We struggle for money, aye. It’s always hand to mouth and Mum says it was the same for her growing up, and for Granny and Grandad, and for their parents too, Old Sam Trelawney and his wife, Smiling Nell.
They called her Smiling Nell after the scar that pulled her mouth upwards into a grin. When she was just been married and carrying my Grandad in her belly, she tripped on a rope and cut her face on her filleting knife down at the wharf.
Dad didn’t want us to be short of money and didn’t see why we should just be poor. He always said that times needed to change.
Well, they have now, with him in a sailor’s uniform, firing cannon and all.
Thing is, we have even less than before – a sailor’s pay ain’t so grand, not even half he got for setting down to the shore with his men, waving his lights and pulling the boats on to the rocks. I followed them all, silent as a ghost, lying on the cliff top out of sight of the Wrecker’s Moon. Yes, he risked his life and liberty then, but the rewards were mighty fine. I still have a silk shawl to prove it – it smells of the sea.
Now he’s away, earning the King’s shilling, and he might never come back
Nan says he brought it on himself and he should be thankful he didn’t swing for it.
Nan’s not always right, just like Mum never wants to hear the truth. Wrecking is mighty exciting, I think. I’m going to be the best lady wrecker in all of Cornwall when I’m old enough.
23 thoughts on “False Lights – Magpie Tales”
I like her contemplative reflection as she’s connected to the sea and to her father.
Oh I love this! Even mysteriously out of its full context, it brings so much of the girl to the piece. Great characterization. And I really like the detail of the shawl that smells of the sea…
Thank you so much!
i really liked your piece today….brilliant imagery..x
Thank you, Kay.
A beautifully poetic comment on the ancient rewards of “wrecking.” Well done.
A young pirate in the making….nice tale, very
Well, everyone needs a pirate in their life!
Lovely imagery and storytelling here. I could get lost in a tale like this. Will have to search out the rest of those installments!
Thank you, Ginny!
I did feel like it was a story..and I wanted to read more..
Bugger Dad for choosing the Rum Sodomy and Lash ….eh Miley ?
Love the venue here…perfect.
Thank you, Tess.
I have to echo other comments, I wanted to know more.
Lovely, thank you!
My mom never wanted to hear the truth either and she was stuck in her own ways. Your work make me think of this.
It’s a form of protection, isn’t it? We all have our battles…