The Ocean's Mercy eBook
The Ocean's Mercy eBook
The Ocean's Mercy eBook

The Ocean's Mercy eBook

SEAS OF CALADHAN PREQUEL NOVELLA
Regular price $1.99 Sale price$0.00
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Before the events of The Syren's Mutiny, Brigid's fate was left in the hands of the sea. And instead of death, the seas gave her mercy. 

Dive into this prequel novella to explore how Brigid became a syren, and get to know more about the dynamics of Neamh na Mara. 


Fifteen-year-old Brigid Brigid knew she shouldn’t be sneaking aboard a ship without permission or worse, without payment, but when her father tried to marry her off to a man thrice her age, she had no choice but to escape.

Just when she thinks she’s safe, she's discovered by the crew. The superstitious captain deems her presence bad luck, he orders Brigid tossed overboard. Her fate seems sealed… until the sea decides that Brigid would not die today.

Transformed into a syren and given new life, Brigid now has the power to seek revenge on those who wronged her. But nothing in Brigid’s life has been easy, and why should now be any different?

- Violence (throughout)
- Blood/gore
- Death/murder
- Non-explicit flashbacks of physical abuse
- Mentions of past domestic violence
- Depictions of anxiety, depression

Chapter 1


Sweat trickled down my brow, itching fiercely as it dried against my skin, as if it knew that in this exact moment, I could do nothing about it. Cursing my father and the debts that made him desperate, I adjusted myself, sliding deeper into my hiding place, praying to any gods that would listen that I would not be found. Stowing away anywhere, let alone a merchant ship, was ill-advised.
But I was out of options.
The bundles of rope beneath my legs bit into my skin, chafing and rubbing them raw, but I didn't dare move, despite every muscle in my body tensing and telling me to run. If I was discovered now, I would be immediately returned to my father, and that could not happen.
Drowning in debt he could not pay, and faced with a daughter he did not want, my father’s decision to solve both those problems at once had led me here. If I was returned to him now, my fate would be sealed, and I would be married off to a man three times my age, who had only ever looked at me with lecherous intent in his eyes.
It could not—would not—be my fate.
I would rather die.
Holding my breath, I closed my eyes, trying to ignore the damned itching across my face. My life depended on staying hidden until we were out at sea. Then, at least, it would be too late to turn back. Too late to return me to my father with any sort of ease. I didn’t know much about sailors, but I did know they would not turn back for something as small as a stowaway. Not when there was money to be made.
The bustling of men and the movements of cargo being prepared for departure both relaxed my nerves and frayed them at the same time. I needed the ship to get out of port, but I knew there was nothing I could do to speed up the process. I just had to remain hidden. Remain still.
Careful to not disturb the canvas covering my hiding place, I slowly brought a hand to my chest. Focused on the rapid beating of my heart, I closed my eyes. Skin on skin. The fabric of the scratchy cotton shirt I had stolen from my father’s closet beneath it. A whisper of stale air flowed through my nostrils, but it grounded me, and slowly, my heartbeat leveled out, my anxiety easing for the moment.
I needed to keep my wits about me for just a bit longer, and hope that no one needed anything from where I was hiding. Offering up a silent prayer to any of the gods who were listening, old or new, I kept my eyes closed and let myself sink into the wood at my back and the ropes at my legs.

***

“Boy, bring me that line there!” The booming voice shook me awake, though I had not even realized I had fallen asleep. The man’s voice was loud and gruff, with a thick northern accent that reminded me eerily of my father’s. My stomach curled and I found myself shying away from the voice, heart racing at the mere thought of anger in the air, even though I knew he could not see me.
The swaying of the boat was much more pronounced now, and I could only hope we had made it to open water. Based on how close the voice sounded, I was likely about to be discovered.
My fears were realized when the rope under me began unwinding. I carefully wiped my sweaty palms on the legs of my pants, bunching them in my hands tightly, and I realized there was no way for me to shift my weight off the rope without moving and surely being discovered. My heart sank to my stomach, the oily sensation of anxiety once again wrapping itself around my lungs and clawing up my throat.
“What’s on this damn line?” a younger voice grunted, as he tugged on the rope.
I braced myself as footsteps came even closer. Before I could take another breath, the canvas was ripped from above me and light filtered in, bright to my unadjusted eyes.
“Who the hell are you?” the boy whispered, almost to himself as he looked down at me.
Staring at him, I could bring myself to move. My body had frozen, and I was completely at the mercy of this boy. He couldn’t have been much older than my own fifteen, but his muscles were well defined, and his arms and hands looked rough with cuts and callouses.
He cocked his head to the side, causing his dark hair to flop down slightly onto his face and he stared right back at me. My stomach flipped, though not from anxiety this time, and if we had been in a different situation, I would have said he was attractive. He was the kind of boy my father would have beaten me simply for glancing at.
“Who are you? What are you doing here?” he repeated, squatting down to eye level. His blazing green eyes were intense as he stared at me. Though we appeared similar in age, the way he spoke was more mature than I’d expected. There was no shouting, no jokes or teasing. Just soft concern, edged with something that sounded perhaps vaguely like fear.
I licked my lips, dry from the open-mouthed breathing I’d been doing to calm myself. My voice cracked as I whispered, looking around for any sign of others. “Please don’t tell them I’m here.”
He looked over his shoulder, to where the booming voice had come from. “I have to. I’d get in a lot of trouble if they find you.”
“I need passage; I need to get away from here. Please.”
His eyes were full of pity. “I want to help you, I really do. But if they found out I hid you…”
Beads of sweat rolled down my spine, soaking into the fabric at my back. This boy was no one to me, and I was no one to him. A stranger. And while he wasn’t clear about what would happen if we were discovered, the apprehension in his voice and the bruises along his arms told me plenty.
But this was my only chance at freedom. “Please. Please, I need your help.”
He shook his head, and his eyes flitted about nervously. “I can’t. They would hurt me if they found out.”
“You can’t send me back, please,” I begged, visions of my father’s reddened face and raised hand flashing through my eyes. Tears burned in my throat at the thought of going back there. Of facing his ire. My voice cracked again, choked by the unshed tears I’d tried to swallow back. “Just take the rope you need and go. They don’t have to know you saw me. Please.”
He stood, the end of the rope still held in his hands. After a long moment, he finally nodded, but his face still pinched, and his shoulders hunched with tension. “Okay, I’ll do that. You cover back up. If they find you, and they eventually will, I knew nothing of this. You have to promise me you will not give me up. They don’t take kindly to disobedience here, and I will be severely punished if they find out.”
Immense gratitude flooding me, making a laugh almost bubble out of me, but I caught it, instead, nodding fiercely. “I’ll stay hidden and quiet. They won’t know you helped me, I swear it. Thank you.”
“Boy, what the hell’s taking you so damn long?” the voice sounded again, this time accompanied by equally loud footsteps. I flinched at the noise, pressing myself back into the wood of the hull. A burly man in a dirty, sweat-stained blouse stomped up and stopped short when he saw me curled against the floor, the boy standing over me. He peered down at me with curious eyes. “What the hell’re you doing here, girl?”
My heart stopped and I froze, unable to speak, unable to breathe. I could only stare up at the boy and the man before me. I had been able to convince the boy, just barely, but this man, he seemed the type to sell me out in an instant. What was more, he seemed the type to be quick to violence.
The larger man huffed, crossing his arms impatiently. “Do you speak, girly?”
I swallowed hard, before managing a whispered, “Aye.”
“Then what the hell’re you doing here?” He leaned forward and peered down at me again. His brow was furrowed, and he did not look sympathetic in the least, not like the boy did. He turned to the boy. “And what the hell’re you doing, just looking at her? Why didn’t you call for me when you found her?”
I opened my mouth to try to form a response that wouldn’t get me, or the boy, killed immediately, but the man held up his hand. “Save it for the captain. Both of you. Let’s go.”

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