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The Secret Of Nautilus Island
Author's note: My sister and I first started writing this story about ten years ago. We always loved stories about adventures at sea and pirates, so we decided to write one of our own. This story will soon be coming out with Ink Smith Publishing.
What is the difference between fate and destiny? Often times one is used in a sense that your life has meaning and you have a great purpose. You have an extraordinary destiny. The other is used to describe misfortune and hardship. You have suffered a terrible fate. How can two words that are so close to meaning the same thing be entirely different? Or perhaps the most important question of all; what does either have in store for you? I often asked this question. What is fate? Who is fate? Is such a thing even truly real? I don't know the answers; however I do know that some stories never truly begin. They are simply always there. You may call it fate, you may call it destiny, but somehow such a story as the one you are about to be told began on a very small island. An island so small that most would miss it simply because such a place seemed so random, but fate had a peculiar destiny in mind for a tiny island in the middle of the Caribbean.
On this island called Blue Brook there lived a fisherman named Tom Morgan. He had lived on the island for most of his adult life. He loved the island though most people said the reason he lived there had nothing to do with his loving the island, but instead because he was hiding. Not from a person, but from his past, for he was the son of the pirate Henry Morgan.
Tom lived on the island with his wife Lilly, his nine year old daughter Layla and his twenty year old son Tylar.
Now Tylar being tall and built for his age, would easily be mistaken for being much older. He stood about six foot four, he had long light brown, curly hair, brown eyes, a dimple in his chin, and because of how much he worked he had grown to be rather strong. Despite this he had always been quite shy and liked being by himself a lot. He had always taken interests in things like finding new islands and sailing, mainly on his father's large fishing boat. What he truly wanted to do involved sailing across the ocean. Tylar never liked the fact that they spent their lives hiding from who they really were. Yes, I know a lot about this young man. I know because the two of us are one in the same, though I feel less and less like the young man in this story every day. That is a story that you will hear soon enough. Fate had something in store for him that he would not have expected. What is fate, you may ask. If asked this question I would say you are not ready for the answer because you have not even chosen the right question. Who is Fate? That would be right. You may or may not find the answer to this question and it may be a mere coincidence that everything turned out the way it did, but this is not his story. Right now you must hear this story, the story that led to my understanding fate just a little more, it is in fact my story....... the story of Tylar Morgan.
This story began on a bright Monday morning. Now usually Mondays are said to be bad luck and maybe they are, for some would say that it wasn't good luck that came upon young Tylar. What they did not realize was that fate had something unimaginable in store for young Morgan.
The seagulls flew all about and a lone pelican stood on a post next to Tylar's window. He took no notice of it though.
"Can I please go out on the boat with you today?" Tylar begged his father.
"No," his father told him. "You have to go to study and get ready to go to the university."
"I don't want to go to the university," Tylar said though he didn't have to tell his parents that because they already knew.
Tylar had never liked the idea of becoming a scholar. In fact before a man had come to the island and set up a school to prepare young men for a large university in England, the thought had never even crossed his mind. Afterward, his parents had insisted that he had to go. They would not let the subject go until he had finally relented and began attending classes. He had nothing against school, but after already having completed the usual years that anyone else would have done, he had no more desire to continue. He had always wanted to join the crew of a navy ship, but his parents would have none of it. They said the reason for this was they wanted him to have a better life, but he knew good and well that they were scared that if he went out to sea he would get a taste of life at sea and that would lead to his turning into a pirate like his grandfather. They were afraid that he would become a heartless wretch and begin raiding ports with a troupe of vile buccaneers. For all he knew they could have been right, but he didn't care. A life of adventures on the high seas was what he truly wanted and there was nothing that could get that wish out of his heart. Despite all of his wants and wishes he was confined to Blue Brook and school.
One reason he didn't like going to the school involved the fact that all the other boys that went to the school would always find something to fight with him about for any number of reasons. Sometimes their teasing came from the fact that he had Morgan for a name sake, sometimes because he was tall, but most of the time they came up with insignificant insults that they thought up right on the spot just to get a rise out of him. They all wanted a reason for him to get thrown out because they said that pirates didn't belong in universities.
"Don't worry; I'll take care of Mate for you." Layla giggled.
Mate was Tylar's over dramatic macaw, who believed that himself to be human.
"You are going to prep school," his mother told him.
"I'll go get my stuff." Tylar sighed and went to his room. He hated to hear when they called the school a prep school. The way they spoke sounded as if they were speaking to a child and he had to be sent to school just to keep him out of their hair.
He tied his hair back, grabbed his book and left. At least going to school got him out of the house and away from their treating him like a child.
On his way to school he met up with his girlfriend Josephina. He always called her Jo. She was one of the few girls that were allowed to go to the prep school on the island. She would not be allowed to go to the university in England, but she was able to study medicine while she continued to live on Blue Brook.
"So," she said. "what are you going to be doing after lessons today?"
He hesitated for a moment. He had been planning on going to work after school and he knew that most people including Jo, thought that he worked too much for someone who attended school to be a great scholar. Sometimes he even believed them, but he knew that he was never going to get anywhere in life if he just sat around reading all the time. He did enjoy studying, but he also knew that if you didn't work in one way or another there would never be a way for you to ever get anywhere in life. He had never liked the way that so many of the people on Blue Brook had come from rich English families who wanted to settle in the Caribbean. They figured that if they wanted work done they could get a "colored person" better known to the rest of the world as a slave, to do it. If there was one thing that Tylar truly hated it had to be slavery, but every afternoon he would go out into the fields and work with the slaves and a good portion of the time he would not be getting paid for it. He figured that he was a big enough man and a hard enough worker that he could lighten the load for some of the ones that had it really bad in the fields.
"I'm going to be working this afternoon."
"Tylar," she huffed. "You work too much. You're going to work yourself to death if you keep this up. What will you do if you have a really bad asthma attack out in one of those fields?"
"I'll do the same thing that I would do if I were anywhere else."
"And what's that?"
"Pass out of course. I'd wake up soon enough. Who knows it may give me a boost in my mind so that I will be able to be a better scholar."
"Tylar." She seemed really mad. "Don't even say that."
"I was only jesting."
"Well I'm not. Asthma is serious."
"Oh, I didn't know that really."
"I just worry about you, that's all." The smallest sneeze made Jo worry since she had begun working with medicine.
"You don't need to worry about me," he said, "How many times have I told you that? Just because I have asthma everybody worries about me. I have survived this long, I think I'm going to be okay, besides, it's not near as serious as it used to be."
By then they had reached the school house at the very end of the road. The students who were entering the school did not stop to talk to anyone else as they passed them in the streets. They simply walked on as if they had not seen anyone. Most attributed this to the fact that such students would be busy, but Tylar always felt as if the ones that acted this way seemed quite rude.
"Look who it is," said a young man named Sam Edwards, loud enough for Tylar to hear him. He stood with four of his friends that Tylar recognized as students at the school. "It's the pirate's boy. Watch out everybody it's Tylar Morgan. You would never be able to guess that his grandfather was a pirate with quiet and weak he seems to be."
Tylar walked over to Sam, grabbed him by the collar and lifted him up to where they were eye to eye.
"You want to see me being quiet and weak, do you Sam? You know," Tylar said in a deep serious voice. "If I were you I'd keep my mouth shut in this sort of situation. Especially if the person you're talking to is twice your size."
Jo walked over to them. "Okay you two no fighting. Sam I thought you would have learned your lesson after your last fight with Tylar, but I guess not."
Tylar let go of Sam's collar and walked into school without looking back. Yes, Tylar had a good bit of arrogance and a hot temper about him, most just attested that to his pirate blood. Simply thinking back to Henry Morgan seemed to be the easiest way to explain his flaws. He didn't mind. It kept them off his back about things for the most part.
He found his seat among the scramble of empty desks. Most would remain as such through the time that he was there, though all the students had now entered the room. The teacher walked down the center of the room and began arranging his different sets of material.
“Good morning,” the teacher, a tall wiry man named Thomas Blake began speaking. “I trust that all of you have come prepared and know what we are going to be working on today.”
That was all Tylar heard of the beginning of the lesson. His mind left the room soon after that. All through class he found himself staring out the window and thinking about his father on the ship. He wasn't paying any attention to what the teacher had to say. He could hear Mr. Blake droning on about something, but he was uncertain of what was being said. His eyes scanned the room. He looked at each of the students. He knew all of them. He had known them all his life and would most likely be with them for a very long time yet. They would go to the university together.
"Tylar." The teacher snapped his fingers. "Can you answer the question?"
"I'm sorry." He shook his head. "What was the question?"
"There was no question," he told him. "I did that to get you back listening. Now I would like it very much if you would pay more attention. I'm surprised anyone would ever think you would make a good scholar if you cannot keep your mind in this room."
That made him sort of mad. He had worked harder than this man knew. He would always try to pay attention, but not much of it would grasp his attention very well. The only things that he could truly focus on were languages and lectures about far away lands. He would do his best to listen to the rest of the lectures. Though they would not grasp his attention very well he would try to learn the material all the same.
In class he sat right next to a girl named Carolina Mason. She was the only other girl at the prep school besides Jo. All of her life she had been able to learn the material as if she had read it a thousand times even if she had only read it once. She had helped him with some of the harder subjects that he could not grasp so well. They had known each other from the time they were small children. He worked for her father. He worked mostly with one of the Mason's slaves that he had known from a very young age. The man's name was Marvin Mason. Marvin had taken on the last name of his master as well as a more English sounding name. Tylar had never know Marvin's given name.
Tylar just sat there hoping that class would be over soon though he knew it would still be several more hours until time to leave. He turned to face the teacher and tried to pay attention to the lesson. He did, but it proved to be rather hard.
As soon as school ended Tylar grabbed his books and began to head out of the room.
“Tylar Morgan, would you wait one minute? I would like to speak to you.” Mr. Blake looked far more serious than usual.
“I'll meet you outside.” Jo turned and walked away.
Mr. Blake did not start talking until all the other students were gone. “Look, Tylar, I do not mean to embarrass you in from of the other students, but the longer I teach you the more I realize that you do not seem to want to be in this class room. You must understand that I am here to give you an education, I'm not here to entertain you. I know that you find some of the class work boring, but if you wish to be a scholar then you are going to have to push past that and try to keep your mind on your work and not elsewhere. Do you understand?”
“Yes, sir. I do try.”
“I know you do, Tylar, but being a scholar is more than just being able to read a few boring books. You really have to commit to keeping your mind focused. I know you do not like being in this class. Trust me, you and I are on the same page there.”
“Are you saying you don't want me in your class, sir?”
“I'm saying that no teacher wants to teach someone who does not care to be taught.”
“It's really not that it's just...”
“Have a good day, Morgan.”
Tylar nodded and walked out of the room. There was no need in him trying to get the last word. Such behavior would only get him in trouble and that was the last thing he wanted.
Jo met him at the bottom of the steps. “What was that all about?”
“Don't worry about it. Let's just go. I'll walk you home if you'd like.”
"Hey, Tylar," Sam called. He stood beside the corner of the building. “Come here for a minute."
"Tylar, don't do it," Jo warned him.
"Don't worry. This won't take long."
He walked over and two boys grabbed his arms and held them behind his back. He took note of each of them. On his left, Warren Thigpen. He was strong. He had a hard grip, but he also had a tendency to favor his right leg, this would throw off his balance. On his right, Elliot Morris. Though he only came to Tylar's shoulder he was broad and sturdy. His weakness was he was slow to react. Sam who stood right in front of him would be easy to take down. His temper would make him clumsy and inattentive.
Sam bowed up at him. "So, you think that you can just tell me off and then walk away."
"I'm sorry," Tylar said. "Next time I'll stay around and ask you how you feel about it and besides if I were to tell you what I really thought about you I'd get in trouble."
"All right." Sam huffed. "You asked for this."
Sam then swung at Tylar. His fist did not meet it's mark. With a hard jerk on the arms of each one holding him, Tylar slung the two boys out in front of him. He quickly swung a knee up into the lower ribs of the of Elliot while at the same time, elbowed Warren in the stomach. The motion stunned each of them. One more swing of the arms and they smacked into each other and hit the ground.
Sam's temper flared. He took a wild swing and Tylar caught his wrist and punched him hard across the face sending him to the ground with the other two.
"Next time you'll need more than two of your stupid friends to hold me down." He laughed and walked away.
Jo ran over to him and asked "What happened?"
"A perfect example of why I hate this place," he answered.