Announcement, questions & teaser

Hello! I'm not dead! And still very much committed to this story or rather the rewrite thereof!

I've been working on the rewrite on and off for two years (more off than on tbh bc life happened), and now have Part One edited and ready for consumption. Now, I've got two questions for you lovely and incredibly patient readers:

1. Do you want to have the rewritten part now (it's basically the content/plot of these old published three chapters) or when i have the next part written and edited?

Bear in mind that even though I'm highly motivated, my writing speed is very slow, and i can't promise the next chapter soon! It might take months. So either wait for that and have a guaranteed next update or have it now?

2. Should I post the rewrite in this story? Like, replace the existing chapters with the rewrite, which is in essence the same plot but with in a very, very different writing style. Or should i leave this U.F.O. (UnFinishedObject) as it is and post the rewrite as a new story?

I'm asking this because (for inexplicable reasons) some might like the existing chapters as they are and would miss them? I personally wouldn't but I myself have experienced authors deleting fanfiction which i liked to reread, so. I thought I should at least ask? If the answer is undecided, imma replace them, so let me know that too.

I created a poll for both of these questions on top of my profile page, so you needn't comment or pm me (but you can of course!). Just a quick click is all I ask!

I'd like to thank you all for your support, comments, favs & follows so far! It's been a huge source of motivation for me to keep at it even after all this time. Come visit me at stumbling-to-sea .tumblr .com for up-to-date activity!

Lastly, before you decide regarding my questions - I'll give you the promised sneak peak for the style of the rewrite! So you know what to expect ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ (bc it might be a tad unusual and takes a bit getting used to & thus influence your answers).

Have fun!

walk the plank, eyes wide open

PART I (If you don't like the peaches, don't shake the tree)


"What do you want?"

He blinks. He bows and lifts his hand. If he makes a move to kiss her knuckles, she swears they're going to kiss his–

He grasps his hat and lifts it. "Pleased to meet you, I'm … Ace, and in need of your- well, your help." The hat is crammed back on his shaggy black hair and he looks at her expectantly, beaming.

She stares back, non-plussed. "I'm I-Don't-Care, sometimes known as Not-Happening."

His left eye twitches. "You don't even know what I was going to ask."

"Doesn't matter," she says, turns, and catches herself almost reaching for the kid — Pigtails, who looks at her like– "Ghosts always want things I can't give," she licks her lips, suddenly parched, "Don't ever tell them about me again."

(If he's honest: He expected a little … more.

As for her, don't bother: She never expects much of anything, these days.)

Granted, it wasn't a terrible first impression– there are worse, to say the least. Nobody nose-dived or killed a comrade, threatened death, over-shared some embarrassingly personal details, introduced the entirety of a lovely greeting cake to a face–

She looks over her shoulder and has two sets of eyes blinking back at her. The cowboy winks, charming smile glued in place and are those freckles

–but if there weren't so many oblivious people around, eyeing her skittish moves, she'd have no problems substituting the cake for the bottled sake on her tray.

"Yo," he says, lifting his hand.

Ignore them, her mind chants, and they'll go away eventually.

He yawns and wonders about the nature of the fear in her eyes. Must be him, he concludes.

(Don't blame him: A lot of things did happen just because of him. His name is revered, whispered among all seas – whether he likes it or not, or how much he now sometimes yearns to shut them up. Not usually, mind you; you don't become a world-feared pirate with a five hundred fifty million bounty if you didn't mean to.

He can't know it's possible for someone to skip classes on what they call common knowledge.)

Her boss corners her eventually.

"I guess yesterday was a tough day for you, but– " He hesitates. "I remembered I promised that nothing ever– you didn't even know her, but – you've been so jumpy and keep looking around, is everything alright?"

She feels their stares drilling into her skin. The kid tugs on her arm and Lana forces herself to breathe.

"I'm dealing with it."

(This is how it goes: Death meets girl, and won't be turned away. She doesn't have to like it, nobody asked her; but since nobody ever bothered to answer either … well – she shall always try her damndest to avoid it first.

Her curiosity died a long time ago, on a cobbled street polished from use.)

The afternoon sun burns low, unapologetic. The voices of the patrons float around the corner of the tavern, where Lana crosses her arms and glares. Between them, the kid sits crosslegged and attentive, picking at grass that won't cooperate and be picked at.

"Alright," Lana goes – it seems the sooner she gets it over with, the sooner she might be left alone. "What do you need help with."

The cowboy lights up like a kid on his birthday. "Finally!" He taps his left arm, marked by dark letters. "Okay! Okay. I'm looking for my brother. You can see why that's a bit hard – I can't ask around like I used to, but I thought he was a ghost, so it wasn't like it mattered. I lost him when we were kids. But I thought about it and there's a high chance he's not —dead, I mean— so." He moves to clap her shoulder, and she blocks him.

"Your point?"

He huffs. "Obviously, I need someone to play … what's the word? Medium. Shouldn't be too much of a problem to find him this way, at this point I'm pretty sure he can only be somewhere on the Grand Line and–"

"Hold on." Lana edges back and raises a hand. Then adds her other for good measure. "Let me– you want me to find a guy who could be either dead or alive," she takes a breath, "a kid or an adult with unknown features, possibly name? On the mildewed Grand Line where you're, loh behold, guessing he is?!"

He shrugs. "Pretty much, yeah."

The kid jumps up. "I heard a lot of people die there! Can we go?"

There's some gaping on Lana's part. Then she announces: "That's the most moronic and biggest waste of time I've ever heard of. No."

"Oh, come on! I've worked with less. Please?" He smiles winningly at her. She could cut stone on that condescending edge. "Don't tell me you're scared."

"Damn right," she scoffs under her breath and runs her fingers through her hair. Evidently, he's one of those types. "Death equals dead people equals ghosts, you moron. And I'm going to stay far, far–"

She spots the new ghost the moment he turns the corner to join them, and somehow, she knows. She knows even before the other part shuffles after him into view. Her skin crawls, up from her sweating hands and down her back, and between one inhale and the next–


Fear is ice dripping into veins, shivering hands, rattled breathing. Fear is the glow surrounding their every visage. Fear is the words, I was looking for you and I'm positive you won't deny my proposition. Fear is an empty, haunted gaze and the disheveled, neglected shell of a living being hovering behind the dead in a gruesome twist of the natural order, following his wishes like a puppet on strings.

Fear is the familiar demand in different clothing, from a different mouth: "Since you have the ability to converse with us, I wager you know a way of revival, am I correct?"


Hope you liked this little teaser of the upcoming 10.700 words monstrosity that now is part 1! Please vote in the poll and let me know what you think!