Emma

…some work in progress from the Cazique of Poyais story…

Sailing became more monotonous and relentless as they moved along into the Atlantic Ocean and started to feel the true nature of Poseidon. The ship Ocean was not small, but it wouldn’t have mattered what size the ship was, you would feel the waves of the Atlantic rolling. While it felt close to the end of the world to the land loving passengers when the wind cracked and the rain came pouring down, the sailors laughed at the mildness of the crossing and the overreaction of the passengers. There were minor reprieves but felt few and far between.

One morning after it felt like they had been sailing for most of their adult lives, there was some momentary reprieve in the relentlessness of the wind and the swell of the waves. It was still obvious they were out on the open ocean, but it was calm enough to have a conversation that didn’t end in seeing ones last meal.

The passengers counted off and were sad to find many had perished almost in secret. There was so much stench it was hard to tell right away who had passed. Now in the lull they were put to rest in the tradition of seaman – dumped overboard.

I’m one such sequence of sea burials, Jose found himself standing next to the woman Emma, who had so strongly argued with Thomas Clinch together with her companion, Lily. Emma was alone now. Jose nodded to her a solemn nod, inviting conversation if she wanted it.

Emma lowered her head to consider her friend’s fate and what might come of her. She fidgeted with her fingers at the end of her limp arms. She had acquainted herself with Lily on the hope filled journey over on the kennersley castle so many months ago that it felt like a lifetime. They weren’t close friends so to speak but had a friendship forged by the utter hardship and suffering that came in Poyais. Lily had lost everything in Poyais, so, Emma thought, perhaps this was a joyous occasion if one really inspected it.

What did Lily have to live for in London after all? She was from Scotland and her family, her immediate family at least, we’re all dead. There was still an untold amount of suffering to endure on the journey back and more suffering to endure on arrival. This death was a great release, an end to a painful time rather than something cut short. It was a relieving thought, all of this, for Emma, but it didn’t really alter her mood much. The sorrow simply shifted to her own situation. She wondered whether she needed a release of her own.

Then she met eyes with Jose. He certainly wasn’t a reason to live. One can’t know that at a glance. Still, maybe there was something interesting in it to stave off the inevitable.

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