Reincarnation, Life After Death Ch. 04byBOSTONFICTIONWRITER©
Chapter 4: The Voyage
'Twas a beautiful day for sailing with a sky so cloudlessly clear and a wind that blew just enough of a breeze to keep the sails puffed and the ship moving forward at a brisk pace. The blueness of the clear skies made Allison feel that nothing could be wrong and that life was truly wonderful. Only, Hazel's words haunted her echoing their foreboding thoughts through her mind.
"You won't survive the voyage."
She tried her best not to think about he crazy witch's insights. Nonetheless, Hazel's voice haunted her.
The sun's warmth radiated down uninterrupted on the main deck and as long as she wasn't weary from working it its heat, the rays felt good. The men on board the ship were working up a sweat transferring the cargo stored below and staging it topside in readiness to be offloaded when the ship docked in port. Weakened from the drain of a high fever, seasick most of the voyage, Allison was eager to salvage a pleasant memory by sunning herself.
Soaking up the sunshine and feeling the moisture of the fresh salt, sea air cool her warm skin; she basked in the glory of the beautiful day. Finally, with the fever gone and her stomach settled enough to eat a light repast, she regained her strength along with her appetite. Munching on a slab of stale bread and a chunk of hardened cheese, oblivious to the happenings below deck, she climbed in a narrow crawl space between the rail and the cannon.
Away from all the commotion below, it was a comfortable spot that afforded her a bit of privacy to stretch out and take a nap. She spread out a thick piece of burlap, covered that with a soft weathered strip of canvas and closed her eyes. Feeling the glow of the hot sun caressing her face, she felt safe enough to sleep some. Away from the leering eyes and lustful desires of the sailors who were at sea for too long, her father was below deck conferring with the ship's Captain. He was only a scream away should anyone bother her.
Afraid, but eager to see another land, this was her first voyage, the one that Hazel had warned she wouldn't survive. With the distant shore within sight, she was glad that she was wrong with her premonition. Her father, Nathaniel took it hard when her mother died giving birth to her twin sister and her eighteen years ago. Then, when her sister died from influenza last month, Melissa's death brought back his sorrow and it was all that he could do to not lose his mind and lose himself in a rum bottle.
Allison was all the family he had left now and he didn't want to lose her, too. Thus, they were sailing away to a new land, a land far from England, and from the famine and disease that plague the country. They set sail for a land down under, a new land called Australia.
Dreaming of a new life, a new house, and new friends, Allison tried not to think of her twin sister or of Hazel's disturbing reading. She wished death had come for her instead of her sister. Planning on having a double wedding when they turned eighteen, they had been very close. She felt the horrible pain from the grief that came slowly seeping in with the thoughts of her twin. She missed her so terribly much. She closed her eyes and said a prayer for the soul of her sister and then fell fast asleep.
Startled awake by yelling and screaming, men ran by Allison with bloodied sabers. She lifted up her head and peeked. She looked down below to see the crew fighting with one another. In the midst of the fighting, sitting around the mainmast with the hands and feet bound were the Captain, his officers, and her father.
"God save the Queen," she said to herself for no one to hear. "It's a mutiny."
To make matters worse, a storm was blowing up behind them. Billowing, black, rain filled clouds darkened the sky in the distance. Only, it was moving fast, faster than the ship. Rolling in astern, a story was quickly catching up with them.
When she looked off the port side bow, she could see land far off and hoped they were off the coast of Australia. Surely, a boat would be dispatched to help them. Surely, someone would see the disturbance and help them. Surely, someone would hear the ruckus. Yet, no one saw, no one heard, and no one came to their rescue.
In contempt of the mutiny of the ship, the Sea Star, and in nature's way of voicing its disapproval, the sea began an undulating rocking rhythm that loosened every bolt and pitched everything not battened down. The angry winds that howled hadn't penetrated the ears of the preoccupied mutineers just yet. The lull before the story quieted the sea, except for the yelling and the cheering, everything quieted down. One scalawag who wanted to speak and who tried getting the attention of everyone by kicking over an empty crate waved his sword over his head. He stood atop of the box and raised his hand to command their attention while demanding all to quiet down.
"Simmer down lads, simmer down, and gather 'round. It's time to bid our fare thee well to our Captain and his company." He wiped the blood from his sword with a rag. The sharp sword he held in his hand glistened in the glow of the shining sun. Murmuring and mumbling, all hands gathered around in a circle close enough to circulate the few remaining bottles of rum. Taking a long drink for himself, the speaker scanned the crowd. Smashing the empty bottle upon the deck, he yelled to anyone brave enough to answer.
"Where's the girl?"
The sky behind him suddenly ate the sun and darkened. A gusting wind played havoc with the sails as the storm loomed closer. Splashing over her sides, the waves swelled around the ship. Looking around himself and behind, a sailor accepted his challenge to question the location of the girl and shrugged, "I don't know."
"Well, we can't worry about her now. There's a storm brewing. Batten down the hatches and drop sail. We'll never make it to shore before she breaks us up against the rocks. We'll have to ride this one out."
Oblivious to the impending storm and not listening to their new leader, the crew mumbled their interest over the missing girl.
"Go fetch her lads," said one of the crew. "Let's scour the ship from bow to stern and find her. We can't be having her miss our little party, now can we?"
With the anticipation of rape and debauchery, the crew scurried off in all directions in riotous laughter. They searched below deck and they searched above deck.
The sailor perched atop the box addressed the Captain. Menacingly, he moved the blade inches from Captain Ryan's neck.
"We're tied of taking orders, Captain. This is a new land. Thanks to you and courtesy of this magnificent ship, the crew and I want a fresh start. We're commandeering this ship and her cargo." He touched the sword to his chin and taunted, "Lest you and your scurvy officers have any objections, this is where you get off."
"You'll never get away with this, Amoro," said the Captain meeting his stern stare with bold and determined defiance. "I'll see you hanging from the yardarm."
"No you won't 'cause dead men can't see." With that he swung a powerful swipe that not only attested the sincerity of his statement but removed the Captain's head. Bouncing with a sickening thud to the deck, the Captain's head fell from his shoulders. The sound of the storm's thunder covered Allison's involuntary scream, as the mutineers voiced their support with boisterous laughter.
The crew who searched in vain for Allison returned out of breath from their frantic search.
"She's no where to be found. We searched everywhere."
"Fools! She's probably right under your noses. Go find her or I'll have your heads."
They scattered in all directions intent on finding their captive. Directing his attention to her father with the point of his sword, the murderer shouted with impatient eyes and angered tongue.
"Where's your daughter? My crew and I want to have some fun. We've been away at sea and without women for a very long time. Where is she? You can live, if you tell me where to find her. All we want is your daughter. We won't hurt her. Where is she?"
"You can kill me now," he said spitting phlegm at the evil man, "I'll never help you find my daughter."
Allison's father didn't have time to avert his eyes before the burn from the blade fell mercilessly upon his neck. With the hope of saving her father, Allison jumped up from her hiding place to yell her objection to the murder of her father and to plead mercy.
Too late for her objection, her plea turned to horrified screams of anguish and despair.
"Please don't! No! Oh, father! Dear God in Heaven, save me!"
To be continued...
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