The Artifact, Part II

An opening appears, and I push through, Dorothy behind me. We arrive to chaos. People are pushing past one another, attempting to be the lucky ones to get on the lifeboat. I hold the boy closer to me, looking at Dorothy. Her face is not its usual joyful expression, but grim.

I rush forward, my blanket flying off in the wind. My hands grip the railing at the bow of the ship as I look out over the water. My eyes widen as a white, ghost-like object slowly creeps closer. It is going to hit us. My heart sinks in my chest as I walk slowly to the port side, my gaze trained on the iceberg. I watch as it scrapes along the starboard of the ship. Chunks of ice fall onto the deck as it passes. A loud scratching noise echoes into the night, and my entire body tenses. That…that is not good. 

It takes seconds and then nothing. Like it was never here. Those who are on the deck are standing in shock. Two teenagers kick a chunk of ice back and forth. I rush to the other side of the ship, looking over the side for damages. Nothing the eye can see. Something doesn’t feel right, though. I continue down the deck, looking for tears. One of the crew members is fiddling with a lifeboat, and I frown, walking over to him.

“Excuse me, sir. What are you doing?” I ask him.

“Examining the lifeboats, miss. Nothing to worry about,” he answers. “Go back to your room.”

I walk away from him, still frowning. Examining the lifeboats at twelve in the morning? Strange. Something must be happening. Quickly, I head down to the first-class staterooms. People are walking out of their rooms with confused expressions on their faces. The crew members are reassuring them that everything is okay. My stomach twists. Those are lies. Something is wrong with the ship. I can feel it.

Arriving in my stateroom, I gather a few of my things that I can’t lose. A few scrolls and a picture or two. Luckily, the rest of my belongings are back home on Olympus. I grab my lifejacket before heading back up to the deck. There are more people up here, lifejackets tightly wrapped around them. The air is so cold that one can see their breath. People are shivering, a few mothers holding their babies close to keep them warm. I look around, frowning. Not everyone is here. Actually, hardly anyone is up here. I search the crowd for Dorothy and her children. They aren’t here. 

“Women and children first!” one of the crew members yells.

My heart pounds in my chest. There can be only one reason they aren’t allowing everyone to board the lifeboats. They don’t have enough of them. Not everyone is going to survive this… I continue to search for Dorothy, but I have no luck. She must still be in her stateroom. I need to get her. Slipping by a crowd of passengers, I make my way down the stairs. Panic erupts on the staircase, and I’m trapped against the wall. I suck my stomach in, managing to wiggle my way through the crowd. It takes a few minutes before I am at their door and banging on it. The youngest child opens the door, rubbing his tired eyes.

“Where is your mother?” I ask him.

Dorothy walks up behind him, frowning. “Chloe? It is one in the morning. What is it?”

“We need to go, now. Grab something warm and your life jackets,” I inform her.

“Why?” she asks me. I walk into her room as she starts getting ready.

“The ship. It’s sinking,” I tell her, my heart racing. I don’t know how much time they have left. 

Dorothy’s eyes widen as she fetches the lifejackets, putting them on her children first. “They told me everything was fine, to go back to sleep. 

“They were wrong.” I pick up the little boy, resting him on my hip. They lied to her? How many other people have they lied to, and how many lives are at risk?

Dorothy grabs onto her daughter’s hand, and together we make our way up. I hear a lady scream, and I pull the boy closer to my side, covering his ears. Other passengers block the entrance to the deck, and I huff in frustration. 

“Hold on,” I say.

An opening appears, and I push through, Dorothy behind me. We arrive to chaos. People are pushing past one another, attempting to be the lucky ones to get on the lifeboat. I hold the boy closer to me, looking at Dorothy. Her face is not its usual joyful expression, but grim.

“Women and children first!” I hear one of the crew members shout once more. 

“Three seats left!” another crew member shouts.

Suddenly, I am being pulled, along with Dorothy’s two children, to the lifeboat. Two men put the children into the boat and reach for me. I shake my head, looking back at their mother. This isn’t right. I am a goddess. I can survive this. I grab Dorothy’s hand, pulling her forward.

“Take her instead,” I say. 

Dorothy shakes her head, tearing up. “Chloe, you need to see your family. You are so young, you need to survive this.”

I will. 

“Dorothy, I will be okay. Your children. They need you most,” I say. 

Dorothy looks at me, her eyes watering. She opens her mouth to say something, but nothing comes out. The crew members pull her from me, and I give her a sad wave. I will not be able to see her again. She will assume I died with the others who will not be lucky enough to board a lifeboat. I watch as the small craft lowers to the water, and the family I care about disappears from my sight. They are safe. That is all the matters. I feel a strange ping in my mind, and I grab my head. Changing fate. They are supposed to die on the ship. This is going to affect me. Add to my list of nightmares. 

The firing of a gun makes my ears ring. I need to get somewhere safer. Pushing past people, I make my way back down to the stern. The front of the boat is already submerged. It is only a matter of time before the unsinkable Titanic is at the bottom of the ocean. The musicians continue to play their music, attempting to keep the crowd calm. I have to make sure that their last moments will be remembered.

I let out a shaky breath. I know I am going to survive this, but the scene is still horrifying. There are a few mortals sitting together, holding hands and praying. My heart sinks deeper into my chest. If only I could save them all. The lights flicker, and I hear a chorus of screams erupt around me. My hand grips the railing to prepare for whatever comes next. A shiver runs down my spine as the lights turn off for good. This is it. 

The stern of the ship lifts up into the air, and everyone screams again. A loud crack is heard as the ship splits into two. The stern falls back into the water before slowly lifting up again into a ninety-degree angle. Mortals fall one by one into the water. Some, like me, are still holding onto the railing for dear life.

Slowly, the last half of the ship sinks. I hold on tightly to the rail as the water slowly rises, and the freezing cold touches my toes. It steals the breath from my lungs. The ship takes minutes before it is fully submerged. It pulls me under with it, the current tugging me down. The cold stings my muscles, and I swim with all my strength back to the surface. Gasping, I look at the chaos unraveling in front of me. Hundreds of mortals are splashing in the ocean. Many are screaming for help, but it is no use. The lifeboats aren’t coming back. Slowly, one by one. The noise fades, and the darkness pulls me away from reality.

Sitting up from my chair, I gasp for air. Coldness still stings my skin even though I am no longer in the water. The twins shift in my stomach, pressing their feet and hands against my belly. I look down at my shaking hands, sweat dripping down my back. It has been a few months since I had a vision of that historical event. Who sent that broach? And why did they want me to remember?

Clio (Alice Callisto)
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