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Porcelain

by Josey Pickering 2 months ago in Historical
Runner-Up in Ship of Dreams ChallengeRunner-Up in Ship of Dreams Challenge
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A RMS Titanic tale

Eva Hart (middle) in England after the sinking of the Titanic

I quite like to think about where I was before my home on the ocean floor. I belonged to someone who loved me, I helped her to drift off to nice dreams and kept her good company. I was going to travel all around with her, and we would see all sorts of things. It didn't quite happen that way...I spent what seemed like eternities amongst sand and shell, and my dear friend went across the sea.

We once lived in England, in a humble little house with a kind little girl named Eva. Eva had her mother, and her father, and we lived in our nice little home until Father felt it best to move across the oceans. We could make a new life there. I hadn't traveled far before, I was made in a doll shop in London, and brought home on a Hanukkah night, gifted by the light of the menorah. My little family didn't have much, and yet they still could not take everything. I felt special to come along, and Eva seemed quite content to have me and her favorite Teddy for the trip. We always comforted her best. They had said we would be sailing on the good ship Philadelphia, but it didn't come to be. The coal strikes of the early spring led us to the Titanic, and led Teddy and I to the sea.

We never saw the whole ship. It seemed like an entire city, like London itself was housed upon the water. We wandered where we could, and oftentimes Teddy remained behind while Eva and I took in every sight and sound we could. We spied on first class and shared sweets with another little girl in second class, but Father never let us wander too far, so we didn’t know very much about third class. Mother paced and mother cried, she said it didn’t feel right, it didn’t feel safe and she prayed and prayed for safe passage from God. She felt a dark, cold wind coming that no one else quite sensed. There were time when Eva and her friend would drag Teddy to the decks to play and I would sit and listen to Mother’s prayers. I wished to comfort her, but she was years beyond cuddling a doll. She cried and Father urged her to stop. There was nothing to be fretful like this for, these oceans had been traveled for centuries. The day we stepped foot in our cabin, she said she would not sleep a night in that bed on the ship. Mother said the ship was far too much, far too big and flying right into the face of God. I knew not what it meant, but I knew it kept her up at night, dressed and ready for whatever would happen.

It was two days later when the entire ship jolted. The lights flickered for a brief moment and I heard Mother gasp. The reality suffocated her...the very horrors she felt ahead had already arrived. There were whispers in the room and before I knew it Father was in and out and wrapping Eva in blankets. He told her to be good, and I had faith that she would. She was the best girl, and I waited for her to take me in her arms but Father rushed them to the door.

She grabbed at the air for me and begged for Teddy but Father said no one will ever go back. There were voices in the passageways until it was quiet again. Quiet until I heard the screams, I felt the ship tear at its seams and then I felt the cold darkness as we succumbed to the salt water. I slept 'til morning in somber silence as the great ship crumbled around me.

While Eva grew on land, the children of the sea and I comforted one another. Eva's mother worked hard to earn money to find her new dolls, and I hope they suited her just fine. I was once just Eva’s, now I belonged to all of the children the Titanic claimed. Teddy’s soft fur and ribbon didn’t last very long, and his fluff couldn’t remain. His love spread through the saltwater, traveling in the bellies of the bottom creatures. Years went by and the children of the sea floor grew quiet too. The smallest souls of the Titanic could no longer wander. Their spirits moved on and there I stayed, become a home for sea life. Barnacles clung to me as their foundation and tiny fish hid where my glass eyes once sat, providing sight from brand new eyes. Until the day I was scooped from the sea by a fisherman, who nearly tossed me, mistaking for a rock. I was merely a face by then. Blemished by barnacles and roughed by constantly shifting sands. My fisherman friend kept me for years, his treasure from sea. I’ve traveled twice since then, and Eva did her own traveling. She went to the stars to be with Mother and Father and perhaps Teddy too. Parts of my body were lost to the Atlantic, I am only a piece of something once so beloved. No longer on the ocean floor, I am all that remains of our second class cabin.

The doll head recovered from the Titanic wreckage, up for auction 2018

Eva Hart was one of the 56 children rescued from the Titanic disaster of 1912. She and her mother Esther survived, but her father, Benjamin, did not. Eva Hart had spoken several times about a doll she'd lost on the ship, along with a beloved large teddy bear. A doll's head was recovered and many believe it is Eva's beloved doll, as other's had been recovered previously did not match the description and doll era. Eva Hart was never reunited with her beloved doll, and it went up for auction for nearly 7,000 dollars in 2018.

This short story is dedicated to the 53 children whose lives were lost in the sinking of the Titanic.

Historical

About the author

Josey Pickering

Autistic, non-binary, queer horror nerd with a lot to say.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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    Original narrative & well developed characters

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    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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  • Amanda Seatona day ago

    Beautiful

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