DAY 7 of the Flashnano Challenge. Flashnano is a challenge that involves writing 30 stories in 30 days throughout the month of November. A new writing prompt every day. As a reminder, at this stage I don’t edit these it’s simply raw, off the top of my head writing. Later, I’ll go through any that have potential and edit them. Thanks for reading.
PROMPT 7: Write a story set at a famous location
I think I’m going to die, but Da says I’m just seasick. He hands me a chunk of bread and tells me to pick small pieces off and eat it slowly and I’ll feel better soon. Before getting on the ship we had sausage and potato soup. Ma wasn’t sure when we’d eat next and insisted I eat two heaping bowls full.
As we walked onto the big ship I was excited and scared too. I’d never seen anything like it and there were so many people. Our group got on the ship first so we could be shuffled below deck before the fancy people boarded.
We were going to America where Da was going to get a good job and we’re getting an apartment and maybe a little dog. I haven’t asked for the dog yet, but Ma likes dogs too and in case Da has other thoughts there’s two against one.
Da said we’ll be happy in America. His brother, my Uncle Frank, went to America months ago and insisted we come too and he sent us tickets. I thought he must be rich, but Da says he just had a good job and he could get him one too.
Soon after boarding we stood along the rail as the big ship slowly lumbered out to sea. The way the ship rocked upset my stomach and before I could warn Ma, I threw up my sausage soup over the rail and into the ocean. I wasn’t alone though, adults and other kids were sick too.
Like me, many of them were sick for days. I tried to lay down on our small bed, but the rocking of the ship seemed worse down there. So I leaned against the railing where there was a breeze and closed my eyes. Ma held a cool washcloth to my forehead and Da sang Irish songs softly in his deep voice and I felt a little better.
I didn’t eat much the rest of the trip except small chunks of bread and little sips of water. We were on the ship for so long and everyone was dirty and smelled. We weren’t allowed near the fancy people and mostly had to stay on one side of the ship. One time I snuck over to the other side of the ship and a fancy lady said hello to me. She tucked my hair behind my ear and offered me a piece of hard candy. I’d never tasted anything so good.
Then one morning we heard a big commotion and ran to the deck. People were excited and shouting, “There she is! There she is!” We looked where everyone was pointing and we saw her – the Lady, the Statue of Liberty. Everybody was crying and hugging each other. “America! America!” I was excited too. “Da! I see her torch!”
Da had tears in his eyes and Ma did too. They put their arms around me and we looked up at the statue as we passed her. She seemed to be welcoming us.
Da said, “We’re home”.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
November 2, 1883