I could swear I was there. The distant glittering stars, the glassy black water, the last violin strains of Nearer My God to Thee hovering in the cold air – they are clear as memory. Was I just that weird child, obsessed with death and nature’s might? Am I just that weird adult, expecting the worst in every situation? Or is there something more? I never dream about water so cold it kills; I cannot claim evidence from past life readings or inexplicable historical knowledge. Yet something binds me to that place, to that night, to that terrible disaster so much it feels like a homecoming. Like I belong there. I read the names of those lost and think I know you, I remember you. I want to tell them it wasn’t your fault, you couldn’t have known, no one could have known. Do the Titanic’s wayward ghosts reach beyond their world to those they know will tell their stories or relieve their guilt by solving the nagging unknowns? Perhaps over the years the spirits of fifteen hundred people, at the mercy of trade winds and deep water currents, have scattered across the globe to wash up on far foreign shores. Maybe some small child collecting seashells and beach glass brought something bigger home with them. Or maybe those souls passed on and even in new bodies, even living new lives, that night’s chill remains in their blood and cries out for resolution.


Hook didn’t listen to the ship. He saw only wood and canvas, not the wild spirit within. Thus during that final battle the ship broke beneath him and gave its skeleton up to the waves, a skilled horse lead by a headstrong but foolish rider. Yet it did not perish like its captain, only sank to the depths to sleep in sea salt. The ship remained slumbering until another rose it from its watery grave and bound its bones back together with silver and silence, replaced its torn sails with cloth of shadow, threaded its frayed ropes with cords of jetstream. This new captain understood the soul of a ship must be tended as much as its body and she fed that soul with gunpowder, blood, and freedom. Beneath her hands the ship shuddered awake and tasted the storm winds again.

Hook had taken no delight in the ship; it was merely a means of conveyance, a mobile weapon. She appreciates every nail and knot, though, knows every curve and edge, and so the ship responds in kind. Racing over the waves, they are one, horse and rider, and in battle the ship knows its dance without needing any instruction. It sails faster and fires harder than it ever did for its last captain. It is a wolf of water and air, darkness and speed. She delights in its strength and it delights in her hunger.

Hands on the polished rail, she closes her eyes and opens herself to the sounds of snapping sails, splashing waves, groaning wood and rope. She listens to the ship, feels it move beneath her and around her. She knows what final, fatal mistake Hook made. He didn’t listen to the ship. Riding into war, he trusted himself more than his steed. She will not make the same mistake.

She will not make any of his mistakes.