You were panting hard, bare fleet slapping against the upturned soil as you ran, others fleeing alongside you, chains dragging after them. You though, were completely chainless, or, at least physical chains weren’t laced around your body. You were almost out of the range of this sick and painful place. Just a little more, and you would reach the docks, becoming free forever. Under the reddened sky, you would’ve leapt forward, jumping a small overhang of land to the ground a meter below, but a gut wrenching pain coursed through your body all over, through your arms, legs, torso, and neck, a terrible feeling of pressure taking you over as you fell to the ground, twitching and writhing in an attempt to move, and escape the fate you knew was coming.
Sadly, you knew you couldn’t. Not with that dark figure slowly approaching, broad shoulders looming over you as the pressure on your body grew stronger and stronger, making you scream out in both fear and pain. The figure reached out with a large masculine hand, fingers threatening to go back to the places they never should have been before, and with one last large gasp of air, you unleashed a loud and fearful scream yelling ‘no’ while you pleaded with tears in your eyes.
“NO!” You screamed, jolting upright in a bed, the sheets falling from your sweat slicked skin as you clutched at the mattress, breathing with staggered and heavy breaths.
Coughing slightly, you looked around the room you were in, trying to get a grip on your surroundings again. Rapid footsteps were heard pounding just outside the door, and you spun your head around in that direction fearfully, anticipation the worst. Thankfully, it wasn’t, as when the door busted open, a red-haired man ran in and came to your aid, something your brain wasn’t expecting at first.
“_______! Are you alright?!” He asked, coming to the bedside and leaning over to check on you.
You gave no audible response. Instead you just kept panting, giving a confused and blank stare which made you look completely lost, and eyes nearly colourless.
“_______, calm down. It was just a dream. You aren’t there. You’re here in this ship. It’s me, Kidd! Remember, you’re safe right now.” He said in a calming voice, putting a hand on your shoulder for reassurance.
You gasped quietly as the colour came back to your eyes, lessening your grip on the mattress as you shifted your eyes to meet with his. “Kidd…” You murmured, coming to your senses again. “It… happened again. It was so much more vivid…” You added in a shaky voice.
“Again? That’s not a good sign. It could mean, possibly…” Kidd mumbled curiously.
“No. He can’t. He was locked up. You made sure when you took me in.” You retorted, shaking your head.
“Yeah, but I’m not so sure about that anymore… Your dreams mean a lot, and something could have gone wrong. Are you sure you’re okay?” Kidd asked, reaching out or you carefully.
“I’m fine!” You insisted, pulling the sheets up to your neck instinctively. “I am. Just, believe. Now, what time is it?” You asked, changing the subject as you looked around the room.
Retreating his hand, Kidd sighed deeply. “Alright. I’ll leave it for now. So, it should be around six in the morning.” He answered, backing up from the bed.
“And our destination?”
“Two days away. There are no other stops on the way except for the one we’re headed for.” He replied.
“Thank you. I’ve been anticipating this for a while now. I’ve always wanted to freely walk on land without fear or… restrictions. To be free… Thank you for this. Really.” You said, gaining a smile again.
“You’re welcome. I couldn’t have left you or the rest of that place for the matter being the way it was. Especially you, the one with the strongest fighting spirit in the worst situation.” He nodded. “Even though you’re still technically in danger…” He added under his breath.
“Nonsense. I’m safe now thanks to you.” You insisted. “Now, maybe you should go up to the deck, so I can change into some proper day clothes.” You added.
“Oh, right! Sorry! I’ll go now.” Kidd said rapidly, bowing slightly and backing up from your bed.
“Hey Kidd,” You called, stopping him at the door. “Thanks for your concern.”
“Ah, no problem! It’s the least I could do for our newest crewmate. Considering the conditions I rescued you from, of course.” He reassured, opening the door and clicking it shut behind him.
Sighing heavily, Kidd jogged up some steps and back on deck, finding a part of his crew up there already, watching the seas for any morning dangers.
“Oi! Kidd! You’re finally up from there. How’s _______ doing?” Killer called, approaching him from one side of the ship, pushing off the railing as he did so.
“She’s doing alright she says. Just another dream.” Kidd replied, stopping on deck to talk.
“They’ve been getting more frequent, haven’t they? I mean, that’s the fourth time in a week.” Killer noted, making a gesture to the door that lead down to your room.
“Yeah, and they’ve been getting more vivid by what she’s telling me. It’s really concerning. I have to wonder if that guy really is still locked up…” Kidd mumbled.
“I’m sure it’s fine.” Killer nodded. Then, he let out a small chuckle shortly after. “Man, you’re going soft Kidd. That’s not like you; getting soft on a girl and all.”
“Shut up Killer!” Kidd scolded, face flushing slightly as he did so. “Go watch the seas again moron. We’re not in safe parts.” He directed. Walking off to tone down the blush.
Meanwhile, down below deck in your room, you were changing your clothes for the day, stripping your pyjamas off in front of the large full body mirror you were given. Staring at yourself in only your undergarments, you thought about your insisted words when you said you were fine.
“Am I really fine?” You asked yourself, putting a hand to your neck.
At your neck, you lightly dragged your fingers across a light grey marking, which resembled a chain running around your neck, set in by ink. You gulped, and looked from your neck to your arms, staring at the inked on chains that cross laced down your arms, and then to the ones crossed in an ‘x’ shape across your chest, down your middle, and in cross laced patterns down your legs.
“These chains…” You mumbled, letting your arm fall back down to your side limply. “They’ve gotten darker…”
Staring at yourself with an almost fearful expression, you looked long and hard at the chain tattoos laced all over your body. When Kidd had rescued you, they had faded to a light grey, being less visible than they ever were. They had been that way for the month you’d been here, but now, seeing yourself in the mirror, they had darkened, and become noticeable again.
You were glad Kidd hadn’t noticed the darker shade when your sheets were down. Quivering, you began to wonder if you really would be okay.