Titanic Part 2
After the sinking
It had been four years since the sinking of the majestic Titanic. four years you had spent raising four children that weren't your own.
You sat aboard the RMS Carpathia. Beside you were four little figures. Ludwig, Peter, Alfred and Matthew. All of them made orphans by the sinking of the Titanic.
"Alright, You lot." A crewman pointed at them, "We're gunna send ya wif the orphanage lady. She'll take care of ya."
They stared up at him, dazed. Ludwig began to cry softly.
"Come on, don't stand around." He grabbed Alfred by the arm and pushed Peter forward.
"WAIT!" You stood up, Francis's coat slipping off your shoulders. "They, um They're my children." The crew man looked at you skeptically. "Is that right?"
To your surprise Alfred nodded. "Yeah."
"Fine." Grumbling the man left, throwing suspicious looks over his shoulder.
-----End Flash Back-------
You had spent a good part of a year finding a town where reporters and curious people wouldn't be able to find you. Your search had led you to a small town in rural Pennsylvania.
Peter had stopped talking. You noticed it about a month after moving into your small farm house. Ludwig was serious, much more then a eight year old should be. Alfred was cheerful and energetic, but you could tell sadness boiled under the surface. Matthew was quiet, he whispered everything and never looked people in the eyes.
It was a hard life. As a woman, even in America your rights were not equal to men. You had found how dangerous it could be, being a single mother with four children.
"Miss ______." You heard Al calling you from the back door.
"Yes?" You looked down at the fourteen year old quizzically. He was supposed to be milking the cows.
"Something's wrong with Wurst." He nervously pulled at the hem of his shirt.
You frowned, Wurst was Ludwig's favorite cow. "Let's go see whats wrong."
Taking his hand, you set off towards the barn.
"She keeps getting fatter even though I'm giving her the same ammount of food as the other cows."
You stared at the cow in front of you.
"Is she sick?" Alfred crouched next to the cow. "Does she have worms?"
Smiling you shook your head. "Wurst is perfectly fine. She's just pregnant."
He nodded then frowned, "So what does that mean?"
You blinked, "She's going to have a calf."
He grinned, "Really?! Can I name it?!"
"Sure, why don't you go tell Ludwig." Nodding he ran out of the barn. leaning out you pointed at him, "Don't forget to feed the pigs." He nodded, halfway to the chicken coop.
You spooned out a portion of mashed potatoes onto each boys plate.
It was a silent meal. They all were. The clinking of knives and forks were minuscule sounds compared to how loud the silence seemed to be.
"Pass the bread please." Al looked at Peter. The he nodded and slowly handed the basket over.
Ludwig set his fork down. "I vant to find my bruder."
You froze, quickly glancing at Peter. His body had gone rigid. Looking back at Ludwig you slowly nodded. "Ok. But don't you think you should wa-."
"Vait? For vat?" His calm blue eyes had gone cold. "I know zat he is dead. I vant to know If zey found his body."
Alfred had set down his utensils, Matthew lowered his head, his hands shook.
"I don't know where you would find out." Your voice quavered. You did not want to remember that night.
"Mr.Yao said that he would be able to help me." He looked down at his half eaten meal. You flinched, Wang Yao was the town Undertaker.
"If that's what you want to do." Your voice had become a whisper. Glancing at Peter, you felt your heart give a pang of sympathy.
He was crying. He made no sound, not one sniffle or hic-uppy breath. Completely silent.
"Why don't you wait until tomorrow?" Ludwig nodded, watching the crying boy.
A loud shriek awoke you. Wrestling your way out of the covers, you hurtled down the hall.
It continued, sounding as if there were several people screaming.
Wrenching the boys bedroom door open you looked around wildly.
Matthew's hands were covering his ears, tears streamed down his face. Alfred was looking out the window, whilst Peter huddled under the covers. Ludwig looked up at you, his blue eyes panicked.
"Whats wrong?" You moved next to Al. He pointed out the window.
"Somethings disturbed the pigs." His breath fogged the window.
Running back to your room you reached under the bed and pulled out three rifles. You handed one to Alfred and one to Ludwig.
"Ludwig, you stay here and make sure no one harms your brothers." To late you realized what you had just said. No time for making corrections. "Al, you come with me." Both boys nodded.
At the back door ,you slipped on a pair of rain boots and grabbed a coat. "This is going to be dangerous Al. We don't know if its a bear or a wolf. So. Shoot first ask questions later."
He nodded, buttoning up his coat. Reaching down , you handed him a belt full of ammunition, "You find anything, holler for me." You tightened your own ammo belt around your waist. He nodded again.
You slowly opened the door and stepped out. Motioning for Al to go circle the house, you began to creep towards the barn.
The night air was cold. Your night shift barely kept you warm. Good thing you had your coat on.
Voices cam from near the pig pen.
Most likely drunken boys, daring each other to steal a pig. Damn male idiots.
"Why won't zey shut up?!"
"Don't ask me."
Yup they were drunk.
Even though it was dark you could see the outlines of the three figures.
You moved silently closer, noting that their backs were to you. Perfect. Looking behind you noticed Alfred coming around the side of the house. You waved him over.
Turning back around, Placing the barrel inches away from the middle guys head, You cocked the gun. All three froze at the sound. Al pointed his rifle at the other two.
"Why don't you turn around nice and slow misters." You were slightly surprised at the deadly calm in the fourteen-year olds voice.
They didn't move.
"We got three men in the house, so don't be thinkin' that you can take us out." You stared at the boy. He had dropped his voice into a low southern drawl.
"W-we don't want trouble sir." The guy on the right stuttered. His voice was slightly familiar.
"That's right. Ya don't. So why don't cha get of my property." He cocked the gun.
You turned your head when a sliding sound came from behind. Ludwig had opened the window and was pointing the rifle out the window.
Geez the kids were like a gang of thieves.
"You heard him. Ve don't vant trouble and neizer do you." Ludwig was sitting on the sill.
Damn. What was with these kids?
The guy on the left stiffened.
"You heard the man." Al's voice was starting to creep you out.
"Ja." For a eight year old, Ludwig was very menacing.
"Ja?" The man on the left's voice quivered. "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" He slowly turned around.
Still looking at Ludwig you watched as he froze, his eyes going wide.
Turning around your jaw dropped. The gun hung limply from your hand.
The red eyed man stood in front of you grinning.
The other two turned around.
The rifle clattered to the ground as you launched your self at the trio.
------Ten minutes later-----
You poured tea into the three cups. Sitting down you leaned forward. "How did you guys survive?"
Gilbert picked up his cup, Ludwig was sitting next to him. "Zat's a long story. Are you sure you vant to hear it right now? It's pretty late."
Nodding you glanced at the other boys. "You guys can go to bed if you're sleepy."
Matthew an Alfred shook their heads. Peter pulled his knees up to his chest.
"Ok." Antonio cleared his throat. "We probably would have died if it wasn't for that English guy."
Both Matthew and Alfred sat up "Arthur? Our brother saved you?"
Francis nodded, "Oui, he was a good man."
-------The Trio's Story--------
"On the count of three?"
"Uno" "Deux" "Drei."
"WAIT!!!!" Antonio spun around, frowning.
A man with huge eyebrows stood panting, his breath fogging the air. "You'll die. If the fall doesn't kill you the waters temperature will."
Gilbert raised an eyebrow, "Ja und? Ve know exactly vhat ve're doing."
The Englishman shook his head, "You might be able to escape. You've got family in America, right?"
The Prussian looked away, "Ja." Antonio patted his shoulder.
Looking at Francis, bushy-brows frowned, "And you're the one who put that woman and child on one of my boats. Women have trouble living on their own, even in America."
Francis frowned. "So? She will no doubt find a nice 'usband and settle down. I just 'elped because she is a friend of a friend."
His answer seemed to surprise the Englishman. "Oh. I though she was your wife."
The stern gave a lurch, nearly throwing the trio overboard.
"I've changed my mind!" Gilbert started to go green, "I don't vant to die."
"Then follow me." The Englishman gave them each a life jacket.
"The water is going to be cold. Once in the water find something to either sit or at least lie your top-half across."
"Won't our life-jackets help us float?" Antonio tied the last string.
"Yes, but the drift wood will help you not die of hypothermia." He glared at them. "I'm guessing that the rescue ship is going to come around in about two hours. Hopefully your hardier than you look."
Francis scowled, "I'm going to sit in ice water for two hours?"
The look Bushy-brows shot him should have melted him on the spot. "Its better than drowning."
Leading the trio up to the rail of the stern he glared about him.
"When the ship sinks it will create a kind of vacuum for a small amount of time. If you are lucky you'll be able to swim to the surface." He gave the trio a once-over "I hope you lot can hold your breath."
Motioning for them to climb over He surveyed them one last time. "Well then, good luck." With that he turned around and slid on the ever tilting deck.
"Wait!" Gilbert shrieked, "Aren't you coming?!"
Bushy-brows scowled, "I am a seaman, I go down with the ship."
"I though zat was only ze Captain!" Francis coughed into the chilly air.
"Not for me." The Englishman glared for a moment, then turned back around.
"Whats your name amigo?" Antonio shivered, his jacket on the back of a far away girl.
"Arthur. Arthur Kirkland."
With that he was gone. The water rose quickly.
"SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!" Francis grabbed the bars, "GET READY."
The water was like a thousand knives. The trio couldn't tell which way was up and which was down. Lungs burning they fought the pull of the water and managed to surface.
"Find, drift wood." Antonio coughed, swimming towards a mound in the water. He turned it over.
It was the body of a man. "GAAAAH!" sputtering he swam backwards.
Francis managed to find a floating chest of drawers. He climbed on sneezing and coughing.
"I'm going to die of ze cold before zat damn ship gets 'ere!"
Gilbert breast-stroked towards a tangle of broken wood. "I'm good." He spat a thin stream of water. "I zhink zere are more vood piles over here Toni."
Shivering, Antonio lay across a barrel.
"Now we wait."
----------An half hour later-----------
"I CAN"T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!" Gilbert broke the silence his teeth chattering. "I can't fell my legs." He licked his chapped and bleeding lips.
"You think thats bad Amigo? I can't feel my legs nor my balls." The Spaniard glared.
Francis coughed in surprise. "Zis is no time for crud behavior!"
Both of his companions turned and glared at him. "You have a fluffy turtleneck jack-ass." The usually cheerful Antonio looked like he wanted to rip someones head off.
----Two hours later-----
"Hello? Any survivors?"
Antonio bleary opened his eyes. Was someone out there?
"Hello? Any survivors?"
Opening his chapped, blue lips, he coughed. It was a small sound, but it seemed to echo around the foggy sea.
Gilbert licked his lips, Now was the time to use what Francis called, "His Ego's Voice"
It came out as a whisper. No good.
"Here." A little louder, not nearly loud enough.
The voices seemed to moving away. A body floated past. Which gave him an idea. Gilbert used the rest of his strength to shove the body.
Francis watched as a light swept back and forth over the water. No where near them. He heard Antonio cough, then Gilbert rasp something. It was no use. Something slid across the water towards him.
"HELLO?" The boat came closer.
"HERE-HERE-HERE-HERE-HERE!" Francis shrieked.
The trio was pulled on board a small rescue ship. Another man was already wrapped in a blanket, barley breathing. It was Arthur.
-----End of the Trios story-------
You sucked in a breath, "Did he live?"
Looking down Francis shook his head, " 'E 'ad lost alot of blood. Apparently 'e had been 'it by a piece of wreckage."
Beside you Alfred put an arm around Matthew.
"What about mum and papa?"
Startled you all looked around until you realized it was Peter who had spoken.
"Oh." Antonio slid off the seat and crouched in front of Peter. "They weren't found."
Peter nodded, silent tears sliding down his cheeks.
After a long moment of silence You sighed, "Do you guys need a place to stay?"
The trio looked at each other, then at you "Well we wouldn't want to impose."
Waving your hand you frowned at them, "You saved my life, I owe you guys big time."
------Three months later------
You looked out the kitchen window and smiled.
Antonio was with Peter and Alfred, showing them how to cultivate tomatoes. Out of the Trio, Antonio was the only one Peter would talk to. Alfred Had taken an immediate liking to the energetic Spaniard.
Two sets of footsteps hurried into the kitchen. Matthew and Francis stumbled in. A giant basket of raspberries held in between them. Their hands and mouths were stained with berry juice.
"Thanks guys." You grinned
Nodding Francis pulled a pot out of the cubbard. "I am going to teach Matthew 'ow to can fruit."
You nodded and skipped out of the kitchen, you didn't want to be in the way.
Waving at Antonio and the boys you walked around the house towards the chicken coop.
Gilbert had taken an extreme liking to the moody birds. Ludwig watched over his shoulder curiously.
You wandered up. "What are you guys doing?"
Gilbert made a shushing noise. "Vait for it."
A tiny white egg sat in his palm.
Behind you Francis, Antonio and the kids crowded around.
The egg shuddered then cracked. A tiny beak poked out of a hole.
Crack. The egg split in half. A tiny, wet, yellow chick lay balanced in Gilberts hand.
"I Shall name him Gilbird!"