Camille closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and fought to muscle her way past the overwhelming sea-sickness that overtook her. She wanted to be up on deck, she wanted to be able to see the horizon so that the reeling of the ship wouldn't make her want to vomit. After the wave of nausea seemed to pass, Camille opened her eyes and looked around. She had been in the cargo-hold of this ship for what seemed like years, but had actually only been a matter of weeks. There were three or four dozen other people crammed in it with her, most of them sick, some of them either dead or dying. The smell of their own filth was overpowering, and Camille felt for the first time in her life what it was like to be one of the poor. She leaned her head against the pole she was tied to, and tried to think back to happier times, to when things had seemed to make sense.
Home had been a small manor in the french country-side, just north of Marseilles. She had lived there with a plethera of servents, her sister, her step-brother, and her father. Her mother had died giving birth to her, and soon her father remarried. The woman was also a widow, and she had a son, Edward. He was a good-looking young man, and very kind. It seemed only days after he and his mother had arrived that she got sick, and only a matter of days after that that she died. Edward stayed with us, he said we were the only family he had left. Camille wondered what had happened to him after her father had had him arrested. Her sister and her step-brother had fallen deeply in love, the kind of love you only heard stories about. However, her father had already promised her sister to another man, and older man who wanted her only for her youth and fertility. Edward tried to run away with her sister, but her father found them, and when they did, Edward was arrested and sent to fight in the army. Not long after, war reached them even in their small home in the country. They killed her father, and her sister, and took her captive. Camille and the other prisoners were forced to march endlessly until they reached Marseilles, where they were loaded onto a ship bound for the Americas. Now, she didn't know if she would reach her destination alive, or how many of her shipmates would die, or what would happen to her when she arrived at her new home. A tear made its way down her cheek.