An unexpected encounter at the shore

Dan O'Brien, Year 9, John McGlashan College
Dan O'Brien, Year 9, John McGlashan College
This piece is inspired by the novel Refugee by Alan Gratz, with the task of writing from the perspective of a side character in the novel, observing the actions of the main characters. This piece is written from the perspective of holidaymakers in the Bahamas as Isabel (one of the three protagonists) accidentally arrives here instead of Miami.

"Bzzzzzzz, bzzzzzzzzzzz," the noise of an outboard motor flew to my ears. Lifting my heavily tinted sunglasses, I open sleepy eyes and look up, bum digging into the luxuriously padded beach chairs. A tiny little motorised raft — it barely even seems like it should float — carrying eight people screams toward the beach.

This is a most welcome surprise. My day has consisted of seven packets of chips and a lot of suntan lotion.

My kids, James and Meg are out swimming in the next bay.

This motorised box of wood is screaming towards the wharf, and I jump up, eager to find out what is happening, and get a bit of drama in my life. I run up the beach and grab my phone from my handbag. I ring James and Meg to see if they are OK.

They are only metres away now. Two black men in white short-sleeved uniforms run to the edge of the pier, but not before a small throng of about 10 tourists gets there. I start to walk to the wooden panelled wharf but a third officer blocks my path.

By now they have cut their engine and are parking up sideways to the wood. I see there are two children, an older couple, two young adults wearing police uniforms, and a heavily pregnant woman with a cloth draped over her face.

The officers tell them that they will be deported if they step on to Bahamian soil. We cry out in outrage, this just won’t do. I run to the little shop at the top of the beach and buy a gallon of water. I push past the officer and pass over the water. Soon there is a flood of people handing water, food, and into the boat!

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