Lost Child
Author: Wolfeygrrl

Chapter 1
Chapter 1.

Mary Read, the famous feminine pirate alongside Anne Bonny. Both outlaws were caught and sentence to hang in 1720. However, both manage to escape their convictions due to their condition. Each woman was found to be pregnant and therefore left to rot in jail until the day that their child was born. Mary Read died in childbirth on the third day of the fifth month. Anne Bonny was let out of jail with her child a month later. No one knows what became of them.

"Milady!" Ginny groaned. She had been found. "Milady," Geoff whispered, holding out a hand to the young lady before him. "Your Mother awaits your presence in the conference room."

"Very well," Ginny replied, placing the book back in its rightful place and accepting the help the butler offered. "May I know what it is about?"

"Perhaps it is about your midnight adventures," he answered. The girl sighed, pulling her hand away from Geoff's and running it through her hair. He was right and she knew it. "I suggest you make haste," Geoff murmured, "The Mistress is not happy with you."

"The Mistress is never happy with me, Geoff," Ginny grumbled, briskly walking to the open door and exiting. Unfortunately, her Father was away on business, sailing the seas in order to rid the waters of thieving filth like Read and Bonny. One day, Ginny had hoped to accompany him on the ocean, however it was forbidden. A woman on a boat was always seen as bad luck. But the girl had a plan. On her eighteenth she would run. She would dress as a man, learn to speak and act like a man, and then join her father's crew, just like the famous Mary and Anne.

Walking the halls, she glanced back and forth between her forefather's portraits. Each a great sailor in his own right. Sailing was in her blood, and Ginny knew this. Ah, if only she had been born a boy, her life would be so much easier. Shaking her head, Ginny paused just outside of her Mother's line of sight. Her Mother had the strangest ability to read her daughter like a book. And so, to prevent the older woman from finding out her plans, Ginny had to remove all thoughts from her mind. Think of nothing but flowers and dresses. Flowers and dresses. Flowers and-

"Ginny!" Lady Barlington called.

"Coming, Mother," the seventeen year old replied, entering the room and giving a curt half-curtsy. Her Mother stared out of the window, sitting on the cushioned seat beneath it. Smiling, she looked to her daughter and gestured to the floor in front of her.

"Take a seat, my child." Ginny did as she was told, like any other good daughter. Gathering her dress in a bundle, the girl dropped to the floor, not taking her eyes off of Lady Barlington. "As you know, your birthday is in three days. Your Father has sent his regards, he will not be home." The Mistress paused to let her words sink into Ginny's mind before continuing, "But do not worry. I believe he will be home before my own." The Lady gave a wicked smile before looking back out of the window. "Oh, and my dear child. I have some big news; however I wish not to say until your birthday. Now, be gone, and remember, the library is forbidden, as is the gardens."

"Yes, Mother," Ginny whispered, standing, with some difficulty, and bobbed a curtsy. Long dark hair, much unlike her Mother's, fell into her face.

Lady Barlington glowered down at her, disgust evident in her features. "Fix your hair. You know how I hate untidy hair."

"Yes, Mother," Ginny repeated, straightening and turning away. She waited a couple seconds in case Mother wished to speak more before leaving the room. The girl continued down the hall and then turned to the left, towards her room. As she did so, her hands came up to her hair and pulled at the ribbons holding it in place. If her Mother hated untidy hair, then she would give the woman a mess.

A small smiled danced on the girl's lips as she continued down the hallway. The servants that passed her murmured their greetings and she returned each of them with a nod. Besides her father not making it home for her birthday, she was happy. She had slept and dreamt of a life on the seas. She had woken up to the luxuries that her Father, the navy captain, could afford. And then escaped a scolding from her mother. How could her day get any better?

Turning yet another corner Ginny finally came to a halt outside of her room. It was the one room that was hers alone. Even the servants were not able to enter as three years before hand; she had Geoff attach a lock to it. From under the blue folds of her dress, Ginny pulled out the key. It was the same as any other key, but it hung on a chain of pure gold, accompanied with the family crest. She pushed the key into the keyhole and turned the handle, letting the door open without a sound.

As Ginny walked into her room, she was greeted once more by Geoff, the only other person to hold a key to her room. "Ah, Milady," he murmured, bowing low and offering a smile. "How did it go? Grounded once more to the confines of your room?"

Ginny smirked, shaking her head. "Not this time. I am in no trouble and I have come here to leave once more."

The slight surprise on the butler's face was enough to make the girl giggle. Once he was composed, Geoff straightened his clothes, smiling once more. "To the town of Trujillo, I presume?"

"Ah, Geoff," Ginny replied, "You know me too well."

"I did have a hand in raising you, Milady," said Geoff, gesturing towards the closet. "I've hidden you rags in the back of the closet. I will wait outside for when you are ready." With that, the butler walked over to the balcony and out of the room. He shut the door behind him and the walked out of sight.

"In the back of the closet," Ginny repeated, walking into the wardrobe, using only the light the gleamed in from behind her to see. "Ah, here it is." She pulled out a small chest and opened the lid, revealing the clothing inside. It wasn't silk, or satin, like she was wearing, but instead it was cotton. It wasn't blue or pink, but brown and faded. Picking up the dress, Ginny stood and walked out, letting it drag behind her.

Standing next to her mirror, she pulled off her jacket. Then untied the ribbon holding her skirt to her. She left the rest, knowing it would be hidden by her disguise as she slipped the tattered dress over her head. Nodding to herself in the mirror, she walked to her door, locked it from the inside, and then proceeded to the balcony. No doubt, Geoff would be waiting on the edge, ready to help her escape the walls of her home.

"You certainly do love taking your time, Milady," Geoff murmured, tying a knot through the bars of her balcony and letting loose the other end of the rope.

"You know how my Mother loves perfection," Ginny replied, holding her head high.

With a snicker, the butler stepped back from the rope and held out a hand. "Ladies first."

"Thank you, Geoff," Ginny whispered, taking his hand and climbing over the edge of the balcony. From there, she continued down the rope until she landed on the pebbles below. She took a step back to allow Geoff room to land.

"Milady," Geoff muttered, as his feet came into contact with the ground. "Even though you seem to love doing things yourself, there is still something missing in your costume for today."

"Oh?" Ginny asked, tilting her head. "And what might that be?"

"Dirt, my dear. No poor child in town is as clean as you are now," Geoff answered, going to a patch of dirt yet to be made into a garden and picked up a bit of dirt. He then walked over to Ginny, gently smudging the earth onto her face.

After he had stepped back, Ginny frowned, spitting out the bit of dirt that had accidentally entered her mouth. "That tastes foul."

"My apologies," Geoff mumbled, using a handkerchief to clean his hands. Ginny smiled, starting towards their usual route towards town. Geoff stayed behind her until they reached the wall; he then knelt in front of her, hands ready to give her a boost. Ginny stepped on his hands, then grabbed onto the vines that clung to the stone wall. She used her strength to pull herself up to the top and then sat looking down at Geoff.

"I'll be back before sundown. Tell Mother I'm asleep and do not wish to be disturbed," Ginny told him. After receiving a nod, she waved and slipped over the edge of the wall, landing neatly in the pile of raked leaves.

Giving out a huff, the teen pulled herself to her feet and combed her fingers through her tangled hair. She then walked down the path that led to town. It was old, made years ago by travellers and now it aided her in her adventures away from home. Ginny smiled, humming a soft tune her Father had taught her years ago. Her hand trailed along a small overgrown hedge that lined the path.

"Y'know, that plant's poisonous." Ginny jumped, letting out a squeak as she pulled back from the plant. She looked around wildly, looking for the source of the voice. Clearing her throat, she straightened her dress, her eyes landing on a shadowed figure. "Well, poisonous if y'eat it," the boy added, chuckling at Ginny's reaction.

"What is so funny?" Ginny asked, crossing her arms in front of herself.

"Y'face," the boy replied, stepping out of the shadows and holding out a hand. "Name is Lime, what's y's?"

Ginny giggled, covering her mouth with a hand. "Lime? That's your name? And you had the nerve to laugh at my face?"

"Well, yes. I'm use to bein' laughed at," Lime whispered. "I doubt a rich gal would, though."

Ginny blinked, taking a step back. "W-what gives you the idea that I'm rich?"

"No gal talks like y'in town," Lime added, "So, y'gonna tell me y'name?"

"It's, uh, Ginny," the teen replied, running a hand through her hair once again. Ginny nodded as Lime repeated her name back to her. She glanced around once before looking back at the boy, an idea ringing in her head. "So, if you think I talk too much like a rich girl, then, could you teach me to talk differently?"

"Talk... Diff'rently? Like me?" Lime asked, tilting his head much like a confused dog would.

"Yes. I wish to learn how to talk like you," Ginny answered, "And I can pay, too."

Lime shook his head, attempting to copy her confident stance. "I don' want money. Teach me t' read."

"You want me to teach you how to read?" Ginny asked, her eyes widening a bit. This boy... This person didn't know how to read? Lime nodded as he watched her with curious eyes. "Very well. I will teach you to read."

"Deal," Lime said with a grin on his face. He held out his hand, waiting for her to shake. Ginny grimaced, hesitating before she shook his hand. "Perfect!" the boy chirped, starting towards the town. "First thin' first, no big words."

"Hmm? Why not?" Ginny asked.

"Give's y'away. Unl'ss y'been taugh', y'won' know them words."

"I see," Ginny replied, running a hand through her hair. It was an old habit she never got out of, simply because it annoyed her Mother.

"Then, y'miss sounds,' Lime added, toying with a bit of string dangling from his coat.

Ginny blinked, shaking her head. His accent was getting harder and harder to understand. "What do you mean?"

"Missin' sounds? Simple. 'What d'y'mean?' See?"

"Hmm, so instead of, say, 'my name is Ginny' it would be 'm'name is Ginny.'"

"Good, good," Lime murmured, "Better is 'name's Ginny', no need f'many words."

"Ah, unnerstand," Ginny mumbled, receiving an appreciative nod from Lime.

"Oh, 'n slouch a bit," Lime told her, "Helps with th'look 'n'all."

The two continued their bantering, each schooling each other on their language and gestures. Once they had reached town, Ginny smiled, walking ahead to get a better look of the place. "N'ver changes."

"Aye," Lime replied, walking up behind her. "What y'doin' in town anyways? Runnin'?"

"Oh no," Ginny replied, "At least, not yet. I'm here to learn to be a man." Lime was silent, something she hadn't heard him like since they started talking. Blinked, she looked over to him, only to see that his face had turned bright red. "What's the matter?"

Lime shook his head, little squeaks escaping through his lips. Then a giggle. It wasn't long before he was laughing his head off. He had even fallen to the ground, clutching at his aching stomach. Irritated, Ginny planted her hands on her hips. "What? What's so funny?"

"A man?" Lime finally asked, calming down enough to try and catch his breath. "You wanna learn t'be a man?"

"Yes," Ginny growled, moving her hands from her hips and crossing her arms in front of her. "What of it?"

Lime wiped his eyes and sat up, leaning back against the tree behind him. "Why y'wanna be a man?"

"Hmm, why?" Why indeed. Ginny sighed, dropping down next to the boy. "I want to sail, but I can't as a woman.

"Sail, eh?" Lime repeated. "As sailor, navy or pirate?"

"Navy of course!" Ginny told him. "Just like my Father."

"I see. I gotta go," Lime whispered, suddenly standing. "I see y'round." Ginny frowned, watching as the boy walked off. What was with that? Oh well. Now she knew what she needed to do, and she didn't even teach him to read. She had cheated him, and she didn't care. A grin replaced her frown as Ginny stood and dusted herself. She ran a hand through her hair and glanced around. There seemed to have been a commotion in the town square. Making up her mind, Ginny began towards the square at a brisk pace, not letting anything prevent her from seeing what was happening.

She turned corner after corner, only hearing bits and pieces of what people were screaming. Fire. Danger. What was happening? She needed to know! However, the closer she got to the square, the more people were running in the opposite direction, some dragging her back until she was knocked over onto the ground. Eyes wide with terror, Ginny flung her arms over her head, trying to protect herself from being trampled by the panicked people.

"Milady!" A familiar voice. A wonderful voice. Ginny blinked, looking up at Geoff as he pulled her to her feet. "Are you all right, Milady?"

"Yes, I am fine," Ginny replied, attempting to keep up with the butler as he dragged her to safety. They turned into an alleyway and ran quite a ways before Geoff finally stopped so that she could catch her breath. "What happened?"

"Pirates, Milady," Geoff answered. "As soon as I heard, I came to find you. We must head back now." Ginny nodded, not daring to argue. After that, she didn't want to be out for much longer. Besides, it wasn't long until sundown. They took a more direct route home, one that used the main road for most of the way. Once they were closer to home, Geoff slowed, turning so that they took the servant's road. "Perhaps Lady Barlington will not know you were out if she does not see us," he whispered, keeping Ginny behind him until they reached the wall.

Geoff knelt in front of her, hands before him just like earlier that day. Smiling to him, Ginny pushed herself up, grabbing onto the wall once more and pulling herself on top. She glanced down at Geoff, ready to help him, but he shook his head. "Your mother saw me leave. I shall return through the gate. Return to your room and pretend you were asleep."

Ginny nodded, slipping over the edge of the wall and hurrying back to the rope that dangled from her balcony. She grabbed the rope, beginning to climb. She hoped her Mother had not seen them return home. Pulling herself back onto the balcony, the girl turned to her bed where her dress had been laid out perfectly. No doubt Geoff had cleaned her room again. Sighing, she slipped out of her rags and back into her blue dress.

Ginny paused, looking at her reflection in the mirror. No, this wasn't her. She didn't belong in blue, in dresses. But, she didn't dare do anything, not until her eighteenth. Just three more days. Well, two and a half, now. Putting on a smile, she turned away and walked to her door and opening it.

Her smile vanished as easily as it had appeared. There, in front of her, stood Lady Barlington, blue eyes ablaze with anger. Her curly hair pulled into a tight plait at the top of her head. Composing herself, Ginny curtsied low, not daring to look her Mother in the eyes. "Mother."

"Back into your room," The Mistress demanded, "Now." Ginny gulped, turning away and walking back into her room, her hands coming forwards folding in front of her. She had forgotten to fix her hair. That had to be it. "Sit down." Ginny did as she was told, sitting on the ground in front of her bed. Her Mother stood before her, for once, not sitting, but pacing. Back and forth. Back and forth.

"You left the house," she murmured, still pacing. "Your hair is a mess." Her voiced raised slightly with each word. "And worst of all. You went into public dressed as... As... A peasant!" Ginny winced, not daring to watch her mother any longer. "As punishment, you will spend your days in your room, understand? The windows and balcony will be boarded, you will see no daylight."

"For how long?" Ginny asked, looking up quickly. She was leaving in three days. She couldn't be stuck in her room.

Her Mother glared at her. Did the child really just talk back to her? "Until I see it fit to let you out," Lady Barlington growled. Ginny held back a groan; she was never going to get out. "Now, your key," she demanded holding her hand out. The teen blinked, pretending not to know what she was talking about. But alas, it didn't work. Sighing, Ginny reached for her key and detached it from her necklace. She then placed it in her Mother's hand, flinching when it was pulled away.

Her Mother stalked towards the door, pausing with a hand on the frame. "I'll see you on your birthday." Lady Barlington gave her daughter a smile, before she walked out of sight. Ginny stayed where she was, staring after her Mother. Did that mean she could get out on her birthday?

Sighing, she stood and dropped onto her bed, covering her head with a pillow as servants filled the room to board up the windows. After a minute or two, Ginny finally peeked out from under her pillow. She smiled with slight relief as Geoff exited her wardrobe and winked at her. Her rags were safe. All she needed to do now was wait until she was free from her room.

 

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