In seven ships they sailed out across the sea to search for new lands to conquer.
The King’s ship sank first, struck by lightning in a storm, followed soon by the Lords’ vessel, and the Ladies’ too, both of which were lost to the waves of the tempest that raged on and on through the night.
After that a silence that stretched out across the days.
The soldiers’ ship went next; in the calm after the storm, with no wind to move their sails, mutiny smouldered, civil war took, and up it all went in a blaze of self-destruction, death and despair.
The priests’s ship crashed upon hidden rocks. The merchants’ vessel was waylaid by pirates.
All that was left of the fleet now was the ship of slaves, of servants, of maids.
They came soon to land and settled quietly there. In the years that followed, it was agreed that nothing of value had been lost upon the journey, and much indeed had been gained.
1. Written in August 2016
2. And re-written many times since