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William's Dream Part 2
He should have known that John Acre would not have written to him if it were not for a situation like this. It was out of character. John had not so much as glanced at him for eighteen years, why would he suddenly choose to write to him? John could never look at the boy who had unknowingly taken his wife’s life so many years ago. William always looked so much like his mother that a simple glance would remind John of what he lost. He was a male version of Mrs. Acre, in all except his eyes. The family had always wondered where William had gotten his green eyes. The reason that William joined the militia was to earn his father’s approval. William spent many days wondering why his father would not treat him with affection.
This letter answered that question. He was not John Acre’s son. Both John and his wife had known this. John decided that now William was mature enough to know the truth. He also found it easier than telling him in person. William read that he was named after his true father. His father’s name was William Shackleton. Suddenly, everything that he had gone through made sense to William. The reason that his “father” did not treat him the way an average father would treat his son was that John Acre was not his father. William’s emerald green eyes glistened with tears at the thought of the family that he had missed out on, but he quickly blinked them away, dreading what the other men would say if they saw him. He briskly stuffed the letter under his pillow and tried to sleep.
“Sail ho!” was screamed throughout the labyrinth, causing William to leap out of his bed after a sleepless night.
Soon, people were bellowing “Enemy in sight!” followed by the words “Get under way!” William felt a sudden surge of fear as he realized how close they were to battle. Only a second of this had passed before he took control of his feelings and prepared himself for the upcoming battle. He had not been chosen to serve under Captain Oliver Hazard Perry because he could not control his emotions, in fact just the opposite. He had not made it this far to lose control before they began their battle. He had trained long and hard for this; this was his moment. William looked around and saw fear contorted on the faces that he spent months getting to know. Was he the only one who could keep his composure under pressure?
A cry of “All hands up, anchor ahoy!” told the men that it was time to set sail.
William quickly boarded the Lawrence and the ships began sailing out toward the enemy. The blood red sun had painted the sky with hues of orange, yellow and red, leaving a reflection of warm colours on the cold, dark abyss that is Lake Erie. Commodore Perry began a motivational speech and a deadly silence fell over the ship.
He held up a blue flag with the words “NEVER GIVE UP THE SHIP” printed on it and concluded his speech. “My brave lads!” he said, “, this flag contains the last words of Captain Lawrence. Shall I hoist it?”
William and the rest of the crew hollered a reply of “Ay, ay sir!” and the blue patch was hoisted.
William gazed out toward the horizon and in the distance he saw six ships approaching. His spirits lifted slightly-they had nine ships. Just then, Commodore Perry told the crew that they would be changing the positioning of their ships because of how the British ships were laid out. They inched closer to the fleet of British ships until a bugle was sounded loudly on the Detroit, one of the British ships. Before William realized what was happening, a long gun was shot at their ship. William was so frozen with fear that he barely heard Commodore Perry reassuring them. Relief washed over him when he watched the shot plunge into the black water.
They slowly glided toward the British ships. William could feel the suspense of the moment. No one dared break the silence as they crept forward. Before William could think, commands were shouted, and shots were fired from both ends. The Lawrence was the main target of the British. William could plainly see that after only four shots. All six ships began shooting at the Lawrence. William put his fear aside once again and concentrated on his task-sink the British ships. All he wished to do was contribute to claiming independence for America. The Lawrence continued to be bombarded with shots. At this point, the ship could barely do anything. The mast had broken, the sails were nothing but scrap cloth, and many of their guns had been disarmed. They moved closer still toward the enemy. Commodore Perry made it clear that he would go down fighting. William gazed at his mentor in awe. How could he be so close to death, and still wish to get closer? The ship had gotten so close to the enemy now that he could count the faces on the opposite ship. He was scanning the faces of the men on the opposite side when he saw a pair of eyes. This set of eyes had been staring at him in dumbfound shock, but William did not even give that a thought because there was something even more stunning about these eyes- they were pure green. The only other set of eyes he had ever seen with that colour were in the mirror. Suddenly, this man’s captain began yelling orders at him;
“Shackleton what are you doing? Did you not hear me say fire?!!”