Maria watched the town clerk reposit the poster behind the glass and turn the key to lock the cabinet. She stepped down from the sea wall, where she had been standing, gazing out to sea and went to read the yellowing paper.
Every day, at noon, the wrecks were listed and relisted. The small boats and the larger fishing vessels that had floundered in these perilous waters…………. The missing men ………the tragic roll of death and sorrow and loss.
Maria squinted against the sunlight and read, slowly and haltingly. She was just an uneducated maid but she knew the letters that formed his name,
” R-O-B-E-R-T …. C-A-R-R ……..Oh, no ! There it is ” she cried and, shaking her head, she turned and fled. She pulled her shawl more tightly around her. She was suddenly icy cold, even though the sun was high in a cloudless sky and the day was pleasantly warm.
” Robert, lost” she sobbed, ” No, it cannot be …. now he will never know ” and, sobbing bitterly she ran to the beach and sank down onto the sand. Holding her slightly swollen belly, she rocked to and fro ………. tears streaming down her ruddy cheeks ……..and gazed out across the deceptively calm, blue sea.
Five hundred miles away, Oriana sat on the jagged rocks and watched the waves crashing onto the beach, some yards away. Last night there had been the most stupendous storm she had seen for many a year.
The Gulf Stream flowed past these rocks and coastline, keeping the sea warmer than expected and treating the area to a proliferation of flotsam and jetsam.
Oriana loved to sit here and watch the tides ………she was used to being alone. Among her peers she was the most chaste, the most beautiful and so she suffered the jealous remarks…… the scorn….. the bitchiness.
No-one could match her perfect form ……the golden hair that hung down past her waist …….her perfect skin, so soft and velvety. Her breasts so round and firm and her face … oh her face, with eyes like daubs of aquamarine paint, so deep a man could lose himself. But for all her beauty, Oriana was sad. Dissatisfied. Unfulfilled.
She sat and combed her hair and, taking up a section of the silken gold, began to braid it.
The tide was coming in and bringing all sorts of driftwood and detritus with it. Oriana put down her comb and stretched one white hand into the foaming water to retrieve an item, carried on the tide. It was a lantern,
“Ah …. from some lost ship ” she thought, concern clouding her eyes, and deposited it on the rock beside her.
Then she saw him, a gaunt figure bobbing in the waves, his eyes closed against the spray. Without hesitation, Oriana slipped swiftly into the water and swam towards him.
Robert was near death, supported only by his life-jacket. He had survived the shipwreck, but he was now breathing his last breaths. He struggled to see and gazed into the deep blue eyes of the most beautiful girl he had ever seen; his heart was lost, was this an angel ?
She supported his head with her gentle hands and looked at his handsome face and at once she knew………….He was the one she had been waiting for. But his heart was failing, there was so little time.
They gazed at each other … the beautiful girl and the dying man. No words were spoken but some sort of telepathic pact was made…….. permission was granted…….. fates were sealed.
Oriana kissed him, full on the lips and Robert felt his breath leave his lungs ,to be replaced with …. what ?
The taste of the sea ……desire….. love….. a different kind of life ?
He clung to her perfect body as, with a flick of her huge, powerful tail, Oriana swam to the depths of the ocean and home ………….
Yep, another fishy tale …….(sorry),,,,,,,,, brought to you via the Countdown Word Game.
The words to be included are;
MAID, TREATING, FROM, RELISTED, DAUBS, BRAID, GAUNT, CHASTE, LANTERN, REPOSIT.