Thank you for clicking on this story. I just want to mention a few things. First, this story will have 18+ parts later, so I’m just warning you. My chapters vary in length, some may be long and some could be short. It all depends on what I need to convey in the chapter. Other than that, enjoy the story! Comments and criticism are welcome, but please be respectful.
Clash of Tides – Chapter 1:
THE DAY MY MOTHER has groomed me for has arrived. Tonight – as she told me – I will finally help fulfill my daughterly responsibilities, by helping with the family finances. Ever since my father left, my mother has encouraged me to follow this path. I’ve postponed long enough, she reminded me, complaining about my lack of enthusiasm. Like most girls, I’m not too fond about losing my virginity to a stranger.
In simple words, my mother is a prostitute, but she doesn’t prefer to be called that. I suppose no one would, even if was their profession. Prim, proper, sexy, attractive, and good girls stay quiet. Those are the rules my mother had instilled in me. We may be a different class than the nobles, but the noblemen who buy their women, want the same type of refinement during their intimate encounters. They want their money’s worth I guess.
She always told me when I was younger I would be wanted. Exotic skin color and hair she said. It’s not every day you see light tan skin, amber eyes and straight black hair on a female. It was a gift from both of my parents, though my little brother is different from me. We have different dads, it’s no surprise. At least my dead-beat father gave me something, but it’s mostly my mother’s genes that are favored.
“Elena!” I hear mother call from downstairs. She was never a patient woman – even when I was a child, my mother never liked to be kept waiting.
“I’m coming,” I yell back, hoping she wouldn’t call me again. I stare down at the bag of clothes in my hand. They are all my childhood dresses she is hoping to sell, to replace them with something more befitting of a young woman. First night of work I need to look my best, noble pigs. I snarl my face to the thought of having some old man caress me, using my body for his own pleasure. Anger soon turns into rage, then into disappointment and lastly, sadness. This is my path, our better way of survival. I was fortunate to be a born a woman, so I should use my fortune to earn good money, as my mother said.
The little girl inside of me dies tonight, and soon a growing flower will blossom.
In a rush I continue to stuff the burlap sack, squeezing in as much clothing I can. The bag is stuffed now, almost to the point of bursting open. This should be enough. I sigh, conjuring up possible images of tonight in my head: a dirty room upstairs in a worn down house, filthy sheets that were already used by another client, and the lingering smell of intimacy permeating the room; I shudder thinking about it. Quickly I tie up the strings on the bag, and stand up. I walk to the small bedroom door, and stop, placing my hand slowly on the knob.
“This is it,” I breathe, feeling the warmth from the sun’s rays radiating on my back. I walk down the small narrow stairs into the kitchen, seeing my mother still cooking (which is a rare sight) and my brother sitting at the table. Sunlight from the tiny window next to the stove seeps through the glass, illuminating the tight kitchen.
“Took you long enough,” my mother snaps at me. No surprise there. I don’t retort; I knew better than to talk back to my mother. Today isn’t the day for a smacking. As always, I squeeze into the kitchen, it’s barely big enough for two adults. Good thing my brother is small, he at least is able to sit at the tiny wooden table.
“Sorry,” I mumble, pulling out the wooden chair and sit down. She wanted me to say it, even though I wasn’t sorry at all.
“Just hurry and eat up, and get to town before all the good dresses are sold for the day.” She smacks the bowl down on the table in front of me, clearly frustrated. My mother never liked me, it was always obvious.
“Alright.” I keep my answer simple, not saying too much. Before I pick up the spoon and dip into the bland vegetable stew, I watch my mother return to the wood burning stove. She is wearing her silk robe, one of her favorite pieces of clothing. Her long blond hair hangs straight down her back, and her lips are already Ruby red. She isn’t a bad looking woman, probably was more beautiful back in her day, but slowly she is starting to look tired and worn out. I wonder if I’ll look like that, too, after living like her, but why fight it. My boat is just flowing on her current. I dip my spoon into the bowl and start eating. My mother turns to face me and my brother; he is sitting to my right, eating away merrily. It must be nice to still be innocent.
My mother’s crystal blue eyes stare at my brother with happiness, with a love that I’ve never felt.
She ruffles his hair. “Tonight, you’ll be on your own for the first time, but I’m sure my big boy of twelve can handle himself,” she says in her sweetest voice, running her fingers through his blonde, golden locks. My brother looks up at my mother, perplexed.
“Where will Elena be?” My brother asks, in a curious childish voice.
My mother continues to smile, as if sending her only daughter to the brothels doesn’t faze her.
“She’ll be with me, working. It is high time Elena helps with the finances, she can’t watch you forever, Joseph,” she says in a sweet motherly voice, rubbing the back of my brother’s head. It must be nice to be the favorite, to be the wanted child. I always wondered who Joseph’s father could be. He must be someone wealthy, someone who can give my mother what she truly wants – riches and power. Maybe that is why she always favored Joe over me, I could only wonder.
“But I want her to stay with me.” He sulks, and then huffs, crossing his tiny arms across his chest.
Mother sighs, “She can’t, Joseph, we talked about this,” my mother reminds him.
“You’ll be fine, Joe.” I smile at him, providing him with reassurance. It isn’t right to leave a twelve year old at home alone, I know that, and so does my mother, but money means more to her.
Joe smiles at me, and I flick his forehead gently. “Don’t open the door for anyone, and go to bed on time.” I keep smiling at him, easing his worries.
“Ok, Elle.” He gives me another quick smile, before returning to his vegetable stew and bread. I could already feel my mother’s intense glare on me, she’s probably scowling. Sometimes I don’t blame her; it must hard to know your favored child is closer to your hated one.
“Enough talking, Elena, hurry up!” Mother snaps, turning around and walking back to the stove.
“I’m almost done,” I say, trying to ignore the hostility in her voice.
“The sooner you get to work tonight, the more money we can make. Maybe we’ll finally get out of this shit hole.” I could hear the intense anger in her voice, the loathing she had knowing she is part of the working class.
“That’s the dream anyway,” I mutter, trying my best not to sound smart.
My mother sucks on her teeth, “Just do everything I taught you tonight, make the clients happy, and don’t screw up. Whatever the clients wants, you do it, understand?” She asks me, the harsh tone in her voice is evident and demanding. She quickly jerks around, staring at me intensely with blackmail eyes. The eyes of a cold teacher, making sure the student understands them, or you know what the consequences are.
“Yes ma’am.” My mother liked when I said ma’am, I suppose it makes her feel like a sophisticated lady.
“Good, now get going. Tonight you should be able to make double the money. They like girls like you, unspoiled, but you’re time is coming,” she says, turning back around. I could hear a faint happiness in her voice. Maybe she is happy knowing I’ll be like her soon, flowing on the same jagged current.
Trying not to dwell on tonight, I hurry up and eat. As I keep eating, an unpleasant memory comes to mind: Mother had me practice pleasuring men on a banana once, I hate bananas now. Once I get done swallowing the tasteless veggie stew, I get up, grab my burlap sack and give Joe one last smile.
“I’ll be back later.” I start heading towards the door, but mother calls me again.
“Make sure you get a dress that shows off your figure. Maybe a tight corset and a flashy color, perhaps red, or a bright purple,” she suggest, eyeing up my figure intensely.
“I will.” I don’t have a much of a response. This is the life she groomed me for; I at least know what dresses to buy. I wave to my brother, he smiles, and then I exit the house, walking into the dank alleyway. We live in the working class terraced housing. It isn’t the best, but it’s better than the streets or the ghettos.
The alleyway is always the same, smelling of piss and fences. The backstreets are littered with poor folk: men, women and children. Some are sleeping, maybe deceased, who really knew. The stink of the alley made it hard to know who is alive or dead. At the end of the alley – the opening – the atmosphere is completely different.
I walk towards the street, smelling salt ocean air rising from the sea. Carriages pass by, holding their precious rich cargo, or at least those who can pay for transportation. Bustling sounds of city life start to echo in my ear: the subtle conversation of the passersby’s, sailors working at port, and merchants selling their wares.
Swiftly I weave through the crowds of people, making my way deeper into town. As I continue to walk, I periodically glance at the giant ships docked at port. Crewmen cover the harbors, loading the ships with stock to deliver across the sea. This town, this kingdom, is mostly cut off from the world, surround by ocean and forest that remain unexplored. The nobles don’t want to waste time exploring the vast lands, probably because of the rumors they’ve heard of creatures living in the forest, I don’t really believe the gossip. I proceed closer to the main street of town, rolling my eyes at all the wealthy and upper-class citizens strolling about. The division between the upper class and low class is clearly evident. The upper-class ladies are dressed in fine garments: expensive corsets, fancy bonnets and slink cloaks. The men wear their cravats, top hats and coats with tails. The more professional men are wearing their powdered wigs; it is best to stay out their way.
I scurry through the crowd, about to turn on Main Street when I hear my name being called. Only one person could easily spot me through the masses.
“Elena!” Seidon yells my name over the crowd, earning him some obnoxious stares from the surrounding citizens. Though Seidon never cared how others viewed him. He zigzags through the sea of people, making his way over to me with our two friends by his side.
“What are you three doing here?” I ask in surprise. I honestly didn’t expect to see them here at this hour, so early in the day. I wanted to hide my secret from my friends, my shame of knowing tonight I would be selling myself to those we hated most.
“Seidon wants to check something out,” Lucas answers casually. I stare at Lucas, wondering what Seidon wants to see. It must be something interesting. Lucas’s brown eyes show a glint of excitement, excitement I guarantee only Seidon could find.
Seidon clicks his tongue, “Don’t call me that, I hate that name,” Seidon whines, rolling his one dark and light blue eyes. Seidon always had different color eyes; some made fun of him for it, while others found them attractive. Seidon had no reason to stay single. He is the son of a prestigious doctor, with a head full of golden blonde hair like my brother, and beautiful shades of blue eyes to match. Growing up, all the girls liked Seidon; it was mostly the other males that picked on him. I feel as though Seidons in a different league than me, but he has known me since birth.
“Why does it matter?” Mika asks in her low voice. As usual, her jet black hair covers most of her right pupil, making it hard to see her.
Seidon sighs and says, “I just don’t like that name, you know that Mika.”
Mika snorts softly, still hiding her eye behind her ebony hair; it matches her black dress.
“Fine, Sai, let’s get going,” Lucas urges on, spinning around. His medium length brown hair sways with his movements.
“That’s better,” Sai grunts, as he starts to jerk around before returning his gaze back to me. “Elena, you should come with us.”
Perplexed, I stare at Sai. What is going on? “Where are you going? It’s not swimming again, is it?” Ever since we were kids, Seidon enjoyed being in the water. He always says being in the water makes him feel alive, something the rest of us couldn’t understand; maybe that is one reason he wants to be a pirate.
“We’re going to the waterfall.” Lucas spins back around, facing me.
“Waterfall,” I repeat, raising an eyebrow at the group of three in front of me.
“Tristan saw something,” Mika says bluntly, but I’m still confused.
“What Mika is trying to say is: Tristan told us he saw something strange in the water. I don’t know though, but it could be worth checking out,” Lucas says.
“It’s more than worth checking out,” Sai adds.
“You just want to swim,” Mika says bluntly, as if reading Sai’s mind.
“That too.” Seidon shrugs. “But I’m more interested in seeing what Tristan is talking about.”
I roll my eyes. “If Tristan said it, I don’t think it’s anything,” I say. Tristan was never known for telling the truth, everyone calls him a liar, like the boy who cried wolf.
Sai scowls, getting frustrated and steps closer to me. “Come on, Elena, it will be fun,” Seidon says, grabbing me by the arm.
I maneuver my arm back. “I can’t, I need to pick up something for my mother and get back home soon,” I explain.
Seidon clicks his tongue again. He hated when I mentioned my mother. Ever since my father left, he never looked at her the same. Around that time was when she started to change, becoming distant from old friends and kept me alienated from everyone. Even now I can only spend time with Seidon when mother sends me on chores, or when she is working at night, but soon I’ll be joining her as well. Sai stares at me intensely, as if he knows what I’m thinking. It’s no secret what mother’s job is, but me joining her, that was my secret.
“Lenoa can wait, besides, we won’t be that long.” Sai gives me a reassuring smile and grabs my arm again. I didn’t want to give into him, but when he smiles like that, a gleam of brightness shines in his differently colored blue eyes.
“I told you…I can’t.” I attempt to fight off Seidon’s advances, but he continues staring at me, knowing I will give in to him. His smile widens, as he steps closer, about to take my hand. He has me.
I sigh in defeat, “Fine.” I grumble, “But it has to be quick.”
“We won’t be gone long. You know I keep my word,” Sai’s says, releasing his grip on my arm.
Lucas sighs, “Can we go now?”
“Yes!” Seidon’s eyes beam with excitement. This is what he lives for, the adventure, the exploration of the unseen world we’ve only heard about in stories. He has options, I don’t. Lucas and Mika stand in the distance, when they turn around, starting to head towards the outskirts of town. Sai quickly runs over in-between them, placing his arms on their shoulders. Mika is the youngest and shortest out of all four of us, and it shows on her tiny fame as she walks side-by-side with Seidon. Even from behind him, I can see his glowing smile.
I stand back a ways, looking at my friends in the distance. This may be the last time we spend together, I ponder to myself. Leona will be sure to keep me confided every day after this, to preserve her future money maker. Holding back my emotions, my tears, I stare at the ground, not wanting anyone to see my face.
I walk idly, letting the sounds of the street fade into the background. My gaze is fixated on the dirty, concrete street, as my body sways from side-to-side. At this moment, it feels like I am alone, surrounded by nothing but emptiness. The only thoughts with me are what I’ll become. I will become a whore, a filthy prostitute like the woman who raised me.
Still walking, soon, I come into contact with black fabric. The softness of the cloth grazes my face, as I snap back into reality. The sounds enter my ears again: talking, yelling, horse hooves stepping on cement, and now a man wearing a powdered wing screaming at me.
“Watch were you’re going, wench!” He lifts his arm, preparing to strike me across the face. His angry superior eyes bore into mine, leaving me stunned and defenseless. On instinct, I close my eyes, readying myself to get hit. My heart thumps in my throat, until I feel a strong grip around my wrist. My legs jerk, moving in defense. Snapping my eyes open, I see Seidon in front of me, but his hand is still wrapped around my wrist.
“I don’t think it’s right to hit a lady, good sir.” Sai shows his brightest smile, friendly, and easing going. My body remains by his side, pushed up against his white shirt and brown pants.
The powdered wing man scowls at me, and grunts. “That is no lady, she smells of the ghettos, probably just a whore.” He spits, and my blood then boils. Rage starts to consume me. Maybe soon, but not yet, noble bastard, I want to say, but I dare not too. I seethe with anger, my body twitches to defend itself, but Sai increases his grip on my arm, signaling me to stay quiet.
Sai shrugs and the corners of mouth twist into a cocky smile. “Sir, if I may, have you heard of the name, Leverton?”
The powdered wing man looks at Sai confused, wondering what game he is playing. The man then thinks for a second, pondering. After a second, his eyes gleam with recollection.
“Ah, yes, Dr. Leverton I presume?” He questions, and Sai tips his head into a nod. “Now I see. You’re his son, the young man with multi-color eyes that your father is fond of.” The powered wig man stares at Seidon in awe, getting lost in the reality of his unique eyes.
“Yes, Sir, my name is Seidon, and this young lady here is a friend of my fathers, wouldn’t be right treating her that way, I hope you would agree with me.” Seidon continues to smile, never dropping his lips or composure. In situations like this he was always confident, using the reputation that his father forged for him.
“Fine, fine, carry on, tell your father I give my greetings and teach that woman some manners.” He waves his hand, turning around and reconvenes with the crowd. Once he’s out of sight, I jerk my arm back from Sai, angry over him stopping me. I walk away from him and try to catch up with the others.
“Oi, wait up!”
In an instant, I feel pressure on my arm. Seidon steps in front of me. His eyes grow darker, cold, resonating with strong vexation. “What is going on with you? You know better than to bump into someone, especially someone important like that.” His voice is cold. He knows I’m hiding something.
I lower my gaze away from his and say, “It’s nothing, let’s just get going.” I attempt to walk off but Seidon yanks me back.
“I know when you’re upset, is it Lenoa?” He asks in a deep voice, as he grips my arm tighter. His expression is blank, empty but for the rage I know he feels. It was hard to lie to Seidon. He knew my mother, her longing for power and riches. She would use anyone to get it, but why fight it? Why fight at all?
“No, I’m just distracted today, and thinking about the waterfall.” I attempt to cover my emotions by giving him a soft smile. His eyes drill into mine, but my smile eludes him. Slowly he releases the grip on my arm and gives me a wry smile.
“Alright then, let’s go, and don’t bump into anyone else, and I’m keeping watch.” He steps aside, waiting for me to pass. I dodged one there, but if he only knew the truth. I walk past him, giving him a playful smirk. If only he knew, that was like the man I would be sleeping with tonight. One who will probably hit me, and call me whore.
WE REACH THE EDGE of town, staring at the sea of green before us.
“Let’s go, I have the map Tristan gave me.” Sai proceeds fearlessly, entering the woods with clear resolve.
“I hope we don’t regret this,” Mika says in her low monotone voice, following behind Seidon. Lucas shrugs and continues behind the others. This isn’t our first time entering the woods, but we’ve never went as far as the waterfall before. It’s something we’ve heard about from others, but never took notice of. Usually, Seidon likes to hangout by the ports, where he can swim and watch the ships dock.
“I’m sure we’ll be fine, I doubt the rumors are true, it wouldn’t exactly make any sense.” Lucas breaks the silence, thinking with a rational mind like always.
“Don’t ruin the fun, Mr. Scholar.” Seidon softly chuckles, as he glances back at me. His eyes meet mine, just checking to see if I’m alright. He does that from time to time.
A cool breeze blows against my face, swaying my hair from side-to-side and regulates my rising body heat. The ground beneath me is moderately squishy, with the feeling of moist mud soaking into my worn out shoes. Mother isn’t going to be happy about this. How do I let Seidon talk me into these things? I let out a long sigh, thinking of what lie to tell to my mother. I try to shake off the thought, as soothing scents of pine enter my nostrils, making me feel calm. My breathing becomes relaxed, forgetting about the work that awaits me tonight.
We all proceed forward – following Seidon – looking at the trees in the distance. Gusts of winds increase in speed, blasting the tall trees with a rush. Green leaves rain from the skies, covering the muddy ground and sounds of snapping twigs echo in the area.
Thanks to the trees, the sunlight is hidden, only seeping through the few gaps in the foliage, but we can still perceive ahead. Leaves rustle and crunch under our feet, as we keep walking. What have only been minutes feels like hours.
“Seidon, are you sure you know where we’re going?” Lucas complains, walking up to next to Sai.
Sai remains quiet, standing in the middle of a clearing. His ear twitches, like an animal that hears its enemy. Still, he doesn’t say anything and runs off.
“He’s doing it again.” Mika rolls her eyes, picking up the hem of her black dress and runs behind Seidon.
Lucas scoffs, glancing at me with his annoyed brown eyes and then chases after Mika. I follow suite, lifting the hem of my white dress and pump my legs.
Sprinting, I run, not slowing down until I hear it, the sound of running water. Lucas and Sai’s voices ring through the forest, as if the vibrations of their words bounce off the trees. Emerging ahead, the stream of flowing water gets louder. Finally, panting for air, I enter the clearing; the waterfall is real.
“I told you I would find it!” Seidon beams, raising up the bottom of his shirt and throwing it on the rocks, revealing his lean, muscular chest. Before anyone could speak, he jumps into the water, basking in its coolness.
“He wastes no time.” Lucas removes his shirt, jumping in after Seidon. Unlike Seidon, Lucas isn’t muscular or lean, more like scrawny and bony.
Mika huffs, crossing her arms against her chest. “So, we did just come here to swim,” she grumbles harshly and then walks to a nearby rock. Plopping herself down, she glares at the two males in the water who are laughing and having fun. Feeling enraged myself, I walk to the edge of the water, staring down at Seidon and Lucas. Both men are above the water, partaking in dumb male competition.
“Aren’t we here to see if something is in the water?! And now you’re swimming!”
My rage filled eyes are fixated on Seidon, but he just laughs.
“You’ll be fine, beside, this is Tristin we’re talking about, if we see anything, we’ll protect you girls.” He smirks at me, as the droplets of water stream down his toned chest from his soaking wet, blonde locks.
I grunt, starting to stomp away when icy water splashes against me. Quickly turning around, I hear Lucas chuckle; I roll my eyes at him.
Now sitting next to Mika, we stay quiet, watching the boys exit the water and wrestle along the rocks. Eventually, Seidon gets bored, and starts climbing up the jagged rocks, going to the top of the waterfall.
Lucas goes back to swimming alone, enjoying the refreshing feeling of the water on his skin. Mika and I sit in silence, still perturb over the turn of events. As I sit, the chirping of birds sounds in the wind, along with the steady sound of flowing water. My eyes scan the water, when from the corner of my eye, a strange shadow catches my attention. What’s that? Maybe it’s just a fish.
I think nothing of it, but it continues to swim along the water. “Mika, do you see that?” I ask her, but she is lost in her own thoughts.
The shadow follows behind Lucas, but Lucas quickly exits the water, standing at the edge of the pool. In a rush, I get up, seeing the shadow coming closer.
“Lucas! Watch out!” I scream, running over to Lucas and pushing him out the way. Getting ready to run, I feel something murky grab my ankle, harshly pulling me into the water. The grip is tight around my skin, my dress soaked and water fills my lungs. The screaming of my friends are heard above the water, I flail wildly, trying to break free. Anxiety and panic consume me, and what feels like the arms of a man wrap around my body.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter! Please review and vote. I would love to hear what you think. Also, please check out my other original story, “Love for an Angel”.