Ship Speaker

When Adrane's grandmother passes away, she inherits her grandmother's ship charm. And so she sets out to find the ships that her grandmother once worked magic with ..

This was written for NaNoWriMo 2006. I never completed it.

Adrane walked into the ward with a sense of foreboding. Hospitals unnerved her. The sight of so many ill patients and worried visitors made her worry for her own grandmother. Just two nights ago, her grandmother had suffered from a fall and was rushed to hospital by a worried uncle. Being away from home in the university hostel, Adrane was unaware of the going-ons until her mother had called her the night before. She had rushed to the hospital just moments ago, ignoring the fact that she had a very important lecture at the same time.


The ward was cold, sterile and unwelcoming, her grandmother lay on a bed in the corner. The other two occupants of the ward looked towards her as Adrane stepped into the room. Ignoring their curious stares, she went straight to her grandmother's side.


“Grandmama” Adrane whispered, not wanting to alarm her grandmother who was napping. Her grandmother did not hear her call and continued napping. Adrane pulled up a chair next to the bed and sat down. 


This seemed wrong and it looked wrong. Her grandmother did not fit in with all the modern medical technology surrounding them. No doubt her grandmother would have put up a fight with her relatives on the matter of hospitalization. After all, her grandmother was one of those who believed more in natural and holistic medical cures than whatever a doctor or hospital could provide.


In her prime, the older woman had been a strong person. She had single-handedly supported the family of seven after her husband was killed in an industrial accident. 


Adrane flipped through the book in her hand. It was a book about cultural effect of the Titanic disaster. She had grabbed it at the last minute before running out of her dorm. In her opinion, if she was going to miss a lecture, she would have to make up for it by studying extra harder.  


“Adrane ...” Her grandmother had finally awoken and realised she was there. 


“Grandmama. Sorry I couldn't come any sooner. School is at a very busy period.” Adrane hurriedly put away her book and made to go and stand by her grandmother's side. 


“Relax child. School IS a bother but it's important. Besides, you wouldn't want spend your entire life working at a job you dislike because you lack the qualifications for a job you like. I wouldn't have gotten your mother to call you here if there wasn't anything important. Go to my bag and take out the blue velvet pouch.” Her grandmother sank back down into the pillow to rest after her “speech”. Adrane quickly did as her grandmother instructed her. She found the pouch with relative ease. It was small, sitting comfortable in her palm of her hand. 


“What's this, Grandmama?” Adrane asked. 


“That is what I wanted to talk to you about. Open it first and you'll see” Her Grandmother instructed. Adrane did as she was told and discovered that the pouch held a small pendent. The pendent was a charm made in the shape of a four-funnelled ocean liner. The charm looked like it was made of silver but it gleamed with a bluish tint when put to the light. 


“I'm sure you know I'm a Ship Speaker. The magick's been in our family for generations but I'm the first to be chosen as a Guardian. That charm is the Titanic's gift to me and my connection to her. She choose me, just before her materiel self was swallowed up by the North Atlantic. She came to me, half dead and bleeding, begging me to take her and protect her. I couldn't refuse. I felt a connection and she's been my Ship ever since. It was her magick that saved me. She used what was left of her dying powers to guide me through the mess of people to the lifeboats.” Adrane sat there, enthralled at her grandmother's tale. In all her years of studying the Titanic disaster, first as a enthusiast then as a maritime history student, she had never come across any record of her grandmother in the documents about the disaster. 


“But .. but .. Why is it I never knew about all these? Your name has never turned up on the official passenger or crew lists. I've read them a thousand times over.” Adrane was confused and her face showed it clearly.


“I was never on the passenger list. We didn't have the money, my brother and I. He befriended a few crew members who agreed to smuggle us on board the ship in exchange for magickal services. I remember one crew member wanted dearly to cure his ill wife. I prepared a potion for him. Another wanted to wed a girl who had no interest in him. I created a amulet for him. Sadly we'll never know if my efforts were of any use. Whatever magickal potions or amulets or spells I created were lost when the ship sank. Oh we had a grand time, despite being technically stowaways, we managed to find an empty cabin for the voyage. It was third class but better than anything we had ever seen.” Her grandmother's eyes had a glazed over look as she recalled the past. 


“Where is Titanic now? I would like to meet her.” Adrane asked.


“She's gone. Gone to seek out her sisters. She left when my magick became too weak. She wants a new Guardian. Someone younger, someone with the power. Someone like you.” Adrane felt uncomfortable under her grandmother's sudden intense gaze.


“Why me? I'm just barely an adult. I'm not even sure if I have the magickal powers of a Speaker.” Adrane replied.


“My child. I know it. I've felt it since you were a mere babe. You have the powers. You just needed someone to unlock them. Besides, who else in the family can I entrust the amulet to? You're the only who still cares about the ships of old. The others all want to control fast speedboats and what-not. Terrible. Just terrible. After all, weren't you the one who begged your parents for a model of the Titanic when you were just twelve?” Adrane's grandmother winked at her as she spoke the last sentence. Adrane had to agree. Her grandmother was right. None of her cousins were suitable for the position of Guardian of the Titanic. To them, the Titanic was nothing more than just another sunken ship. Their minds had been “poisoned” by the romance movie set on the ship released about eight years ago. No offence to the movie but it just didn't capture the true spirit of the Titanic for her.


“I'll try, Grandmama but I can't promise you I'll do a good job. Guardian of the Titanic seems like an impossible task.” Adrane said. Her grandmother simply smiled.


“You'll do great. You already have a passion for the story of the great ship.” The older woman assured Adrane. 


“What do I have to do as Guardian?” Adrane was confused once again.


“Take the amulet. Keep it close to you. Call to her. Call to Titanic. Let her know that there's a Guardian once again. A Guardian powerful enough to wield the powers she holds. Do that and you'll be fine.” Those words spoken, her grandmother closed her eyes and fell into a light sleep. Adrane relaxed into the chair. The task before her seemed enormous She didn't even know where to start.


When Adrane left the hospital an hour later, her mind was full of unanswered questions and the amulet was back in its pouch, at the bottom of her pocket. 


I have to find a proper chain for the amulet, Adrane mused as she studied  it. The bus ride back to her hostel was far too long for her liking and she had gotten bored with people and scenery watching a whole ten minutes ago. She had removed the amulet from it pouch and was once again studying it. 


The amulet was about three centimetres from bow to stern and about half a centimetre with a loop at the stern for attaching it to a chain. The amulet was highly detailed despite it's small size.

The End

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