A cool ocean breeze sends a chill down the spines of the Santa Maria's crew. A watchful eye spies the horizon in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Indian coastline. Other crewmen pass the endless hours telling lies about their adventures back home. In the corner, Miguel Santiago sits with his head down, seething about the situation he is facing - endless months of fruitless sailing, searching for the elusive passage to India. Miguel is just about fed up. This insanity has to end ... now.
As Miguel comes to his feet, a fellow crewman leans over the side of the ship and begins to wretch. Miguel disgustedly turns his head away from the sickly man and focuses his attention on the ship's captain, Christopher Columbus. "This fool is to blame," mumbles Santiago, as his furrowed brow crinkles up in a face of rage. "Any fool knows the world is flat! How does he expect to reach the land of India when he has set a course that will send us tumbling endlessly through the heavens?"
In his day, Miguel Santiago had been known to run many a man through, but never did he feel so compelled to kill as he did now. Slowly he reaches into his sheath and draws forth his sword. He approaches Columbus' back with such stealth that nary a man notices his actions. Tightly, Miguel Santiago's fists clench the hilt of his weapon as he raises his arms skyward. This is to be the moment of sweet retribution. Just as he begins to apply the deadly force required to inflict the lethal blow, he hears a piercing yell.
At first he thinks the scream was intended to draw attention to the murder that was about to ensue. But as the meaning of the shouted word sinks into his head he drops his weapon and looks over the starboard side of the ship. At last someone had yelled "Land," washing away all thoughts of mutiny and murder, replacing them with an overwhelming joy. Their mission is complete. Or so they think ...
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.