Stop Mimicking Me!

Lightoller felt strange. He was walking the rounds on the 1st class promenade and he felt a dull ache in the pit of his stomach that was gradually getting worse. He decided to make his way back to the bridge and go have a lie down. By the time poor Charles got back to the bridge he was hunched over in pain and his head felt like it was going to explode. "Help me!" he called just before he fell to the ground and everything went black.

Henry rushed over to where Lightoller lay, he also watched in amazement as Charles gradually got younger until he was about five years old. "Jesus" Wilde said, his eyes wide because of what he was seeing. "Okay, what do I do? Bleedin' Hell! Okay, get help. That's what I'll do, get help!" Wilde rushed out of the bridge to get Murdoch.

Once they had come back, Lightoller was stirring. Murdoch and Wilde stood and watched as Lightoller's eyes opened and he sat up groggily.

"Hello," he said sleepily, as he got to his feet.

"Charles is that you?" Murdoch asked quietly.

Lightoller looked up at the two officers with wide, blue eyes.

"Charles are you okay?" Wilde asked, and the boy nodded.

"Charles, what happened?" Murdoch inquired.

"I don't know you, Mister. I'm not supposed to talk to strangers," the little boy said quietly.

"Well, how about I tell you my name and then we won't be strangers any more," Murdoch asked putting on a happy tone of voice.

Lightoller looked up at the first officer and nodded a little.

"Okay, my name is William Murdoch. Now that's settled, let's get you something to eat."

Charles pointed at Wilde, "What's his name?"

"That's Henry Wilde. Let's go to the Officers Mess and get you something to eat. Now hold my hand so you don't get lost."

Charles reluctantly took Murdoch's hand and he, Lightoller and Wilde made their way to the Mess.

When they were there Wilde sat down next to Charles and Murdoch arranged to get some food.

Murdoch came back with a plate of jam on toast and a glass of juice; he set them down in front of Lightoller and motioned for Wilde to follow him.

"Henry, I just want to warn you that Lightoller had a terrible childhood," Murdoch said in a low voice. "Before his mother died, his father used to beat him and after she did die, his father ran away with his new wife. Leaving Charles' Aunt and Uncle to look after him and his four sisters. They didn't want to look after them and treated them terribly."

Wilde looked shocked; "I had no idea."

Murdoch smiled sadly, "I don't know if he remembers or not when he's like this, so be extra nice just in case."

Just as Murdoch finished talking, they heard a loud crash. The two senior officers looked up, startled. Juice was everywhere and Lightoller was sitting on the bench, looking at them, white as a sheet.

Wilde and Murdoch hurried over to him. Wilde started to clean up the mess while Murdoch went over to Lightoller. When he got to Charles, the young boy scrambled back repeatedly saying sorry. Murdoch ran forward to stop him running away once he grabbed him, Lightoller burst into tears. Murdoch gathered him up in his arms and murmured comforting words to him.

Eventually Wilde finished cleaning up the mess and Murdoch looked down at Lightoller and saw the small boy had fallen asleep. Murdoch stood up, took Lightoller to his room and tucked him into bed. Murdoch went back to his own room and crawled back into bed.

Murdoch awoke hours later to the sound of Lightoller crying again. He crawled out of bed and into Lightoller's room. Lightoller was sitting under the covers, crying.

"Charles, what's wrong?" Murdoch asked quietly.

The young boy threw the covers off of him and practically threw himself across the room to hug Murdoch around the thighs. Murdoch picked him up and patted Charles' back.

" Th-the Bo-boogey M-M-Man is g-gonna get me!" he wailed. Murdoch bit back a chuckle.

"How about you come into my bed tonight. Okay?" Murdoch asked again. Lightoller nodded against Murdoch's shoulder. "We are also gonna have to get you some decent clothes tomorrow, you can't get around in a oversized officers jacket."

Lightoller settled down in Murdoch's bed his hand holding a small blanket that Murdoch had given him.

The Lightoller situation was going to have to be explained tomorrow.