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Antonia's Voyage (standard:adventure, 2831 words)
Author: akAdded: Jul 25 2003Views/Reads: 2343/1505Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Determined to sail a British cargo ship to the colonies, Antonia disguises herself as a boy. Will her secret identity be discovered?

Antonia's Voyage 

by Kira Pirofski B.A., M.A. 

Antonia Anders stood on the edge of the rocky cliffs of Dover.  The toes
of her narrow, long, white feet curled over the sharp boulders in a 
firm grip. A warm summer wind whipped her lanky, straight red hair 
around her neck, and billowed the hems of her plain white frock.  Her 
left hand shielded her blue eyes from the noon day sun, and  she 
squinted into the sea. 

At the age of 6, just 8 years ago, Antonia had disconvered this windy
spot.  From here, she could watch the ships as they crossed the channel 
to France.  Here Antonia could indulge in her fantasy of being at the 
helm of one of those ships. She fantasized about barking orders to 
scruffy boys, “rig the sails, let out the anchor, till the wheel!” she 
would command in her deepest voice. 

“Watch for the squall mate!” Antonia cried to one of the sea gulls which
dipped overhead. 

“Hey, mate, mum says its time for lunch,” came a voice from behind. 
Antonia turned red faced when she recognized the voice of her older 
brother, Ben, who had called to her. 

“Aye aye first mate,” she replied with haste. Antonia gathered her dress
in a flurry and ran carefully down the slope to the sod topped cottage 

“Ben, please, I saw my ship, please, you must take my letter for me!”
she implored Ben. Antonia, I am willing, but you know what mum says,” 
Ben sighed.  “She says the queen will never receive me, and would never 
let a girl command a ship,” he said, knowing his little sister would 
not give up easily. 

“But Ben is there a better sailor than me? Does a calmer head exist? Is
there a sturdier mate on the Island of England who could command a 
ship?” before he could answer his customary,” no, Antonia, you are the 
best at sea, and the ablest sailor,” She continued. 

“I have steered mum's fishing boat since 6, and I have sailed the
“Antonia” through storms without leaving so much as a scratch on her 
side.” “Never have I capsized,” she added with pride. 

“Antonia, I wish I could deliver your letter to the queen asking to
command a ship, but mum says no. She needs you here.  And besides, 
girls are not allowed to command ships,” we have been through this 

“This time is different” retorted Antonia slyly, “I have another plan. I
have a brand new plan that will work.”  “In fact, why, I don't need you 
to deliver this letter at all. I will go in person.  All I need is for 
you to act as my first mate. You would just stand there; you would not 
even have to talk.” Antonia finished breathlessly. 

“You promised when pop died that you would be my father and brother. You
said you would help me become the woman I was meant to be, and so far, 
you haven't lived up to your word. Pa would scold you.” Antonia was 
famous for not letting a subject rest. 

Ben looked at his sister and thought about her words.  This slip of a
girl was 5 years younger than he.  But she was just as tall, and thin 
as he, and even more iron willed. 

And she was right. Pa knew of her love of the sea and would want her to
command a ship.  He teased her that he would have named her Dianna, 
goddess of the sea, if he had known she would have fallen in love with 
those blue waves. 

“Okay, what are you talking about?  I will at least listen.” He said
after a silence. 

“Well, my teacher, Mum Penelope helped me write a letter to the queen's
courtier. It is a fine letter.  I told the courtier to tell the queen 
that a Master Anthony wishes to command his next cargo ship to the 

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