• Shae Bryant

Chapter 1...


I want to share with all of you a little piece from chapter 1 of "The Tin Photo." This is my first foray into a piece of historic fiction, and I've been a bit nervous with it. Despite that, I am quite happy with how things are working out. I hope you enjoy the preview!




Marija sniffed, “I feel like we will never get off of this ship and onto dry land.”

Matko looked over the stern of the ship. He squinted past the horizon. There. Just at the edge of the unbroken blue, was something different? Long days on the ocean played tricks on his vision. He often felt he could see land or seagulls far in the distance. This time, it seemed to be genuine.

Yes! He could see it! The horizon grew smaller and a strip of shadowy land met the ocean. Tiny flecks of seagulls hung overhead. They were miles away, yet it was the most beautiful thing Matko had ever seen.

“No Mama! Look! Look! I think we’re here!”

He jumped when a heavy horn cut through the air, giving him a start. Matko ran to the rail, leaning over it to see the source of the blast. Another ship! They had made it!

“Is it…” Marija picked up her skirt, rushing towards her son.

“Mama! Wait!” Matko protested. He was already being pushed away from her by a swelling crowd of eager passengers.

Shouts of joy went up from the bowels of the ship as news of land traveled. On the deck, people squeezed in towards the rails to peek at the shore line. America. This was it. The promised land of honest work, proper pay and freedom from wars and violence.

One man yelled for joy, flinging his hat into the air as the ship sailed closer to the land. A beacon appeared in the fog, bearing a great torch high over her head. She looked out over the ocean at the liner, embracing all to America with a tablet of independence clutched tight against her chest.The boundless robes of Liberty billowed towards the ground like an expansive blanket covering the land.

At the sight of the statue, Matko grasped his Mother’s hand, shifting his weight back and forth. He felt he might dance a jig or perhaps swim to shore himself! A group of passengers began singing a raucous tune, joining arms and swaying back and forth in celebration. Even though Matko did not recognize the words, he joined in with the others by stamping his feet on the deck. His Mother clapped her hands in time with the music, laughing and cheering along with him.

© 2020 by Shae Bryant.