The Fisherman's Son
The boy woke up to the sound of shouts on the deck before the sun had risen, and jumped up to see what the commotion was about. He followed the sailors to the starboard side of the ship, and from the railing he could make out the lights of a port, though it definitely was not the one he had grown up in. His voice caught in his throat and his heart pounded as the fear and exhilaration of the moment briefly consumed him.
He had been onboard the merchant vessel for the better part of two months. The fresh vegetables he had seen the girl preparing the first day had long since run out, and for over a month they had been eating only salt pork, potatoes, and rice. The boy had been assigned as the captain's personal assistant, which usually meant that he kept to himself- close enough to the captain to be easily accessible, but far enough to be inconspicuous- until he was needed to fetch something or someone for the captain. Since the captain had his own style of retribution and punishment, the boy rarely delivered messages. However, an audience requested by the captain was never a good thing, so the boy quickly noticed that the men would avoid eye contact at all costs, and avoid him altogether if they could. He saw the fear in their eyes, and the way their bodies stiffened when he walked by. The amount of power the captain held over his men both fascinated and terrified him.