Guests Online: 1
No Members Online
Registered Members: 13
Unactivated Members: 2518
Newest Member: Tetisheri
|Silent Joy - Hide and Seek
The corridors are dark. Too dark almost to find our ways in them.
The little light that enters from above doesn’t help much when your eyes have not gotten adjusted yet to the dimness that covers the corners and hides those we know are seeking the shadows.
We are aware it is dangerous to be down here; are aware of the risks we take. But we are alone. No one is here to help us, and no one could. It is our task to find them, our task to fight the fear.
Never before has the Nomad’s galley looked so alien to me. The table we have just sat on yesterday lies in the shadows the ceiling casts on it. The laughter that sounded here only hours before has long died. As careful as I’m able to, I move forward. Only briefly do I turn around to see whether Doubar’s still behind me.
And he is.
With his eyes staring ahead of us – straight into the darkness of our ship’s bunt – he nods at me, signaling me that he will stay with me no matter what. I can see in his face that all his senses are on alert – see the tension radiate from his features.
We have been searching the ship for almost an hour now; with no sign of those we have to find. Now the cabins are the only places left. Now this is the last refuge they have.
They have to be here.
I grit my teeth as silently I take another step and with this enter the corridor that leads to my crew’s quarters. My heart beats fast in my chest and instinctively I feel myself reach for my belt – my right hand ready to draw my sword. But only air does meet my palm. We have no weapons, have no swords. Nothing we could defend ourselves with. Our friends left for the market long ago, and the rest of the crew I sent to town, told them they should enjoy their leave. Our weapons I left down here – in our cabins, thinking that this would be a nice and peaceful afternoon.
I shouldn’t have.
But I could not have known what would take place here so shortly after, could not have known that Doubar and I would have to fight in order to survive.
“They got to be down here, little brother”, Doubar’s whisper suddenly reaches my ears and knowing he is right, I nod slightly.
“Watch my back”, I speak under my breath, signaling him to follow me to the first cabin. We manage to reach it without making any noise, and as we’re standing in front of it, I swiftly move to reach for the door. My heart is pounding by now, and I feel myself draw in ragged breaths, before finally I push the wooden barrier open.
My eyes search for any sign of intruders being here, but they find nothing.
“Not here, big brother”, I say, turning slightly to look back at Doubar who’s standing right behind me. I am just about to suggest checking on the next one, when suddenly we hear blanks creak. Without even noticing it Doubar and I, we both hold our breaths, listening intently to the faint sound.
There it is again. It’s coming from further down the hallway, from further down the shaded path.
Carefully Doubar takes a silent step in its direction, his ears trying to pick up on everything.
“Your cabin”, is all he says and this time I do not reply. We mustn’t speak anymore, I know, for if they detect us before we do them, then we’ll be doomed.
Thus I simply follow him to where he last heard the creak. We listen again, but nothing but silence does now meet our ears.
Still we know we are close. We can feel it; feel their presence deep within.
Only moments later my hand wraps quietly around the doorknob; sweat is forming on my skin. Out of the corner of my eyes I see Doubar nod gravely and thus without a warning, I jerk the door open.
Frantically my sight scans the familiar surroundings, expecting to meet them at any moment.
“They here?”, I hear Doubar hiss, his tension being evident in his voice. I take a second to make sure I do not miss on anything, but finally I only shake my head and turn around to go. We must’ve erred. The sound must’ve come from another cabin.
I am halfway through the door again, when suddenly I notice Doubar stare unbelievingly past me. I do not ask him what is wrong. I just spin on my heels, every muscle in my body tensing with apprehension. But I am too late.
We’re being ambushed.
The impact of a body meeting mine comes too unexpected and it doesn’t take my attacker any further effort to make me lose my balance. Ungracefully I fall backwards, meeting the wooden floor with a dull thud. Eyes wide opened I see a shadow flying by and know that Doubar will not be spared this fate either. Involuntarily my mouth opens, I want to warn him, but it’s no use. Before even a single sound can leave my lips, I hear the muffled cry of my brother, before he, too, stumbles backwards. I tilt my head, wanting to make sure he is alright, but feeling the weight on my chest increase I dismiss this thought, my hands already elevating to try and catch the one that’s holding me down.
It’s a cry of victory that rings through the air before either Doubar or me are able to do anything, and both, my brother and I, we realize that we lost the battle. Our attackers’ laughter soon fills the still dark hallway, its walls reflecting their cruel squeals of glee.
My head snaps upwards, my eyes staring at the one whose fingers have a firm hold of my vest.
“We won, uncle Sinbad. Maegan and I won!”
The broad grin on my little niece’s face is priceless, and her pale blue gaze – which reminds me so much of my brother’s – shines brightly with joy and pride.
Her small fingers are wrapped around the blue of my vest while she sits on my chest, her whole weight lying on me.
“Oh, I wouldn’t say so yet”, I manage to retort, a grin slowly setting on my own face. Behind me I hear Doubar chuckle slightly and I know he has the same idea as I have. Tilting my head slightly I am able to send him a knowing glance, seeing in the same moment how my little angel is sitting on my brother’s belly, being all excited about what she and Brea think is their victory.
“We haven’t surrendered yet”, I finally breathe and turn back to the little girl on my chest, being ready to make use of our most powerful weapon.
Although I’m not aware of it, my lips form to show a menacing smile as my fingers find their way to Brea’s waist – all ready to start the tickling.
I am so close to turn the tables, when suddenly Doubar’s roaring laughter thunders in my ears, being accompanied by Maegan’s blissful giggling.
Stopping midway, my hands hover in the air while my gaze shoots up to seek my niece’s.
“Oh no, no you won’t”, I hear myself stutter with fear, but just like her cousin she will.
I don’t even have time to breathe before waves of laughter start shaking my body, my cries mixing with Doubar’s.
By Allah, when did they find out about our ticklish spots? I swear, if I find the one who told them… I’ll keelhaul them.
Twisting under Brea’s little body I more than just one time almost throw her off, but shifting herself she manages to keep her balance and thus to keep up the torture.
Behind me I know Maegan’s continuing to tickle her uncle as well, her hands flying across his belly with sheer professionalism.
We have no chance. To surrender is our only hope.
Between strangled cries of laughter I try to form the words I know our girls want to hear, and although something inside of me tries to resist speaking them, I finally am able to let them form on my lips.
“We… we give up. Please, have mercy… Oh God… MERCY!!!” The last word that leaves my throat sounds more like a squeak than anything else I notice, and for the first time ever since this game started I’m glad that no one else is here today.
“So you admit that you lost?”, my little girl’s voice reaches my ears from behind me. Panting, I lie flat on my back; Brea’s hands eventually resting on my vest again.
“Aye, aye we lost”, I breathe while closing my eyes and moving my head in a small nod. My heart is still pounding and only for the tiniest of moments do I feel truly exhausted.
“Would anyone care to tell what this is all about?”
Despite knowing that Brea is half-leaning on my chest, my head and upper body arch upwards. While on my chest I feel my niece struggle not to fall off, my sight travels up…. Only to meet two pairs of questioning velvet eyes looking down on Doubar and me.
Seeing my brother stare at the newcomers just like I do, I try to regain my composure and shape an answer, but Brea beats me to it. Her voice is filled with delight as she replies to her aunt:
“Maegan and I played Hide and Seek with Daddy and uncle Sinbad.”
The little brunette doesn’t need to go on, because her mother completes what she is about to say.
“And you and Maegan won?”
I can hear the amusement in her words, and know that my sister-in-law is highly enjoying this moment. As is my wife I suppose.
“Ow, can you believe that? The mighty Captain Sinbad and his fearless first mate… brought down by two little girls.”
Maeve cannot help the giggle that mixes with what she just said, even though her body language tries to speak of mockery. But with Maegan and Brea still sitting on top of us, and our cries of laughter still echoing even in our own ears, I cannot even blame her. And besides, were it the other way round, and she was the one lying here, I would mock at her as well.
“Now you two, what about letting the fallen sailors get up again?” Bryn stifles a chuckle as, with those words, she reaches down to pick her daughter up. Brea seems to be content enough to let herself be lifted, and I feel myself drawing in a deep breath as finally my chest can raise freely again. Not that she’d be heavy, but a five year old whose weight lies completely on your upper body does limit your breathing a little.
Heaving myself into a half upright position then, I cast my gaze to see how Maeve extents her hands to our little one and after giving my brother a swift hug, Maegan takes it and hops from Doubar’s belly. Only seconds later, she stands next to Maeve, her grin now strangely matching my wife’s.
While getting up, I rub my back slightly. After having fallen and landed on it, it does feel a bit sore, but of course I try to hide this as best as I can. So instead of pondering about it for all too long, I move over to Doubar and lend him a hand. I am aware he doesn’t really need it to get up, but I also know I feel the inner need to have us show off some solidarity.
When shortly after he stands next to me just like Bryn is standing next to Maeve, I cannot help but chuckle silently. I know those two will remind us of our great defeat whenever they can, but for some reason it doesn’t bother me at all.
I look into the deep brown eyes of my child, and her radiating smile makes up for any jokes Maeve will pull on me. And for those Rongar and Firouz will – and I know all too well that they will get to know at first chance.
“Hey, what about we keep this as a little secret? And tomorrow we’ll play once more”, I voice out a sudden thought, kneeling down to be at eye level with my daughter. The chances that she will agree are slim I know, but still I try.
For a moment Maegan looks at me, frowning slightly as if she had to contemplate what I just asked, but as soon as it appeared on her face, the frown is gone again – replaced by an amused smile which reminds me so much of her mother that I can tell from it already just what answer I have to expect. Her face lighting up with one of the broadest grins I have ever seen upon it, she suddenly turns around and dashes off towards the deck where a distant murmur can now be heard. Just like us, she recognizes the familiar sounds of our friends getting closer and knowing my little girl I know she cannot wait to tell Rongar and Firouz about our play. But before reaching the galley, she halts in her tracks, tilts her head back at us and shares her answer:
“No!” Then her gaze shifts to lie on Bryn who is still holding Brea. “You coming?”, she calls and only seconds later the little brunette runs to the galley as well, the girls’ giggling being the only thing left to echo in the hallway.
Despite being somewhat amused about my little firebrand’s behavior, I sigh in frustration which earns me a risen eyebrow from Maeve.
“Well”, she says while shrugging at me, “you should’ve known.”
“They always win after all.” This time it’s Bryn’s chuckle that fills the air and I have to suppress one of my own when Doubar half-pouts at her in return:
“Oh, why thank you for reminding us!”
He then crosses his arms playfully, but even his beard cannot hide the smile which is forming on his lips.
“We will win eventually”, I finally huff, supporting him a little. I know we must look like two kids who do not want to admit they just lost for the umpteenth’ time, but then again I think we have the right to look like such.
Mimicking my brother’s pose, I, too now cross my arms, and look at the sorceresses with false pride. But the two just shake their heads in obvious amusement, before sharing a knowing glance and saying at once:
“If you say so.”
Letting quiet laughter follows their words, they then shrug at us and turn around, heading back on deck as well. Doubar and I, we stay behind and lowering our arms again, we look at each other – a grin lying on both our faces.
A grin which dies however when in the next moment the empty corridor carries to us what my wife is just saying to her sister-in-law:
“And tomorrow we’ll tech them the remaining spots.”
No Comments have been Posted.
Please Login to Post a Comment.
Rating is available to Members only.
Please login or register to vote.
No Ratings have been Posted.
Not a member yet?Click here
Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here
You must login to post a message.