Sea Glass and Apples

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    Captain of the privateering crew for the king’s lands was his wife, the queen. One chilly winter day, during a particularly long voyage, the queen gave birth to a baby girl with a shock of hair red as the setting sun, black eyes that pierced like the darkest night, and skin as white as the crest of the highest wave. Later that day, as the queen was recovering from her labors, the ship was overtaken by a band of pirates and the queen was killed on sight. The captain of the band of pirates was extremely vain as well as beautiful. She demanded to be taken to the king by the remainder of the crew, through threat of death.
    The sky grew darker than usual that night, and a seagull flew through the window of the castle to inform the king of his wife’s untimely passing. Upon learning this information, the king grew depressed and lonely. When the queen’s murderer showed up at his door just three fortnights later, the king forgot his despair in favor of the wicked charm of the enchantress standing before him. He immediately requested her hand in marriage, and the woman, who was as greedy as she was vain, agreed to his proposal, thinking only of the riches he possessed. This new queen hid from the king his own daughter, keenly deciding to hand her off to a poor village woman so that she may not interfere with the new queen’s path to glory and riches.
    Seven years passed, and the new queen asked the seas to tell her whether she remained the most fearsome pirate of the seas. The sirens replied in their melodic voices that she remained the most infamous and wealthiest pirate to sail the seas. Satisfied, the new queen went about her business, conquering the oceans, one by one. She was not to let anything get in the way of obtaining her treasures and glory.
    Another seven years later, the new queen asked the seas once again to tell her whether she remained the most fearsome pirate of the seas. The sirens replied that there was another pirate, with hair as red as the setting sun, eyes as black as the darkest night, and skin as white as the crest of the highest wave. She had escaped from her home at a young age and climbed the ranks not only through her cunning spirit and charisma, but also her sharpshooting abilities. The girl could put a bullet through an apple that sat on another ship travelling twenty knots past her own. She sailed on a large galleon with seven dwarves as her crew. The girl’s crew had taken control over three of the seven seas. Upon hearing this, the new queen became furious. She set out to find this ship, plotting how she could overtake them along the way.
    Several months passed while the new queen searched for this elusive pirate-girl, and at last, on the day of the crisp winter solstice, she docked her ship along the same port as that of the princess. The princess was tending to the ship while the dwarves had gone in search of precious gems. The new queen approached the unsuspecting princess, dressed in the rags of a poor beggar woman. She dragged a large barrel of ruby red apple cider onto the ship, with a heavy claim that she could not keep the barrel in her home as she had nobody to drink it with. The princess squinted apprehensively, but the cinnamon apple scent swam in circles through her nostrils.
    When the dwarves returned, they found the princess sprawled out on the floor, apple cider all over the deck of the ship. One of the dwarves cried out that there was poison, pointing a crooked finger at the vat of cider.
    The dwarves hung their heads in despair, as the princess had been the best captain of their ship. They decided together to bury the girl at sea. They laid the princess on a sheet of ice as clear as glass and set her adrift atop the icy water. Snowflakes fell softly onto the girl and rested delicately in her hair, glittering like stars.
    Some time later, the ice melted and the princess’s body slipped into the sea. As soon as her lips fell beneath the surface, she opened her eyes and awoke from her slumber. The salt of the sea empowered her as it once had her mother and the princess proceeded to swim to a piece of driftwood and then paddle from there to the nearest island. Unknown to her, this island was the lands of her father, who was sitting in his study, plotting an expedition to overthrow the queen, who was tarnishing his name.The princess showed up at his door, begging the king to borrow one of his ships. The king peered at the girl, sensing something familiar about her, and did not immediately have her removed. He agreed to let her borrow a ship and some men for a crew should she only tell him where she came from. The princess hesitated, but picked up on a strange sincerity in his eyes and replied that she never knew her parents, and that her mother had died during childbirth and that she was adopted. The king then realized that this was his long lost daughter he had heard tell of through the whispers in the sea, and he immediately recognized his former wife’s spirit in the girl’s eyes. He told his daughter she may take the ship, and that they would have much to discuss when she returned.
    The girl set off, traveling for weeks until she found the witchy queen’s ship. The girl set the ship aflame and returned to the kingdom, where she took up her mother’s privateering position on the sea. The king and his daughter restored the kingdom back to its original glory, with both of their troubles lying in ash underneath the sea.

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