to sea. Dolphins swam alongside the ship. Jenny couldn't help thinking that the picture needed something else in it, maybe mermaids.
A melancholy singing started to surround her, seemingly coming from the book. It was accompanied by the sound of the sea, waves swelling and settling. before Jenny could process the strangeness of this, she noticed that the picture was moving. The ocean beneath the pirate ship was moving, rocking the ship, and there were people moving around on the ship. Even the handsome young pirate had moved from the stern of the ship and was walking towards the aft.
She reached a finger out to the moving water in the picture, not quite believing what she was seeing. It felt wet, but even as that realization hit her she felt everything around her begin to swirl and spin. She couldn't focus on anything as the room spun around her and when, at last, the whirling sensation eased and she was able to focus again, she was not herself anymore and no longer in her room.
She found herself in the ocean, with a mermaid tail helping her swim easily through the water and dolphins for company. The pirate ship was too her right, and she could still hear that strange haunting melody being sung, but she couldn't tell where the song was coming from.
The young pirate who had captured her interest stood to the port side of the ship, leaning over the rail. He had noticed her and was transfixed by the sight of her. He yelled to her in a language she didn't understand and she swam closer to the ship, wanting to be closer to him. When she was almost near enough to touch the ship, he drew a sword and, to Jenny's surprise, threw it at her.
She quickly glided away from the ship, out of range of any weapons and continued to watch. Why had he tried to hurt her? Were these pirates afraid of her? Or did they think they could gain something by killing or capturing her? Jenny wished she still had the book with her so she could find out more about where she was and about the people in this world.
As soon as Jenny had the thought, the ocean starting swirling around her, spinning her around and around in a vortex, a whirlpool that made her dizzy and dragged her under the ocean's surface. She closed her eyes for a moment and when she opened them again, the spinning had stopped and she was in her room again. The magical book, the "Book of the Sea," was still open to the page with the illustration.
Jenny started reading, making sure not to wish or hope for anything until she was finished reading all that she could. She fully intended to visit the strange world again, if the magic of the book allowed, but next time, she would be armed with knowledge about the world she was going to.