The Vessel

I’ve been waiting a long time.

And I don’t mean the half hour I’ve sat on this decrepit wooden bench by the docks, tapping my knee in time to the gentle laps of the waves on the sand, awaiting the ship.

I mean my whole, so-far pathetic life. Eighteen years wasted in a town too small for a dreamer, in a house too small for a dreamer.   I have to go away; I think I might suffocate if I don’t. I’m not like my parents. I don’t like confined spaces;   I’m not used to it. I held fast to my childhood hopes; theirs were ripped from small fingers, bottled and corked, and thrown into the sea to be devoured by whales and sharks. No ship ever came to rescue them from their sorry lives of monotony and black and white, which were never really lives at all.

But my ship is coming. It’s entered my field of view now, a looming silhouette plastered against the dense layer of fog. It’s not exactly a perfect thing of beauty, but rather worn and battered, its figurehead, an eagle, chipped in more than one place.

Honestly, though, it is undeniably the most magnificent thing I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. It is my way out, the missing key that will ultimately unlock what must be the better part of my life. And for this, it is the paragon of all vessels.

I stand up, leaving the bench behind.

I walk towards the ship; towards my new chance at a making a difference, at meaning something more than I ever could have in this town that’s too small for a dreamer.

When we finally pull away from the shore, I don’t look back. My eyes are fixed on the eagle now, and it’s pointing to my destiny.


My name is Ashley Kupiec, and I’m a sophomore in high school. I am fifteen years old, soon to be sixteen. My love for writing started at no more than four, and recently, with the help of an amazing English teacher and the inspiration of hundreds of books, I have developed somewhat of an aptitude for it, and have even began considering pursuing it as a profession later on in life. Along with writing, I also dance competitively and engage myself in my schoolwork devotedly, maintaining straight A’s throughout my high school career so far.

© Ashley Kupiec



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