Inside the information building, Peri spoke to a man dressed as a Pilgrim. She took her post on the pier by a small ramp that led into the ship, so she could greet tourists as they arrived.
As Peri waited on the dock, she imagined what the bay would have looked like years ago. Trying to get into her role, she looked up at the Mayflower II and pictured spending months on the water inside that ship. The Pilgrims must have been either very brave or very desperate. It would have been so cramped inside. And to think poor Mary Chilton’s parents died onboard, leaving her alone in the new world.
Peri was so busy daydreaming she didn’t notice the dark clouds rolling in again. Her phone beeped under all her clothes, but she ignored it. A sudden crash of thunder jolted her to alert. It sounded so nearby that it startled her. Out across the water, a jagged flash of lightning lit up the sky, followed by another boom.
The warning was brief. The clouds opened up. Torrents of rain drenched her clothes. In the parking lot, dozens of arriving tourists ran for cover. She wasn’t sure if she should leave her post. Peri threw her cloak over her shoulders, pulled her bodkin out of her cap, and began lacing up the cloak.
The sky lit up again with lightning, but this time between jagged bolts, a ball of white light appeared. It looked like a miniature sun. The giant bubble of light floated rapidly towards Peri, its blue edges dancing like solar flares. Too scared to run, she froze like a rabbit.
The ball hovered over her. In a burst of light, it rushed directly at her. Terrified, she pointed the bodkin at the light, as if to pop a balloon. She squeezed her eyes closed and grimaced, preparing to be struck. Like a vacuum cleaner sucks up a flea, the sphere of light pulled her inside. Then she was falling, like in a dream. She felt no pain. Maybe she was dead.