Prompt: The orchestra on the Titanic famously kept playing as the ship went down. Describe the sinking of the Titanic from the point of view of the musicians playing in the ballroom – from their interactions to the sights, sounds, and sensations they experience as the ship sinks.
As I heard the screams outside the ballroom getting louder and more frantic, I turned all my concentration to the transition in the third movement. I looked into the eyes of my fellow musicians and could see the fear in their eyes that I’m sure was reflected in mine. I missed a note when I heard the rope snap for a lifeboat. Maybe I was weaker than the others, but I prayed that I could be on one of those boats. They weren’t filling them full enough. They were convinced we were going to be saved in time. I was convinced we were going to die.
“Play on!” I heard our violinist yell as the chandeliers began to rattle and the dome began to crack. People who realised they were not getting out on the boats – as most of them were gone by now – began to gather in the ballroom. One couple even started to dance. I’m not even sure they knew each other.
Suddenly, the dome shattered and glass rained down on us. The people that were in the ballroom screamed and ran. Water began to creep in. We looked at each other and the violinist named the next piece and the band played on.