Nearing Land

Bam! I sat up in shock. There looking at me was Tom ‘Hey you all right Jack?’ Whispered Tom in a croaky voice. ‘Yeah I responded?' Heavy footsteps above deck were busier than usual and the constant swaying of the ship gave me a nauseous feeling in my stomach. As a man shouted above deck “we are nearing land!” I heard the anchor crash to the bottom of the sea. Was this going to be the worst day of my life?

We had to stay on the ship for a night. I noticed Tom was lying on the floor with a deep pale white face. Tears drowned my eyes as he took his last breath. I thought what if I was quicker, what if I could’ve helped. The daily night check came down, walked around and found his body there. Dragging him up above deck like a rag doll. I heard a splash as Tom’s body was dropped into the ocean.

Get up! Get up! Screamed a man above us. Rubbing my crispy eyes in the morning, I struggled to stand and someone bumped me to the ground. I got up and followed everyone up the ladder. “Now get on the long boats, hurry!” Exclaimed one of the crew. It was sunny and bright, trees as green as emeralds swaying in the wind. The water crystal clear, the sand yellow and the soil rich orange and brown. Climbing down the wet rope, I heard in the distance one of the men mention the date “January 1788”, it dawned on me we had been at sea for months. I hopped into one of the long boats, and rowed we to land.

I felt the sand tickle my feet as I struggled through it. I thought I saw an Indian running through the bushes but he was different. We were given axes to gather wood. The other people onboard got to set up camp.

A week later the rations were running out... people aren’t getting enough food and vitamins, they were all getting dysentery because the crops wouldn’t grow on this new land. All the hard work we had to do was a huge strain on our bodies, we were weak and always hungry. When I was walking to get a pail of water from a lake, natives were already there. They laughed, then took out a wooden knife, I didn’t know what to do, I thought should I run, should I stay, but my body had already decided, I couldn’t move.

But suddenly, I got a jolt of energy and ran, the fastest I’d ever run before, back to camp. Everyone was waving at a ship and cheering I had no idea what was happening. “Yay the supply ship is nearing land” shouted a convict. If only I still had my good, loyal friend Tom to help me get through this. But I had no one at all.

FOLLOW US was established in 1997, and since then we have successfully completed numerous short story and poetry competitions and publications.
We receive an overwhelming positive feedback each year from the teachers, parents and students who have involvement in these competitions and publications, and we will continue to strive to attain this level of excellence with each competition we hold.


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