And The Sea Gave Up The Dead

ocean princess

© A Mixed Bag 2013

“Relax, Rachel. This is a cruise ship. We aren’t in the middle of the ocean, we’re docked in Barcelona. Don’t you want to spend two extra days here? It’s beautiful.”

“I’m sorry. I’ve always been afraid of the water, Chad.”

Then why did you agree on a sea cruise for our honeymoon?”

He held her close. They were standing at the rail facing the city. Their ship the Oceana was going to be delayed here while divers made emergency repairs on a leaking propeller shaft seal.

“Face your fears. That sort of thing. When we have children, I can’t be the Momma who’s afraid to take them to the beach.”

catherine buckley

Miss Catherine Buckley, boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third class passenger.

“Great. How about a swim?” He chided her.

“Swimming lessons after we get back home.” She was only mildly annoyed at his teasing, but she never told him about the dreams of drowning in icy water, of a sinking ship named Titanic, of a twenty-two year old woman named Catherine Buckley.

Her lifelong nightmares had faded until she read a news story saying the Titanic was slowly being eaten away and would vanish entirely in twenty years.

Maybe then the dreams would disappear again and Catherine would finally have peace.

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction of October 15th 2017 challenge. The idea is to use the image above to inspire crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 200.

Seeing the words “Ocean Princess” on the side of that small craft, I did a bit of Googling and found it could match up to several craft. Renamed MV Oceana, the Ocean Princess entered service in November 2002. According to Wikipedia, “In early April 2014, Oceana underwent emergency repairs after she developed a problem with one of her propeller shaft seals. The ship stayed in port in Barcelona for three days instead of the scheduled one for divers to carry out the repairs.”

I’d recently read about how the Titanic is slowly being deteriorated by bacteria and will be completely disintegrated within twenty years. This breaks my heart because it is the final memorial for all the souls who went down with her. Also, I’ve been fascinated with the legend of the Titanic since I was a child and was both excited and disappointed when the wreck was actually found.

I decided to tinker with history a bit so that both the Oceana being stuck in Barcelona and the discovery of the Titanic’s imminent demise occurs during the same year. I also decided to play with reincarnation a bit. Catherine (or Katherine) Buckley did die aboard the Titanic and I picked her more or less at random from a list of the victims. Her body was recovered and interned in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Massachusetts by her sister who lived in Roxbury at the time.

I took the title for today’s tale from Revelation 20:13.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

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