www.whyville.net Jun 13, 2010 Weekly Issue

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The Disaster: Part 7

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Flashbacks were swirling around her head . . .


Mary lifted up her skirt and plunged her feet into the water, gasping as the water, like little ice needles, surrounded her feet. She sloshed up the deserted hallway, trying to find someone, anyone at all. Her labored breathing filled her ears. Mary stopped to calm herself down. How was she ever going to hear someone if she was breathing so loud? After a few forced minutes of complete stillness, Mary hear, far off in the distance, the sound of yells.

Mary's shaking hands dropped the folds of her dress they had been carrying. She picked them up again, but now they were wet. They were heavy and water dripped from them onto her legs.

The sounds she heard got louder and louder, and she realized that it wasn't just yelling; it was a full on riot. The deep yells of men, the screams of children, and the banging of some unknown object were coming from just around the corner.

It was a staircase, much like the one that Mary had climbed down. There was one big difference, however. On this staircase, about a dozen steps up, a gate had been put up. A group of about thirty people clambered around it, making angry noises. Mary climbed up the steps also.

A young child stood of to one corner, crying silently. Mary took pity on him, and knelt down beside him to give him a hug. The young boy reminded of her brother John.

"There, there," Mary murmured. "It'll be alright." The boy sniffed in response.

Mary stood up and wound her way through the many bodies, until she was right in front of the gate. She entwined her fingers in the bars. On the other side, a young ship officer was repeating the same lines over and over again in a dull monotone.

"I'm sorry; you can't come up this way. Please go to another gate. Please calm down. I'm sorry; you can't come . . ."

"There is no other gate!" roared a tall man with a bushy beard. His voice carried a strong accent. "They are all closed, exactly like this one!"

"We have families down here!" cried another man, shaking the gate for emphasis. "Children!"

The officer just kept repeating his lines, over and over. But Mary could see a glint of fear in his eyes. Whether from the angered passengers or from the sinking of the ship, Mary couldn't tell.

"Do you know where Jane is?" Mary asked timidly, to no one in particular. Then, louder, "Jane? Do you know her?"

No one responded.

Meanwhile, the crowd was growing more and more restless with each passing second. Then a man with a hammer marched up to the gate, much to the delight of the crowd. Everyone made a path for their hero, who would surely pound that gate into little pieces.

Mary was backing away also, wanting to stay well out of the way of any violence. The worked-up man swung his hammer from side to side as he approached the gate with a malicious gleam in his eye. As if in slow motion, Mary, who had been backing up, saw out of the corner of her eye the old, rusty hammer swing towards her, head first.

And then she felt pain.

And then everything went black.


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