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Hi, my name is Vixen
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jungle lullaby -->1

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By Amynetta Send DollMail
Created: 2009-01-10 23:51:07 All stories by Amynetta
I have read books, great tales of adventure and action, which begin with an elaborate escape from the dull, narrow-minded, naive life the hero or heroine was born into. Tales of hiding in the very darkest bowels of a ship, making deals with shady characters, breaking out of jail or calling upon old favours from older friends – things which get you hooked from the very beginning.

Unfortunately, it was not so for me. I was born into a wealthy family in London, in a social peer group where the women sit around in petticoats and frocks and gossip and drink tea while the men go out and do the exciting things. My father was a very wealthy trader, and often travelled to far-off lands in huge ships, bringing with him funny little trinkets and stories which I would insist he repeat over and over again, until I could recite them from memory. He doted on me; every father wants a son, my mother always said, and I was the closest he had. My mother was very strict on me. She hated my wild, adventurous tendencies and hobbies and made it her mission to turn them into things more ladylike, while father condoned rather than attempt to repress them.

This gave me a slight advantage when I begged the two of them to let me go with father when he announced he was to undertake a particularly long trip to Africa when I was sixteen. My blunt answer? No. I wasn’t surprised, so I kept nagging. And arguing. And making points. And nagging some more, until finally, mother cracked.

“Maybe,” she said in a weary voice, they way she did whenever the subject of her second-youngest daughter arose, “you will see what horrid places the lands you dream about are, and you will realise how adamant it is that you become a proper young lady.”

“And if I don’t?” I couldn’t help asking, a rosy smile of triumph on my face.

“Then I give up,” my mother always looked like she’d aged twenty years in twenty seconds whenever she talked to me.

She did eventually forgive me, just as the ship was about to set off. She buried me in the layers of silk and lace she was wearing and bade me take care. “I have the worst feeling about this trip,” she sighed. “Do be safe.” Then she pressed something into my hand. “It occurred to me that there is a large chance you may not make it back to me, so I am giving this to you now. The family owns four very precious things, one for every daughter to be left when your father and I die. I am giving you yours now.” I opened my hand and gazed at the necklace tangled in it, black contrasting with my ivory skin. “Your father is given, once or twice, priceless gifts from the people he comes across. This is a string of incredibly rare black pearls. Keep it close and you’ll always be with us.” I nodded, speechless, and embraced mother for a final time before boarding the ship. Father showed me to where I’d be sleeping, away from the rest of the crew, who were men. They grumbled about having me on board, but father was ultimately in charge, so they could do nothing.

I sat for a moment on the small bed with the window next to it and studied my necklace. The pearls were not all perfectly round like my other sisters would like them, but slightly irregular. They were the richest shade of ebony, but shone lustre mother-of-pearl in any form of light. I ran them lightly across my teeth like mother had once taught me; indeed it did feel like rubbing smooth stone against the incisors. A full string of black pearls. I could not begin to even comprehend how precious it was, so I quickly put it around my neck. They felt smooth and cool against my skin, brushing against my long, curly hair.

Which bought me to the next issue I needed to address. I slipped down to where all the supplies were kept, the location of which I knew because father had shown me a design of the whole ship. I rummaged through a few things until I found what I was looking for. Using an open barrel of water as a mirror I took a fistful of raven black hair, squared my shoulders, and ran the knife through it. It twirled and fell to the ground like a piece of black ribbon. I did it to the rest of my hair until it was short, straight, and brushed satisfyingly against my shoulders. I instantly felt much colder, freer, without my stifling, choking locks. I smiled, satisfied, at my reflection in the murky water, and pocketed my knife. Something told me I may need it in the future.

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All My Stories
Posted On: January 10, 2009
Verry Good.
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