Kanturk Arts Festival 2019: One Chance By Naglis

One Chance

by Naglis Vaivada

15th of August 1846,

“What’s that hammered on the tree?” questioned Marie.

“It’s a notice, I think.”

It read, “17th August, 1846. The Titan, an enormous galleon, is leaving  from the north coast of Tory Island, heading for America.”

“That’s great!” exclaimed Marie enthusiastically.

I’m Ronan, I’m sixteen years old and I take care of my eleven year old sister Marie. Our parents died of starvation last December. We’d recently moved to An Baile Thoir. We live off scraps and forage for mushrooms and berries from the fields. So this opportunity to abscond from  the famine is exquisite. It would be tough but we have to give it our best shot.

It was leaving in two days so we hoped to travel 4.75 km a day. We trekked and trudged over steep mountains and boggy fields. It started to get gloomy so we decided to take a brief nap.

I opened my eyes. My glance dashed to the sun like a meteor.

“It’s midday!” I bellowed anxiously.

We put the fright behind us and carried on. The weather was numbing and bitter but we couldn’t accept defeat. We kept moving. Standing wearily at the cliff, my attention focused on the people queuing up to get on the immense vessel.

We scurried towards it swiftly. I could hear the waves crashing against the rocks and  the rain pelting against the rough sea.

I could feel my sweat and tears trickling down my cheeks. We stood wearily on the rugged, craggy boulder. I embraced my sister and watched the tall ship shrink from a ship, to a blob, to a speck and drift away into the never-ending distance.