Jack Dawson's Luck

An alternate version of James Cameron's Titanic

By Shannon R. Lloyd

Copyright 2001

Chapter One

(April 10, 1912 10 a.m. - Southampton, England)

"My, that's some ship!" Elizabeth Gillespie let her gaze travel up the many decks of the R. M. S. Titanic.

Fabrizio de Rossi let out a low whistle. "Wait til I tell Momma about it, she won'ta believe me, eh, Jack?"

Jack Dawson smiled at the pair; he could hardly believe it himself. He had purchased tickets for the S. S. New York but thanks to a coal strike, fate had placed him on Titanic.

"Please come forward for the inspection queue! Have your papers ready, step this way!" An emigration official took the papers Jack handed him. After Jack, Fabrizio and Elizabeth had been examined and been cleared of any lice or disease, they were allowed to board the magnificent new ship.

"Let's see ... Lizzie, you're in G-12, and Fabri ... you and I are in G-60. Looks like we've got the whole ship between us, Lizzie." Jack smiled at his pretty fiancee, making her brown eyes sparkle.

"Now, Jack, can I trust the two of ye on your own?"

"Of course! Now let's go, huh?" Fabrizio was impatient to get to his cabin. He'd had enough of Lizzie for awhile.

"I'll see you later, Lizzie. Come on, Fabri." Jack lead the way as he and Fabrizio wove through other emigrants searching for their cabins. There was a mixture of dozens of languages, and Jack noticed how new everything was and how it all smelled of fresh paint. After he and Fabrizio settled in, they went up to the uppermost deck of steerage to watch the ship leave the dock. Hundreds of passengers crammed the railing, waving and shouting to those on the pier.

"Goodbye, I'll miss you!" Jack joyfully added his voice to the throng.

"You know somebody?" Fabrizio asked, puzzled.

"Of course not, that's not the point. Goodbye!" Jack yelled.

"Goodbye! I'll will never forget you!" Fabrizio called out to no one in particular.

Slowly, the great ship began to pull away from the pier, heading for Cherbourg, France.

12:30 p.m.

In First Class, Rose DeWitt Bukater was helping her maid, Trudy Bolt, unpack several paintings she had purchased in Paris. Her mother, Ruth, shook her head disapprovingly.

"Really, Rose. It's bad enough that you wasted money on that ... rubbish, but must you clutter up the suite with it as well?"

"Mother, they're fascinating. Like being inside a dream or something." Rose pulled a large abstract canvas out of the crate and placed it on a settee.

"What's the artist's name?" Asked Trudy, curiously.

"Something ... Picasso?" Rose read from the bottom of the canvas.

"Something Picasso? He won't amount to a thing. He won't, trust me. At least they were cheap," Ruth said to no one, as Rose led Trudy into her bedroom. Ruth gazed around Parlour Suite B-52, 54, 56 and smiled to herself. She prided herself on being able to have only the best, and she felt this time she had really outdone herself. Securing a stateroom on Titanic - and the best stateroom, at that - would surely have her name in all the society pages in Philadelphia, and secure a future for her and Rose. Although her husband had left a large fortune when he died, with Ruth's passion for spending it was down to a third of what it had been. She must make sure that she and Rose would be provided for, and she had found the perfect match for Rose. Nothing was set yet, but Ruth was determined to have Rose engaged to Caledon Hockley by the summer. Even though Rose protested that she'd rather beg on the street than marry him, Rose would be grateful for Ruth's foresight, someday.

Ruth was lost in thought shen Rose re-entered the sitting room.

"Did you want to go to luncheon, Mother? We could stay here and order in if you would rather -"

"Don't be silly, Rose. Of course we will go to the Dining Saloon for luncheon. What good does it do us to be on Titanic if we stay in our rooms the whole time?" Ruth checked her appearance in the mirror over the fireplace and patted a few stray hairs back into place. "We'd never be seen if we did that."

As they left their stateroom, Rose sighed, thinking to herself "why do I feel as if I'm being paraded at auction and that I'm up for sale to the highest bidder?"