Our third Pinkorama comes to you from the team of Colleen and Nick White, who bring us “So Many Peeps Lost”, from The Peep Ocean.
It’s that fatal day in May, 1915. The Lusitania, struck by a torpedo, sinks just off the coast of Ireland. Caroline Hochstetter and Tessa Fairweather cling to a ripped lifeboat among the wreckage, desperately hoping that disputed love interest Robert Langford will make it back to them with Caroline’s injured husband, Gilbert.
The Lusitania tips sideways as it goes down beneath the waves….
The debutante and the con woman may not normally get along, but they’re united in their desire for survival and their anxiety for the man they both love.
On shore, in Queenstown, the fisherman watch in horror as the ship goes down, racing to their boats to begin the rescue. But who will be saved?
So many thanks to Colleen and Nick for bringing this harrowing moment to life! (To Peep?) I love the sidelong look the two women are giving each other on that lifeboat….
For your amusement, here’s the passage from The Glass Ocean:
“Robert! Gilbert!” She called their names over and over as the debris and the waves separated them until she was no longer sure of where to look for them. Full panic took over as she continued to scrabble with her fasteners, her pianist’s fingers suddenly clumsy and thick, until a hand clamped itself over hers, stilling her movement. “Don’t be foolish,” Tess said, her eyes filled with tears and desperation. “Robert promised he’d bring back your husband, didn’t he? Don’t make him go after you, too.”
Caroline struggled just for a moment before she realized the futility of her efforts. She placed her forehead against the cool, slick side of the overturned boat, and pressed her lips together so she wouldn’t cry. Crying was for children, her mother had always told her, and for those foolish enough to cry for the moon and other things they could never have.
She wouldn’t cry, but all the fight and hope were gone from her. “So what do we do now?”
Tess squared her shoulders. “We hang on. We wait. And if you think God will listen to you, then pray. I’m afraid He’s all but given up on me by now.”
Caroline regarded Tess for a long moment, wishing she could believe in mercy enough to convince Tess that it existed. She found a tighter grip on the boat and let the cork-filled pockets of her life belt buoy her up, preparing herself to wait for someone to find them and pluck them out of the sea.
They both managed to hoist themselves most of the way out of the water and on to the raised bottom of the overturned craft, their clothes drying by degrees, the sun warm on their backs. Caroline lost track of time as they drifted without speaking, the Irish coast seeming to get further and further away. The sun moved across the sky as it did every day, making a mockery of the tragedy that had just unfolded. To some, perhaps, it was just another day, but to Caroline she was afraid she’d lost everything. She found herself praying the familiar prayers of her childhood, hoping that the God of her youth was as forgiving as she’d been told, and that somehow, miraculously, Gilbert and Robert had managed to survive. She held on to that hope, knowing that as soon as she stopped she’d have no reason not to let herself slip soundlessly into the waiting water.
She became aware of Tess on the other side of the boat. Caroline glanced over at her companion, seeing the tear-stained cheeks and the sunburned nose on the woman’s fair skin. She should be wearing a hat, or her face would be covered in freckles. Caroline caught herself before she said something. Hats and freckles didn’t matter anymore. Perhaps they never had.
A big round of applause to Colleen and Nick– and a moment of silence for all those Peeps lost. Head back over at the same time and same place tomorrow for Pinkorama #4….