The sea drifted calmly around the floating ship, a wide platform of blue surrounding a speck of wood on the Earth’s surface. The sky was clear with no clouds, no wind, no sun. Riona Lyone sat huddled in the corner of the vehicle, the sea of bodies more real to her than the one she rode on.
Water, she thought, food. With the amount of people on her ship to the Americas, the rations had become impossibly small. The little food she did get was given away to the smaller children whom she felt needed it more than she did. Over the days of her journey, the hunger struck her day and night, clawing at her mind, pushing against her sanity. She held on.
Riona had a little sister, Marsielle. Throughout their whole lives, they had only each other to depend on, to lean on. She had promised that they would see each other when she reached the Americas and she didn’t intend to break that promise.
Someone screamed. Riona looked up at the woman who had shouted warning and followed her gaze to the waters of the sea. The dark shadow of a monster filled her vision.
Marsielle, Marsielle, Marsielle. She grabbed the ends of her ragged dress and ran to the edge of the ship.
A single fin sliced through the water.
Riona understood that the shark knew she was there. Keeping her focus on the creature, she looked through the corner of her eye towards the port city that was now visible to the passengers aboard the ship.
Marsielle, Marsielle, Marsielle. The deck had burst into chaos. People jumped into the black water, desperately swimming to land, getting pulled under as another jumped in. Women dived to protect their children, tumbling into the void of death in failed attempts.
A ripple spread across the water as the shark disappeared back under the sea. Backing away, Riona clutched her heart which was beating violently in her chest. Her breaths became shorter and more rapid, turning her being into a battlefield between her mind and body as she gasped to get air at the pace her body needed it.
It’s now or never, Riona thought right before she dived into the sea.
Angry waves crashed over her, pushing her head back under the water. Marsielle. Kicking as hard as she could, Riona forced her mind to focus on the task in front of her: get to safety. Her ears pounded but her senses heightened. The icy water seemed more bearable and the currents worked more so with her than against. Adrenaline coursed through her veins, supplying her limbs with the power she needed as she continued swimming.
The boat got smaller.
Riona swam on.
The winds calmed.
She swam on.
Nothing could stop her. Her body was inhuman with nothing to tire her. She was getting home.