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Ellie Stevenson, 17 Nov '12

Lucie wandered around the cabin. She wasn’t sure she was in the right room. Over on the left was the door to the bathroom and next to that, the wardrobe room. But both of the rooms looked slightly different and there was no verandah, or even a maid’s room.                          
        Altogether the suite looked smaller. And where was Lil? Lucie sighed. She looked again. It didn’t help.
        Maybe the woman meant the third door down. She’d have to go back outside and count. Lucie shivered. Whatever the room, she shouldn’t be here. And Lil would be getting oh-so-angry. I know what I’ll do, she said to herself, I’ll take a few things, before I leave. A scarf or a ring, a trinket or two. That’ll impress her.
        She started with a purse, it was covered in beads and tiny sequins. Then she took jewellery, but only the silver. Lil would have wanted the gold instead. There was much more money in gold, she said. Luce wasn’t bothered. She liked silver, and she was the one stealing in here. She smiled proudly, then checked the wardrobe room just in case. There was plenty of storage space in there.
        She picked up a brooch and an antique vase. The floor was sloping, she was finding it harder to walk around. Time to go, she said to herself. She went to the door and turned the knob but the door wouldn’t open. She tried again, tugging harder, but it still wouldn’t budge. Then she banged on the door, but nobody came. Now she was worried. Lucie knew she’d be glad to see anyone, even the purser.
        I wonder, thought Luce, if anyone’s left? Maybe they’ve gone, deserted the ship. She watched the water slide under the door. The door was locked and she was inside, while water slid in and the slope got worse. All for a few pointless trinkets. Lucie screamed.
        She screamed for ages, or so she thought. But all that happened was her throat got sore.
        She ran to the porthole and looked outside. Such a pretty dark sky, all sprinkled with stars, such a deep blue sea. The sea looked closer than it had before. Lucie shuddered.
        She returned to the door and shook it, hard. Could she force it, or pick the lock? No, she couldn’t. Lil might have done, but Lil wasn’t here. No-one knew she was in this room. Apart from that woman and she was long gone.
        Lucie stared at the clock on the dresser, 1.45 and getting later. Where on earth was everyone now?
        She opened a cupboard and found some brandy. She poured out a little and knocked it back. It calmed her nerves so she drank some more. Lil always said you were never too young to drink brandy.
        Before she knew it, the bottle was empty. By now she was woozy and slightly sick. But Luce didn’t care, she’d even forgotten to bang on the door.
        She turned off the light and climbed on a chair, tucking her legs tight beneath her. She watched the water swirl and rise, over her shoes and over her coat, which was still on the floor and still full of things. She watched the water rise up the wall, creating an all-enveloping stain.
        She wished she was able to fall asleep, before the stain came any closer.
        The stain of death, which was coming for her.

Comments · 3

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  • Ellie Stevenson said...

    This is an extract from Ship of Haunts: the other Titanic story, my debut novel. It's free on Amazon today and tomorrow (17th & 18th November) so do check it out (http://tinyurl.com/c75brte). I’ve been told it’s quite a complex read(!) but hard to put down, and I’ve tried to stay true to the facts of Titanic wherever possible.

    • Posted 4 years ago
  • Ross Tarran said...

    A dreaded inevitability is introduced in the second half of this - a disturbing situation well described!

    • Posted 4 years ago
  • Ellie Stevenson said...

    Thank you Ross! Titanic is history so we think we know how things turned out. But in books, stories can sometimes be different!

    • Posted 4 years ago