Felix found his passion at a very young age. He would go into the woods and would climb whatever tree he could climb. He’d sit on it and turn it into his boat being the captain. Sailing was, is, and always will be his passion, until it brings him his death that is. When we were younger he’d always get mad at me for not wanting to play with him till one day he agreed to make me his co-captain. It’s my favorite memory of us, we were so connected up in the tree it felt like nothing could ever break us apart.
Right now, England is ahead of the rest of the nations. It was announced that due to our advancements we would start and end the search for the northwest passage. Felix was overjoyed when he found out that he was given the honour to be a member of the ship’s crew and be one of the people responsible for finding this passage. We were all excited for him but of course we held our concern. The captain of the exploration was Captain Sir John Franklin whose last exploration wasn’t successful. Nevertheless we supported Felix and waved him goodbye till the ship was no longer in eyesight. That was two years ago. A few months after the ship left we had received a letter from Felix explaining what his duties were, what the rest of the guys were like, and where they were and how they expected things to go based on how they have gone so far.
Everything looked good. Felix was happy with his duties, he had made good friends with those on the ship, and not so good friends which is to be expected with any trip, and most importantly the ship was on track.
That letter that Felix sent was the last to be heard from the ships. No one knows what has happened nor why we haven’t heard anything. It was estimated to be an easy three year expedition and they packed for five years to be safe. Lady Franklin has taken matters into her own hands as the peelers weren’t showing any concern. She hasn’t shared any of her findings with the members’ families — little do we know she hasn’t found any answers.
“The bad kind mama, what other kind of danger is there?”
Mama took a deep breath and sat down quickly. She grabbed my hands this time squeezing them and staring deep into my eyes.
“Amelia, honey. I believe you, truly, but no one else will.”
“I’m not insane mama!” Tears start to fall down my cheeks as I try to control my anger.
“Take a moment to gather yourself Amelia,” said mama. “Once you have calmed down you can explain to me what you believe to be going on.” her tone was stern and her words pierced through the thin air between us.
We are crowded together in the room besides the boiler. The temperature is dropping quickly and we all attempt to find warmth in one another. We leave or we starve — the choice is ours. Francis Cozier, Captain of the HMS Terror, is now the one we look to; with Franklin frozen over aboard the HMS Erebus we have no other option. It’s been decided. Cozier insists we move on. We gather our things and leave on a mission to find food and shelter. Shortly after we leave the ship, a few crewmen besides me are moving slower and losing color in their faces — eventually dropping dead. We take a few minutes to bury them and give our prayers before we continue forward.
In the distance we see a rectangular outline — we’ve found one. I have hope. The door is frozen shut and takes all of our left over strength put together to pry it open. The sun shimmering off of the snow quickly fills the small enclosure. I follow the new trail of light, anticipation growing inside me. It’s empty. We pick ourselves up and continue to the next one — if we make it. By this time more crewmen have taken the same fate as their friends. My hopes are dwindling fast. The crisp, harsh winds are picking up, pulling the snow off of the ground and pushing it into the air all around us. It’s getting harder and harder to see, to breathe, to walk, to push my body any further than where we’re at. Everything is numb. I don’t know how much longer I have. We’ve encountered another enclosure, our hopes and standards are set low by the last enclosure, pry it open and see that this, too, is empty.
We set up camp with all we have left while the two men in the life boat crystalized in their stature. We attempt to gather our knowledge of the outdoors to conjure a fire; a spark lit and disappeared within seconds. Starvation took three more. Attempting to keep heat inside our thin, mangled clothes, a man starts to move. He’s now above one of the limp bodies with a knife. He slowly starts to cute the corpse open. Organs revealed — I’m compelled to lean forward and look but turn to the side to vomit. I must survive, eat or be eaten, I contemplate with myself as I pull the meat closer to my mouth — it tastes like beef. We pack up and move on into the unknown and within just 10 minutes more have fallen and our food abundance grows.
I can feel something behind me. I turn to see a shadow move quickly behind the enclosure. I turn around and continue on with the crew members that are left.We continue walking, unable to feel anything. I sense something once more. My heart pounds.I turn around and am confronted by an eight-foot monstrous creature. It’s skin has a yellowish tint to it and is translucent to the point where I’m able to faintly see the inside workings of a human body. This isn’t human though. It’s eyes, watery and glowing, stare down at me. It’s hair is long and string like. It’s lips match the vast darkness of its hair and it’s teeth contrast the lips, stark white in color.
I look up at mama and she can’t control her tears.
“How do you know that’s Felix?” asked mama. She wants to think I just made that up.
“The same way I knew that day we couldn’t find him.”
“My boy is going through that?”
“Yes mama, I’m living it with him.”
“My poor babies.” Mama falls to her knees sobbing and I quickly wrap my body around hers to comfort her.
I start to feel nauseous. I try to use mama to help me stand up but I’m unable to.
“Amelia, honey, are you okay?” Mama wipes away her tears and tries to help me up. At this time Father returns after leaving seven hours ago. He immediately gets under me and helps me sit at the table after seeing mama struggle. My head’s heavy. I can’t concentrate on what’s being said and can only pull a few words together.
“What’s going on?” Comes through clearly. Father’s voice is loud and deep but it’s quivering — that’s not good.
“I don’t … “
“… Cedric? … What … did you … “
“I’m sorry mama.” Cedric sounds like he’s crying. Why is he crying?
“ … drinks … visions … sleeping”
None of this makes sense.
I wake up on the back of a horse with father holding the lead. He feels me move and pulls the horse to a stop. He helps me up and off the horse carefully. I trip and he catches me.
“What’s going on father?”
“Cedric was worried.”
“Cedric? Worried? What about?”
“He told me what he heard you tell mama. He said you guys were talking and he didn’t want to intrude so he waited behind the wall till you guys stopped talking. Amelia, he told me about you and Felix.”
“Amelia, no! I’ve already had this argument with mama. You need help.”
“They won’t help me father! I’m not insane.” I feel nauseous again and everything goes black.
The room was filled with small beds that held one pillow, a sheet, and a thin blanket. Each bed is a foot from the next with about 50 beds per room. It’s only me and one other girl in the room making the beds as our first daily tasks. We never talk. I don’t talk to anyone here — I don’t belong here.
The girl looks at me with no change in expression. She still has that stern, furrowed brows. I ignore the look and get back to work. I don’t like her.
“I don’t like her either.” The voice is familiar. I look up to see a familiar face. I haven’t been this excited since I was named co-caption of the tree ship.
“After all these years, nothings changed.” His eyes bring me warmth. His cheekbones and nose are all too familiar. “What are you doing here? How did you get in?”
The girl makes a noise to get my attention. Her expression furrowed still and I replied with the same look.
“None of that matters. All that matters is that i’m here.”
“Who are you talking to?” the girl exploded with rage.
“My brother Felix. He’s right here”
“This place is full of crack heads.” She says mumbling.
“What was that about?” I asked Felix.
“Don’t worry about her Amelia. I came to tell you that what you saw was true.”
“You mean my visions?”
“They really happened?”
“Yes Amelia.” His eyes look deeper into mine.
“Felix, I’m so sorry that you had to go through that.”
He grabs my arm. “We both went through it Amelia.”
The doors open and close. I look away from Felix to see a staff member heading towards me. She grabs my arm and pulls me out of the room. I look back to where Felix was and he’s gone. Where’d he go?
“Ma’am? Do you know where my brother went?”
“See, I told you she was seeing things.” said the girl.
“That’s enough from you. Get back to work, you have double the amount now.” She pulls me in front of her, hands on both arms pushing tight. “Now you, girl, are coming with me.”
My heart drops to my stomach as she pushes me out the door.