A juvenile at the age of fourteen,
frail and apprehensive of her surroundings lays concealed,
restless beneath a short portion of vessel fabric.
She lays soundless.
Two shots are fired in her direction along with
thirty-one other passengers. Thirty. Twenty-nine.
It is three in the morning.
Weary and yearning for a decent rest, she shuts her eyes for a brief moment; only to be reawakened by the piercing sound of gunshots overhead.
Communist ships pass one by one.
Every minute she remains on the boat feels like hours. Four. Five.
It is half past six.
The girl and her fellow escapees are helpless, on constant alert for attacking warships. A siren resonates through the ocean.
Two chimes. Three chimes. Silence.
A Chinese warship with other Vietnamese refugees approaches the boat.
She peers through the cloth to see a glaring light.
My mother regains her her composure and takes a sigh of relief.