“No, Liam.” Emery stared at the horizon, at the never-ending void of blue that was the sea and the sky. The glare of the morning sun nearly blinded her, but she refused to blink. There, in the void of blue, a tiny black pinprick. “It’s a ship.”
Her twin brother snorted. “Yeah, right. I wager ten Garden hours it’s just a sea monster.”
Emery gazed at the blotch, barely breathing. The branch of the redwood tree she had climbed upon groaned under her bare feet. A salty breeze rustled the needles around her head, scratching her face and tangling in her hair. The waves thrashed and roared against the rocky cliff beneath her, spitting salty water at her feet.
She noticed none of it.
She stared at the blotch and stepped further onto the branch, heedless of the hundred-foot drop into the ocean below. As she stared, the black smudge grew in size, taking the impossible shape.
“You owe me ten Garden hours,” she said.
On the branch beneath her, Liam sucked in a breath, and for the first time she could remember, he didn’t have a comeback.
Seconds or minutes or hours passed and details emerged on the ship: the three tall masts, and the rolled-up sails, the giant wooden hull, and the multiple decks. She could even see the wheel.
“It’s beautiful,” she whispered, even as cold fear seeped into her chest.