Once he sat crouched inside the cardboard washing machine box, the boy entered another world. A place where characters from the books that he borrowed from the library came to life. In his imagination, he accompanied them on all sorts of adventures. He could be setting sail as a famous explorer to unknown lands one moment and ranging the prairie with cowboys the next, or doing battle with knights, or tracking down a horse thief as a Canadian Mountie on his dog sled.
Something felt different when Ironbark woke up that morning. The birds were sounding in a new day like they did every day, and still, there was something odd about them. They sounded livelier than usual. Maybe it was the oncoming storm, Ironbark thought as he looked through the opening between the curtains at the multi-coloured clouds billowing high in the sky.
“We had it coming, what, with all that abnormal humidity lately,” he mumbled as he went to sit on the edge of the bed.
At that very same moment a kookaburra burst raucously into laughter, as if it was mocking him. It gave Ironbark the clue he needed. Ah, that’s it, he said to himself. With their keen senses animals knew what was going to happen long before humans did. They must already be feeling the relief in the wake of the storm, Ironbark concluded. Still, it was strange, he thought, he had never noticed anything like this before in the 72 years he was alive.
“Magari,” he sighed wistfully as he sat on the cliff overlooking the bay.
Instantly, the wind began to stir. She whipped the waves to a frenzy, driving them towards the beach where they would have rolled on to anyway, albeit faster now.
If only I could, he wondered.
“Oh, but you can,” replied the wind.
Then, the wind settled, letting the waves rest a little in the warm afternoon sun.
A peek at my book of short stories
Photo: ‘Falmouth Cornwall 2’ by Alice Symonds on Sxc.hu
...Then, as night fell, Glewyas (Cornish: ‘the bright one’) walked across the beach to the other cove, where his nets still lay as he had left them, and headed for home. There he would decide for himself between taking leave of his family and his life on the land, and taking off with his beloved morvoren (Cornish: mermaid).