Magic on the Sea
by Rebecca Fyfe
Captain Jared sighed deeply as he looked out over the large expanse of ocean before him. It was good to be back at sea again. This last stop had taken far too long to secure new cargo, far too much time on land. He reminded himself that it was better to take his time and be safe than to rush the job and get caught with his illegal cargo.
He used to only transport legal cargo, but the new queen continually increased the taxes until he and many others could no longer afford to remain on the right side of the law. He'd still struggled and fought to stay true to his ethics and to honor.
But that all ended the day the queen came to his family's village. He'd been home for a visit, a well needed break from the sea. His true love was there, and he hated to go too long between visits. Emma was lovely and innocent. She had been begging him for years to take her with him on his voyages, but he knew the sea was too risky. He loved her too fiercely to risk her. They were to be wed during the new moon. It was only mere weeks away.
The queen had come to his village looking for him. She'd heard about his expert management of his ship and his crew and she wanted him to ship some cargo for her. The shipment would have taken him far out to sea when he was supposed to be marrying his sweet Emma. Foolishly, he'd refused the queen's request.
Emma disappeared that night. Some whispered that she'd run away, fearing a marriage to a man who would be away at sea more often than he was home. But Jared knew better. Emma would never run from him. She'd disappeared on the same night that the queen had made her request. He had heard the rumors of the queen's magic and dark sorcery. He knew she must have had a hand in his love's disappearance.
He fought her the only way he knew how, by smuggling precious cargo that thieves and outlaws stole from the queen. He always asked one thing of his customers: that they tell him if they hear any news or see anything that might show him how to save his lady love.
He knew exactly what had happened to her. He'd found out the very next time he'd set sail. He just didn't know how to save her from the curse the queen had laid on her.
At the soft sound of Emma's voice, Captain Jared looked down over the rail and gazed into his love's face where she swam in the water.
"Hello, my love," he said, using the same words he greeted her with every time they met at sea.
"The waters promise to be calm for this trip," she told him before swimming ahead and diving under, her long, scaly tail following her down.
He could see her and talk to her now, but he could never be with her. He watched her swim, a tear falling slowly down his cheek..