Deirbhile

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Alys Nate's fateful journey on the Titanic, and the events that led to it.

Submitted: July 08, 2008

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Submitted: July 08, 2008

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Molly Brown was my idol. She had found a place in high society, and was still who she was before she had money. She was nouveau riche, but no one in lower class cared. She was still kind, and caring, and vulgar (it is soothing when you find yourself among the first class). And then, I heard, she'd be on the Titanic. The very boat, that I had never wanted to be on. Because it would be a rathole for us. We'd have little cabins, and tiny little bunks, below even sea level. And, it gave me an eerie feeling.

My name then, was Alys. Alys Calene Nate. Our last name was Nate. My mother was Lily Nate, and my father, Darek Nate.

We lived in America. But we had had to come back to Ireland, to see my Grandda, Seamus one more time. Before he died. My mam said he had cancer. Da said, he'd pull out of it. But the truth was, none of us believed that for a minute.

His dying moments were the worst I had ever seen him. I remembered him as caring, and gentle, and strong. Always out and about. Always protector for my sister, Lib, Elizabeth, and I, when we visited. He sent us special chocolates for Christmas, and porcelain dolls we knew had to have cost him a fortune, with the little money our family had always had. Even as Lib and I grew out of playing with the dolls, we cherished them. They were our nicest belongings. Our handmade blankets mam handed out every time the winter started were not as nice, and our newest and best dresses, with intricate patterns, that mam had sewn herself, were never as good as our dolls.

My favourite was Deirbhile, named after my mamó, who had departed from us the year before.

  She looked just like mamó had in a portrait drawn of her when she was a teenager. Deirbhile meant a lot to Grandda too. He was touched when I named her after mamó.

 Grandda was weak when I last saw him, in the warm cozy bed that was in his house in Kilkenny, Ireland. The stone walls and thatched roof were soon going to be used, and I could feel death looming in the air.

 His last words were, "I'm coming, Deirbhile." And as I heard his weak voice, when he said it, grow loving once again, like he had never gotten sick, I looked at him in wonder, waiting for him to be better. A feeble hope, one that I shouldn't have invested in, especially at my short age of 13.

 I stared at him for ten minutes, waiting for his eyes to open once again, and see the blue pools of warmth I had grown used to seeing.

 But then, as time went on, more and more tears welled up in my eyes. Finally, I put my head to his chest, and tried to listen to the rhythm of his breathing and heart. But there was none.

 His harmony was gone. His blue eyes I would never see again... And, now, the only thing I had left of him, was Deirbhile, and his little thatched house, that I knew we'd be leaving. The little house in Kilkenny that I had spent my first few years in.

 And that was the thing that pushed me over the edge. And my tears out of my eyes. I felt warm, salty liquid run down my rosy cheeks, and then, I let out a wail of despair. My mam and da were immediately in his warm little room. And my tears kept on running. Tears that felt cold, but I knew, should have been warm.

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 "Mam... Please. Please, can we go on the Titanic back to America? We can board in Southampton! And Molly Brown will also be on the ship! PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE?" I'm not sure if it was my pleading voice that made mam and da buy tickets for the RMS Titanic, or the fact that grandda would've bought us tickets, or that, they knew how much pain I was in, watching grandda die. My one and only grandda.

 "Fine, Alys. But you'll have no birthday party, you'll just have to play with Deirbhile on it. Lib won't have a birthday party either."

 Lib and I both grinned. We were going to have a chance to meet Molly Brown! The nouveau riche woman that all of America were buzzing about!

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 As we boarded the RMS Titanic, Lib and I stared in awe at the ship. We pulled out Deirbhile and Ailis; Lib's favourite doll, named after me.

 We held them close to us, and we walked through the door where a man was standing, after da gave him our papers and tickets.

 Mam walked us to our cabin, which as I imagines, was tiny. Lib and I had to share a bunk beneath mam, and a cabin with a girl names Cayla, and her mother.

 Cayla had red hair, green eyes and freckles, and looked almost exactly like one of my older dolls, Bebhinn. A porcelain doll.

  Lib, Cayla and I, explored the lower class corridors, and slowly made our way up. With each stair we took, I grew more nervous. Cayla and Lib also had looks of apprehension, because we knew the third class trash that we were weren't allowed above E deck. But we made it, and then, we saw the sights.

 There were people milling around, and I went to the bow, where I looked down at the people of Southampton. There was my aunt, Maeve, and her husband, who was oddly named Richard. And then I saw her.

 Molly Brown. My favourite person in the whole world. She was wearing a fur coat, and waving a gloved hand to the people. Her brown hair was neat, and uncovered, her hat was gone. She was smiling friendlily. And her mouth was saying words my eyes couldn't read, and my ears couldn't hear. But I kept smiling, and pointed her out to Lib.

 I stayed after all the people had departed, and watched as Molly Brown walked away. And then I got up the nerve to talk to her.

 "Hello Mrs. Brown!" I said, waving to her cheerily.

 "Hello. Who are you?"

 "I'm Alys Nate. And I've always wanted to meet you."

 "whys that hun?" She asked.

 "Well, you're not afraid to be yourself among the first class members, even though you're what they call, nouveau riche." I smiled. She laughed.

 "Thank you, Alys. I'll be seeing you." She smiled at me then left. I ran all the way back to our cabin until I caught up with Lib and Cayla.

 "Guess who I just met!" I said excitedly.

 "Who?" Cayla asked. And a split second later, Lib asked the same question.

 "Molly Brown!" I said. They looked shell shocked.

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 Over the next few days, we all ran around E deck, and sat on the rails next to the bow, talking about the boys that walked by, and the men who looked ridiculous in tuxedos, like Mr. Ismay.

 And then, on the fourth night, we went to a party. Mam wouldn't let us have any of the beer, even though we were just one year off of being of age.

 And then, around midnight, a shudder went through the ship. A shudder so large, I felt it in my cabin, trying to get to sleep. I sprung up from the bed.

 "What was that?" I asked Lib. But she was still asleep. I turned to Cayla. But she was also unconscious.

 "Mam?" I sat in bed for a while longer, and then, I noticed, water began to seep through the door. I jumped out of my tired state, instantly awake.

 I got out of my bed, and went to investigate. The water was icy cold. I ran to wake up mam, Lib, Cayla, and Mrs.Bensen. But none of them woke up. I grabbed Deirbhile, determined to see what was wrong.

 I went all the way up to D deck, where the gates were shut. "What the hell?" I thought to myself.

 "What is going on?" I asked one of the people near me. It was a man, in suspenders and brown slacks.

 "The ship is floodin'." He said. His voice was deep and gruff, angry. He was holding a small child in his arms. My eyes widened, and I ran away, looking for another exit.

 All of the gates were locked. "Let us out!" I screamed, not loud enough above the others. "Let us out, damn you!" I wasn't one to curse, but this was an emergency. There were lives at risk, mine included. "Let us out!" I bellowed.

  And then, someone got the gates broke open. We all screamed happily, and fled to the highest deck. By then, there was water up to my neck. I the end of the boat was sinking, and I ran to the other side. All of the lifeboats were gone.

 The boat began to sink lower, and I grabbed on to the railing that Cayla and Lib had sat on with me. I screamed. Few people payed attention. In my fight for survival, while trying to save only me, I'd let Lib and mam die. I let Cayla die. I let Mrs. Bensen die. And maybe even da.

  Titanic started to go up into the air, and then stopped. I breathed a sigh of relief. And then, we fell, again, I held onto the railing, feeling my stomach leave and my heart jump rapidly. The boat snapped in half. As I saw people on the other side of the railing, the boat started to become vertical. I copied them.

 I was practically in the stars, when the Titanic started to go under.

  I stop replaying memories. That feeling I had felt at the beginning of the trip, the eeriness I h ad felt about the RMS Titanic before I had learned Molly Brown was on it, dawns on me.

 I look at the water, and then. I think of Deirbhile. I had thought to save her. But not my own family and friends.

 "Damn you Deirbhile!" I say, but hold on to her. As the Titanic sinks lowers, I realize how cold the water actually is. I swim to a piece of driftwood.

 I lay on there, waiting for someone to come. And something makes me resent my favourite doll. I hurl her into the icy blue cold, and then, as my body moves heavily, all my wait trying to throw Deirbhile, I fall of of the driftwood.

 I had never grabbed a swimming device. I feel myself sinking. All of my energy, the last of it, I just used, on throwing Deirbhile.

  I close my eyes, afraid the salty water will sting. And now, what has happened? Who am I? What is this blackness? What is the pressure in my chest? And now, I think. A random thought. I'm coming Deirbhile.


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