~Winner of the 2011 WATTY AWARDS.~ Inspired by the film 'Titanic.' Co-Written by TEAtitanic fan and bluecanary446 and edited by snowwhite. Cover image entitled "Joy" by 'light-from-Emirates' on Deviantart.
Peace, my friends! And now, please sit back as your feature presentation is about to begin...
For a moment, it’s all she can think about.
Piercing screams and shouts of agonizing terror are all she can hear. The deaths of the elderly, the young with still so many years ahead of them, deaths of small infants frozen solid into their dead mother’s arms— their cold, lifeless eyes, eyes that never got to grow up and see the world— wide open and glassy. For short time, if she closes her eyes, death is all she sees.
Death, ringing from the highest peaks of the ship’s bow, a bow that once touched the sunset. Death, oozing from the decaying hallways that children and lovers used to dance through.
Hallways that she used to dance through.
“It’s been 84 years,” the old woman says, taking a deep breath. She opens her eyes. She stares ahead at the fuzzy computer monitors around her, decorated with a shipwreck down at the bottom of the ocean. To most, the ship would be unrecognizable. But for her, it brings back memories so vividly.
But this isn’t about her.
Today, Mrs. Appleton has not been called to talk about herself, or her experience on the voyage that took the lives of too many. If she had been, she probably wouldn’t have come.
These men, the men surrounding her who call themselves explorers, they need to know the truth behind Titanic.
“But I can still remember the expressions on the passenger’s faces. No matter what their age, they were smiling and observing the interior. So obviously expensive, it made you feel important. Everybody was so…content. There wasn’t a glower in sight, for those who weren’t looking for it. It was the ship of dreams. A ship of dreams and love.” The old woman smiles at the memory. Everything was so beautiful before disaster stuck, and when it did, nobody suspected it. Life is such a precious thing….The old woman thinks. Titanic taught her that. “Yet hidden among those faces were a frown or two, and one of my dearest friends was among them. Not all the time, of course. No, she was a nice girl. Certainly not mean or ill tempered. Though, what with her fiancée, I’m surprised that she ended up the way that she did.”
“Wait, so… she died?” a rude voice interrupts.
These types of people, with their sharp, unnecessary outbursts have always upset Mrs. Appleton, but she has learned to ignore them. She clears her throat and continues with her story. “But what you’re looking for is the gem, are you not? It was a beauty, it was, and given to her by her fiancée, no doubt. He was the type to buy love. He was certainly not handsome or kind enough to get it for himself. Simply his personality could kill the energy in the room. But, let’s not start with that.
“I remember her when she was truly happy; normal, at the very least. I can still remember the cheerful tune of her laugh from a happier time, before her horrible fiancée. I can still picture her so well—her long, ginger hair, kind eyes and smiling lips. She looked like a princess, like she belonged in some fairytale instead of in the real world. Of the two of us, she was always the beauty, though I don’t believe she knew it. Sometimes I picture her so well that I swear she’s standing right there beside me, chattering away like she used to when she was free. You see, she loved to talk.
“And she was free again, near the end. I saw her that last night, with a boy too perfect for words. Not only strikingly handsome, but he glowed of positive energy. He reflected it onto her, and she reflected it back. They looked so content together, and I truly believe if they were still here, they’d be together. Always together, they were. Always will be. The last time I saw her, she wasn’t wearing that necklace. The Heart of the Ocean, you called it?” A few of the men nod, not daring to interrupt. “I haven’t the slightest idea where it went. I’m sure her fiancée took it the moment he saw her with the handsome boy. Being a narrow minded man, I’m sure he only saw him as a threat, just like he only saw her as property.”
“We checked his property. The Hockley family reported it missing upon reaching land. Our last hope was when we found this drawing,” one of the young men says, brandishing a rather revealing drawing, a copy of course, of her friend in front of her. By ‘very revealing’ she means that her friend is wearing the Heart of the Ocean, and only the Heart of the Ocean. Mrs. Appleton averts her eyes to anywhere but the drawing, but even in her haste she can’t help but notice how detailed it is. Every last stoke of the pencil is perfected, like it was drawn by an expert artist.
Funny, she thinks, Marley wasn’t the type to model like that. “That’s why we’re trying to find it, you see. Just imagine how much it would be worth now…”
“I’m afraid I’m no help in that aspect.”
“Nevertheless, you are the last survivor. You must have a story of your own,” the same man says with a pleasant smile.
“Don’t we all?” the old woman sighs. For a moment, it’s as if she’s not going to say more, but her withered mouth turns up to a smile, and she begins the story of Titanic. The story that’s never been told before, never been uttered by a single mouth until today, but a true and magnificent story nonetheless.
The story that did not begin on a large dock in Liverpool, England, but rather, on a hot, summer’s day in Miami Florida, on a small suburban street called ‘Dreams.’
P.S. Special Thanks to Firedancer8 who persuaded me to post this. :-)