Sal's Journey

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Sal's side of the story when on the boat to the new land

Submitted: June 14, 2018

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Submitted: June 14, 2018



“Everybody on the boat!”the captain yelled. Honk honk, the sound of the wooden ship was off to sail. Families and close friends would stand on the port crying while watching their loved ones getting shipped away into the warm early morning sunrise.


 Convicts were forced into rooms that were dark and with barely any sunlight, walls creaked, it was crowded, smelt like sewage and the sound of water plashing made people around Sal sick.“Willie, you ain’t gona go near em’”she points at them. Willies looks at the other people and sees them as creatures from the deep and he was so terrified that he wanted his father, “Ma, we see daddy soon?” Willie says with a scared look on his face. As Sal nods her head for a yes, a streak of moonlight was shining through a crack on the wall onto Willies face and she gets a glimpse of her son huddled up against her. 


Few weeks past and Sal and many others were forced to do chores, whenever the officers weren’t looking she would peep through the crack on the wooden wall. One day she questioned herself, “I wondar how far we ar”Sal quietly spoke to herself, she saw wild seas and angry looking clouds.“oi you, get back to your chores!”yelled an officer. She jumped with a shock and quickly went to scrub the filthy sick deck, the deck never heals, it’s ongoing sickness makes other souls working hard fall sick. The officers regularly tell them to scrub the deck to prevent the wood from warping from the seawater.


The ship was called Alexander, it was one of the first fleets to sail off to Australia where convicts are taken since Great Britain can no longer deal with excessive thieves and criminals. There are about one thousand and five hundred people who have boarded the ship. All the people on the boat are being shipped away for their little crimes they’ve done. William, Sal’s husband was sentenced to death for the attempt of trying to steal Brazil wood, but lucky for him his sentenced was commuted to deportation to Australia and along side with him was Sal and Willie who were kept in another floor. Everyday there is yelling on the upper deck, no one knows why and what is up there. It’s a totally different world up there compared to the lower two floors. 


One morning Sal hears shouting from the upper deck, then footsteps approached from the stairs. Two men dressed in bright red and white grabbed all the sick men and women and stored them in another room. Sal, Willie and the other people left in the room were demanded to clean the area to get rid of the disease that was spreading to every soul on the boat. As the days went past, the boat rocked more violently as if they were all in a giant cradle. The nights became colder and chillier that there was a point where young children would die in their sleep because of the coldness, your fingers would feel so sensitive and numb that anything you touch stings like a needle shoved into you. A day goes by and Sal and Willie grow weaker and pale, “Ma, we gona be off yet?” Willie just managed to open his mouth, no response from Sal as she was exhausted and tired. Each dead body was tossed of the boat as if it was just nothing. Early mornings you can hear chains being dragged below from the convicts being forced to do work when they have struggled to live in the past month. Convicts have been disappearing each morning, no one would know why and the only reason they could think of is because the fellow convict fell sick overnight and was taken away. Each night Sal would hold tight of Willie to make sure no one takes him if he falls sick while they are asleep. 


Morning rose but it was a dull gloomy day, Sal looks around and knows something is wrong by seeing all the other people staring at her with their dried eyes, then she realises. “Willie? Where you gon!?” Sal looks around sharply and yells this for a while, and still no sign. This was the worst timing he could have gone missing because the boat rocked violently and water is overboard. Rain, storm and massive waves are pushing people off the boat. “Help! Somebody help me! My son is missin’ and I ain’t got a clue where he off to” No one was able to help Sal. “my son...somebody help” she starts saying this in her sleep on going that people around her abuse her and saying “He’s most likely off the bout”  multiple people are saying this to her and Sal won’t listen. She knows her son is somewhere alive. “why should we help you, when you wouldn’t help our own famile from being shoved in a room full of diseases” a older woman harshly said to Sal. She was lost in her own world, becoming weaker by the minute she was tempted to jump off the boat. “I could just end it here.” 


Ma!!” Sal heard Willie in a distance, she sneakily makes her way towards her sons voice and sees him in the lock up room. “don’t worry Willie, you be outsoon”Sal is going to do anything that it takes to get her son back. It’s been about 5 days until she realised that William taught her how to open locks when they were younger, all she needed was bobby pins and a sharp nail. Sal searched the wooden cramped room and found a bobby pin, which had fallen off a young lady who had fallen sick and tossed off the boat. She used that bobby pin to pull out a nail from the wooden planks on the wall and straight away she headed towards the lock up rooms. A officer caught her “Excuse me young lady where we off to today?” he was about to call the other officers to put her in chains until Sal responded, “I was told to be in that area for cleanin.” Luckily the officer believed her.


Sal went straight to Willie and made what William taught her with the bobby pin and nail to open a lock. She tried really hard to find the right hole inside the lock and then all of a sudden click… A gun had been loaded and set on Sal’s head at the back. “Don’t you have cleaning to do lady.” The same officer who let her pass caught her in the middle of the action of letting her own son free from that area he was kept in. “my son, why he here?” Sal’s stern voice made her look powerful. “he committed a crime on deck and will be punished soon” officer was unsure why he was there so made this up.Soon after he was called for backup in the convicts cabin and left Sal there. She quickly tried again with the lock on Willies cabin. “yes!” Sal successfully unlocked the cabin and gave Willie the biggest hug yet and told him at the same time “you gonna be a big brother”, his face went bright which has been the brightest in the past 3 months. 


They both sneakily went back to their original rooms and thought for days of names for the new baby boy or girl.“Just think Willie, few mor days and we will be at a new world” Sal said this to try and cheer Willie up. “I wondar what it be like” Willie exclaims with a croaky voice. The moon has risen upon the boat, half the crew is off the boat and luckily for Sal and Willie they had not fallen sick or passed away in their sleep just like the other convicts. 


Morning arises and everyone is talking to each other for once. Sal peeps into the hole where she last saw the ocean. As she peeps inside the hole she excitedly yells at Willie “We ar here Willie!,we gonna see your daddy again!.” Sal is about to exit the boat until she has sharp pains in her stomach. “Help” Willie cried, officers took his mother away and was taken into a room on the boat, soon after officers tell Willie they can see his mother. He walks slowly to her and sees a little baby curled up in his mothers’ arms. Joyfully Sal cries as she tells Willie.

“It’s a boy.”

© Copyright 2018 shani01. All rights reserved.

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