The sun glowed a light ivory, a glimmer of hope in the dawn. It sat hovered between the horizon and the immense sky. The large ship floated in the distance, a large silhouette against the clouds.
Eliza smiled and pushed her oars a little harder, sending a cobalt splash behind her. Feeling the sudden speed change, Sebastian looked up quickly, his lips curving into a smile.
“In a hurry?”
“Yes.” Eliza looked past him and set her eyes on the ship, its immense size becoming more and more apparent with the distance.
“Are we there yet?!” asked a little voice from underneath the skins. “Shhh, my dear. We are almost there though.” Eliza continued to stare at the horizon, afraid of pointing her eyes to the children.
Sebastian laughed quietly, staring at the distant shore behind Eliza. “What?”
He smiled at Eliza, eyes twinkling, “It’s just that in all my twenty years I never imagined I would be smuggling a boat full of children disguised as blankets to America.” She laughed with the man. It was true, but Eliza never imagined that she would be doing the same.
“I agree,” Eliza couldn’t help the grin covering her face despite the circumstances. “And how old are you?” Sebastian asked, his face inquisitive.
Eliza nodded, “There’s a girl even younger than me in our group. She’s seventeen. She’s the one trying to find Olivia, the one who disappeared.”
“I was wondering…why does the king persecute you? I mean, what faith do you have that he doesn’t want you to possess?”
She began to tell him the beginning of their faith, a small sect in the middle of all England.
Liam Jacob Westington was a confused man as he walked out of Wonutherton College on a brisk Friday evening. A drawn out discussion with Professor Berisk had left him doubting the very reason he lived. Walking on the icy streets of downtown London, he had reason to believe that maybe he had everything wrong. For all of his life he had felt empty at the church he went to with his family, a beautiful cathedral that employed the Pope as the head teacher.
Maybe the Savior’s name wasn’t really Jesus? Or that his mother was to be worshipped with Hail Mary’s? Should the Sabbath be kept on Sunday or Saturday? What was Communion really about?
At only twenty-two years of age, Liam had not yet been tasked with a wife or children, nor a laborious job. However, he still felt as if he was older than his grandfather at times, with a complex, thoughtful mind.
As Liam approached the affluent section of town, Brisbane Avenue, he was filled with a quiet peace. Even though it seemed his faith was being turned upside down, he somehow knew everything was okay. However cliché that sounded.
Liam smiled to himself and looked up into the sky, seeing that nearly all the stars were out. It certainly was late, but it was all for the enlightenment of his mind, as far as he was concerned.
However late it was though, the Westington mansion still glowed, set aflame by hundreds of beautiful candles. By this, Liam knew that Father and Mother were holding a dinner party, as this was their code. Too many times Liam and his sister burst in to the parlor with loud voices or dirty clothes, sometimes with friends or food. So they decided to institute an obvious (and beautiful), warning.
Walking up to the gate, Liam said hallo to the guards and went inside, stopping to admire the vast structure.
The mansion was an unusual white marble streaked with black, cut into a pristine square shape. It was tall, at nearly ten stories high, with many windows cut into the facade. There was a fancy embellished stone archway to enter into the mansion’s doorway, through which many wealthy aristocrats had walked.
Spreading out from the entrance was a roundabout cobbled driveway, in which buggies exited and entered. A large marble waterfall sat in the middle, surrounded by a tiny green.
The waterfall glowed a beautiful aqua, illuminated by candle light all around the marble enclosure. It’s comforting pitter-patter sound rang with Liam as he slowly walked past, heading inside.
He decided to go in the side door, which was more discreet. There was little traffic and offered an easy way to get upstairs. Even after living in the mansion for fifteen years, Liam could not understand why the bedrooms were on the fifth floor.
Still, he was just grateful to get to sleep after being up all night. He opened the ornate wood doors and made his way quickly through the corridor to the stairs.
“Liam? Is that you?!” His mother swished into the room, her black hair swept up into a chignon. A feathery white stole draped over her shoulders, dragging on the ground.
“Yes mother, how are you? I was just—”
“Oh Liam! You must go talk to Eliza, her father just became administrator!” She grabbed him by the arm, leading him out of the corridor into the ballroom.
His mother left him standing there with Eliza Marianna Grey, a pretty young socialite from Brisbane. She smiled at him, her blonde head cocked to one side, “Good evening, Liam.”
“Good evening to you as well, Eliza.” He smiled, “How is the ball?”
“Oh simply magical! Your parents have the most impeccable taste.” She grinned, swishing her white dress to one side.
“Thank you, they try.” Liam bowed, “Now if you would excuse me, I must retire. I am extremely tired.”
“Oh then, goodnight!” Eliza called cheerily, practically floating away.
Liam had to laugh to himself, that girl was so kind, but a bit dreamy. Still, he wondered why his parents wanted so anxiously for him to marry and build a house. Weren’t there farther more important things to attend too? He thought so, and spent many long nights studying the Bible to try and answer the many questions that crossed his brain.
What is the meaning of life? Why are we commanded to do all the things that we are? What is the meaning of the threshold? Why were some things stated in the Bible not acted upon?
This and many other questions were the things that plagued Liam at night, not marriage or having money. He resolved his best, though, to obey his father in all means and be dutiful. However, the great mystery of the Bible remained, and Liam was determined to figure it out.