Cassian swiped his arm across his forehead, a streak of soot marking his already ruined sleeve. Above him, stars began to appear in the sky. Cassian let his thoughts drift back, his father pointing out the constellations and how he could find his way home by the stars. Sadly, these stars seemed to point nowhere. He’d sailed too far away somehow, caught up in a mad search for revenge, or maybe redemption.
Cassian shifted off his seat, settling his aching body into the wooden cradle of the boat’s hull. The night was silent; no shrieking birds heralding land nearby, no howling wind pushing him in one direction or the other. If there had been, maybe he wouldn’t have heard the song.
At first Cassian thought he’d fallen asleep, some half forgotten melody drifting into his dreams. He dug his fingertips into his palms, hissing as blood welled up anew. Definitely awake then. Cassian sat up, gripping the sides of the boat as it rocked with his sudden movement.
For a moment the sound stopped, the sudden pause making the silence oppressive in his ears. Then, just as suddenly, the song returned, growing louder as his heart began to race. Cassian twisted his head back and forth, searching for a glimpse of something out in the night. He felt compelled - no, driven - to find the source of this sound.