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James Wilson

His breathing was even. The men around him had expressions of fear, anger, and pain written on their faces, combined with missing teeth and bruised faces. This made James terribly uncomfortable on the rocking, rumbling ship.

There is no detailed reason for why he had been banished to the unknown isle of Australia, but because of it, James wasn’t too fond of Scotland anymore. He had no wife, no children, so why did Scotland matter to him if he was banished for no reason?

The ship rocked back and forth, splashing the slightly molded bread and cheese in his stomach back and forth until it had come back up onto the floor he had found it on. The other men weren’t pleased by this, one in particular.

“You there! Knock it off, or else,” one of the guards yelled.

James was held by his shirt collar above the damp floor boards of the ship. The man holding him up had a black eye, delivered personally by the same guarding protecting James at that moment. Fear of another one, the other passenger dropped James to the floor. His bottom went squish in his vomit – he nearly vomited again.

“Be glad I feel pity on another prisoner.” The man growled, moving across the ship to a far corner to pout. James sighed and put his forehead against his knees.

The ship smelled of urine, feces, and other bodily fluids. James could barley handle the endless days on the ship; he had to get off, and not somewhere barren and dead.

He needed freedom.

The following day, James and the other banished prisoners were allowed to go onto the ship’s deck for a quick breather. The ship was at a temporary standstill because the crew was gathering supplies from the nearby isle of present-day Hawaii. The supplies weren’t to help the prisoners any.

James leaned over the edge of the ship. He seemed greener when the light reflected off the bluish-green water and hit his face. He stared off at the island. It was green and sunny, a great contrast from the stories he had heard about Australia.

It was either now or never for this man; a full, happy life in the tropics… or a quick, depressing one in Australia.

He quickly made his choice.

“Hey! He’s escaping!”

In one quick daring move, James threw his body over the side of the ship and into the murky sea. He emerged quickly, gasping and coughing.

“Someone get him!”

Wasting no time, he began his long journey to show. Voices from the boat echoed in his ears.

“Go man! You can do it!”

“You’ll never make it! You will drown!”

“Sharks are out here. Fishy food is what you’ll be.”

The last comment struck fear in James. He hadn’t planned on being fishy food. He hadn’t really planned anything about his escape; he just did it. He began to swim faster in fear for his life. The voices from the boat became faint the closer he got to the shore of the island. His new life began to get closer and closer with every stroke he made.

Then the voices stopped. The fear of sharks had left his mind. Warm, soft sand welcomed his body with open arms. He had made it to shore. He was now free to live the life he wanted, within new laws of course.

James’s journey wasn’t marked in history books, but he is crucial to one family in particular – mine.



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