Okay, I know this isn't like my usual stuff, but I was told that I should broaden my horizons a bit. The rating is for some romance stuff that's coming in later chapters. I hope I don't totally screw this up…you guys will tell me if I do, right? Anyway, I hope you like. Oh, and if anyone comes up with a title, I'm open to suggestions. REVIEW!

CHAPTER 1: THE BEGINNING

The slender rays of the sun shone on the clear water. There was a strong gust of wind that rushed into the ship's sails and stretched them to their fullest. The ship rocked to and fro with the waves, its sturdy planking firm and reliable. On the main mast, the ship's flag was unfurled by a crewman. It was all black with the exception of a skull and crossed bones…

"Wake up!"

Marie's eyes burst open at the sound of her sister's voice. She slowly crawled out of her bed and went over to the one next to hers. Katherine, her older sister by one year, was still fast asleep.

"Wake up, Katherine. It's time for work," she said as she pulled Katherine's sheets off her body and started to pile them on the floor with her own.

"Five more minutes," Katherine said as she rolled onto her side.

Expecting an answer of this sort, Marie promptly took some water from the washbasin and poured it on Katherine's head.

"I'm awake already!" Katherine sputtered. She, finally, got out of bed and wiped her face with a towel. Diana, the oldest of the three sisters, came hastily into the room.

"Katherine! Marie! You were supposed to be in the washroom twenty minutes ago. The laundry doesn't do itself y'know."

Without any hesitation, Katherine and Marie scurried out of the room with their sheets before Diana could continue her rant. They had been late for work at least a dozen times this month already; and anyway, it was a Sunday. Nobody worked on Sundays; well, except for them. Only Diana's bribes kept Mrs. Baton, the owner of the brothel, from firing them. Yes, they worked in a brothel. Washing their dirty laundry no less. Why and how you say? That story's not important. Let's just say that this was the only job Diana could get that would allow them to live together. Truth be told, Marie and Katherine didn't particularly like their job.

When they reached the washroom they found four extremely large bags of dirty clothes waiting for them. Marie started pulling the handle of the water pump. It was old and crusted with rust. This made the job much harder than it was meant to be.

"Oh! Stupid pump! Katherine, would give me a hand?"

"I don't know if it'll do much good, but we can try," Katherine replied uncertainly.

After ten long minutes of yanking on the handle of the pump, Marie and Katherine decided to give up on it.

"I guess we should go tell Mrs. B that it doesn't work," Katherine said.

"How can she expect us to do her crummy laundry without water?" Marie said sarcastically.

"Beats me," Katherine replied as they ascended the stairs.

They found Mrs. Baton in the parlor talking to two men.

"Do you think we should…?" Katherine trailed off as she glanced at Marie and realized the answer for herself.

"Oh Mrs. B!" Marie said as she waltzed grandly into the parlor with Katherine at her heels. Mrs. B slowly turned her gaze from the two men to the girls.

"Didn't I tell you not to call me that? Oh, never mind! Can't you see I'm busy right now? Get back to work!" She said with annoyance and inclined her head in a prude manner.

"We can't. The water pump's broken."

"Well then get someone to fix it and go away. So sorry about the intrusion gentlemen, as you were saying…"

"As I was saying, we can't do that either. All the workmen have Sunday off. No one works on Sundays, except for you, because you're a nasty old bat," Marie interrupted.

This remark caused Katherine to start giggling and put smirks on the men's faces.

"You impertinent child!"

"I know you are but what am I?" Marie answered in the highest, most annoying voice she had. Katherine could tell that she was enjoying this immensely.

"Stop that!" Mrs. Baton yelled.

"Stop that!" Marie mimicked.

"Arrrgh!"

"Ahem." A male voice said.

Both men stood up. The shorter of the two stepped toward the two girls. He was very plump and slightly balding although he had an honest look about him. Obviously he didn't visit whorehouses all that often.

"How old are you two?" he asked skeptically.

"I'm seventeen and she's eighteen," Marie replied, also skeptically. Hey, you could never be too sure.

At this, the man turned to the other and conversed in whispered tones. Then…

"I'd like to offer you two a job I think you'd be perfect for." He paused, and then went on. "I want you to accompany my wife and children on a sea voyage to Deveret."

"What's in it for us?" Marie asked before Katherine could say anything.

"Well, it'll be free of charge and I'll pay each of you three silver doubloons once you're there."

Katherine and Marie looked at each other and then together said, "It's a deal."

I know, it cuts off right when the real adventure's about to start. But hey, I've got to keep you guys interested. So, tell me what you think. Because your reviews will decide if I put up the next chapter or not (I have the next nine chapters already written). And please someone think of a title!