Titanic: Curse of The Step Mother

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story is about a boy who is the dog caretaker on the Titanic. When the ship starts to sink, his life depends on his evil stepmother.

Submitted: March 24, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 24, 2017




 Titanic: Curse of the Step Mother

By Kellen Grossenbacher


“AAH!” I jar awake from a horrible dream, it involves spendinga week with my horrible stepmother on  the “unsinkable ship.” But then the sound of her voice makes me realize, it wasn’t a dream.

Then, I realize the screechy voice is screaming, “JAMES, JAMES, JAMES WILSON, get your no good but out here!” I am blinded by the sun as the passenger box doors open, but things for sure, there is definitely something dark out there. The darkest, most cruel person I have ever met, my stepmother Dorothy. My parents got divorced when I was very young, they just didn’t get along that well but my father John Wilson took it very hard. Although it was tough, my father married Dorothy Jones when I was 4. The second I met her, I knew we were never going to get along. Even from the start, Dorothy hated me, she would pretend I wasn’t even there sometimes. She used to even refer to me is “it,” not he, “it.” It got even worse when Dorothy birthed my half sister Mary. I am pretty sure Dorothy sometimes gets so caught up in paying attention to Mary, she would purposely forget that I even existed. Luckily, my dad is the one that really takes care of me. He knows that 11-12 is a weird age for boys so he helps a lot. But when Dorothy is yelling at me, it’s like he doesn’t even care. I don’t mind it, though, I know he is afraid of being hurt again after his divorce with my mom.

The voice is still screaming at me, “JAMES, JAMES!”

“I’m coming I’m coming,” I say getting a little frustrated already. I gather my belongings which include some dog toys for the dogs I have to take care of on the ship, my extra pairs of clothing, my gray wool hats and white cotton dress shirts.

“HURRY UP JAMES WE DON’T WANT TO MISS THE BOAT!” “ Dorothy, we won’t miss the boat, I left at 7:00 a.m. and the train ride was only 2 hours long from the station in Cambridge so it must be only around 9:00 a.m. It doesn’t take forever to get from Cambridge to Southampton you know,” I say defiantly.

“Well still, get your useless hide out here!” You would think she would be nicer due to the fact it is my birthday in a couple of days. I mean, that’s the only reason why we are going on the ship.  I finally get all my stuff and hop off the train, the salty air tackles my sense of smell and taste. While the wind is blowing my dirty blonde hair around like a tornado, I can still hear the cheap, rickety passenger train creaking as if saying, “I am old, I am old, I am old.” We head towards the ticketing booth and when we arrive, the ticket seller gives us a key to our second class room after we pay about 200 pounds for everyone, mine was only 42 pounds.Once have gotten our tickets,  we board the R.M.S. Titanic.



Once we are on the ship and we have gotten our bearings of how many people there are and how big the ship is, we decide to get a quick snack of crumpets. Once we have finished our delicious snack we go ahead and settle into our second class room. Of course, I end up having to sleep on the floor like a dog. Which actually type of fits the fact that I am the dog caretaker for the ship. But my job isn’t really that hard, there are only about 12 dogs aboard. Including themillionaire John Jacob Astor’s Airedale “Kitty”. Which according to all other members of the ship, should be my top priority over anything and everything.

Once we get comfy and unpack our things, I decide to go and check out my place of work...the dog kennel. I don’t mind the job, for as long as I can remember I have loved dogs. In fact, before my parents got divorced, I had a Chesapeake named Lady.  She was the nicest dog anyone would ever meet. I cannot say the same for the French Bulldog I have to take care of for my job on the ship, his name is Charlie. The first time I met him, he jumped on my leg and ripped a hole in my overalls. Kitty is okay, she doesn’t do much, though. She mostly sits around waiting for someone to give her attention. Which of course, that someone is me.

After I take a little bit of time to meet the dogs more and see my workspace, I decide to go and see what my family is doing. I wouldn’t be surprised if my Stepmother said, “Oh, James is gone, we should go do something fun!” But of course, that is true. I get back and knock on the door, but no one answers. Someone finally asks who it is and when I say, James, I hear a, “Ugh, I was hoping you jumped off the boat.” It was, of course, Dorothy. My father lets me in and I see them changing into bathing suits.

I ask, “Where are you going?”

“We have decided to go to the indoor swimming pool, I hear this is the first boat ever to have one on ship,” My father replies.

“Okay, I will just grab mine and change in the ba…” I am stopped mid-sentence. “Ah no, you are not coming,” Dorothy replies in a snotty tone.

“You have to stay here and…” I could tell she was trying to make something up to not have me attend the fun. “Why, you have to stay here and make sure the room service doesn’t steal anything.”

“But, but, that’s unfair!” I say as my eyes start to water in frustration.

“Life is unfair darling.”

Then I decide to pass time and go and play with the dogs. I exit our room and lock the green wooden door. As I head up the stairs to the deck, someone bumps into me. It is John Jacob Astor. Once I have noticed who it is I immediately apologize to the wealthy man in a pleading tone. He replies with, “You better watch yourself boy! Otherwise, I will be having a word with your father and the Captain! Wait, you're the dog caretaker. Shouldn’t you be watching my beloved Kitty!”

“Ye, ye, yes sir I am just headed towards the dog kennels right now.” I stutter a little from fright of my father or even worse, my stepmother being told about this encounter.

“Well then, you better get a move on right now, for all you know, my Kitty could be having a heart attack right now!”

O, okay sir, I will go as fast as possible.” I start leaping up the steps, skipping over one every time, not even worrying about ruining the expensive carpet on them. I finally reach the boat deck and sprint towards the dog kennel. I reach the kennel and I am in relief. The other kennel keeper is here giving Kitty as much attention she could ask for.

The other kennel keeper, who goes by Jenny but her full name is Jennifer Ann, loves to give the dog's affection. Just like how she probably gets most affection from the boys that go to her school. She is beautiful, kind, funny, optimistic, etc. In fact, I think I might even have a crush on her. I decide to head back and get some rest, it has been quite a long day.

Four days later...

“James, wake up, it is time to go and do your job!”

Once I open my eyes, I see a clear day and decide to get my white cotton dress shirt, black overalls, brown coat and wool hat on after brushing my teeth. Once I have eaten a quick breakfast I head towards the kennel.

Once I have arrived, I find Jenny brushing Kitty with a beautiful pink brush. I walk over and do something without even thinking. But of course, the question I am going to ask must be a long shot. I say very quietly, “Jenny, would you like to come with me to the Cafe Parisien?”

“Why James, I would love too!”

I have two feelings. One, I am overjoyed that she actually said yes to my, well, I guess you could call it a date. Also, I am in total shock she actually said yes. But I was too busy thinking about that whole situation that I almost didn't hear her question.

“But James, how are we going to get the money for a place as high class like that?” Jenny asked.

“Oh, we have plenty of extra pounds in our room, we can just go pick some up on our way there.”



We head towards my second class room, I am just hoping my family is gone doing something else. We finally reach the room and I tell Jenny to stay by the door, I use my key my father gave me and creak the red wooden door open. There is no one inside. I swing the door open and gallop inside, in relief that I won’t have to let Jenny down. I look all over but could not find any extra money lying around. Then an idea pops into my head, what if I just take 20 pounds from Dorothy’s purse. She won’t notice, will she? I then decide to take the risk and snatch the 20 pounds from Dorothy’s velvet colored purse. I hop outside and close and lock the golden handle and Jenny and I head towards the Cafe Parisien.

Finally, we reach the Cafe and all my senses are pleased. My eyes are in awe of the freshly polished granite and quartz furniture. My ears are pleased to hear the sound of the dish boy clinking and clanking the dirty dishes around. My nose is full of the smell of freshly made pasta the mouth is watering. I can almost taste the amazing food but the salty air is ruining it. Underneath me, I can feel the hard floorboards and the boat rocking just the tiniest bit. But my experience is ruined when a waiter walks us to up and questions us. He asks, “What class ticket do you purchase to get on this fine vessel?”

“Why, me and my lady here both have second class tickets that were bought by our parents.”

“I am sorry young man but only first class passengers are allowed to dine at this fine est.”


“What was that?!”

“We must have almost struck something but do not worry children everything is under control. Now can you please leave this area and go back to yourrooms.”

As Jenny and I start to head back to the kennel, we decide we should just head back to our rooms and politely ask our family to play some board games. I am still disappointed in our encounter at the Cafe but I am hoping a little fun with my family will cheer me up. I reach the room and open it up. My family is sitting and they are each reading their own books. I sigh and ask, “Hey everyone, would you like to play a couple games of cards?”

“Sure bud.”

“Ahh, no. We are all reading our daily dose of knowledge. But of course, when we were all knee deep in our books, you have to come in and ruin it by asking to play a dumb board game.” Dorothy says trying to get on my nerves.

“Fine then, I will just go lay down and play by myself!” I run into Mary’s bedroom where I sleep on the floor. I grab the deck of cards I brought with me from my sack and plop myself on my makeshift bed. I start to play cards but decide I will just try to get some rest. I instantly fall asleep from my long day.

 4 Hours later…

I wake up in a pool of sweat and I am in a totally different position than I fell asleep in. I realize everyone is gone. I get up and almost fall over from dizziness. I start walking into the living room when someone opens the door. It is my father. “Father, where is everyone else?” I ask.

“The girls are at the cafe. I was just coming to wake you up to make sure you get something in your belly for dinner.”


“Son, it is past 6:30,” my father said type of confused that I didn’t know the time.

“Ok, let’s go.”

We then head towards the cafe where Dorothy and Mary are eating. Once we arrive, I sit down next to Mary and decide to order some pasta. Then, once it has arrived, I dig in not realizing how hungry I was until I started eating. Once I have finished, we all decide to go back and go to bed, and surprisingly I am still really tired. I lay down and read my book for about an hour. I finally lay my head down and my eyes slowly start to close and I am asleep.

 5 hours later…

I wake and everyone is asleep. But I am wide awake. I guess my body only could sleep for so long since I took that nap earlier today. I get up and throw my jacket over my pajamas. I climb up to the boat deck. I stay up there for a while, just looking at the black water. It as if it is a mirror, but I know it is deadly. I read something in school once that it takes less than 20 minutes to kill you when the water is this cold. All of a sudden, the ship starts to rumble a lot.

Within about 15 minutes, people start pouring onto the boat deck. I decide to go and look for my family.

I am tried to push through crown but it is like trying to run through a wall. I finally reach the stairs and I purposely fall down them to get past everybody. All of sudden I hear a familiar voice. It is Mary’s. I start to look for her and finally, I spot her standing at the bottom of the stairs crying...alone.

Then I quickly grab her arm and she is frightened even more than she already was. But when she notices it is me, she grabs my hand and does not let go. Now that I have at least Mary, I pick her up and power through the crowd. The only thing that is keeping me from freaking out over fright is adrenaline. That and my love of Mary. Finally, we reach the boat deck and I sprint to the lifeboats. All of a sudden, I start to hear my name being called.


I know that yell anywhere, it was Dorothy. She’s standing and waving her arms as crazy as a headless chicken. Once we have reached her, she takes Mary. But when I get to go onto the lifeboat, a worker stops me and asks, “How old is this child?”

“My son just turned sixteen today!”

“I am sorry mam’ but then he is not allowed on.”

“WHAT! I am only 12, she is lying.” I scream starting to get frustrated even more.

“James! You are not allowed on, now don’t make a scene!”

I then realize that I am crying and run over to the rail. I am just about to jump when I hear the bark of a dog. It was Kitty. I run over to the kennel and grab her leash. I then force her over to the shorter part of the railing and jump. While I am falling I pray that I survive. Maybe I will not get pulled under as a birthday miracle. I hit the water and it feels like a thousand needles are stabbing into every millimeter of my body. I plunge under but when I go to bob back up, I start to get drawn under by the boat. But something is keeping me from dying...it was Kitty. Kitty is paddling like a motorized boat upwards towards the surface. We are finally pushed out as an act of mercy by the ocean. We then push ourselves to the limit as we swim towards a lifeboat that is already in the water.

I am pulled in by two strong men, It feels good not to feel like I’m 70 degrees inside. The feeling of being safe is amazing, I am so relieved to have my family and me to survive. But of course the thankfulness must end, I end up on the boat that my stepmother is on. But it is okay because John Jacob Astor is also on this boat. Once he has seen that I have Kitty he says, “Thank you, boy! You saved my beloved dog. I will pay you handsomely once this catastrophe is all over.”

“How much is handsomely Mr. Astor?” Dorothy asks.

“I would say about...one million pounds is how much Kitty is worth sentimentally.”

“ONE MILLION! James, you are now my favorite son ever!”

Before Dorothy could finish, I see the “unsinkable ship” submerge on its maiden voyage. All of a sudden, everything is quiet. Everyone alive is in awe of this tragedy. Thankfully, only about an hour later, the R.M.S. Carpathiacomes and saves everyone that survived the horrible sinking. But unfortunately, I find out that my father was not one of those fortunate that survived. I will never forget this night, the night my father died trying to save trapped people, the nightover 1,000 people died, the night my Stepmother starting loving me, the night I was excited about an amazing birthday trip but ended up having a depressing memory. I would never forget the night the Titanic sank.


The Bark




Wikipedia RMS Titanic



Discovery Channel’s Titanic : 100th Anniversary Collection Documentary

© Copyright 2018 Kellen Grossenbacher. All rights reserved.

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