• Chapter 1: Welcome Aboard
    “Here I am again, in detention,” stated a boy to himself lying down on his desk.

    His name was Blake Desman; a boy with maroon hair and blue eyes, a boy with quite a bad-boy reputation. He was around 5”11 and was sixteen years old. As he slouched back in his brown sweatshirt and jeans, he looked outside. The sky was the one thing that truly amazed him. He always wanted to really reach for it. He didn’t really wanted to go into aviation but he just wanted to somehow feel the sky. If only there was one day to just do that. To just, become one with the sky. But, that dream was just another impossible dream thought up by a normal boy.

    The sky suddenly disappeared from his eyes by the blinds. His teacher closed them and pointed to the board where his lines were. He sighed and nodded in agreement. He picked up his pencil and began to write “I will not throw paper airplanes out the window when class is in session.” He had to do this about one hundred times. His concentration always went back to the sky. As the teacher read her book, he secretly looked back the window where the sunlight was peeking through the blinds.

    Suddenly, the sunlight disappeared. Something was blocking the sun. The teacher went up to the blinds. But, before she could open them, the floor began to shake and she fell on the ground, following with many loud noises. It almost sounded like a battle.

    “Blake, stay in here,” the teacher ordered then ran out of the room to see what was going on. Blake ran up to the blinds and saw only…wood? It was moist wood.

    With confusion he opened the other window and stuck his head out. There was the thing that hit the school. It was a magnificent, and rather large, ship. It had the old fashion wooden mermaid hanging from the front of the ship with golden writing flowing on the side. On the very top was a pirate ship flag. It was navy blue with a golden skull. Right above Blake’s head was a row of canons. Blake could not believe his eyes. It was a pirate ship! He thought he was dreaming. Maybe it could’ve been the beer he snuck into his house the night before that was causing this mirage. But his teacher also felt something so that couldn’t have been it. Above, he saw a plank of wood drop from across the ship to the roof of the school. He heard footsteps walking across the plank of wood to the roof.

    He closed the window and peaked into the hallway where teachers were evacuating the building. He then ran to the stairs that led to the roof of the school. He turned the corner and saw one of his friends run up the stairs. It was Violet Sherwood. She had long umber hair and grey eyes. She was around 5"5 and she was very athletic. She had on a green plaid academy skirt and a white top. She also had something attached to her hip. It was a wooden blade. Once Blake saw that, he had to see what was going on. He hid in the stair well until he could hear the door close. He then crept up the stairs slowly and with every step, the noises became louder. He slightly opened the door to the roof and his eyes couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

    Pirates! Real pirates were fighting on the rooftop. There were many of them! From what he could see, all the males were fighting these other pirates who were in cloaks so he couldn’t make out who they were exactly. However, if you were there, you could easily see who was fighting against whom. The cloaks of the other pirates were navy blue and gold trimming, like the pirate flag he saw on that ship. His eyes shifted to the left and saw the other pirate ship. Their flag was a rich red with the traditional white skull. They were fighting with swords, real dangerous sharp swords. Yet, it seemed everyone was at the same level of fighting and no one was truly winning. He then spotted Violet. She tagged a long with a pirate with a dark blue cloak. The cloak was different though from the rest. It had a detail deign on the back. The pirate with that cloak seemed a little more skilled as well, knocking out every pirate that came its way. The pirate then made its way through the crowd and was heading for a specific pirate on the other ship. He seemed very cool with henna black hair and dark brown eyes. He stood around 6”0 and he had a very nice deep red captain’s jacket on. He smiled and flipped off the boat onto the roof. Then, their battle began.

    It was madness! Blake could not believe at all what was happening. He rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. Then out in the distant, he heard a canon ball. Another ship was coming there way! However, all the pirates were beginning to flee back to their own ships and were very reckless as ever. Everyone was tripping and making preparations to depart.

    One pirate in a dark blue cloak stopped and stared in the direction of Blake. The pirate began to rush to the door and at that moment, Blake started stumbling down the stairs to get away from them. He heard the door swing open behind him and someone right on his trail. He was about to reach for the door knob but something caught his leg. It was a rope and he was caught. The pirate in the cloak giggled a little and another one joined the little hostage situation.

    “Clover, you caught one! Captain Jenison will be very pleased,” it was a girl’s voice.

    “Aye, I’m sure she will. We might even get rewarded somehow,” the other pirate holding the rope answered also a female. They both took off their hoods.

    There, stood two girls. The one holding the rope was a brunette with wavy hair in pigtails with hazel eyes and white ribbon holding her hair. The other was a shorter girl with short brown hair. They seemed very close. The shorter one took a bag out from under her cloak and the one with the rope tied up Blake.

    “Come on! We gotta hurry before those royal pirates come! Ugh, they always ruin our fun. For I, almost killed one of those rude…amazingly hot…dirty pirates,” announced the shorter one to the other. “Oh, he’s not bad looking too. Although, something is a little off about this one…”

    “You and your temptation of men…although it does run in our blood,” replied the other. “And don’t tell me this one is good looking. He has ears too. Just tell him now.”

    “Oh, right, how rude of me,” she laughed. “Um, Mr. Rude-Amazingly-Hot-Dirty-Pirate boy, you’re not bad looking.”

    “Hold on, I’m not-” Blake tried to say. Then, the one with wavy hair kicked him in the stomach. “Ouch!”

    “Shut up! You’re our hostage!”

    “But!” he began again. “What was that for!?”

    “Shut up!” The two of pirates placed him in the bag and it took both of their strength to actually lift him up. However, they were pirates; they didn’t have to be nice to their enemies. So, with that, they dragged him. From inside the bag, Blake could hear shouts to set sail. But…there wasn’t any water! How was it going to be possible to sail? Nothing was making sense in his mind.

    “Prepare the sails!”

    “Hey!” shouted out the only two familiar voices. “We got ourselves a hostage!” Blake felt a thud below him. He could feel wood… which meant he was on a pirate ship.

    “Good job, ladies,” congratulated some of the pirates, all female.

    “Enough!” yelled out one. “Now, hoist anchor!”

    “The anchor iss not down captain. We crashed into the school so the dent we made was good enough,” pointed out another.

    “Agh, just get us out of here!”

    “Yes Captain Jenison!” yelled all the pirates in unison.

    Blake felt the ship moving. There was a small hole in the bag so he rolled around and finally caught sight of what was happening. He could see they were moving, upwards! What was going on!? He saw the pirate with the special cloak looking out on the main deck outwards of the town.

    What about his family? Surely, they would be wondering what was happening. What ever happened to Violet? Why was she part of this whole surreal event? Why did Blake get himself in detention this specific day? Questions and regrets swirled inside his mind. But, he knew that he couldn’t go back and fix his regrets for he was leaving town.

    “We’re reaching cloud level!” yelled out the pirate with the special cloak. “Everyone prepare!” She took a rope from beneath her cloak and tied it around her waist and attached to a sturdy part attached to the ship.

    Suddenly, Blake couldn’t see anything but grey, he assumed they were going through the clouds! He should have been scared but he wasn’t even shaking! His dream was actually coming true! He felt the cold from the clouds but it was somehow soothing. He could tell something was securing him down.

    “Ouch! You’re a bumpy fellow aren’t ya?” It was Clover’s voice with the other’s girl giggle. Blake’s dream suddenly disappeared at that moment and he felt very uncomfortable. Although, he didn’t mind the fact that two pretty girls were sitting on him.

    “Hey!” yelled out the pirate in the pretty cloak. “Don’t talk to the hostage!”

    “Right, Captain!”

    That was Captain Jenison. Blake finally realized this. So then he guessed the pirate she was fighting against was the Captain of the other boat. Blake was kind of getting excited about all of it! It was his first adventure! Well, by adventure meaning him getting lost in the grocery market when he was six, then it would’ve been his second.

    “How much longer until we’ve reached above cloud level?” asked the Captain Jenison.

    “Five…four…three…two…one,” counted down another pirate.

    “Thank you Caitlyn.”

    At that moment, the boat bobbed up and down on top of the clouds. The boat was sailing on the clouds. The sky was so blue, it was breath taking.

    “Alright ladies!” yelled out Captain Jenison, “It’s safe to un-secure. We should be sailing on top of clouds for a while so don’t get too comfortable. Once we hit clear skies, get ready for anything. Alright, so we didn’t really finish our battle with the Lock. But I assure you, we will win that boat! The Darla will make sure we get that boat back.”

    “Captain, Captain!” yelled out the short girl.

    “What is it Josephine?” asked Captain Jenison. “Aye, yes, I almost forgot about your hostage! Ooh, I hope its Conrad. That boy owes me 2,000 gold pieces.”

    She walked up the bag and took her sword out from underneath her cloak and sliced the top of the bag open with precision. There, Blake could feel the air run through his hair. He was surrounded by pirates as well. Silence was the only word that could have described the pirates’ reaction.

    Captain Jenison and the other pirates took off their hoods. Captain Jenison had long henna black hair that was placed in a baggy, messy braid and gold hoop earrings. She also had another earring on the left ear. She had dark brown eyes and stood at 5”5. She just stared at Blake.

    “Who brought this ‘pirate’ on board our ship?” she asked.

    Clover and Josephine raised their hands.

    “I’m sorry to say that this isn’t a pirate,” she said very calmly. “I’m afraid this boy is nothing but a boy.”

    “I knew something was strange about this one!” called out Josephine. “Make Clover walk the plank!”

    “We don’t have a plank for the last time. Josephine,” stated another pirate. She had blue eyes and blonde hair held back with a black bandana. She has a streak a red in her hair. “But…we do have canons…”

    “Hey, no one is in trouble, Caitlyn” re-assured Captain Jenison. “But now, we have a little problem with this lad.”

    “Blake?” gasped out a pirate in the back. Captain Jenison’s gazed out to the direction of the voice. It was Violet.

    “You know this guy Violet?” asked Clover as she pulled his hair to lift him up.

    “He’s my friend from school,” she assured. “He’s not an enemy. And I’m sure we can use him around the boat.”

    “Ship! It’s a ship!” spazzed Captain Jenison, “Well, I think he can help out David in the kitchen. You boy, are you afraid of pirates?”

    “Ugh, well, I never really met one, until now,” Blake stuttered to answer.

    “Hmm…” Captain Jenison was deep in thought. “Alright, everyone can relax now. I’ll be in the Captain’s Cabin with the boy and Violet, will you please join us? I would like everyone to listen to Caitlyn for further instructions. Caitlyn, I would like to figure out what we need in stock for our next battle. Everyone, dismiss.”

    “Aye, Captain Jenison!” Everyone scattered.

    “You boy, follow me,” Captain Jenison ordered. Violet came up to Blake and helped him up. Then she swatted him on the back of his head.

    “What are you doing here?” she whispered as they followed the captain. “You’re supposed to be in detention!”

    “I was until someone’s ship smashed against the school!” he was then pointing to the captain.

    “Hey, don’t blame Captain Jenison!”

    They headed inside down a small flight of stairs to great green doors with golden knobs. Inside were many books and facing them was a grand glass window with a desk right in front. A small bed with pillows and blankets was tucked in the corner and a door led to her wardrobe. She placed her cloak on a coat hanger and placed her sword down on the desk. She was wearing a white blouse with a black vest and a beige skirt with black leggings underneath and dark brown pirate boots. She took a pocket watch from her pocket to check the time. She truly did look like a pirate.

    “Now, I want to make sure that this boy is loyal and will not run off to ‘The Lock’ like some other boy’s did already,” she said as she placed the watch back in her pocket, “I don’t want anymore betrayals from this boat.”

    “Beg pardon,” began Blake, “But, what exactly is ‘The Lock’?”

    “It is another pirate ship. My brother, Conan Lock Harven, is the captain. Like I am the captain of ‘the Darla’, my name is Jenison Darla Harven. We have the blood of captains in our veins. And so, we became captains of our own ships. However, we made ourselves a little bet when we were younger. Whoever can prove to be the better captain can take the other captain’s ship. So, I really do not wish to hurt my brother at all, but, I just merely want to beat him at our little game. However, some people joined my brother’s ship, thinking a lady can’t be captain. But I don’t blame them since I do scream every time I see a damn sky serpent. Man, I can’t stand those things. So, here I am with my crew of ladies.”

    “I see…well, I think you can win,” Blake encouraged.

    “Ha, Violet, I have a good feeling about this boy already,” she said with a smile. “You don’t mind working in the kitchen do you? I’m sorry but you just can’t live on this boat off of free profit. So you better learn to cook.”

    “Don’t worry, I won’t let you down captain!” he said with a little too much charisma. “I love the sky! I would do anything just to stay here even if I had to eat rats!”

    “Whoa there now young lad,” she pointed out, “There are no rats on my ship.”
    “But you seem the same age as me…”

    “…But I am captain so I can call my crew whatever I wish to. You will be rooming with David. He’s a little big, but I’m sure there will be plenty of room. He works in the kitchen and you will be his assistant. He has a big heart but you might want to look out for his stories. He has so many to last a lifetime.” She went through the doors leading to her wardrobe. She came back and tossed Blake some extra boy’s clothes she carried when there used to be men here. She also gave Violet her own dark blue cloak.

    “Not to sound rude, but why is she here?” Blake asked as he approved of his clothes.

    “She’s just been in your town for about six years if I’m correct,” she thought about. “Violet was too young to stay on my ship so we sent her off to mature a little in the real world. Now that’s she’s sixteen, she can join again.”
    Blake was a little confused. He was about to ask another question until Captain Jenison spoke.

    “I’m sorry, but I need to go around the ship now,” she said as she reached for her captain’s jacket which was dark blue and looked very slimming on her. “Violet, will you please escort this man to his quarters?”

    “Blake, my name is Blake Desman,” he finally introduced himself.

    “Well, Blake Desman,” she said as she stuck out her hand, “welcome aboard ‘the Darla’.”