Where Dark Things Live – Roald Dahl

Never mind about Halloween coming!  The Grandma in “George’s Marvellous Medicine” by Roald Dahl would scare anyone, not just George.  Still he got his own back!  

George's Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl

George’s Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 14

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Fourteen

The fishing fleet was back after a successful day.  There was a lively atmosphere at the inn that evening.  Wages were in pockets and ale was flowing; someone had bought a fiddle, someone else an accordion and a merry shanty tune was playing.  Voices were raised in song as the drink flowed freely.  The inn was full – everyone was there.  The boats had all come back and been de-rigged – the equipment scrubbed and stowed away.  Salt air always created a thirst in the men’s throats and the inn was the first stop before home for dinner.  The Captain was catching up with friends in a quiet corner.

The Captain leant in, in a conspiratorial manner.  “Lads,” he whispered.  “I found a girl…”

There were guffaws and whistles of approval.  “Nice one, Cap!  Didn’t think that was your style!  Thought you and Esther were pretty solid, but you never know…”

“No you fools, not that kind of girl!  Esther would have my guts for garters!”  He shivered at the thought that she literally would have his guts for garters if he ever betrayed her.  “A young girl…on the beach…this morning.  On the verge of death she was…black and blue. Hardly breathing….”

There was shock all around on every face.  “Where do you think she came from?  What did she say?  Is she still alive?”  Too many questions crowded the air and the commotion was drawing attention to them.  There seemed to be a lull in the singing and the conversations around them.   

“Hush your mouths,” he hissed, staring fixedly at his ale mug, to try and make it look as if they weren’t having a heated debate.  “Drink something, and calm down!”  They all shifted in their seats and took a sip under instructions.  The singing started up again. 

“I don’t know anything about her, apart from the fact that she’s badly beaten and has washed ashore from somewhere.  She hasn’t spoken to me.   Young Joe managed to get her name out of her.”

“Joe?  That blabber mouth.  And what does that lad know about her?  You know he won’t keep this quiet!”

“Shhhh,” he warned.  “He seems to be the only one she’ll talk to.  Not that she’s said much any way.  She was in a bad way, but she must be a tough nut to have recovered from what she went through.”  His friends nodded, knowing his background and were never sure how to react.  Nothing was said for a while.  The men sat together showing their support in their silence.  The rest of the pub roared the chorus to the song behind them.

“Did any of you hear anything about a missing girl today?  She must have family who are missing her?” 

“No I’ve not heard anything Captain.”

“Nor me.”

“Nor me.”

“Well keep your ears open, will you?  If anyone starts asking questions about her come and find me.”

“Aye sir,” they all repeated.  He may not be Captain of a boat any longer, but he still commanded respect. 

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
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 13

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Thirteen

The Captain wandered down the street to the village green in front of the church and through one of the narrow streets on to the harbour front.  Things seemed normal, which surprised him after the turn of events this morning.  Village life continued undisturbed.  He wandered through the back streets to his shed on the water front, where he did his fishing these days.  It wasn’t much but he had space for his lines and tackle and a crate to sit on.  It was a bit ramshackle but that was how he liked it.  The village children seemed to congregate around his hut to fish with him in the hope of hearing some of his tales.  He liked to sit and stare out to sea with his pipe.  He didn’t feel the need to go out to sea any more – this was as close as he would get.  The fishing boats were making their way out onto the horizon.  “What a lovely sight!” he thought to himself.  It never ceased to calm him. Continue reading

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter 12

The Girl from the Sea – Chapter Twelve

Joe paused in the living room of the cottage and didn’t quite know what do.  What could he possibly have to say to a girl?  Girls were funny creatures.  His sisters just ignored him mostly.  He hesitated in going back up stairs and stood amongst the higgledy-piggledy arrangements pondering.  His eye caught upon the ship in the bottle, which he took with him and headed back up the stairs, twisting it and turning, trying to figure out how it got in there – there had to be some magic involved. Continue reading

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.  Continue reading