|Antonia's Voyage (standard:adventure, 2831 words)|
|Author: ak||Added: Jul 25 2003||Views/Reads: 1974/1257||Story 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 below. “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 before. “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 Click here to read the rest of this story (269 more lines)
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