So I woke up this morning, and the memories of one of my past lives came flooding back. Let me tell you who I used to be.
I do not recall my father’s name, nor my mother’s, but I remember the story of how they met. My father was riding his war horse through the forest on a mission from his king, when he stopped by a river to water his steed. As he approached the river, he saw a beautiful dark-eyed woman bathing in the water. He watched her with desire for a long while, until she turned and saw he was there. She was so angry at having been watched in such an intimate situation without having been asked that she picked up a stone from the river’s floor and flung it at the Knight’s head. She had very good aim, and the man immediately crumpled to the ground.
When he awoke, he was disappointed to find that the dark-eyed woman had had sufficient time to clothe her bosoms (and other bodily parts), but he was thrilled to find that she was caring for the head wound she had inflicted on him. He apologized for his indecency, and the woman replied, “It is not up to me what is done with you now. You have seen the nudity of a Gypsy princess. My father will decide your fate, and I must say he generally chooses death for those who offend his daughter’s honor.”
The knight rolled his eyes and said, “Well, perhaps his daughters should not skinny-dip in public rivers then.”
No man had ever before dared to sass the Gypsy princess, (her dad preferring death for offenders and all) and she decided right then that this sassy knight was worthy of saving, so she suggested that instead of going before her father, they should run away. The knight didn’t want to be beheaded, and the woman was gorgeous, so he was all for it. Soon after, I was conceived.
My parents had run all the way to the ocean’s edge, and one day, while my father was gathering supplies, my mother went out to the beach to look for seashells. Suddenly, a pirate shipped approached. As soon as she saw it, she tried to run to find my father, but being largely impregnated with me, she didn’t get far before the pirates overtook her. They boarded the pirate ship and presented my mother to the captain, who was reknown as a wretched and cruel man. He was impressed that my mother showed no fear, despite her precarious situation, and so he decided to keep her aboard and see what would happen.
After a few weeks, my mother gave birth to me, and named me Ula (which means jewel of the sea) because every time she looked out at the ocean, she was unimpressed by the endless miles of water that held no beauty for her. Only a week later, the pirate captain requested my mother’s presence in his cabin with the intent of having his way with her. My mother refused to have her honor taken away in such a manner, so she flung herself over the ship’s rail, and was eaten by a kraken.
The captain was heartbroken, because after only a few weeks, he had fallen in love with my mother’s beauty, and as he looked at baby me, now motherless, he decided he would raise me as his own, and teach me all the skills I would need to prevent myself from suffering my mother’s fate.
I spent the years of my childhood learning the ways of a sword, and the ways of a ship. I must tell you, I’m quite certain the bowels of that ship stunk like unwashed male bodies and much farting, but to me it just smelled like home. The captain loved me as his own, but when I was nearly ten, he told me the truth of my parentage. Because he was the cause of my mother’s suicide, I could not allow him to live, and so I slit his throat with the knife he was using to carve his swordfish. While his blood seeped out onto his dining table, I went on deck and demanded the crew to return me to the beach where my mother was captured. I informed them that I had murdered their captain, and if they did not obey me, their fate would be the same. Because each of them had had a hand in my combative training, they knew that I was not lying, for I knew every man’s strengths and weaknesses.
After a month, we arrived back to the beach where my life had been forever altered before my birth. As I waded to shore, the pirate crew stood aboard the ship with their arms raised in salute, because they all would miss me. I bore no ill will to them, because they had been my family, and because they had only been following the will of their captain when they had kidnapped my mother all those years ago.
I left the beach, and began the search for my father. Though I had never seen him, my mother had described him in great detail to the captain, and he had in turn described him to me before I had flayed him like a fish. As I wandered through the trees, I caught sight of a tiny cabin, and approached with the thought of asking the inhabitants within if they recognized my father’s description. There was a man chopping wood in the yard, and when he heard me approach, he turned, and I was face to face with my father. I knew it was him, because the captain had said my mother described his eyes as cerulean blue, such as she had never seen in her lifetime. I had no doubt that this was he.
When my father set eyes on me, all the color drained from his face. He told me later it was because he thought he was seeing the ghost of my mother as a child. (Apparently I looked alot like her) He said that after my mother had been stolen from him, he had considered returning to his king and begging forgiveness for his desertion, but something had told him to stay near the beach. He thought it was because he was to be reunited with my mother someday, and he could not hide the disappointment that it was me instead. Even so, we grew close, as a father and daughter should, and he was greatly impressed by my skills with a sword.
Several years later, we were hunting in the forest, when my father was attacked by a great bear. I happened to hit the bear straight in the eyeball with my arrow (lucky shot) and kill it. Sadly, my father had been mauled to fiercely that there was nothing I could do for him. He lingered between life and death for a whole week, until finally he asked me to grant him the reprieve of death. As the tears poured down my face, I placed the point of my sword over his heart and pushed. From then on, I was no longer known as Ula, jewel of the sea, but as Brona, which is sorrow.
But the story of my life as Brona is for another time.