Patricia Leigh VanCooper brushed the strands of copper and brown hair back from her face. Her nose was burnt and flakes of skin clung on to the fair freckled skin. But she didnít look like a Patricia. No, at the moment she was Pete. She had been Pete for longer, in her mind, than she had ever been Patricia and yet that was not statistically accurate. If need be she would slip back to Patricia but at this point she couldnít envision when. It must have been the dagger clenched between her teeth and the blisters on her hands that made the image of that soft lady Patricia something of the past. She still wore her grand traveling gown but it was bunched up and tucked into her petticoat making her look like a pillow all the way around. She had her stocking that covered and protected her feet, her boots gone.
But the loss of her prized fine suede boots meant nothing to her now. She had lost more. As she climbed onto a silent vessel making ready to sail she kept in the night shadows. She had watched this ship for a few days noticing the unnatural process the craft moved in the harbor. It did not come ashore and itís loading and unloading was done in attempts to avoid attention. In this unmonitored port, the heaven for all sorts of off color activity, there were more ships that speed in and out than tied to the docks. But she picked this one. Why? Because it felt right. That was good enough for Pete.
Or maybe it was because the crew was small and quite. They didnít seem to return in drunken stupors. Maybe they just held their drink better. She found a spot under a small dingy tucked inside a tarp. It was the classic place to hide of course and she would be found, but hopefully not until they were well on their way. Then she would plead and maybe even be Patricia again. As a last resort she would offer the treasure she thought any sailing crew would drool over.
That what she was chasing, a lost treasure.