Stone of Jade

United States

~ 17 she/her ~
Aspiring writer and artist. Completely awestruck by night skies. Apart of many, many fandoms ;) Reader, journaler, collector.
~ pilot pens and beat-up notebooks ~
one half of the locket

Message to Readers

Chapter 2!!

Missed chapter 1? The link is in the footnotes!

This is a short story so there will most likely be around 8 chapters--unless I break a chapter up depending on length.

I hope you enjoy reading!! I'm super excited to share this story with you guys. This is my second COMPLETELY finished (short) story! All feedback is super appreciated and most definitely wanted!

The format for this story focuses on telling the tale through flashbacks. If it gets confusing please let me know so I can revise the story so it is more clear.

TL;DR
If you would like to be updated when I publish this series LMK in the comments.
If I have updated you and you don't want to be updated--sorry my bad. Just let me know and I'll take you off the list (no offense taken)

On the High Seas | 2

November 25, 2020

FREE WRITING

11
Tallis sat at the edge of the dock watching the bustle of the small coastal town. Twilight was fading fast, and small specks of starlight were slowly becoming visible. It was a beautiful summer night, clear skies and no breeze. The great merchant ships towered over the docks, each mast lit with the flickering light of the lanterns. He saw the Manta docked at the far end of a pier. Tallis took a deep breath. One last job, he thought. He hated to do this--especially for Thornley. But he had a debt to pay. Tallis sighed and stalked back to the quiet town. 

    Lanterns lit the cobblestone streets, casting deep shadows in each alley, which Tallis watched closely for movement. He passed various marketplace sellers packing up their carts for the night. He passed another group of townspeople heading into the local tavern. He wandered the town aimlessly until the street was empty. Then, he slipped into the shadow of an alley and ran quietly toward the huge mansion on the edge of the town. He stopped a block before the great estate. This street was eerily quiet, the small houses all shut up for the night. 
    Tallis ducked behind a blacksmith shop and stared at the wall of barrels and crates leaned against it. He had craftily rearranged the stacked crates a few days earlier in order to give him easy access to the roof. As quietly as he could, Tallis started his climb. The rough shingles got grime all over his hands, but slowly, he reached the roof. Now the real challenge began. Tallis crept along the ridge, careful to keep his footsteps silent. One step, two steps. Tallis tried to focus on the small details to keep himself calm. 
    At the end of the blacksmith’s roof, Tallis carefully edged his way down, trying to get as close as he could to the next house. Breathe, he thought. You can do this. Tallis leaped to the next roof. He almost didn’t make it. His foot caught onto a loose tile and he lost his balance. He slid against the roof, the clay tiles scraping his arms. Tallis grasped at the shingles, feeling for anything that could hold his weight. He finally grasped a drain pipe. He held onto it, trying to steady his breathing. A few minutes later, when Tallis was sure his fall hadn’t woken the tenants of the house, he pulled himself back onto the roof. This wasn’t going as planned. Doubt crept into his mind. He had tried to convince himself that this was like any other job, but in truth, he was terrified. Deep down, he knew Ladell was right. He was taking a huge risk. With any luck, Colborne might not remember him from the Mayborne job. But if he crossed the captain tonight, he was sure to become his enemy.

    I don’t have to do this job, he thought. Part of him wanted to turn back. To return to the Manta without finishing the job. But then he thought of his debt with Thornley. Thornley was just as bad to have against you. No, Tallis thought, convincing himself. I have to pay my debt. 
    Tallis’ mind travelled back to the days when he and Ladell had started their trade of thievery. Memories he hadn’t meant to forget now came back to him. He thought of his parents. Leaping lobsters...he hadn’t thought of his parents in years. They had died when an outbreak of Fisherman’s Cholera broke out in the town. That disease had left many in Twilrock orphaned, including Ladell. Many of the children who were orphaned were sent to live out in the country, but Tallis and Ladell wanted to stay in the coastal town they knew. They wanted to be sure and take any chance they could in order to leave the island. When you lived on the coast, you were often more able to find work. In the country, you were destined to stay put.
    Together, Tallis and Ladell lived off the land and the little money left by their deceased parents. But money runs out, and fall frosts ruin late harvests. They were running out of time before the snows of winter came. Tallis knew that their only hope of surviving was to be able to buy their way out of Twilrock--start fresh somewhere new. But their main concern was food, and in the late autumn months, Tallis and Ladell were forced to feed themselves through less virtuous methods. 

                    ~~~
    “This is exactly what Old-Man-Crowley says kills people,” Ladell said nervously. 
    “Starvation kills people too,” Tallis whispered, “Come on, we have to be quick.” Tallis started to creep toward the parked wagon but Ladell pulled him back into the shadows where they hid.
    “What exactly is your plan?” she whispered harshly.
    “I’ll figure it out when I get there!” Tallis said impatiently. 
    Ladell grabbed the strap on his tunic. “Wait for my cue,” she whispered as she hurried past. Tallis watched bewildered as she limped straight into the moonlight, fully visible to the driver of the wagon. He could just hear what they were saying. 
    “Sir? Sir?” Ladell called out, her voice feigning innocence.
    “What are ye doin’ girl? Are ye hurt?” The concerned driver jumped from the seat of his wagon. He helped Ladell to a rock and sat her down. “Did ye hurt yer foot?” 
    Ladell doubled over, clutching her ankle as if in pain. Tallis watched as the driver knelt to take a look, totally taken in by Ladell’s act. Ladell, as the driver was busy examining her foot, nodded to Tallis. Tallis took the hint and crept toward the back of the wagon where a dozen bags and trunks sat. He kept an eye on the driver, whose back was to him, as he started to pick one of the trunks’ locks. 
    Ladell’s hands shook in fear. She tried to keep the driver busy, making up her story as she went, trying to make it as convincing as she could. But she stumbled across her words, distracted as she watched Tallis’ progress. He had rummaged through one trunk already, pocketing whatever was valuable. He had almost gotten into the second one when the driver noticed Ladell’s gaze. He turned and saw Tallis.
    “Oi!” he yelled, scrambling to his feet. 
    Ladell jumped from the rock, tackling the driver to the ground. She fumbled through his jacket until she found what she was looking for. She ran across to Tallis, grabbing his hand. 
    “Come on! We have to get out of here!” 
    Tallis and Ladell ran through shadows of the valley and didn’t stop until they were safe in the brush that hid the run-down shack they called home. They crashed into the hut, stumbling over each other in exhaustion. 
    “That,” Tallis said, out of breath, “went better than I thought.”
    Ladell burst into laughter. “What’d you get?”
    “Not much, maybe enough for a few days, if we can get a good price.”
    Ladell smiled. “I grabbed his billfold.” She held up a small leather pouch and shook it. The clanking of coins curled a smile on Tallis’ face. Ladell poured the contents onto the ground in front of them. The coins shone brightly against the dirt.
    “Ladell! That is amazing!” Tallis cried, scooping her in a hug! “We can get off this island! Start fresh somewhere far away from here!” 
                    ~~~

Tallis gave a half-hearted smile as he remembered how much trouble they had gotten into those first few years. He wished he could go back in time and stay there--stay in a moment where they weren’t caught up in bigger schemes--in a moment where they hadn’t met Thornley. 
    For years, Thornley had employed Tallis and Ladell to thieve for him. He paid them for their work, but they were trapped. Eventually, they were able to escape both their employer and Twilrock Island. When Tallis and Ladell reached their destination, they had split ways. Ladell had been lucky. She had gotten off the island before Thornley and his men had tracked them. They found Tallis only a few short years after they escaped. Since then, Tallis found himself still running errands and doing the dirty work for Thornley in order to repay the debt of crossing him in the first place. Thornley had promised that once this job was done, he could go. That was why he had to finish this job.

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  • November 25, 2020 - 1:56pm (Now Viewing)

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20 Comments
  • Rohan’s Defender (Semi-Active)

    Re: thank you so much! I think I have a lot of these to catch up on! I’ll try to do that soon!!! Thanks so much!


    9 months ago
  • In Which Yaya Writes

    Aw, I like the flashbacks! It’s really cool! Great piece!


    9 months ago
  • Emi

    I love the backstory! Ladell and Tallis have such a great relationship; this really is such a well-developed story.


    9 months ago
  • Starlitskies

    Thank you for the update. I'm still making my way through the first few chapters and they are just amazing! This chapter just took my breath away. I loved the imagery at the beginning and the memory really grounded your characters. Once again, I love the relationship between Ladell and Tallis. Great work!
    P.S. - Thank you for your comment on my piece! <3


    9 months ago
  • V-Rose

    I love this! I'm so sorry it took me a while to come read this! I loved the memory. It showed me a little bit about both of them. Great job!


    10 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    Aaaaaaaaawesomeeeee! I did get a bit confused in the switching around, I thought it was still going in the same time period :P I'd love to keep hearing about future chapters :)


    10 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Re: Oh okay


    10 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Yesss so good!! I love the action and sentiment of this story. One thing: It was hard to distinguish between past and present for a second; I just thought it was moving to a new scene. I'd recommend using italics.


    10 months ago
  • The Ravenclaw Dragon

    This is great! An amazing second part to the first one! I can't wait to find out what happens next. Keep on writing!


    10 months ago
  • Rohan’s Defender (Semi-Active)

    Re: thank you so so much!!! :)


    10 months ago
  • BizzleWrites

    I will read the rest soon, I just saw those two mistakes and had to correct them.


    10 months ago
  • BizzleWrites

    Just some corrections: But *Tallis* had a debt to pay. *He* sighed and stalked back to the quiet town.


    10 months ago
  • wil

    Tallis is a cool character too. I like he and Ladell's background together. I'm not a romance guy but I think there could be a possibility there.


    10 months ago
  • books4life

    I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS STORY!!!!! it is amazing i love the vibes and the storyline is setting up so nicely!!! i need more asap ahahaha :) because this story is IMMACULATE AND I LOVE ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT


    10 months ago
  • AJ - Izzy

    re: thank you <3


    10 months ago
  • Rose A

    RE: Yes, I'm not always super good in the kitchen. Even though my mom makes me help out with a lot of the cooking. After the... incident... my mom was like "You're supposed to be the responsible child!


    10 months ago
  • Paisley Blue

    I love this!!! :D


    10 months ago
  • everythingbagel (the cliffhanger goddess)

    YES!
    I need more


    10 months ago
  • don't you see the starlight (#TS)

    AHHH THANK YOU YES OH TALLIS YOU BRILLIANT RASCAL!
    Re: tysm! i am prob going to go back and edit some stuff, but it was fun to do a spur of the moment kind of writing.


    10 months ago
  • Deleted User

    Re: Thank you!


    10 months ago