I had made my money in the trolley business, a passenger vehicle powered by electric overhead wires, which is also referred to as a cable car system. I did real good getting the contract to establish 23 lines in the city of San Francisco. It was a desultory system which lacked a basic plan and it was constructed in a hodge-podge fashion, as the city planner was a drunk, who lacked any keen judgment, but it was a good way to get around the city. I had to destroy a tree here and there and that left me feeling manqué about my accomplishments, but I don’t want to raise a conniption about this. I took my wife Julie, an American socialite with me on a trip to Europe, so we could embrace our quest to enjoy life to its fullest.
On our way back from Europe, it was a clear, cold, star-lit night when I was awakened after the ship made impact with an iceberg, but I heard someone out in the hall say that there was no danger, so I tried to get back to sleep. Then our steward knocked on our cabin door and said that all passengers should put on their life preservers. I realized that I was not getting any more sleep for a while and my wife wanted to go out on the deck to see what was really going on, so we headed topside. We got dressed and when we reached the starboard deck, we saw that they were already loading the first-class passengers into life boats. We saw the iceberg and it was as high as the bridge on this ocean liner and my wife said, “Make sure that they secure a spot for us.”
I was shocked that she said this as we were on the Titanic, the world’s safest ship and surely it would never sink, but I thought what kind of idiot runs into an iceberg. People were not panicking yet and the officers in charge of loading the boats kept repeating ‘women and children first’. My wife climbed into the life boat with about 10 other women and when no other women or children responded to the officers call, she told the officer that I was her husband and that there was plenty of room for me in the boat. A number of men then climbed over the rail into the boat along with me. Once I got into the boat I felt my hand clench on to the side in desperation as I started to weigh this unknown situation. This was a State of Emergency and there was no Turning back Tuesday as my mind was filled with stress. Our lifeboat was lowered down into the water and we had no officer or seaman in our boat to make decisions on what we should do. I was able to disengage an oar, and I used it push our boat away from the sinking ship. I rowed off as fast as I could and my wife grabbed a lantern so I could see what was ahead of our boat.
A wave splashed into the boat and I had to take my shirt off and wring it out, as it had gotten all wet. I took note of all the passengers that got into the life boat and I knew that I was going to have to assume the part of being the leader in this boat. I had to strengthen my resolve, so I did not falter. One guy was acting like a bully and I did not need any of this Red Tape, so I wacked him with the oar and told him to behave or else he would be visiting Davy Jones locker. As the Titanic started going under, I heard loud shouts of terror and the sound of people jumping into the ocean as they plunged overboard. The people who abandoned ship were not lucky enough to get into a life boat, so they all succumbed to hypothermia.
A woman in our boat named Molly Brown said that she was rescued from the Colorado River as an infant and raised in wilderness, till she got married and made a fortune in silver and gold mines. She gave me encouragement to keep rowing saying, “Row Jimmy row”, as she told me her life story. She offered me a pillow and I kept rowing even after the Titanic sank, and finally the Carpathia arrived and rescued us. I found out later that the unsinkable Molly Brown became a fan fiction among the survivors.
Written for Daily Addictions prompt – Quest, for FOWC with Fandango – Judgment, for Sheryl’s A New Daily Post Word Prompt – Desultory, for July Writing Prompts – Turning back Tuesday, for Ragtag Community – Keen, for Scotts Daily Prompt – Embrace, for the secret keeper Weekly Writing Prompt #148 (5) word prompt – part, left, tree, wet and note, for Swimmers the New Community Pool prompt – Trolley, for Teresa’s Haunted Wordsmith Three Things Challenge, where the three prompt words are “bully, fan fiction and pillow”, for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Conniption and for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Bonus Wordle “State of Emergency” prompts – falter, resolve, unknown, red tape, state of emergency, wring, desperation, stress, decisions, clench, manqué and weigh.