Here’s the whole story so far, in chronological order with times (set to Jakarta):
1 August. 8am
Sun. Pain. I cracked open my eyes and saw land. ‘Sol!’ I said.
‘CAPTAIN Sol,’ she said – and crumpled.
‘We’re saved,’ I said. ‘Right? SOL!’
Sol awoke. She sat up, unsticking her tarred hair from the deck of our stolen boat. ‘We’re sinking.’
I leapt overboard and swam to save us.
I wanted to drink the sea, but I swam. The waves flung me upside down and the sea darkened as I drowned.
Sol grasped my neck.
I passed out.
August 2. 12 midday
The sizzle of frying eggs woke me.
‘Yep,’ said Sol to a bald man beside us, ‘nasty pirates coming. Best hide your treasure. We’ll help.’
August 3. 8am
We ate bread and wine and milk, and a yellow fruit that tasted like chocolate. It was fun, pretending to be good.
I got a stomach ache.
August 4. 3pm
Treasure, I discovered, is heavy. But Sol wore a girlish smile so I didn’t say a word.
The locals thought we were just kids. But we weren’t.
August 5. 9am
The bald elder missed his jewels, so our good times ended fast.
‘Ulandin,’ Sol grinned, ‘don’t waste our loot on food. Let’s steal a ship.’
A beggar took pity on me and gave us his crusts to gnaw. ‘I’m called Oldy,’ he said.
Sol said, ‘Ulandin’s my first mate. Wanna be our crew?’
Oldy sang songs until the harbour guards left. We chose the best ship and crept past its crew into the hold.
‘Great,’ I said, ‘we’re stuck.’
August 6. 4am
The crew was dull with sleepiness. Oldy rose like a grey ghost in the bridge.
Sol used magic to fell three men. The rest ran for help.
Oldy said, ‘Sol’s a quickener? She moves objects by just touch?’
‘It’s common enough.’
‘Not at sea. It’s bad luck.’
‘Sol’s used to that.’
‘The guards have swords,’ I said.
Sol said, ‘Want one?’
‘I want to go.’
She quickened the ship. We sailed away with every sail still closed.
August 7. 11pm
Sol slept, so we drifted. The sun weighed heavy on my shoulders.
‘At least I wasn’t a slave,’ said Oldy.
I said, ‘We both escaped.’
August 8. 7pm
The ship’s old owners left tasty food in it – salted meat, squishy fruit and lots of crackers. Also rum.
Maybe I drunks a bit too muchness.
August 9. 10am
Sol magically bellied out the sails. We were all surprised when we started going backward.
I tried not to laugh.
Sol broke my tooth anyway.
August 10. 6pm
Sol delighted in the burning wind and sun and the constant desperate clapping of our sails.
‘Look,’ said Oldy. ‘Is that a ship – or land?’
August 11. 6am
‘It’s a ship,’ I said at first light, ‘so do we meet them – or do we run?’
Sol picked at her tarred hair and said, ‘Let’s take their crew.’
The wind tore at my eyes. Sol yelled, ‘Trim the sails!’ I actually thought she meant to cut them.
Oldy suddenly knew how to sail – somehow.
‘Pink!’ Sol screamed. ‘Stupid pink sky! And why is that ship still running?’
‘We’ll get them,’ I said.
‘Or they’ll get us,’ said Oldy.
August 12 – 7am
‘Sol – Captain Sol?’ I said. ‘Hit me if you like, but there’s forty of them and three of us. And Oldy’s. . . old.’
‘Poor them,’ she smirked.
The wind dropped and we caught them.
They laughed at us. I longed to hide behind Oldy.
Then Sol arose, grabbed a rope, and swung across.
‘Do you surrender?’ she cried.
They grabbed swords, but she still had her magic.
Their ship shattered.
‘We’re sorry miss!’ they wept.
August 13. 7am
‘A captain goes down with his ship,’ said Sol – and tied him to his mast. His ship screamed as it sank.
He screamed as long as he could.
August 14. 8am
I said, ‘I’m afraid of her – but I know I’m made to follow her. Are you the same?’
‘No,’ said Oldy. ‘I’m not afraid. And I’m following you.’
August 15. 8am
‘Stop cowering,’ Sol told our new crew, ‘I dislike it. Now, hows about we attack a real target – like an island. Who here wants to be rich?’
I asked Oldy why he was following me.
He said, ‘Sol has you. Now you have me.’
‘Everyone needs someone. I of all people know that.’
August 16. 3pm
My back and wrists ached.
The sword tutor asked, ‘Will this island have women then?’
He cheered and toasted Sol – with my rum.
August 17. 8:30am
A man muttered something to his crewmates while Sol was out of sight.
I crept up and grabbed his arm.
He shrieked – EXACTLY like a girl.
August 18. 11am
‘But you ARE a girl,’ I said.
‘No I ain’t.’
‘Don’t the men know?’
‘Coz it ain’t true,’ she said, and picked her nose at me.
I gave up.
‘Li’s a girl,’ I told Oldy.
‘Don’t worry,’ he said, ‘she’ll be fine.’
‘How could anyone know that?’
He smiled, ‘I’m much older than I look.’
August 19. 5:00pm
Sol cheated at lessons, using magic to bend the swords – then the teacher.
Luckily Oldy was a healer. ‘Kindly stop breaking arms,’ he said.
‘Wanna be free?’ Li asked.
I said, ‘Sol already freed me.’
She hauled on a sail: ‘Do you really think that?’
I tied a knot: ‘Don’t you?’
August 20 – midnight
Night wind and stars. I shadowed men to Sol’s cabin, and yelled when they pulled out a knife.
She killed two in an eyeblink.
The rest fled.
I threw the bodies away, knowing Li had led them.
Sol and I kept watch in silence all night. Oldy slept on in his cabin.
I dreaded the dawn.
Sol judged us at dawn. Li confessed, and Sol threw her overboard.
The men vanished below like dust swept up.
But I saw Oldy steal the boat.