101 years ago tonight, the grand ship, TITANIC, hit an iceberg and sank. Here is the story of 3rd class passenger, Katie O’Reilly…
From Titanic Rhapsody by Jina Bacarr:
(Wrongly accused of theft, Katie O’Reilly is locked up in a third class cabin belowdecks when the Titanic hits an iceberg.)
April 14, 1912 Sunday 11:40 p.m.
Shutting her eyes tight, Katie bowed her head and prayed to regain her courage. She would need it when they came for her. She’d not shame the name of O’Reilly, whimpering and sniveling like a sorry lass with no faith and no backbone. She was better than that.
No sooner did Katie take a deep breath and begin her prayer when several violent bumps shook her. No, not again. She blinked, not believing it when she slid across the cabin on her arse and saw the rosary beads bouncing about on the floor. She made a quick grab for them, but the ship’s shifting motion put her off balance. She held onto the sink for dear life, her cold fingers knotted around the white porcelain bowl so tight her knuckles turned white.
Then she prayed. By the wings of the holy angels, please, God, help me. Perspiring like she was waiting for her turn in the confessional, Katie didn’t move. Shaking and trembling, believing her only chance was to kneel and say her prayers proper like even if she only had a broken rosary. It was still night, but a shimmer of light blistered overhead from the dying light bulb. Dawn was still several hours away, but she couldn’t go back to sleep. Tossing and turning and now this.
A feeling of dread haunted her that something awful had happened. It made her afraid to think about it, but she must cling to hope. Katie pulled herself up, then looked down. She gasped. A steady stream of water along the floor lapped around her feet. Seeping in from under her cabin door. She froze. Blessed Virgin, is the ship sinking?
And her locked in here without so much as a proper prayer to save her. Lucky for her she’d fallen asleep with her boots and stockings on or they would be as wet as a cow’s hide in a summer storm. Katie looked around for what was left of her mother’s rosary beads, but they’d disappeared under the water. Her fingers tingled from the cold water as she searched the growing puddle on the floor for the black beads. She tried to convince herself nothing was wrong. A loo overflowed, she decided, or the swimming bath. Something, anything. It wasn’t seawater lapping around her feet. Was it?
Her mind reeled as she realized the water was coming in faster and showed no signs of stopping. Frantically she grabbed the broken pieces of the rosary as they floated to the surface, then stuffed them into her skirt pocket. She began to tremble as she pulled her skirts tight around her legs then banged on the door. Calling out for help. She stopped, listened. Nothing. What was to become of her? It was late, no one outside to hear her or come to her aid.