Myles slid his arm down the length of the cannon. The muscles in his arm looked hard as his arm moved downward; they looked even harder when Myles moved his arm upward along the cannon’s length. He then said, “A new man tried to show how good he was by twirling a sword in a circle, but the sword slipped from his hand and scraped against the cannon.”
Rose asked Myles, “Did that really happen, or am I creating a story within a dream story?”
Myles and John didn’t hear her; they moved away from the cannon, walked over to one of the compartments on the deck, and sat down together on the wooden floor. The cannon turned itself toward Rose and said, “You are creating a story within your story.” It then turned back to the window and stood guard over that section of the ship.
In the center of the middle deck, Rose saw a cradle for a baby, boxes, a wooden chest, clothes, blankets, and wooden platforms being used for beds. There were wooden dividers so that privacy was possible for some of the passengers. Rose, though, could see over the dividers. She started to count the Pilgrims. She first counted a hundred and two passengers. Then she heard a baby crying. She counted the passengers a second time; there were now a hundred and three of them. One of the passengers said the name: “Oceanus.” Rose realized that the crying baby was Oceanus Hopkins, who was born on the Mayflower during its voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Oceanus and the Pilgrims near him seemed even more crowded together than they did in the Desperate Crossing film.
Rose yelled out: “Can any of you Pilgrims see me or hear me?” Everyone ignored Rose, which meant that she was invisible. Perhaps her subconscious mind was telling her that she was a descendant of the Reverend John Robinson, who didn’t physically come over on the Mayflower.
A wave of water suddenly went across the upper deck of the ship. One of the Pilgrims stared at the water. After a few seconds, he opened up a Bible and read the following verse: “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from mine sin” (Ps. 51:2 GNV).
Rose asked, “Are you trying to tell me that I’m guilty of sin?”
The Pilgrim did not respond to her question; he was now silently reading the Bible.
Rose asked in a softer voice, “Am I not good enough to join the Pilgrims?”
The Pilgrim lifted up his head before saying, “Ay.”
Even though Rose knew that he could have been responding to something he had just read in the Bible, she thought that he was instead trying to answer her question.
Rose’s thoughts moved into the conscious part of her mind, like a wave was sweeping them forward. For a while now, she had been trying to avoid her present by living in the past. She was late for everything. Her friends at work kept on having to “cover” for her. During the bank robbery, she had been unable to scream at the right moment, so even being shot in the knee was her own fault. She had screamed too late. Then both her knee pain and her anti-pain drugs had made her grouchy. She had screamed at Travis too much. Their fights had broken up their marriage, so her separation from her husband was mostly her own fault. She had done many other things wrong in her life. Even though she kept on trying to be good and often went to church, she was still a sinner.
A tear fell from Rose’s face. Like a tiny wave, it flew down onto the wooden floor of the ship’s middle deck. It then tried to climb back up onto Rose’s face, but the tear was too slippery. It went right past her face and hit one of the crossbeams in the ceiling of the ship. As Rose’s tear was absorbed by the wooden crossbeam, the dampening section of the wood looked like a large version of the wooden cross that her parents had given to her at her baptism.
Rose sat down on a bench and looked out at the Pilgrims. They were talking quietly to each other, playing games with their children, sewing, and reading. Candles were set up in different sections of the middle deck.
Rose said, “You all look so much better behaved than I am.”
One of the passengers walked over to a wooden chest, opened it up, and removed a copy of the 1599 Geneva Bible. The passenger took the Bible over to a wooden bench, sat down, and began reading out loud: “For there is no difference: for all have sinned, and are deprived of the glory of God, / And are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:23 – 24 GNV).
Rose was shocked. Surely, she was completely different from these Pilgrims. She could not be as good as they were, could she? She knew that the Pilgrims wanted a new life and more religious freedom; they were also very courageous and trusting in God. They were going into a New World, where all of them could easily be killed. She knew they were afraid of illness, starvation, and the Native people in the New World, but they were still going on their dangerous voyage.
She thought again about the Bible verse. It was one of her favorite ones, and she was happy to be reminded of it. She did not have to pay any money for her sins to be forgiven; she only had to ask for redemption through Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior. She knew he had given his life on the cross so that her sins would be forgiven. However, she still did not think of herself as being as good as the Pilgrims were.