This piece is tilted Missing In Venice.
It's around 500 words in total.
Missing in Venice.
The captain looked around the main control room. He failed to notice his crew running about, trying to stop the liner from sinking into the canal. They continued pulling levers, pressing buttons and bellowing commands at each other. He didn’t notice his first mate screaming himself hoarse, trying to make his voice heard over the wailing sirens and screams from the passengers. He couldn’t feel the ship shaking or jolting, but he knew the boiler crew were trying their best to keep the fires alight and keep the ship afloat.
All he heard was silence.
He stared blankly out of the window as the water slowly crept up, leaving a line between the clear blue sky and the murky water as a ship sank slowly. He looked down at his knuckles as they turned white from gripping the wheel. He didn’t notice his crew begging him to leave, grabbing, tugging and pulling on his arm. He stayed rooted to the ground, he was unable to move, and he didn’t want to move.
His crew left him, they had to save themselves. Finally alone, he turned on his heel and walked towards the door. He closed it softly and locked it. He looked through the porthole and watched his passengers running and collapsing on deck and on each other. He didn’t hear the screaming and crying. He watched people jumping from the railings and others clinging on to one another as the ship rocked.
He shuffled on his feet, glancing down as a puddle of water grew deeper and larger. He crossed the room and he stared at the window as the last chunk of blue sky vanished and the front of the ship was consumed by water. He heard the glass cracking under the pressure of the murky water. It was almost time.
The captain must go down with the ship, his father had told him when he first became captain many years ago. The captain must never leave his post.
“A captain must go down the ship,” he muttered to himself, his voice echoing around the empty room. He straightened up, the room suddenly fell forward, causing him to lose his balance as the liner dug deeper into the canal.
A crack suddenly cut across the window. He braced himself. This should not have happened. So many people were going to die and it was all his fault, it was his fault. Oh God, his children were going to lose their father.
Tears started to stream down his face and dropped onto the floor silently. He squeezed the wheel as if his life depended on it. All he could hear was screaming, it was ringing in his ears. It was never going leave him, it was his death song.
The glass broke suddenly and the water flooded in, knocking him off his feet and finally the ocean liner slipped completely into the water and hit the bottom of the canal.
Missing in Venice, the notice read. The captain was missing, along with three hundred lost souls. Missing, presumed dead.