The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 11

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Eleven

The Captain and his wife had been sitting on the wall for about an hour, holding hands, each lost in their own thoughts.  Their memories were not that far removed from each other.  They were both thinking of their lost boy.  It had been almost eight years since that tragic night when their boy had been taken from them during a storm. 

It was the last time the Captain had sailed – he had been out on the boat with him and had seen his boy snatched over board by a terrible wave.  If it hadn’t been for his first mate Jonas being there and holding him back he would have jumped overboard after him.  He had searched the black sea endlessly in vain but hadn’t been able to see him through the crashing waves.  Jonas had made port and had assumed the Captain’s role from that day onwards.  Jonas had long since moved on.  The Captain hadn’t seen him in years.

That night was never far from the Captain’s thoughts, even if he never spoke about it.  He couldn’t bring himself to remember Esther’s bitterness and recriminations and her tears.  He couldn’t blame her either because he blamed himself too. He had roamed the shoreline in the calm after the storm until he found his beautiful, mangled boy washed up in the rock pools at low tide.  He had been so horribly broken that he was hardly recognisable and at that moment, for the first time ever, the Captain hated the sea for what she had done. 

That morning with the strange girl had bought back all their worst memories.  They had come through the past to the present and were still together, holding each other’s hands, sitting on the garden wall.

“The poor thing.  I can’t bear to think what she has been through,” sighed Mrs Captain.  “Those bruises!  What can have happened? She can’t be more than nine or ten I would say.  Who can she be?”

They broke off their conversation as Joe came down from upstairs.  “I’ve found out her name,” he said.  The Captain and his wife waited expectantly.  “Frankie,” announced Joe proudly.

“Joe, you seem to be making a breakthrough with the young lady.  Why don’t you go and see what else you can find out?”  It was an excuse to get rid of the boy – he had a habit of repeating things that he’d overheard.  You had to watch was said in front of him.

When he’d gone, the Captain, “I’m going to ask around Esther.  Someone must know something.  I’ll drop a few hints about in town and see what happens.”

Catch up on previous chapters here: 

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10

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 9

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Nine

The Captain was leant against the garden wall pondering things while the town woke up.  He pulled out his pipe and went through the calming ritual of preparing to smoke.  Esther stood in the window at the sink staring at him intensely.  He knew her patience was wearing thin for an explanation – she was the only one he could trust.  She was the only one who could appreciate what he was feeling.  His heart filled with warmth and gratitude at the way she had acted this morning, selflessly helping her, but that was her way – she had such a good heart.  He wasn’t an openly emotional man but seeing that young girl lying there, almost lifeless, had affected him.  It brought back memories which he would rather keep hidden.  He puffed on his pipe to calm himself. Continue reading

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 8

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Eight 

The room upstairs was speckled with daylight and shadow and was as quiet as a church.  Joe had crept upstairs to check on the girl. He’d waited as long as he could – Mrs Captain had made them all sit down and eat breakfast and drink warm, sweet tea.  Then she had bustled around tidying the bits and bobs away, all the time waiting for her husband to come out of his reverie.  Continue reading

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 7

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Seven 

They made an odd scene, sitting around the fire like that.  No one was using a chair.  Mrs Captain was cuddled around the mysterious girl.  The Captain stood awkwardly by the mantelpiece with a pan in one hand and a bottle of rum in the other.   Joe was kneeling at his mermaid’s feet trying to deal with the fact that his mermaid had feet in the first place.  No one spoke.  The fire crackled.  The Captain took another sip from the bottle and waited.  He was waiting for the inquisition which he knew was coming.  Mrs Captain was glaring at him from her place on the floor.  Continue reading