“Be still ye sailors of the skies,
tend the horizon with watchful eyes.
Stand strong, be brave,
let not the kraken choose yer grave.
Rise up ye men with sword and spear,
give not the dread kraken yer fear.”
“It was a tune that I had heard for years. Typically accompanied by stories of air kraken hunts and attacks, the song’s importance grew to mythical proportions for me. Though I had sailed much of the skies it was a common precaution to avoid kraken territory during migration. The ships that did brave it often lost far more than they gained. And that’s simply poor business practice, be you pirate or tradesman,” Sky gave a slight chuckle before continuing.
“However, one Summer I ended up on a ship, The Fire of the Sun, led by a fella they called Burnin’ Barnabas.” Giving a wide, nostalgic grin, Sky said, “That man was certifiably insane, though he sure knew a thing or two about the art of the flame…” She cleared her throat and went on, “Anyway, ol’ Burnin’ Barnabas seemed to have quite the grudge against the kraken. He said he had lost a good five ships to them along with a handful of men and his good ear. To him that was one ear and one ship too many. So come migration time he helmed us straight to the thick of the beasts.” Sky’s tone had hushed and become serious.
“I confess, had I known that air kraken hunting was on the itinerary of the journey I would have found a different voyage. By the time I found out where we were headed, it was far too late. I almost felt that the Fates were done with me, but I wasn’t going to go down without a hell of a fight. We docked on the peak of a high mountain nearby an ocean shore and waited. It took three days before there was any sign of them.
“Then in the dead of the night on the third day we heard their blood-curdling caws.” Sky tried to fight it, but let out a small shudder at the memory. “By then we were more than ready, armed with harpoons, cannons, kraken nets and other weaponry to fend off and hopefully capture a beast or two.” She paused and closed her eyes as she slowly said, “It was a very long, brutal week after that. I had considered myself well-prepared for the hunt, but I’m not sure anyone could be prepared to deal with them that closely for that amount of time.”
Sky’s blue eyes flashed open, giving a grim smile, “But Builder strike me down if I’m lying when I tell you that we burned a dozen of those creatures, that’s an entire flock. We kept the carcass of one and had a grand feast, celebrating our victory and ultimate survival.”
Scottie, Lia, Jed and Kimika had all been listening intently, their attention riveted on Sky during her tale. They all sat in silence in ‘Cuffs for some time, their attention turning to the watching the horizon.
Eventually Lia spoke up, “I think the town could use a bit of celebration these days.”
Sky broke out into a wide smile, nodding, “It sure could.”