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.
Frankie was lying back against the uneven stone wall, staring out of the window. The sea sparkled gently down in the bay with the fishing flotilla disappearing out onto the horizon. Joe wondered what she was thinking of – her family? Did she have a family? Was she thinking of her treacherous journey last night? He looked down at the bottled ship in his hand. How on earth was he going to talk to her? He felt tongue-tied and uneasy.
He sat down on the edge of the bed near the window and enjoyed the view of his beach – he loved the regularity of the fishing boats coming and going with the tides, the daily change of the tide, the shifting sands in the bay, the sun melting into the horizon in the evening. It never got boring. It was said that the people who lived in the village had the sea in their veins and Joe felt it pulling him with every turn. He longed to go to sea. They sat in companionable silence for a long while. Joe felt a tug on his shirt sleeve. “Can I have a look at that?” Frankie said asking about the bottle. She twisted and turned it this way and that, examining it from every angle. “I’ve never seen one of these. How did they do it?”
Joe could read her thoughts. “It’s amazing isn’t it? I don’t know how they do it either. It’s not possible surely – it has to be magic!” She continued gazing at the tiny ship in the bottle. “It’s the Captain’s – he’s got a treasure trove downstairs!”
“Captain? Who is the Captain?” Her mind flashed back to the dark man leaning against the stays.
“He’s the one that found you, miss. Carried you back up here, like you weighed nothing at all. He’s amazing – the stories he tells! Doesn’t sail anymore but that doesn’t matter – he’s still got the best stories.”
Only then did Frankie breathe a sigh of relief – it didn’t sound like the dark man from last night.
Catch up on previous chapters here: