The ocean rests as the morning glow seeps through the cracks of the ship, waking the one hundred passengers down below. A hustle can be felt through the air as mothers wake children, men grab their rations, and crewmen get either on or off their chosen shift. Mary’s mother Juliet gently shakes her daughter awake,
“Wake up Mary, The sun is saying hello!”
Juliet moves her umber hair back and reaches forward towards her husband, John.
“Oh please do get up John! I wonder where our little Mary gets her stubbornness from.”
Juliet taps out their bread rolls and hands one to each family member. Mary sits on her hammock while John and Juliet sit in theirs as they eat the stale bread. John and Juliet start in discussion while Mary begins her reading.
“John, I understand that this journey is going to be a long one. But some people on board think this ship will run out of water and rations before we even see the shoreline!”
John stops eating and stares for a decent amount of time at his dear wife Juliet. Her eyes are beginning to fill with anxiety and tears as he tries to think of something positive to lighten the mood.
“Well that hasn’t happened quite yet now has it? We should have enough rations for about another two weeks, and we are so far along with our journey, we are surely going to reach land before we run out.” He settles back and continues eating, not quite sure if what he said has placed ease on his poor wife’s heart. Juliet gives a silent sigh and glances up at the underbelly’s ceiling. As she is staring, she notices a strange sound coming from the deck. Quickened footsteps and muffled shouts fill her with anxiety once again.
“Oh don't you hear that John? Surely there is something tragic going on up on deck!”
Little Mary’s eyes widen as she drops the aged charcoal colored book on her hammock. She Grasps the edge of her dress and shutters. Mary’s eyes follow her mothers, and John’s follow hers. The boards above give a fraction of light through a tiny hole. Mary glances down at her book and begins to pray. About what, we will never know. Her mother and father’s concern grows on the rest of the passengers down below and causes a widespread panic.
“Oh! Did they find land?” One exclaims. And yet another, replies:
“Surely if it were good news they would have told us by now, it MUST be something terrible!”
But as the chaos multiplies, little Mary sits with her book, and the sweet little hum of her voice could still be heard over all of the uneasiness.
Soon, a tall lanky man thunders down the creaky stairs with a feather.
“Tis from a landbird!” His voice booms, causing all uneasiness to wash away from the passengers. Little Mary sets her gaze upon the feather, taking in every hair that is moved ever so slightly by the shaking of his hand. She smiles and returns to her book.