The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 21

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Twenty-One 

There was a shocked pause around the room.  “You can’t be serious Luke?  Frances do not even think about agreeing to whatever hair-brained idea he’s having.  You’re not going to do it.  We’re going home.”

“What are you intending, son?”  The Captain said softly.

“I’m suggesting that we put out the story that somebody witnessed the murder – it’s not that far from the truth by the sounds of it, if our friend here can be believed.”

“But, they’ll come after her Luke.  You’re talking about using your sister as bait.”

“She’s not going to be in any harm.  We’ll be here to protect her – she’s not going to ever be on her own.  If everyone’s willing to help?”

“Do I get a say in this?” piped up Frankie.

“See! At least our sister has the sense to disagree with you!” retorted Anthony.

“If you’re going to use me as bait, I think it should be my decision.”  The grown-ups all stared at her, expectantly.  “Anthony, I know you’re protecting me, but if we can catch these men, then we may be saving somebody else’s life.”  Anthony looked like thunder.  “Mr Jonas, I’m not sure what to think about you.”  The Captain and his wife had been so good to her and she turned to them now.  “You’ve both been so good to me.  You know Mr Jonas.  Do you think he’s telling the truth?  Should we do this?”

The Captain and his wife glanced uneasily at each other.  They didn’t know what to make of all these developments.  The Captain prepared to smoke.  He was thinking.  Esther took the bull by the horns.  “It’s a very silly and dangerous idea.  I can’t believe you boys would risk your sister’s life, particularly after what she’s been through.  I would not have you risk it again.”  Anthony and Lucas looked shamefaced and shuffled their feet.  They hadn’t been told off like this for at least a decade. 

“Saying that – it’s Frances’s decision.  She’s perfectly capable of making her own mind up.  You will have to abide by her decision.  If she doesn’t want to do it – you take her home to her mother and no more will be said about this, by anyone!”  She looked pointedly around the room.  “If she does decide to do whatever it is that you’re planning, then I want some guarantees that her safety will never be an issue.  You must come up with a fool-proof plan, which everyone agrees with.  I will not be a party to anyone here getting hurt.”  She paused, to let her words sink in.  She could see that Frankie was ready to speak, but interrupted her. 

“Frances, quiet!  No decisions are to be made tonight – I think we all need to digest what’s happened and think things through.  Frances, you will stay here as always.  Your brothers may stay too and you can all sleep down here by the fire – I’m sure that you have to catch up on things.  Jonas you can go to wherever you are staying.  We’ll meet again tomorrow to discuss things.  Goodnight everyone.” 

Jonas was the only one who had to leave, so he shuffled to his feet.  “I’ll walk out with you Jonas,” said the Captain.  “Need to smoke my pipe and clear my head.”  The two old shipmates headed for the door.  Esther was putting the boys to work setting up mattresses around the fire.  Frankie was in charge of the sheets and blankets.  She felt amazing gratitude for the warmth of Esther and how glad her brothers were here.  She felt safe for the first time in days. 

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 10

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Ten

They were a close-knit community who lived an existence based on the water which surrounded them.  Every family in town had a fisherman, sailor or boat builder in their midst.  The sea fed them, gave them employment and was their means of transportation.  Everyone knew each other and lived in each other’s pockets.  There weren’t many secrets in town.   Strangers were rare and weren’t trusted.  Everyone knew everybody else.  Continue reading

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 6

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 6

The Captain’s breathing was laboured as they neared his front door, but that was mostly out of fear, he thought.  This load was nothing to what he could normally carry.  Joe’s breathing was laboured too but only because he was carrying so much stuff.  Perhaps Mrs Captain didn’t need to see all this after all.    Continue reading

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 5

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Five

The sea had calmed but was churning, still disgorging wreckage, rocks and debris.  The remains of the high tide littered the shore – it looked like the sea had been frantically searching for things in the dark.  A rock flung here; a piece of salty driftwood there.  The sand dunes had even been lifted and moved.  Seaweed lay clinging to the rocks like strands of windswept hair and barnacles peered like eyes into the moonlight. Continue reading

The Boy and his Bass

The boy and his bass 

I wrote this after a gig – it struck me that musicians have a special relationship with their instruments.

He held her in a loving embrace.  She was taller than him by a good few inches and leant back into his shoulder nestling into his neck.  They curled elegantly around each other.  He tweaked and played with her, stroked her neck, slapped her side.  The crowd were transfixed.  They felt like they had stumbled upon an intimate moment.  The rest of the musicians were oblivious – they each had their own love affairs going on.   The beat picked up and the slapping continued.  The audience roared its approval.

Musicians and their instruments

Musicians and their instruments

As the set carried on the music rocked and rolled and rocked again to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.  The boy leant in close to his double bass in the slow numbers and murmured into her neck and flung her out with a spin when the beat quickened.

The finale saw a majestic pirouette then as quickly as the boy had been to stroke and caress his bass, he let her go and lay her down on the sticky pub floor. 

The boy’s girlfriend came up to help clear up.  She held the double bass’s cover up to throw over its’ head.  The boy took it from her hands, kissed his girl on the cheek and said, “I’ll do that,” and lovingly tucked his bass away. 

His girl stepped aside and just stared at them.  Her eyes gleamed in the stage lights.  As the boy zipped up the bass’s case his girlfriend glared.  She felt jealousy bubbling up inside her.

The boy put his arms around her and whispered in her ear.  “Thanks for coming tonight.”  She smiled and de-clenched a fraction – there were some things she could do which his double bass couldn’t.  Her smile froze.  He let go of her and picked up his bass to carry in both arms. 

She frowned again. The three of them left together.