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.
“Well…?” she said accusingly. “Am I to get an explanation as to why I have a near-dead girl here in my lap?”
The Captain opened his mouth to try and answer, but no words came out. The truth was that he had no answer. He had no idea where she had come from, who she was or anything.
“I found her on the beach, love,” he said. But even in his ears he knew that wasn’t going to do as an explanation.
“Well, we’ve got to put her somewhere until we can find out where she comes from and return her there, I suppose. We’d best put her upstairs for the moment. She can have the second bedroom upstairs. Come and help me lift her then.”
The Captain bent down over his wife and picked her up in the same easy way that he had on the beach and took her upstairs.
“I don’t suppose you want to tell me, young Joe? No? I thought not.”
“It’s like the Captain says, ma’am. We found her on the beach. Just lying there, she was, against the rocks. And I thought as how she must have washed ashore in the storm, and that she was…she was…she was…”
“What, Joe? What did you think she was?”
“I thought as how she might be a…a…a mermaid!” He whispered feeling self conscious at his own imagination.
“But where did she come from? She’s not from round here, that’s for sure.”
The Captain watched them talking and felt uneasy down to his socks. A badly beaten girl washing up on the beach was not normal – it had certainly never happened before, not in his lifetime.
Catch up on previous chapters here: