Saturday, 14 March 2009

And Finally...

This last part of The Lucky Stone is maybe a bit longer than the first two, so probably only the very tenacious will want to get to the end. Give yourself a pat on the back, when /if you reach it, then sit and relax over a cup of tea and a crab sandwich, maybe...
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Back in the kitchen of the aptly named Crab and Lobster, Kate busied herself with preparations for lunch. The tourist season was just beginning to gather momentum, so a steady stream of customers kept her busy for the whole of the mid-morning.
Eventually, by about three o'clock, she had restored the kitchen quarters to some semblance of order. As she packed the last of the clean crockery away, the landlord appeared in the doorway.

'What, still workin', my girl?' he said with a grin. 'Perhaps 'tis just as well, though. I've been wantin' to have a word this past hour or more, but you know when we're busy there's scarce time to draw breath! That young couple come in - ones from the Old Customs House? They was wonderin' if any reg'lars had seen their childern round here this mornin'? Seemed to think they was friends of yourn? Anyways, Old Bill reckoned he'd seen their young'uns goin' towards the headland earlier on; they was goin' to check there next.'

'The headland? said Kate, with a note of alarm creeping into her voice.'I think we'd best get Bill to take a trip to the point as fast as ever he can. I'm fairly sure I know where we'll find 'em and we've no tome to loose!' Kate hurried out onto the terrace and leaned over the wall above the beach. There was Bill, thank goodness, sitting in his favourite spot on an upturned boat, mending a net. 'Hey! Bill - Get your boat ready, double quick! No questions 'till we're underway!'
Kate's progress round the building and onto the adjacent causeway would have won her a gold medal in any Olympic Games.

Bill was used to such hurried departures at this time of the year, and was ready with the outboard motor chugging as Kate climbed aboard.
'Mermaid cave, as fast as you can go, Bill!', she ordered as she settled herself into the stern of the tiny craft. Shading her eyes with one hand, she scanned the beach around the base of the headland, but without success. To her, the little boat seemed to take an eternity to cross the lapping waves, but in reality it was no more than a minute or two before they rounded the rocky outcrop and saw the jagged edged aperture gaping before them. As they came up to it, Bill cut the motor and let their headway carry them forward in silence.

Silence soon shattered, however, for as he took a flashlight from the tiny locker under his seat and played its yellow beam into the depths of the cave, two tearful, childish voices were raised in greeting. 'Hello! Kate! Is that you?' called out Claire, blinking in the sudden light.
'You found us, you found us!', chanted Tim, jumping up and down, all of his usual bounce returning now rescue was certain.

As the small boat drifted closer to the miniature beach inside the cave, Bill stepped over the side and waded towards the children. He scooped one child under each of his brawny arms and lifted them over the shallow stretch of water into the safety of the boat, where they clung thankfully to Kate, glad to snuggle close to her comforting, familiar figure.

'How did you know where to find us Kate?' asked Claire, still not fully able to believe their ordeal was over. 'We thought we were going to be drowned - we had to keep going further and further into the darkest corner of the cave as the sea kept creeping in.'

'It was all my fault', said Tim. 'I set my watch wrong, or we'd have been home long before it shut us in. It was only when my tummy started rumbling that we looked at the time. By then it was long past twelve thirty.'

'Never mind', said Kate. You're both safe now; that's all that matters. When the landlord said your parents had been searching for you both, it didn't take long to work out the most likely place to find you. I guessed my story would give the clue to your whereabouts - that and your stone with the hole in it, Claire. That's what started the storytelling, wasn't it?'

'So it was', said Claire, fishing for it in the pocket of her shorts. 'Well Kate, you said it was lucky, didn't you? It was too, 'cause it helped you find us.' Claire smiled at Kate and gave her hand yet another grateful squeeze with their own small, damp, slightly sandy fingers.'Though I still wish we'd found the Mermaid', she said wistfully as Bill started the motor and they moved back into the sunlight, heading for shore.

14 comments:

  1. YAY! Kate found them! And they still had the lucky stone--but no mermaid, darn. Jenni

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  2. What a lovely story. Just right for my two Grand kiddies tomorrow, they are aged 10 and 8 and still into things like this. Long may it last, some seem to grow up too quickly these days.

    Love Granny

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  3. Ooh, I love tales of Mermaids and Sirens, jinksy - I think you might have been a Siren too, perhaps in another life - Now, you're luring us to your writing, rather than to drown in the ocean! x

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  4. Great with my morning coffee! Thanks for giving us the rest of the story. Good Saturday to ya.

    Word Verification - taymegne

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  5. Whew! A happy ending! Yay! Children's curiosity will take them to some dangerous places.

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  6. Oh, I'm glad this had a happy ending, because all my own stories are so grim and filled with despair. I can't write anything positive, and I envy people who are able to see hope and love, caring and devotion.

    Thank you for your story.

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  7. Thank goodness a happy ending. I may copy it off, so our nine year old Granddaughter can read the entire story. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. It wasn't that long but it is tea time.
    I enjoyed the entire story.

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  9. What a joy! I loved every word of it. We need more pieces like this, life's become too serious!I hope I come back as a mermaid!

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  10. I enjoyed every word from beginning to end. Being a mother my heart sank when they said they were going to go to the cave; I just knew that was a bad idea. Good thing they had their lucky stone with a hole in it.

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  11. A mermaid search could lure me out any day too far. Never will I be over the hope of spotting one!

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  12. A sigh of relief! The end of the story came far too soon for me ;-)

    Hugs xx

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  13. Sigh..read and reread and Oh, how utterly delightful. Now who will illustrate it?

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  14. Well, that was an unexpected treat on my first morning back home. I thought it was going to be a bleak ending, and I'm glad that it wasn't. My SIL read us some of here short stories this past weekend, one's she just won first and second prize for. She does that a lot. Congratulations on having this one published. It's a feat.

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