(WP) Strange Newcomers

(WP) Strange Newcomers

               The
town of Sapphire Moon was a peaceful one, a tiny hamlet on the coast of a crumbling
island. Surrounded by the ocean, it supplied the surrounding countries with a
bounty of seafood: fish, prawns, squid, octopus, and crabs.

               It was
monotonous for some, but there was something comforting in the routine.

               The
mayor loved the island. All of his ancestors had watched over it since its
conception. Yes, it was his calling, and one that he took gladly. His cottage
was hidden in the thick jungle foliage, the better for privacy.

               But his
thoughts were interrupted by a rush of footsteps, and a knock at the door.

               “Come
in!” He called, and he could hear his wife in the kitchen, preparing the
evening meal.

               A young
woman, named Callie, walked inside of the hut and bowed her head in deference.

               “Excuse
the interruption, Mister Mayor,” She said, her long, fiery braid gleaming in
the firelight.

               “Oh,
nonsense, Callie. You know I welcome anyone from the village into my home,”
Matthias replied, smiling at her. “Would you like to stay for dinner? Mrs.
Ellery is making paella.” He winked at the mention of his wife.

               “I
would love to, sir, but unfortunately, I’m not exactly here for a social call.
You see… The island has a visitor.”

               Matthias
blinked, her words taking him by surprise.

               “What
did you say?”

               “There’s
a visitor. And he refuses to speak with anyone but you. He says that you’ve
been expecting him.”

               Matthias
went back into the kitchen, where a cloud of steam and the scents of garlic and
saffron greeted him like old friends. “Kira, my love, I have to go.”

               Kira
looked up from the pan she was stirring, brow knitting. “I’m assuming one of
the townspeople needs you?”

               “I’m
sorry. Yes.”

               “Don’t
worry, Matthias. I’ll just put some away for you. Go on, I’m not going
anywhere.”

               He
kissed the top of his wife’s head and left with Callie.

               “Show
me where he docked.”

               **

               Callie
led Matthias through the hot, humid jungle at a brisk clip. All too soon, the
forest gave way to the black sands of the beach.

               And,
sure enough, there was a tiny ship tied to the dock, a bloodred sail flying
high in the evening twilight.

               Could
it really be, that the old tales his father used to tell were true? Not tales or
myths at all?

               There
was a figure in shining gold armor standing on the shore; he looked like an
illustration from one of the old books his father used to read to him from. He
was leaning on a gigantic broadsword, smiling broadly under the visor of his
helmet.

Villagers of all ages surrounded
the newcomer, their eyes shining with interest.

Matthias could not blame his
townspeople for their curiosity. Visitors and strangers were few and far
between on Sapphire Moon Island.

But Matthias found his interest
tempered by a sudden, red rush of fury, because surrounding the man were the
island’s most treasured relics, the only remnants they had of the time when the
gods had created the land, scattered in so many pieces around him.

He and this stranger would have to
have a talk.

But first, he’d have to get him
alone.

**