The attack came without warning. Splintering wood flew across the deck and frantic screams filled the air. Pirates. A second series of explosions rocked the ship and the once sturdy beams groaned as they were slowly torn apart by the force of the blows. Among the frenzied shouts and scrambling feet, a tiny girl in a pale pink dress flitted through the crowds to the edge of the railing. Her eyes searched the crowd for a familiar face; her father had promised he would protect her. Underneath her feet she could feel the ravaged ship begin to sink, and still the cannon balls rained down. With a violent shudder, the vessel succumbed to the waves and slipped below the frothy water. From above, the circling gulls cried out as fragments of wood and debris floated through the waves. Atop of one particularly large chuck of railing clung a small figure wearing a tattered pink dress. Her fingers were raw and sore from grasping the splintered piece of wood and her throat burned from the unforgiving salt water. The lower half of her petit body had gone numb from the cold. Her mind wandered as she drifted through the choppy waves. She thought of her father and his kind smile and bright blue eyes; she missed the secure feeling of his strong hand on her shoulder. Her thoughts continued to roam as night fell. Icy mists crawled over the waves and entangled their fingers around the girl’s small frame. Her breathing slowed and her skin took on a bluish tint that matched the ocean water. Her valiant fingers that clung to life so desperately finally relinquished their grasp and the frail body clothed in pink slowly sank deeper and deeper into the frigid clutches of the open ocean.
May 5, 2011