In the early hours of the morning, when the mist still lingered in the air and clung to the dewy grass of the clifftop, Eden woke to the sound of birds and the gloriously bright rising of the sun. The sea below crashed rhythmically against the cliff's rocky edge. Eden's hair, tangled with the fallen leaves of autumn, was cold against her skin as she sat up. In front of her, the whole world was waking. And behind her, a little closer to the tree Eden had slept under, something else was waking. Something that had flipped her world upside down.
Sleep kept Eden in a daze, until a sound behind her pulled her eyes away from the rising sun and the sound of waves. Curled against the trunk of the tree, his dark hair mixing with the hues of tree-trunk moss, was a boy. A boy on the cusp of adulthood, handsome and youthful.
Eden had met him four days ago, and he had now engulfed her every waking minute. Something about him had awoken something inside of her - something she was sure had been asleep for a very long time, a small spark of something waiting for the right moment to spark into life.
In the morning light the boy looked so peaceful. The rising sun laced its way through the last remaining leaves on the tree and cast a heavenly light around his body. His face was that of a cherub's and Eden resisted the urge to reach out and stroke his cheek. Like this, he was innocent and pleasant. It was only when Eden thought of the boy like this when the spark roared into a flame. He was not innocent; the girl was sure of it. The fallen angels were loved by God once, Eden reminded herself.
Without hesitating a second longer, Eden nudged the sleeping boy with her hand.
“Wake up.” Eden whispered. She stretched, reaching her hands upwards as if to grab the lowest branch of the tree. Her body ached and the uneven ground beneath her had provided no comfort overnight. It had been a shame, she thought, that she hadn't been able to find peace in the sea breeze. Sleep should've come easily, she thought.
“I’m up.” A mumbled voice responded from the curled-up boy, “What is it?”
“It’s morning.” Eden responded with a sigh, rubbing her aching neck.
“Morning? Already?” From under his dark hair, the boy opened one eye and stared at Eden. He assessed her for a second, taking in her crossed arms and the dark circles under her eyes.
Sitting up, the rest of his body was revealed to Eden. She tired not to stare. He was wearing all black – an outfit that seems familiar and alien all at the same time – and his pale skin seemed paper thin, as if the blue veins that protruded from his hands were going to burst any minute.
“I’m fine.” He said, reading her expression. He shook his hair, letting small patches of moss fall onto the ground. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
Eden hadn’t realised she had been looking at him like anything, but she supposed her poker face wasn’t as strong as she had hoped.
“It’s just…” She bit her lip, feeling her fidgeting hands play with the edges of her shirt sleeves, knowing perhaps she shouldn’t ask, “Tell me again. Why are we here? Who are you? You turn up out of the blue telling me you know me, saying we have family ties, and that you need my help. I must've been crazy to believe you.”
The boy, who had been staring off towards the horizon, snapped his head back towards Eden. His eyes, so dark that perhaps they could have been black, stared at her. Finally, after moments of silence, his lips stretched into a wicked grin. There it was, Eden thought, the innocence was gone.
“It’s been four days and you don’t trust me?” He chuckled softly and stood up. He stretched - his shirt riding up to expose even more pale skin - and looked down at Eden, who suddenly felt small. "You're not crazy, and I'm not lying. I am the grandson of someone very powerful. Someone who you don't want to mess with. I need to return home to him."
"I know. You've said that already." Eden's patience was wearing thin, and she stood up to face the boy. He was inches taller than her, and she felt stupid confronting someone she had to stand on her tip-toes to be eye-level with.
"Tell me your name."
The boy scoffed, as if being impressed and amused by Eden's bravery.
"Okay, fine. It's Henry. Henry Teach." Eden watched as the boy cocked an eyebrow, waiting for her response. When she said nothing, the boy laughed.
"What?" Eden demanded, "Am I meant to know who you are?"
Not being able to stand the boy's stare, Eden stormed off towards the cliff edge. She had had enough of the boy's arrogance, and she needed to calm down. As she approached the edge, the wind picked up. It whipped around Eden's hair, leaving goosebumps on her exposed skin. The long grass tickled her legs.
"What are you doing?" The boy yelled after her, and came to stand by her side. Eden said nothing. and didn't dare look at him. She stayed staring off towards the ocean, where the sky met the sea.
"Your name." the boy finally spoke, "Think about your name."
With reluctance, she did as he asked.
Eden Marina Hornigold.
In an instant something clicked. There was a reason Eden had been drawn to this boy. There was a reason 'Teach' seemed like such a familiar name, as if it had always been resting on the tip of her tongue.
"You're a desendant." Eden turned to face the boy, who's grin now took up most of his face. His eyes blazed with a burning excitement. Without warning, he grabbed Eden and pulled her into a hug. It was warm, and his arms were stong, and it took Eden too long to realise she was meant to be mad at him. She pulled herself away from him.
"I knew you felt it. There's a reason you've always liked the sea, Eden. There's a reason your mother never took you on boat trips. There's a reason why you're here with me." Henry Teach still held his hands on the tops of Eden's shoulders. Eden didn't care much, for her mind was reeling with endless possibilities.
"There aren't many descendants left. You can come with me if you want. There's a reason we're here, today, right now." The boy said, smiling at Eden. Something caught his attention and he turned his head towards the horizon.
Eden followed his gaze, and steadied herself against the boy. In the distance, in the place where the sea met the sky, the water was bubbling. A mast was rising from the ocean, a crow's nest black sails too. A magnificent wave rolled all the way to the edge of the cliff as the ship fully emerged on the horizon. The boy hollered, waving wildly to people on the pirate ship.
He jumped once, in excitement, then turned back to Eden. He stuck his right hand out towards her.
"Henry Teach, descendant of Blackbeard. Nice to meet you." Eden took his hand, shook it firmly. "Eden Hornigold, if you accept of course, it would be a pleasure to have you onboard the Queen Anne's Revenge."
Writing this has made me want to write a fantasy novel about the descendants of famous pirates! Somebody stop me before I do it!
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