Chapter One: The Ice-cold Discord

I felt like I was dying. No, I knew I was dying. My eyes were weary; my body was weak and my confidence even weaker. I've been holding onto this putrid piece of wood for hours, maybe even days. I've lost track of time, but not only that. I've lost all of my memories. I don't even remember my name, my birth date, my family, anything. It's all a vague image in my head. But I can't focus on that now. I have to focus on getting out alive.

Around me was the vast ocean, littered with floating wood, barrels and I've even seen a body. In the distance, I saw a large island. Thank God. I didn't see any ports though or any sign of life, but at least it was God blessed land. God blessed land that was miles away.

I am not going to die. I thought.

I started concentrating all of my dwindling energy into my legs, trying to reach the island before some shark comes and gobbles me up. They were numb from the freezing water, so I couldn't feel them. I closed my eyes, focusing even more. Somehow, my toes began wiggling. I grinned to myself. Success. I then gradually began getting the feel in my legs again as the waves rolled underneath of me.

Before I knew it, my legs were kicking in the water and slowly moving me towards the island. My fingers clawed into the wood as I tried to keep myself above the water. The waves were getting more vicious every second. I had to reach land before nightfall.

For what felt like days, I kept on kicking. The Sun kept on burning into my skin, laughing at my foolish attempt to live. Around me, birds began to call each other, assuming that I was going to die.

I'm gonna shoot down one of those bloody birds…I thought mischievously.

That's if I have a gun. I don't even know if I have anything with me.

Why can't I remember anything? I pondered.

After a few hours, I finally was close to the shore. The waves were rougher over here, and if I kept on holding onto this wood then I was going to be pulled down under. So, I let go. I plunged into the water, using my weakened arms and legs to help me get to the shore. The waves crashed on top of me, and for a few seconds I was underneath of the water. I closed my eyes and felt for ground. My feet felt rocks and sand and I pushed up. I let out a huge breath as I surfaced, spitting out the disgusting salt water.

Turning around, I began swimming closer. After a few more seconds, I let my body fall onto sweet, sweet land. The warm sand clung to my skin, hugging my drenched body. I felt the water at my feet, and decided to get the farthest away from the water as possible.

I stood up and walked over to underneath some palm trees, the shade wrapping around me. I sighed heavily, spat some more salt water out and rested my eyes. Now, it was time to relax, and try to remember who the hell I am.

I opened up my eyes. I don't even remember what look like. Since I was stuck on that floating wood, I was focused on surviving and not on how I look like. I know that I'm a girl...for obvious reasons. I raised my hands and grabbed some of my wet hair and held it in front of my eyes. Black, my hair is black, and my skin is white. Okay, that's a start. I dropped my hair and noticed something peculiar about my hands. On the back of both of my wrists were tattoos. They were spades, both of them black. I gazed at them, wondering when I got them and why.

"Who am I?" I asked myself, hearing my voice for seemingly the first time.

I shifted my body into a more comfortable position and heard the small clang of a metal object. I looked down and saw a brown belt around my waist. Hanging from it was a sword, at least three feet long, and a gun. I grabbed the gun from its holster and held it in front of my eyes. It was a faded gray color, and I opened up the barrel of it. Only one bullet was lodged in there. Then, I heard the jingle of metal again. It came from the holster of my gun. I reached into the bottom of the holster and my fingers came across more metal. Curiously, I grabbed one of the pieces and found myself holding a gold coin. I smiled; at least I was smart enough to have money.

I placed the gold coin back into the holster and then threw the gun into the sand. I then withdrew the sword and looked at it. Blood. It was stained on the tip of the sword and the hilt of it. My eyes widened.

Whose blood is this? Why is it on my sword? I thought.

Then, I noticed the white cloth wrapped tightly around my right hand, and the blood drenching the front of it.

I threw the sword next to my gun. I took my left hand and grasped the end of the cloth. Biting my lip, I began unraveling the cloth. I had no idea what would be underneath of it. I was hoping just a small cut or I even wouldn't mind a deep gash. I don't know why, but I started feeling sick to my stomach.

After many tense seconds, the cloth fell from my hand. I didn't see any scratch, cut or gash. What I saw was a black spot. It was in the center of my palm and for a second I thought I saw it move.

Suddenly, images filled my head. I closed my eyes tightly as they flashed through. There was a ship, yes a ship. I saw people, their faces grinning and their eyes glistening underneath of the Sun. There was a man that stood out though. He had long black hair and a dark brown hat on top of his head. There was a long scar trailing down from his left eye to the middle of his cheek. Then, he raised his hand. On the back of his wrist was a tattoo of a spade.

My eyes opened up immediately, my breathing heavy.

"Who was that guy?" I thought outloud as I looked down at my tattoos.

I shook my head. First, I need to find a place to stay and food. Then I'll try to figure out who I am. I groaned as I stood up. My back was pressed against the tree, trying to regain my balance.

"Okay," I said to myself. I glanced down at the sword and gun lying in the sand. I didn't want to have them, but I might need them to figure out who I was, and to kill one of those hell birds. I bent down and grabbed the sword and the gun. I put my sword back in my belt and the gun in the holster. Then, I saw the white cloth flapping gently in the wind.

I probably should, I thought to myself as I crouched down and grabbed it. I began wrapping it around my right hand, hiding the ugly black spot.

Just as the night fell, I began seeing smoke in the sky; human life. For the last couple of hours, I have followed the shoreline. The exhaustion was going to consume me soon, so I needed to find a place to stay. Luckily, I began to see a small town.

With a brightened look on my face, I walked down a hill to the small town on the coast of the island. There was a small deck that led out into the ocean with a few small fishing ships not that far away from the land. The smoke was coming from small home's chimneys, the fire inside warming the families.

This is a fishing town, I thought, walking slowly down the trail. My left hand was resting on the hilt of my sword. I had washed off the blood so if I came across anyone they wouldn't suspect anything.

As I walked down the hill, I gazed out at the ocean. It was odious, lurking with mystery and the answers to my questions. All I knew was that I came from the ocean, or at least woke up in it. Somewhere, out there, was where the story of my life is. I just had to get there, find out who that man from the flashback is, and why I have the spade tattoos and this hideous black spot.

I took my eyes off of the ocean and looked forward. I was now at the bottom of the hill, entering the small fishing town. I began looking around, seeing if there was a tavern or an inn or anything. Some people were out; walking home before night fully engulfed the town. A few small children saw me and began tugging their mother's skirts in fright. I frowned.

Do I really look that bad? I thought, scowling. All I knew that I have black hair, I'm a girl, and that I have white skin. I don't even know my eye color or my name for that matter.

I walked around the town for a few more minutes, getting to know the place. On the other side of the town was a trail that led to some unknown destination. I had no idea where, but there was more than one town on this island, I knew that, I just needed to know where it led to. I saw an elderly man sitting outside a forge*. I approached him cautiously, since I seemed to frighten the little kids.

He saw me, "Oh, hello there my lady."

I smiled, "Hello," I began, "would you mind answering some questions? I am new to this town."

He leaned forward, "Of course I would not mind lass. What can I do you for?"

"You see that trail?" I asked, pointing to my left. He followed my finger over the houses and saw it, "Where does that lead to?"

"It leads to Port Ruby," He informed.

"A port?" I repeated, astounded. If there was a port, there would probably be many sailors, fishermen, and government officials there. I could ask them if there was a shipwreck, that's what I'm guessing happened from the dead body and the remains of a ship I saw scattered throughout the ocean.

The elderly man nodded, "Yes, indeed. Anything else I can help you with?"

I answered, "Yes, where is the nearest tavern?"

The elderly man pointed behind me, "Down that street on the right. You cannot miss it."

I began turning away, "Thank you!" I faintly heard the man's your welcome as I began walking down the dirt streets. My stomach was growling irritably, since I have not eaten in days. My throat was also parched even though I swallowed a gallon of salt water. I walked past other men, their arms wrapped around their lady's waist. I didn't see any children out so I couldn't 'scare' them anymore.

Without thinking, I began pondering about my past. It was so utterly frustrating, not being able to remember anything. I wanted to scream and rip my hair out, find out who I am and why I don't have one single memory. Before I could do anything rash, my eyes fell onto the local tavern. It was a fairly small one, made of brown wood. The roof was in an upside down V shape, the beams of the house a dark brown and the rest a lighter brown. It looked cozy and cute, but that was before I walked in.

The place was crowded, men and women everywhere the eye could see. Of course, all of the men were drunk and the women were wenches. I noticed that most of the men had round bellies and beards soggy with rum. The women had thin dresses on with a deep neck line that practically unveiled their breasts, and they were leaning over from time to time.

"Disgusting," I muttered before I walked past a bunch of tables. I held the hilt of my sword, careful not to accidently cut any one of these morons. My frown was wide, since I knew I wasn't going to enjoy hanging around here, but at least I would get a drink. I needed a drink, craved it. I was more thirsty than hungry.

I passed by many men that were laughing for no apparent reason, and many women who were shaking their bodies in front of them. All of them were revolting, every single one of them. Except one, I noticed him in the corner of the room, sitting at a table all by himself. He had an aggravated expression on his tan face. He wasn't drunk though, thankfully. He held a glass of rum in his hand, not even half empty. I looked away as I approached a stool and sat on it.

"What can I get ya lass?" A man asked me from behind the counter, washing out a glass with a towel.

"Rum, please." I asked as I rested my arms on the countertop.

"Coming right up!" He exclaimed happily. He went to his right and began rummaging through many bottles.

Where do I start? I asked myself in my head, How do I find out who I am? I was lost in my thoughts, plunging myself with questions on to how I start out. Somehow, I blocked out all of the noise around me. Everything was quiet, as quiet as when I woke up hanging onto that God forsaken wood. I was terrified; I didn't even know where I was. I still don't, but at least I'm with people instead of those birds.

The man came back and threw a glass of rum in front of me. I said quick thanks before I took a huge chug of it. The rum awakened my sense of taste, so bitter, but after not having drinking for so long I couldn't stop. It was so good to taste rum again, the taste was so familiar. As I placed the glass loudly onto the countertop, I sighed happily. I raised the glass to my lips again and took another big sip of this heavenly drink. As I placed the glass back onto the table again, I smelled the strong scent of rum lingering behind me.

"Hello doll," The drunken lips said.

I turned around and saw a large man smiling big at me. His teeth were all crooked and stained yellow, and I tried not to cringe from the very strong smell of alcohol in his breath. "Hello." I muttered as I turned back around. I was in no mood to associate, I just wanted to drink some more and then find a bed to sleep in. Unfortunately, this guy had other plans.

"I've never seen you around these parts before," The man uttered as he stood next to me.

"That's because I just arrived," I said before taking the last sip of rum, "And I'm about to leave."

I stood up, leaving the empty glass of rum on the table and a silver coin I found in my gun holster. I began walking away when I felt a strong grip on my shoulder, "Don't leave sweetie," He said, "I can show you around."

I spun back around and slapped his filthy hand away, "Leave me along, dimwit," I snapped.

Before I could even walk away, his face contorted into an amused look, "Dimwit?" He let out a laugh, "Oh, I like you, I like you very much."

Out of nowhere, his hands wrapped themselves around my breasts. I gasped, and without thinking I slapped him across the face. "Don't you ever touch me like that you filthy animal!" I exclaimed.

Everyone in the tavern stopped and stared at me and that revolting mongrel. His eyes were wide with shock; I guess he never got rejected before. I turned around to walk away when he interfered again, "Now, you are dead." The man muttered before lunging at me.

As he lunged at me, I spun back around and blasted my fist forward. It landed right in his belly, causing him to let out a loud gasp as he fell over. I never knew I had this much strength and ability to knock a man down in a single blow. He let out a groan on the floor, and before I knew it, all the drunken men began fighting. They were throwing glasses, rum bottles, and even their fellow mates.

Stupid fools! I got to get out of here! I thought in my head.

I began dodging oncoming projectiles, trying not to get slammed in the head by one of them. The wenches were falling like dominoes from the men pushing them. There were excited screams of the men and the horrific yells of the women. My body moved swiftly though, my instincts taking over every single part of it. Windows were shattering around me, the men were getting knocked out, and the tavern owner was cowering behind the counter. Finally, I reached the exit and started running far away from the tavern.

"Thank God," I mumbled, sighing. I stopped running down the street, far away from the tavern. I could still hear the yelps of women and the crash of glass as I began walking away, in search of an inn.

I finished combing my once tangled forest of black hair, letting it fall. I looked in the mirror in my bathroom. I had dark green eyes and a curved nose. My lips were a cherry red, my eyelashes were thick, and my hair was long. It reached down to the center of my back, all straight and now perfectly combed. My old clothes were washed now since I paid an inn employee to clean them. Before I changed into my newly bought nightgown, I was wearing black pants with a long-sleeved white top and the brown belt around my waist. I also had some brown boots to match my belt. I guess I was color coordinated or something.

I walked out of the small bathroom, letting out an exhausted yawn. Today was officially the first day of my life, or what I remember of it. My progress wasn't going to well either. I haven't found out my name yet or what those tattoos and that black spot meant. I just made up a fake name for the sign in for the inn, Mary Weathers. It worked until I found my real name.

As I climbed into my rather uncomfortable bed, I began pondering on what I would do tomorrow. Go to Port Ruby, that's it. Port Ruby is where I would start. Even though I was tired, I began wondering who that man in my flashback was. He looked so familiar, so familiar, but I couldn't place my finger on it. I looked over to my nightstand, glancing at everything I had; the gun, the sword, the coins and my clothes. That was all I had.

Slowly, I began to drift to sleep.

I felt the cold metal underneath of my chin, and then an even colder voice, "Get up."

I opened up my eyes, the darkness protruding them. In front of me was a dark figure, but I couldn't make out who it was. All I knew was that there was a gun underneath of my chin and that he was ready to shoot me dead. I didn't say anything though, I just silently got up. He moved with me, keeping the gun stable.

"Who the hell are you?" I asked annoyed.

I couldn't see the man's face, but I could tell that he was snickering, "My name is Ian, Ian Harth." He responded with that same, cold voice.

"Okay," I began, keeping my body still, "What the hell do you want with me?"

"Do you not know? You are wanted, my lady. You are Caroline Spades." Ian answered.

Author's Note: I hope you liked it! Please leave a review! That really would make my day! Thanks!

Fun Fact: I came up with the idea of this story while playing a game of Blackjack with my family. It just randomly popped up in my head.