www.whyville.net May 9, 2010 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

The Disaster: Part 4

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Screams, yells, moans. They all began to subside into the night. At first Mary was hopeful that this meant that the lifeboats had returned to save them, but soon the truth hit her . . .


Mary awoke to the predawn haze that started every day. She slipped out of her bed and crossed to her suitcase. She carefully climbed into the one outfit she had brought from the farm and hastily scribbled a note to her aunt claiming she had gone for an early morning walk. Then she slid out the door in search of the staircase.

It was easier to find than yesterday; there were a few people up and about. However, Mary felt increasingly out of place in her farm clothes. She assured herself that this meant she would fit right in on the third class deck.

She retraced her journey down into the bowels of the ship. She opened the heavy door, ready to satisfy her curiosity.

There was a surprising amount of people walking around. It was still very early, yet the hallways were slightly busy, if not the bustling chaos Mary had witnessed yesterday.

She wound her way through the hallways, trying to appear as if she belonged and knew where she was going. Where should she start to look for that girl? Did this door lead to the dining room? Or someone's private room? Mary started to panic.

She rounded a corner and practically ran into someone. Mary gasped as she saw who it was: the girl from the day before with the intense eyes.

Now the intense eyes were glaring at Mary. "Vhat are you doing here?" the girl asked harshly in an accent that, being on a farm her whole life, Mary didn't recognize.

"I . . . I . . . uh, that is . . ." Mary stammered, taken aback.

"You do not belong here," she said. "Go back upstairs to your luxury and glamour." The girl turned and marched away.

"Wait!" cried Mary, running after her. Mary grabbed her arm, and the girl turned to face her, fire in her eyes. "I want to see what it's like down here," Mary said, holding her ground.

The girl stared down at her, analyzing. "Come," she finally said, and walked off. Mary struggled to keep up.

"My name's Mary," Mary said pointedly.

"Jane," she responded.

Jane led Mary to a set of plain wooden doors.

"This is the dining room," Jane explained flatly. She opened the doors.

An overwhelming sight met Mary's eyes. The room was spacious, and very simple. The walls were wood, as were the table, chairs, and floor panels. It was a stark contrast to the comfortable, elegant setting many decks above. Mary had a hard time comprehending that these two extremes could be on the same ship.

Children ran around with little supervision. Adults leaned in their chairs to talk to neighboring tables, laughing and chattering happily. While the dining room of first class was stiff and formal, this room was rather loose. A band played, but not like the soft, boring bands of first class. This band played a lively tune that had more than a few people up and dancing.

"See?" said Jane, indicating the plain decorations. "Are you ready to return to your life of perfection?"

Mary ignored the comment, gazing around at all the different people. "It's like a whole different world down here," she said in awe. "These people actually look like they are having fun."

Jane laughed. "That's because they are. Unlike the stuck-up, rich, useless people of first class."

Mary look at Jane with questioning eyes and Jane smiled smugly. "You are not the only one who is sneaking where you shouldn't be."

Mary laughed, and then grimaced as a thought hit her. "My aunt is probably worried about me by now. I have to go."

Jane watched her as she stood up and turned to leave. "Perhaps I will see you again, Mary."

Mary nodded and started back through the hallways. She climbed the stairs, digesting all of this new information.

She reached the top of the stairs and was met with a metal gate.

In the short time she had been downstairs, someone had set up a gate.

And she was on the wrong side.


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