For the last (but not least) writing activity of this kind, I’ll choose the following song: Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin. Starting next week I’ll be trying something new that I am yet to discover the rules for, but I’ll give you a little spoiler: it implies plenty of dialogue. Unless I change my mind in the meanwhile, that is!
But now, let’s enjoy the moment and make the best of this last post with music lyrics as source of inspiration.
Screams went out in the distance, vibrating through the air into the children’s ears. The twin sisters were facing the sea with confused looks.
“I always thought that mermaids sing nicer than that,” said one of them.
“Me too. Oh, wait, look!” The second one raised her hand to point to the vicious waves that came a long way to crash into the stones they were standing on. “I see something. But I’m not sure it’s the mermaid papa told us about.”
“Maybe it’s the one we saw sleeping on the beach last week. Do you think it’s her?”
“No, it’s not a mermaid. Look, it’s getting closer, whatever it is.”
The girls waited and looked, their eyes squeezed in hopes they might see more clearly. The screams they heard earlier now seemed more like singing, still, a weird kind of singing.
“It’s a boat!” shouted the second girl full of excitement.
“A boat! What’s it doing here?”
“I don’t know, but it’s heading for the beach. Let’s go and see!”
As gracious as cats, the two girls climbed down the rocky area they were sitting on to watch the waves. In only a matter of seconds, and with seemingly no energy lost, they began running for the sandy beach not far from where they were. The sand was cold, so despite all their want to sink into the soft floor of nature, they kept their boots on. There were, after all, plenty of fractals of ice mixed in.
It wasn’t a long wait once they reached the dunes that the boat grew nearer, until it fully stopped not far from them. They could see the shape clearly now. A massive and unusually narrow wooden ship, decorated with what looked like shields.
“Do they look like pirates to you?” asked the first girl in a whisper. They both stood still as they watched the men and women climb down, splashing through the water until they reached the shore. Each and every one of them was dressed for battle, but their weapons were not in sight. The twins held still even as the strangers walked past them, as if they weren’t even there.
“I don’t think they’re pirates,” responded the other in as much of a whisper.
“I don’t know.”
They continued to watch, and although they were surrounded, fear hadn’t overcome them. Those people, although looking menacing, seemed peaceful, even kind. In the distance they noticed two of them laughing after another had said a joke. Plenty were finding their way to an empty space so they could sit down and relax. Only one of them, a man dressed evermore warrior-like, seemed to acknowledge their presence and even approached them. Although his weapon was not in sight, he was holding a shield.
The girls looked up to the man, who was massive in comparison, but held still. Now, however, the girls were squeezing on each other’s hands and gulped, unsure what to expect. They only grew less tense after a moment of panic, when the man made a sudden move. Less than a step away from them, he trusted his shield into the sand, until it fixed into a vertical position. The girls smiled when the man fell to one knee to be on eye level with them. His hands were casually held one atop another over the shield and his head fell on them, making the menacing-looking man look a little more innocent.
“Are you two girls lost?” His voice was kind. Clearly used to speaking to children. Was he a father, then? They wondered.
“No. We came for a walk. Who are you?”
“My name would mean nothing to you, but what I can tell you is that my people and I come from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs flow.”
“If you want to find something warmer, you found the wrong place. Look, it’s late summer and the sand is still full of ice. We never even managed to go swimming because of the cold.”
“Poor you. But what if I told you the land we come from is even colder than this? It looks like a winter wonderland, but in all its beauty, it is also malicious. Even so, the weather was no reason for us to come here. We are used to it all.”
“Why then? Are you looking for someone?”
“How dear you are. No. The one I lost is not to be found here. We came in search of new lands. We came to fight, to sing and cry.”
“Fight!” gulped one of the girls in surprise and sudden fear.
“So you came here to harm us.”
“No, no. I wouldn’t harm you lovely girls. Nor would my people. But one day, there might be other people who would. Tell me, do you know how to protect yourselves?”
The scared girl remained frozen, while the other, more courageous, shook her head in honesty.
“Would you like to learn, then?” He now focused his eyes on the more responsive girl, almost ignoring the other one who would never even flinch now. As answer, he received a nod, which caused the other girl’s eyes to go wide with shock. She remained silent yet. “I can teach you if you like.”
“You would do that?”
“Yes, but not here, on lands foreign to me. I can only teach you in the lands of my people. I don’t know if your family would agree that you leave, however.”
“We have no family left.”
“Oh, poor you sweet things. I know how it feels, I’ve lost my family too, but I was older than you two are. At least you have each other to look out for.”
“I don’t want to go,” murmured the other girl, startled when the man’s look fell on her again. Her sister watched her in surprise as well.
“Why not? I want to go!”
“I like it here, I know the places and the people. Sis, please don’t leave me.”
“I really want to go. You know I always wanted to learn to fight. I want you to come with me.”
Noticing the tension between the two sisters, the man prepared to walk away. Before he did, he told them one thing: “If you decide to come, we are leaving at nightfall. Think about it.”
The girls argued for the better part of the day, remaining on the beach while the group of menacing strangers left for the green fields. They were heaving for their village, but neither of them stopped to wonder why. They had barely noticed they were gone until they were already returning, a good part of them full of blood. The girls didn’t know it wasn’t the warriors’ blood that had been spilled all over and thought they were injured. By that moment, they had reached a decision.
The braver girl decided to join those people and begin a new life, one that she had chosen for herself, while the other one would remain in her home land that had nothing more to offer her. The fear of the unknown left her without anything, even when all she had left was her sister. Now she was gone too.
“You made the right choice,” said the man who had talked to them earlier. They were already on the ship, sailing north into the night.
“I hope she’ll be well.”
“There’s nothing I can do for her. But you, you are now under my protection. I will adopt you as my daughter, and should anyone harm you, they shall answer to me.”
She hugged him. He hugged her back. For the first time in her life, she felt safe.