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Adrift: the Last Moments of One Left Behind


This is a little something I wrote for a fanfiction site under the name of Harriet Wilde. Hope you will enjoy.


ADRIFT By Harriet Wilde



The officer floated, upheld by the newel-post, listening as the cries and moans around him in the darkness began to fade to silence. People had begun to succumb to hypothermia, their bodies no longer able to endure the bitterly-cold water.

It took a great deal of effort, but Wilde gasped, laid his head back and looked up at the stars, so beautiful as they coruscated in the blackness of space. Strange how he found the groupings familiar, though he could not for the life of him remember their names, names that had become as familiar as his own after a quarter- century at sea.

Odd that he should take so long to die. Oh yes, he was dying-- no doubt about that. No doubt at all. Even in the unlikely event that he he was picked up by a passing lifeboat, he'd been in that water far too long. Now, after perhaps twenty minutes, he could feel nothing below his chest, and not much that was above it. No, even should he manage to hang on til someone picked him up-- a highly unlikely event at this point, he wouldn't make it-- probably die right in the lifeboat.

Well, perhaps that would be all for the best. Sixteen months before, he'd lost his wife, his beloved Mary Catherine, on Christmas Eve, along with the twin boys to whom she'd recently given birth. Her passing had left him with four young children to support, so of course, he'd somehow managed to go on, doing what he'd been doing for years: sailing ships. He did have a family to care for, even if she was gone! But he missed her so! She'd been there all those years of their marriage, to welcome him home, to care for him, to love him-- and then, suddenly, she'd died, leaving her Harry alone and adrift.

Mary, my Mary Catherine, he now thought, I love you. I always loved you, right from the first moment I laid eyes on you. I was in Heaven when you said you'd marry me. Me! Harry Wilde! So beautiful in your white lace wedding dress and your hair up in curls, those eyes shinin' at the sight of me! I was so happy with you, and my dream of making you a captain's wife. Then I lost you and the babies! I've tried to go on sweetheart, wanting to take care of our wee ones, but I can't do it anymore. I can't. You were my greatest love, Mary; I couldn't even think of another woman for love of you. Now I guess we'll be together. I didn't want to go on this voyage, but I did anyhow, even with the queer feeling I had about this ship. That ship, he corrected himself. She's gone and on the bottom, which is where I shall be shortly.

The past ten minutes or so, he'd been fighting the urge to sleep, knowing that when he fell asleep this time it would be that sleep from which there is no awakening. Now, however, he found himself having to struggle more and more to keep from giving into it. He gasped again, looking up at those thousands and thousands of stars overhead. So close to his first command, only to die before he could realize that dream. He'd even been given his first ship-- CELTIC-- but she'd been tied up at Southampton, her coal transferred to TITANIC to enable her to make her maiden voyage.

The evening before had been so beautiful right before change of watch, TITANIC sailing into the sunset, and down on the point bow, a young lass and her gentleman, kissing passionately as her shawl fluttered in the wind. He'd seen her earlier on deck with Mr. Andrews, a weathy gentleman in afternoon dress and a woman in a black dress and hat that were unmistakably Parisian. The lass, too, had been beautifully dressed, in a dress of blue velvet and satin, the wide sash accenting her slender waist, that shawl of gold-embroidered silk making her look so beautiful.

Now, even a trace of the magnificent ship on which they'd all sailed no longer existed, other than some flotsam, a piece of which was supporting him. He thought of him, standing at the railing, looking out at Queenstown, a strange voice telling him to look at it well, as he'd not be seeing it again. Well, he wouldn't be seeing it again, that much was certain.

No longer able to fight, he felt sleep stealing over him and he gave into it. What's this? Oh, now, look at that, would you! Mary Catherine, looking so beautiful in that red velvet frock I loved best to see her wear. Wilde sighed, as he felt her hand stroke his face, saw her sweet face again, heard her voice telling him that she loved him and that they would be together always. Oh yes, that would be wonderful! The loneliness was past; never again would he have to feel its knife edge.

"Mary Catherine! Oh, it is you!"

"Yes, it's me, Harry."

She was holding out a long slender hand, and as he took it, he realized that he no longer felt any pain. Behind her was a brilliant light, so warm and inviting. He took her hand and they began walking into the light-- together.

edited by Lights, Aug/23/2005, 9:46 pm
Jun/4/2003, 2:30 am Link to this post Send Email to Lights   Send PM to Lights AIM Yahoo Blog
 
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Re: Adrift: the Last Moments of One Left Behind


Very nice. I really enjoyed that. Have you any more? By the way my name is Jade Higgins. Nice to meet you.

---
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Jun/4/2003, 2:37 am Link to this post Send Email to Jade  
 
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Re: Adrift: the Last Moments of One Left Behind


That's very touching, a truly nice piece.

           Allen

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Jun/4/2003, 5:01 am Link to this post Send Email to albyau   Send PM to albyau MSN
 
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posticon Re: Adrift: the Last Moments of One Left Behind


very moving, well done!!
 emoticon kaz emoticon

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Jun/4/2003, 5:20 am Link to this post Send Email to paperback writer   Send PM to paperback writer
 
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Re: Adrift: the Last Moments of One Left Behind


Hey! Thank you everyone. jade, I have posted "The Promise" here and may post both "Turning the Corner" and excerpts from my TITANIC novel, FINAL CROSSING. Again, thanks, everyone for your kind words.

Lights
Jun/4/2003, 3:19 pm Link to this post Send Email to Lights   Send PM to Lights AIM Yahoo Blog
 
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Re: Adrift: the Last Moments of One Left Behind


HI Lights,
I realy enjoyed reading that, VERY WELL DONE! emoticon

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Jun/4/2003, 3:45 pm Link to this post Send Email to Thomas Dyer   Send PM to Thomas Dyer
 
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Re: Adrift: the Last Moments of One Left Behind




This thread has been moved from RMS Titanic, 22/03/04. If it becomes active it will be put back in main thread.

Please do not reply to this message unless you want the thread reopening

Thank you

Graham



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Re: Adrift: the Last Moments of One Left Behind


wow lights that was great. very touching.

i wander if it was really like that for him?

thanks for sharing with us.

wills

---
Suicide is a permenant solution to a temporay problem........

Whatever obstacles control,
Go on, true heart,
thou'lt reach the goal.


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wills~~~~~
Jul/18/2004, 1:23 am Link to this post Send Email to wills   Send PM to wills Blog
 
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Re: Adrift: the Last Moments of One Left Behind


I don't know if it was or not, Wills, but I hope that his beloved Mary Catherine (Polly) came for him at the end. He deserved at least that.

---
"What I remember about that night- what I will remember as long as I live- is the people crying out to each other as the stern began to plunge down. I heard people crying, 'I love you.'"
Jul/18/2004, 4:01 pm Link to this post Send Email to Lights   Send PM to Lights AIM Yahoo Blog
 
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Re: Adrift: the Last Moments of One Left Behind


yes that he did.

yes indeed.

again thanks for sharing that was a very good story.


wills

---
Suicide is a permenant solution to a temporay problem........

Whatever obstacles control,
Go on, true heart,
thou'lt reach the goal.


http://com4.runboard.com/bthetitanicshack
wills~~~~~
Jul/18/2004, 10:19 pm Link to this post Send Email to wills   Send PM to wills Blog
 


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