AUTHOR'S NOTE : "Oh no, not another cliched time travel story!" I hear you groan. Well, this one isn't random strangers appearing on the Titanic to turn their world upside down. What happens when you place the characters in a place where they kind of recognise, but is completely different? I used the setting of modern Glasgow because there is so much humour to be had with my local culture - You guessed it, I'm from Glasgow. I could have made it anywhere, but at least with it set in Glasgow it would be ore accurate than basing it in a place I have never been to.
Enjoy the story!
~ Chapter One ~
Rose DeWitt Bukater was the first to wake up on the train platform. She looked around at the commuters wearing what she thought were 'funny' clothes, as dark blue trains bearing the brand Scotrail entered and exited the station. Towards the front of the platform, she recognised fellow Titanic passengers, who were also just waking up. Dusting off her pale blue and pink dress, she walked over to them, ignoring the stares from commuters and station staff. She watched her mother being helped up by her fiance Cal Hockley, who was looking extremely confused.
"Ah, Rose! Thank God!" Cal exclaimed, letting out a sigh of relief. He too, looked around at the other passengers, who were all pretty much on their feet and looking dazed.
"Where are we?" Rose walked past them all towards a sign that stood on the middle of Platform Four. It read : Glasgow Central.
Rose wasn't the only one who had noticed the sign. Jack Dawson was staring at it intently, scratching his head. Rose's mother Ruth paled when she realised that they no longer on the Titanic but were infact in Glasgow. The only passenger who seemed unaffected was First Officer William Murdoch, who rubbed his hands together in glee.
"We're fine!" He announced, looking around at the passengers who were crowded around this sign. "Who's all here, by the way?"
"Myself, Rose and Ruth DeWitt Bukater," Cal replied, taking Rose's hand in a subtle move to lead her away from Jack, who was eyeing them up suspiciously.
"Molly Brown, Mr Ismay, Captain Smith, Second Officer Lightoller and lastly, myself," Mr Andrews stood next to Murdoch, who seemed to be calculating his next move.
"And me!" Jack piped up, looking annoyed.
"My apologies, Mr Dawson!" Mr Andrews said cheerily, giving jack a friendly pat on the back. "I merely assumed you were one of these train passengers. Nevertheless, it won't happen again."
Jack nodded, looking down the platform to a couple of station staff in yellow hi-visibility vests who were approaching them. The taller man with tattoos was talking to someone through his radio, something which fascinated the Titanic passengers. The smaller man, however, was looking quite angry, and was holding a clear trash bag half-filled with rubbish.
"And what are we up to?" The taller man asked the group, to which most of them shrugged.
"We appear to be lost, my good man," Ismay answered, gesturing towards the rest of the group. "When I closed my eyes for a nap last night, I was in my stateroom on the Titanic, and now I appear to be in Glasgow."
Both men looked at Ismay in disbelief.
"Titanic? That ship sank one hundred years ago! Didn't it, Chris?" The smaller man insisted, looking at his equally dumbstruck colleague.
Several of the passengers gasped in shock at those words, whereas Ismay merely scoffed.
"Nonsense! The ship can't sink!"
"But it did," Chris replied with a sombre expression on his face, before breaking into a grin. "Wait a second ... This is an act, isn't it?"
"What do you mean, 'act'?" Captain Smith piped in, standing alongside Ismay with a concerned look.
"It's been one hundred years since the ship sank, so Cameron's making ye all dress up as yer characters and goin' aroond the UK in a PR stunt. Am I right?"
Molly looked at the man as though he was insane. "Sonny, you're gonna have to start talkin' sense here!"
Lightoller was completely confused. "What's Cameron?"
"Some guy, I suppose," Jack replied, before pointing towards Chris' radio. "What's that?"
"It's a radio transmitter, so I can communicate wae my colleagues," The man replied curtly.
"Think he can find this Cameron gentleman on that?" Cal asked Ismay, who looked at Chris, who shook his head.
"Naw, just Scotrail employees," He answered, before motioning for the group to come with him. "There's a train due to leave for East Kilbride in a few minutes once it gets here, youse had better produce tickets or come through the barriers wae me."
"We don't have any tickets," Rose whispered to Mr Andrews, breaking free of Cal's grip, and walking towards the two men. "Please, you have to believe us."
"Just come through the barriers wae me, I'm not falling for any Punk'd or Real Radio crap," Chris walked down to the barriers at the platform's rear, with the group following behind.
"Glasgow was much friendlier last time I was here," Murdoch muttered to Lightoller, who chuckled.
The group were amazed to see the barriers work, simply by the commuter sliding their ticket into the slot, with the barriers opening automatically for them.
"This new technology is fascinating!" Cal remarked, studying one particular barrier as a woman passed through carrying a small child. "Don't you ever get people cut in half?"
"Whit?" The staff member was slightly amused by this question.
"Say, if the little doors shut too soon, does the person walking through get cut in half?" Cal asked, which recieved a large amount of laughter in response. "Why is that funny? I do not want to get cut in half!"
"Pal, they're DOORS! They won't cut you in half, jeezo!" Chris responded, using a key to open a barrier for the passengers to pass through. "On youse go, ya bunch of fannies!"
Cal glared at him as he jumped through in fear of being cut in half. He was mildly disappointed that the barrier didn't cut anyone in half, especially Jack. He could've done with that.
Through the barriers, everyone looked in amazement at the scene around them. No-one was more shocked than Murdoch, who was gaping at the shops and commuters before him.
"What the hell is a Tie Rack?" He asked, peering right into the stall's windows, receiving a weird look from the staff behind the counter. "Looks like ties and scarves."
"If it's called Tie Rack then I would be bettin' on there being ties," Molly laughed.
Another man was making his way towards the group. This time, it was someone who Cal, Rose and Ruth immediately recognised.
"Lovejoy!" Cal gasped in surprise, shaking hands with his manservant.
"Well, we're in Glasgow, that's for sure," Lovejoy said, looking around. "I don't recall there being any businesses named Burger King or Accessorize."
"We must be in a different time period," Mr Andrews guessed, watching a large group of men march by wearing kilts and navy blue football tops, belting out Flower of Scotland at the top of their lungs.
"Oi, Will!" Lightoller nudged Murdoch in the ribs and pointed to the group of fans. "You told me you all don't wear kilts in Scotland! Why'd you lie?"
Murdoch sighed. "We only wear them for occasions Lights."
"Then, what kind of occasion is that?" Ruth pointed out, as one of the football fans lefted up the rear of his kilt, giving the group a cheeky flash of his rather hairy backside.
The group recoiled in horror, with Cal trying to hold back some vomit. Well, apart from Jack, who could see the funny side. Sadly, he was the only one.
"It's true what they say then about Scotsmen!" He joked, looking at Murdoch. "Do you wear nothing under your kilt?"
"Hmph!" Murdoch huffed as he walked out onto the main concourse of the station. He could hear Lightoller behind him sharing some sort of joke with Jack.
All around him were these weird shops that appeared to sell mostly food, from chocolate, to pasties, and to bagels. There were plenty more football fans milling about, with commuters trying to go about their business while dodging their dancing. He was far too distracted by what was going on around him to notice that he was getting stares, and funny looks. Not only that, but people were snapping away pictures on their camera phones and uploading them onto the internet on the spot.
"Wait til I put this on Facebook!" One commuter said, a girl in her mid-teens, fiddling with her BlackBerry.
"What's Facebook?" Murdoch wondered to himself as Lightoller and Cal joined him.
"No idea, mate," Lightoller replied. "Where are we going?"
"Back to Titanic, I would hope!" Cal said indignantly, brandishing a wad of cash. "But first, I need to find someplace to swap my dollars for whatever currency Scotland is using at this point."
"I think we need to find this Cameron guy," Molly suggested, sidling up to Cal. "That guy with the weird talky thing seemed to think he was behind this."
"Yes, that's right, that Cameron chap will take us back!" Lightoller exclaimed, looking around as the rest of the group joined them.
"Sounds good enough to me Mr Lightoller," Captain Smith smiled, before adding. "Where will we look first?"
"I believe Mr Hockley would like to exchange his dollars first, sir," Murdoch replied helpfully, pointing at the bundle of notes still in Cal's hand.
"Why don't we ask that gentleman over there?" Rose asked, indicating towards another staff member in a high-vis vest, inspecting the departure boards. "Wow! Look at those departure boards! It's like little orange lights!"
Lovejoy walked over to the staff member, eyeing up a train that was due to leave for London shortly. "Excuse me?"
The man turned to Lovejoy. "Aye?"
"Can you please tell us where we can exchange our currency for Glasgow money?" Lovejoy asked, as politely as he could.
"Glasgow money? Whit, you English think you're better than us or somethin'? Fuckin' Glasgow money? Pfft, get yerselves tae Thomas Cook on Gordon Street and get oot ma sight!" The man tried to shoo Lovejoy away, who was looking absolutely furious.
Lovejoy stormed back to Cal, with a face like thunder. "Bloody cheeky bastard!"
Murdoch tried to hide the fact that he found the whole situation hilarious. In the end, he ducked behind Lightoller, sniggering away with Mr Andrews and Jack. It was something the English members of the group couldn't appreciate.
"What did he say?" Cal asked, giving the staff member and evil look, which was returned along with the man's middle finger. "I should get him fired for that!"
Lovejoy sighed. "Some place on Gordon Street called Thomas Cook."
"Where's Gordon Street, Officer Murdoch?" Ruth asked, peering behind Lightoller.
Composing himself, Murdoch swiftly answered, "Just out the main entrance there."
"Well, let's leave then," Cal began, taking Rose's arm. "I'm not staying in this station any minute longer than I have to!"
The group followed behind, passing by more groups of Scotland supporters waving their flags and wearing tartan hats with fake ginger hair poking from the sides. The supporters took no notice of them, despite their appearance being scrutinised by almost everyone. Mind you, the sight that awaited them outside the station gates was something else. Around twenty taxis were lined up in front of the station, as well as a couple of small buses. There were groups of young people with weird hair colours and gothic make-up hanging around the entrance, casually smoking cigarettes and messing about.
"My God, where are those children's parents?" Ismay gasped, turning his nose up at one particular group that seemed to be laughing at his moustache.
"I think this 'Cooking Tom's' place is further along ..." Jack muttered, looking around him.
"Thomas Cook, Jack," Mr Andrews kindly reminded him. "I don't see it here either, it must be down that way."
Mr Andrews pointed past the main road, where he could see a row of shop signs. There were plenty of people going about their everyday business, carrying briefcases and shopping bags. Most of them took no notice of the group, having probably already seen weirder sights in Glasgow on a Saturday.
The group walked along to the main road at Union Street, where more shops lined either side. They waited until the traffic had appeared to stop until crossing, not realising that the traffic flowing down into Union Street from Renfield Steet had stopped. They narrowly avoided being hit by a taxi that had turned onto Union Street from in front of the station.
"Bloody hell!" Lovejoy groaned.
"Hey!" Molly shouted, starting straight ahead. "That small circular sign up ahead, I think it says Thomas Cook!"
Murdoch, Lightoller, Jack and Rose cheered enthusiastically, before the group set off along to the shop. Upon arrival, they were stunned to see the many signs on the windows advertising holiday bargains. Even more confusing was the concept of air travel.
"Whoa!" Jack pointed to a picture of an airplane, and then to the deal below it. "Three nights in Las Vegas for two, £799!"
"This one looks better," Rose pointed to another offer. "Seven nights in Benidorm, £278 per person!"
Cal placed one hand on the door. "Let's just get this over with, shall we?"
Cal led the group inside Thomas Cook, where things seemed to get even weirder than at the station. It certainly wasn't 1912, and it wasn't the Glasgow Murdoch remembered.