Pero shook his head as the crab waved the dagger around. “Come on! Don’t you know who I am!” But the crab didn’t seem fazed as it continued to wave its weapon, preventing Pero from grabbing his precious spellbook.
As Pero attempted to snatch the book away, James was returning to life. His eyes opened. His mind throbbed. Looking around he saw that they had been washed-up on some beach. The sun piercing through the blue sky above.
“Argh! Come on! I’m more important than you!” James tried standing, but his bones ached. In the distance, he saw Pero at the edge of the water kicking sand at some wily crustacean guarding his tome.
James eventually got up and staggered toward the scene.
“Oh, it’s you!” Pero said without looking at James, his eyes fixed on the tenacious crab. “Quick Mortimer! Do something about this creature! It’s got my spellbook!”
“My name is not Mortimer,” James said, but as the words tumbled out of his mouth a pain shot through the side of his head. James had told Pero, repeatedly, that his name was not Mortimer, but Pero insisted on calling him that. His previous companion was named Mortimer, supposedly, so, as a result, James was his “replacement.” “Mortimer II.”
“Whatever! Just do something about this–” But before Pero could finish, James grabbed a plank and launched the crab into the ocean. Pero dove for the book and flipped through its pages. “Fuck!” Many of its pages were soaked.
As Pero stood at the ocean’s edge, cursing into his book, James surveyed the beach. Pieces of the ship had washed-up on the shore. “Where did that storm come from?”
Hours passed and the sun started its descent. Pero sat by the fire, scanning through the spellbook with great intensity. James watched the gnome, who, by the way, never thanked him for dispatching the crab or for making the fire. James had a feeling that going on this journey was going to be a mistake, but he was desperate. His family’s farm was going to be taken away. He needed the gold. Now he was on some deserted island with an egotistical gnome who cared more about his precious spells than trying to come up with a plan.
“Ah! Here we go!” Pero stood up, said some words until his hands started to glow. And then a slice of bologna popped into the air and landed on the fire. “No!” Pero grabbed a stick and tried pulling the meat away from the flame. Pero dragged the bologna toward him and tore into the meat like some savage beast. James watched all of this and shook his head. On the ship, Pero had dismissed the sailors for their lack of civility and etiquette. Now look at him.
“So. Think you can conjure up another slice?” James asked despite knowing the answer already.
“What? No. Get your own meat. I can only cast so many spells in a day. I need to conserve my energy if we’re going to survive!”
“Right. Of course.”
Nightfall. Pero was asleep, despite all of the complaints he made about their lack of proper bedding. However, James couldn’t. He just sat there, peering into the flame. All he could think of was the previous night, how suddenly the sky started to shower down on their ship. Where did that storm come from? And what exactly caused the wreckage? Was the rest of the crew okay? All these questions swirled in his head. However, whatever the answers were, it seemed obvious that someone (or something) didn’t want them to complete their journey.