A Thousand Years
For this assignment, I had to write a panagram mini-story. Some of the letters were really hard to find words for! And of course, I didn’t realize until I had written 23 of the 26 sentences that “x” would be nearly impossible to find a word to work with! And this is the song that gave this piece its title: A Thousand Years.
A single tear rolled down her cheek, making a track through the soot and dirt that covered her face. Beth had risen at an unholy hour—in fact I wasn’t even sure she had slept!—so that she could finish her morning duties as a maid, and meet me before I left. Cold, misty rain dimmed the light from the streetlamps, the only illumination against the pitch black night sky. Despite the dim light, I still drank in every detail of her face, wondering how long it would be before I would see her again.
Every fiber of my being begged me not to leave her. For, though her face was more familiar to me than my own, I still feared that, with time, the memory of her would fade. Gratefully I had accepted the miniature she had given to me mere days after I had told her I was to sail, but only now I realized it would be a lifeline.
Holding out my arms to her, open wide, I swept her up into what would be our last embrace for a long time. I leaned down gently, to give her a kiss, sending a shock that would linger far longer than the actual kiss, shivering through me, before finally, hesitantly, letting her go. Jogging swiftly up the dark cobblestone street, I could barely see through the rain that was blowing into my eyes. Knowing that it wasn’t healthy to lie to myself, I reluctantly admitted that the light rain wasn’t what was keeping me from being able to see well—it was the tears that swam in my eyes. Love hurt.
Men—other sailors—scurried around the deck of the ship as I climbed the gangplank and came aboard what would be my home for the next year or two. Neptune was her name, of Her Majesty’s Royal Navy, and she was a beauty of a ship. Of course, she wasn’t nearly as lovely as my Beth, and as I sighed, I wondered—was it really going to be worth it? Possible death on the high seas—we all knew the stories of the sailors who had been lost at sea during a storm, or even fighting pirates. Questions continued to assail me, showing me gruesome pictures of my imagined fate. Run through on a pirate’s cutlass, dying slowly of dehydration on a piece of wreckage—the list of possible deaths was varied and vast. Shaking my head vigorously, I tried to push the terrible thoughts to the back of my mind. There were so many other things I needed to be focusing on.
Under scrutiny from the first mate, I quickly jumped to work, checking ropes and knots, making sure everything was held securely. Violet light glanced off of everything, the sun just peeking over the horizon. Water sloshed against the side of the ship as the tide let out, and we finally set sail. Xavier, one of my friends, came up and gave me a slap on the back and a greeting, but I hardly noticed. Yelling and waving on the dock was Beth. Zigzagging my way across the deck, I stood on the railing and waved back, watching her until she was out of sight.