Layla awoke to a pounding noise. She sat up, but she had an aching back from the hard and cramped sleeping quarters.
Dragging herself out if bed and shuffling over to the window, she tried to see what the noise was. She couldn't see anything, so she threw on a light robe made out of spider silk. It had been a gift from the tribe when she had turned 13. It had magical properties; it was always as warm or cool as she needed, and still stayed the silky almost weightless material.
She slipped up onto the deck and looked around. The pounding noise was still going steady, and she had a feeling that it would still be pounding in her head for a long time, even after it ending, like an eternal metronome.
She looked to see where the ship was headed and saw a looming fog. It was hard to see through, but squatting her eyes she could see a large black cliff right in front of her eyes.
Alarmed, Layla raced to the wheel and spun it around then threw the anchor over the edge of the ship. When she was safely stopped, the side of the boat was just a couple feet away from the cliff. It was a miracle that the ship hadn't snagged on any rocks floating around the cliff.
Confused and frustrated, Layla climbed into the brig of the ship. As soon as she landed on the slightly damp, moldy floor, a malodorous smell overtook her. Layla gagged and plugged her nose. The brig was dreary and disgusting, with stale bilge water collecting ever so slowly in a puddle on the floor.
With no light, Layla worked her way around the room by feeling the wall and tapping her foot in front of her. She felt quite silly, but soon found the little circuitry of the ship. It was a small metal box in the wall.
Layla searched around her pockets and withdrew a shiny, silver key. The end was adorned with beautiful and tiny engravings of animals, plants, the sun and the moon. She fiddled the key into the hole in the bottom right corner of the box, and turned it. With a little click, it opened.
Layla pulled open the box and dim light filled the room from the lighting in the box. Inside were 2 crystals, one green one purple, in half of a golden rod. Whenever the crystals got too low, the magic of the ship would drain leaving it insignificant and unable to sail itself.
Layla pulled the two crystals out, but couldn't find any problems. There were no scratches, dents or holes that could cause malfunctions, they were full and vibrant, and they were neither overheated or cooled. Although it puzzled her, she still replaced them and hoped it would fix the problem.
With that out of the way, Layla closed the box and locked the key again. She had forgot about the pounding noise, so when it suddenly started up again, she jumped dropping the coin on the floor with a clunk.
Layla swore and got on her knees fumbling around the dark, sweeping her hands over the knobby floor hoping they would reach the key soon. Unfortunately they didn't.
After about 30 minutes of searching, Layla's hands were rough and sweaty from the floor, her knees were sore, and she was tired and fed up.
When Layla was about to give up, she felt something sharp cut her finger.
"Ouch!" said Layla. She popped her finger in her mouth trying to ease the pain. Now shaking the hand around, she reached down tentatively trying to find that object. It was a little golden coin, one end sharpen just a bit. Just enough to make a little cut in her finger. She had never seen it before, so she decided to keep it. It was a very curious object, so it might come in use.
Just to be safe, Layla wrapped the coin in fiber cloth to keep it from poking. She went back up on the deck to check out the pounding noise and cliff.
Layla tried to make her eyes cut through the thick fog, but it wasn't working. She went into her cabin and dug through finding the rock climbing pulley from her parents.
Strapping herself into the harness, she swung the grappling hook up into the rocks above her. Since she couldn't see, it took her a few tries but she finally got a strong grip.
Hoisting her self up, she started up the cliff. She had no idea how tall it was, so started off making sure to bring her small bag filled with a canteen and a few packets of strengthening foods wrapped in leaves- her village cook's special.
When she had gotten about 50 feet up, she found the end of her grappling hook. It had caught on a piece of a little ledge in the side. Wondering if she'd get the chance before she got to the top, so she stopped to rest.
Her hads were rough, raw and dirty from dealing with the rope, but she applied Aloe Vers goo on it, which was insides of a plant they grew in her village. It eased raw or dry hands and sunburns.
Felling a little better, she took a few big gulps from the careen and a bite of a tamale and a couple grapes. She put everything back in her bag.
Once again she tossed the hook up, and this time it immediately grabbed on. She started up again, inch by inch she slowly went because she had to continuously pull out her slack.
She was about 150 feet up when she reached the top. Tired and sweaty, her arms sore and her hands raw, she sat down and had more Aloe Vera and water. She took a big bite of stew wrapped up to stay warm, and kept going.
She hadn't been walking around the cliff very long when she found the other side, equipped with a rickety, old, wooden rope bridge. She couldn't see the other side because the fog was still not thinning and the bridge was to long.
Debating whether or not to go, Layla finally decided to go. She was not afraid at all so started across the bridge. It was definitely rickety, and squeaked, but Layla was sure it would hold up until she got across.
She was almost across when one of the boards snapped under her. Screaming, she held on the sides for her dear life. She glanced down quickly to measure the fall, and it seemed taller than the cliff itself! Nervous, not daring to make a mistake, Layla attempted to swing herself up onto the bridge again. She failed.
The second try, she scooted like a monkey hanging on the rope going across the bridge. She could feel the rope staring to break, so she sped up. Going as fast as she could she raced to the other side.
Unfortunately, the rope did snap. Thread by thread, even though Layla was now going very fast, it was too late. The rope came completely apart and she held on tight while the rope swung with much force, throwing Layla right at the wall of the cliff, sharp rocks protruding.