I hold tight to the steel railings, the coldness of the metal biting into my palms. My fingers are clenched so tightly around the railings that they're numb, but I don't dare pull them away; they are the only thing keeping me alive at the moment.

At the moment. Oh, God, we are all going to die. I know that as surely as I have ever known anything. I can see people splashing around in confusion in the water below, but I can also see many lifeless corpses; I am sure to be one of them if I let go now. I have to keep holding on, keep waiting for God to part the heavens and send salvation for all of us…

It wasn't supposed to be like this. I thought my home in Suffolk was hell; my mother and father are nothing compared to this torture, this dangling over a freezing abyss. That's why I was on this ship in the first place; I was leaving England and starting a life of my own in the States. And what better way to do it than on the Ship of Dreams?

The Ship of Dreams is sinking now, twisted and mangled into a vessel of nightmares. The lifeboats are long gone, leaving us to cling to a ship that is not going to stay up for long. But I can't give up now; I can't. This ship, this blasted railing, is all I have left, because to let go…to let go means accepting the inevitable. And I am simply not ready for that. Not yet.

I wish I could pretend the screams renting the air are the trumpets of heaven, sounding the rapture. But I know they're not. They're just screams, the last desperate calls of people who know they have been abandoned to their fate. The thought that this is it, this is the end, brings an unwilling sob to my throat. Tears stick to my face in the cold night air as my pitiful noises join the cries of those around me, and I take a small sliver of comfort knowing that they are just as terrified of the inevitable as I am.

The lights flicker off, and with them any remaining vestiges of hope. There is nothing for us now; not even the lights are there to comfort us. I do not even have time to dwell on this before the ship gives an almighty groan and I feel it shudder beneath me. Oh no. No. I'm not ready for this. I'm not ready for the end. The air is rent with a horrible cracking and splintering, and I feel the metal beneath me jolt. Oh, God, oh, God, it's happening, it's really happening…

What sounds like thunder rumbles long and deep as the stern breaks free from the already-submerged bow and slams into the ocean. I'm not expecting this and my grip on the rails slackens out of a mixture of fear and surprise. This is my fatal mistake; the force of the stern hitting the water shakes me free and I am thrown without mercy from the ship to which I have been so desperately clinging.

I soar through the air and I know without a doubt that this is the end. I open my arms just before I crash into the unforgiving sea.

It is time. Whether I am ready or not.