The story of a young navy sailor trying to make his way in a world torn-apart by war, is he the last hope for Britain?
Seagulls circle Brighton pier, keeping a close eye on the tourists wandering below munching on cheesy chips and greasy burgers on a hot, sticky summer’s day. Every so often an unsuspecting tourist takes his or her eye off their fatty hotdog and at this a scavenging gull swoops down and takes a nibble. It was midday and the queues for the rides and attractions that fill the long wooden pier were full of sweaty bodies waiting to get on them. A gull, feeling proud of a hard day’s scavenging, swoops down and settles down upon the helter skelter as it closes for lunch. He digests some chips he managed to grab from a little boy earlier in the day and then sat watching the people wander by, exchanging their coins for tokens and spending them on the dodgems, roller coasters and spook rides. He takes off and glides over a mass of people queuing for the ghost house, dispensing the waste from his now fully digested dinner on a family of tourists, managing to hit three of the four family members, also splattering many others who weren’t quick enough to dodge the white mess.
A young boy walking past managed to duck just in time and grab the wallet of a Chinese tourist as it flew out of his pocket to the ground. The man pulled himself from the floor and the boy handed the wallet back to him, he said something in Chinese with a smile and walked off, brushing the bird poo from his shoulder. The boy held a confused expression for a moment and then shook his head and walked off. He wandered about holding a plain emotionless expression, like one of those bodyguards celebrities walk around with who are paid to do nothing but look hard and never smile. A couple of girls walked past and one of them noticed the boy staring sweetly at her, she smiled as she fiddled with her diamond covered bracelet, then the boy realised she shared the gaze. He blushed and she laughed quietly as to not alert her friends of this action, the girls stopped whilst one of them admired the view and the girl pretended to be buying some tokens so she could walk over to the boy. Neither of them said a word, just smiled and giggled at each other like babies. It was hard to tell if they had gone red from the embarrassment or just that they had both forgotten to put sun cream on. The girl walked back to her friends and they walked on. The boy sighed to himself looking down at his tatty grey shoes. As he turned to walk away he noticed a bracelet lying on the ground. He reached for it and noticed that it was the one the girl was fiddling with. He spun around but the girl was lost in a crowd of people at the candy floss stall. He sighed to himself again and sauntered on.
Hours past and the sun began to set on the horizon. The boy sat on a shabby bench and pulled out a small bottle of milk. He sipped at it and once he had consumed the entire bottle, he screwed the lid back on, threw the empty bottle into a bin and then wiped the milk from his mouth with the back of is hand. He stared out to the horizon, remembering his childhood fantasies of sailing the oceans. He closed his eyes and his mind became lost in a daydream, his life unfolding before his eyes, the girl he had seen and his lifetime longing to set sail and explore the world. He must have fallen asleep because when he opened his eyes the sun had gone and the pier was brightly lit and appeared to be even busier than before. He yawned and stretched his arms not noticing the girl smiling at him from the other side of the bench, she cleared her throat and he spun round with a look of surprise.
‘I er…’ the boy stuttered.
‘Earlier you picked something up from the ground…’ the girl said sweetly.
‘Oh yes here you go’.
The boy reached into his pocket and pulled out the diamond-encrusted bracelet. He passed it to her and she smiled, he had grown to like her smile even though he had only known her for no more than three minutes. She thanked him but he was surprised to see she stayed and talked to him. As their conversation went on the boy realised he really liked the girl. Apparently her father was the captain of the Royal Navy vessel HMS valiant. Captain Nicholas Pike was a well-decorated officer of the Royal Navy, best known for his devotion to his ship, his crew and Britain. They talked all night and never ran out of conversation until they were told to leave by the night guard. The boy, known as Michael Trevor, was an orphan at the local orphanage, he came to the pier everyday hoping somehow he’d find a way out of there. The girl, known as Jennifer Pike, has lived all over the world because of her father’s career but currently lives in a flat overlooking Brighton beach. They said goodbye and departed, walking away to their separate lives but both knew they wouldn’t be separate for long…