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Trailing Turquoise
Writer CJ Gem
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
660 Reads

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Trailing Turquoise
A - A - A
Intro 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Chapter One
CJ Gem
Jan 10, 2018
6 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!gnR0gveZVxuhgxkuFL6Jposted on PENANA

It was the rain that woke her.copyright protection72PENANAyzv2d7U5t6

When she came to, she was lying on moist wood. The sounds of the ocean drifted into her consciousness first, followed by its scent. Slowly, as she adjusted to the individual feeling of each of her limbs, she forced herself to sit up. She had been crammed haphazardly between two buildings, directly adjacent to the pier. Tearing her eyes from the sea beyond, with a slow motion as she looked around her, she realized something terrifying. She was alone.copyright protection72PENANAMJuDJL8YK4

The sound of someone knocking on the door woke her with a start, and startled, Elona sat up. Shaking her head, and hopefully the memories with it, Elona pushed to her feet. They always seeped in when she slept, as if they knew to wait when she was weakest to bring her even farther down. The inn’s wooden floor beneath her feet was some measure of clean, clearly it had been scrubbed at least once in its lifetime, but nevertheless she’d left her boots on while she slept. Resting her hand against the door, Elona took the briefest of moments to compose herself, and then she opened it.copyright protection72PENANAvemLLGfrrm

The inn maid, holding a jug of water, beamed up at her. However, the inviting steam curling up from the liquids surface captured far more of Elona’s attention than the young woman’s smile. Stepping aside before the girl could speak, Elona silently gestured inside, one hand still holding onto the door. Elona watched idly as the woman pushed aside the aged folding screen from the worn copper tub, and began to anticipate the bath. Another inn worker, this one a man carrying two more large pitchers of water, followed. They poured the water into the tub, before vanishing briefly and returning with one more set of jugs to fill it.copyright protection72PENANAa0VG38NXeg

Holding the final decanter of water, the maid offered a now bland gaze and a practiced smile to Elona. “I’ll be leaving this to keep warm for you, miss.”copyright protection72PENANA400zDJkMI5

She set it down next to the small stove used to heat the room, before heading towards the door. Elona hesitated a moment, but rested her hand on the maid’s shoulder before she could leave, slipping an extra coin into the girl’s hand. Elona had been in enough inns to see this was a hard, thankless job, and while she hadn’t the energy to speak pretend platitudes, this she could do. Flickers of surprise preceded gratitude in the maid’s expression, before she nodded and let herself out.copyright protection72PENANARdjeZ5Uewm

Shutting the door behind her and locking it firmly, Elona let out a relieved sigh. With the click of that lock, she was separated in at least some measure from the outside world until morning. Now, to enjoy the bath she’d indulged herself in. Turning, Elona walked towards the tub and stared blankly at the water. It was a rare purchase, It was a rare purchase, for more reasons than just the coin it cost. Softly, she trailed her fingertips over the water’s surface. A familiar tingling spread from the scant spaces where the water kissed her skin, and Elona once again heaved a sigh.copyright protection72PENANAAHnwnqEboT

“I don’t know why I ever expect anything else,” she murmured to herself, beginning to undress.copyright protection72PENANAstTs2xcnjU

She discarded her cloak first, setting the deep green fabric within reach of the tub,  before she removed her outer tunic. Her stiffened leather corset followed. Setting both on the bed next to her discarded weapons, Elona sat down to tug off her knee high boots. Left only in her long sleeved undershirt and her breeches, Elona took a moment to glance around. She listened for anyone who might be heading towards her room, before reaching out and moving the screen. She angled it to shield her from the door and window once she was seated in the tub. Satisfied she was as safe as she could manage, Elona removed the remainder of her clothes and slid slowly into the water.copyright protection72PENANAsb7Mp6Rklo

With every soft wave of the water crawling over her skin, it began to change. The lithe pale flesh began to morph, and Elona watched.  No matter how many times she had seen it happen, she was unable to take her eyes away as rows of scales began to grow along the submerged skin. Their vivid color was a deep blue green she’d once seen matched that of the sea swimming with algae, and they had an iridescent green sheen beneath the water even now. Elona’s heart ached. She was reminded as she stared at them, reminded with every movement of the water of all that she was not. She was not human, nor would she ever be accepted by them. Coated in the scales of some sort of monster, how could she ever expect acceptance? For all she knew, she may very well be exactly that.copyright protection72PENANAGW64tuu8FT

Sighing and pushing those thoughts from her mind, Elona picked up the cloth the inn had provided. Carefully, she began to wash the grime of the forest off of herself. With each swipe of the wet cloth, more scales appeared. She washed with great care. The scales weren’t sharp, but their shape lended itself towards a rounded peak that could easily destroy the weak cloth. Despite her wariness of the dangers if she got caught, Elona relaxed into the hot water. The sensation of the warmth against her sore muscles was intoxicating. She stretched out as much as the small tub allowed, delighting in the feeling. Very soon she’d continue on into washing her hair, but for now Elona found herself closing her eyes. Just a moment, just a single moment for her to relax and just be. Surely that was alright. Just one moment.copyright protection72PENANA17mUzorMML

The softest of footsteps alerted her to the presence of another. Her eyes snapped open, her muscles tensed in preparation, but the room was dark. Suspecting the lantern might have burned down, Elona shifted a leg silently in the water, checking it temperature. Warm. No, the lantern had been unlit. All alarms ringing in her head now, Elona listened. Was there going to be another footstep? Had there ever been a footstep, or was she imagining- no, no that was definitely the quiet hush of someone stepping softly. Whoever was in her room was trying immensely to go unnoticed. Shifting as slowly as she could and trying just as fervently to avoid making noise, Elona struggled to listen for something else.copyright protection72PENANAGfWO1lUSGg

Rather than more of the soft footsteps she was anticipating, Elona heard resounding thumping footsteps out in the hall. There was a chorus of outraged voices, and for just a moment, Elona believed one of her worst fears had come to pass. Her heart seized, and the water around her felt as cold as ice. It was only the shuffle of someone darting away from the door that broke her from her frightened state. Someone- likely whoever the angry voices were seeking- was hiding in her room. Worse yet, she couldn’t recall where she’d put her cloak.copyright protection72PENANAhmdnqGRVOx

There was some sort of runaway vagabond hiding in her room, putting the both of them in danger. There she was, half submerged in water, half scaled over, and completely naked. Lovely. Running her hands through her hair as silently as she could manage, Elona frantically fought for clear thought. What was she to do? She didn’t even have the faintest idea who it was who was in her room with her.copyright protection72PENANAOPEaJezb0m

Comments ( 2 )

Azmaveth72 - Very nice first chapter, keep it up.
5 months agoreply

CJ Gem - Thank you! 
5 months agoreply