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Secrets Of The Sea
By La Belle Rouge Poetess Of The Heart
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
From My Book, "The Darkness"
~Secrets Of The Sea~
By La Belle Rouge
Her bright, blue eyes danced with excitement and joy as my hands grasped her around her tiny waist.
“You're a pretty thing,” I said, as I tossed my little daughter high into the air amid her squeals of delight and her mother's gasp of fear.
“Callum, put that baby down before you kill her,” she ordered.
Her brow wrinkled with a deep frown as her hand flew to her mouth to muffle the screams.
“Oh, I'll not kill her Maggy. A little danger will make a strong woman of her someday, like her mother. You've not minded sharing a bit of danger with me, now have you, My Love?”
The sea wind whipped my longish, golden- brown hair. One blue eye winked at my wife while my big hand reached out to squeeze her small one. Even at the times, or maybe especially at the times I irritated her, I knew My Maggy couldn't help but adore me. This reckless soul she had joined hers with could still melt her heart with love. A flirtatious smile captured her full lips as her hazel eye winked back at me. Instinctively her head laid itself down on my broad shoulder. My hand tenderly stroked her long, curly, red hair.
“Are you sure you have to sail this time Callum? There's enough crew and Winter's coming on. Christal is such a wee thing and needs her Da here to take care of her. Why, if you're gone several months she'll not remember who you are when you return! And I, well, I can't stand the days without you and the nights in a cold bed. Stay just this once Callum. I feel there is danger ahead in this voyage, I fear for you. You know I have the gift; it's never been wrong yet. You shouldn't sail this time.”
“Now, did we not just speak of a bit of danger being a good thing. A little peril never hurt any man. I'll be back before you miss me, Sweet Darlin.”
“No, I'm missing you already,” she replied as a tear fell from her misted eye onto her smooth cheek.
“You'll not miss me long, Lass. I'll be back before Christmas and we'll have a celebration to end all celebrations. I'll bring something pretty back for you and Christal.”
“Callum I can't compete with your mistress, the sea, and someday I know in my heart she is going to take you away from me forever.”
“Oh No, Maggy. I'll never leave you for too long a time, not even for the sea!”
I deeply kissed her sweet lips and held her close until the last moment when I had to board the ship. As the ship sailed further from land I watched the wind lifting her hair and billowing her long cotton skirt. Steadfastly on the aft deck I stood, watching her, with my hand on my heart. I watched until the ship was so far out into the harbor I could no longer see the willowy figure of my wife holding our only child on her hip.
A golden sun was shinning high in the cloudless, deep-blue sky on a warm autumn day when we set sail. It was one of those rare, perfect days that make a man thankful to be alive. For hours, gulls followed in the ship's wake. I had brought some stale bread tied in a burlap bag to feed them. They greedily took it from my hand with no fear at all of the tall Scotsman who offered it to them. We were old friends, the gulls and I. They followed us. grabbing up the fish from our wake, until the clipper was out of the harbor far into the ocean.
Sunset was a breathtaking event as the sky glowed with streaks of crimson, gold and pink. Twilight followed soon after preceding nightfall when all was black beneath us except the phosphorescence of sea creatures floating beneath the water. The sky above us was alive with twinkling stars and a full harvest moon to light our way over the waves.
I thought of Maggy, she would be reading now by lamplight in the bed we had shared for ten years. I closed my eyes and imagined her there, waiting for me. I could smell the freshness of her cotton nightgown that had been washed in the large tub and hung out to dry in the wind and sun. I could smell the scent of her clean skin and perfumed hair and I missed her as I always did when I was at sea. She'd be asleep soon, I prayed she would dream of me as when at last I lay down in my bunk, I would dream of her.
I was weary at the helm and was about to surrender it to the navigator when a dark cloud passed ominously over the orange moon. The lamps of distant stars began to go out, as if someone had lowered their wicks. There was a storm coming on fast and I dare not leave the helm to another.
"Captain, waiting your orders," the first mate said as he clutched the rail for balance.
"Looks like a hell of a storm and it's moving fast McDare. Lower the sails and secure the ropes. Cast out the anchor and we'll ride her out. Maybe she'll pass over quickly and we'll still get a little rest tonight. And McDare, have all the crew that aren't needed on deck go down into the hold and tell them to pray."
"Aye Captain," he called back at me over his shoulder as he hurried to carry the orders out.
He was a good man, one I could depend on. They were all good men, these crewmen. I had to get them back to Lochinver safely.
I stood fast on deck as the storm pelted the ship with torrential rain and the wind-driven waves tossed her about like a bottle on the ocean.
Would the anchor hold? I doubted that it would. Silently I prayed and hoped to see my homeland and family again. I lifted my eyes just in time to see a black wall of water crash over the deck like a deluge of death itself and that was my last knowledge of being on the ship.
I woke in the clutches of the deep. Realizing I had been thrown overboard, I fought with all my remaining might to swim to the surface. Something had grabbed hold on my ankles, pulling, pulling me downward into the fathomless depth of the angry ocean. After a time of struggle with the unseen hands I had lost my last remaining strength and sank limply down to meet my fate. I thought of My Maggy and My Christal.
Was it true then? As Maggy had forewarned , was the sea to take me at last and I would never see her sweet face again?
I glimpsed a glimmer of something shiny beneath me and then all was black for the last of my breath was gone. A prayer rose with it to the surface that I would be counted worthy to enter God's heaven.
I woke to the sound of a lullaby, one my mother used to sing to me when I was a wee boy.
Could it be that this was heaven and my long-dead mother was here? I was so weary, bone tired and too weak to feel I could even open my eyes. I held out my hand and called to her,
"Mother, is that you Darlin Mother?"
Two warm hands of a woman took my rope-hardened hand and held it tenderly. A soft, feminine voice replied,
"No 'tis not your ma nor your wife who saved you. Open your eyes sailor and look on your fate."
When my eyes opened I gasped in amazement. The creature who sat at my bedside was not what I was expecting. Never had I seen a woman of her likes. Her long hair was as dark as a midnight sea on a clouded night. So black, the highlights shone blue in the lamplight. Her fair skin was creamy white and unblemished and her eyes were as aqua as a Caribbean sea on a sunny day. She had not the sweet beauty of Maggy. Hers was a mysterious aura and the sensual kind of dangerous fire all men are attracted to, though they will not admit it to themselves.
I looked around me at the modest but comfortable cottage that must have been her home and was grateful to be alive though disturbed by the nearness of her and the way her aqua eyes seemed to look deep into my very soul.
"I'm in your debt for your bravery in saving me and your kindness in giving me shelter," I said as I tried to look anywhere but into her eyes. "My name is Captain Callum Kincade from the port of Lochinver, Scotland.
"I am Melia, just Melia. I am from this place. Now you must take some food and drink then sleep for you are exhausted."
She fed me well, boiled shrimp and clams and fresh bread with a flagon of wine. The cottage was warmed by a fire on the hearth and through the white curtains I could see that night was falling. I fell asleep quickly, easily, there in her bed of fresh-scented linens. When I woke it was still dark and I could feel her body backed up close to mine. I knew I should protest for I thought of Maggy and her feelings but I was too weak in my body and in my lustful need for comfort to say nay to the warmth of a beautiful woman resting close to me.
I would wait until morning and have a talk with my benefactress about my marital state. In the morning, not tonight.
I woke again at dawn, it was a cloudy day and rain tapped softly, against the window panes. She was still beside me in bed, her long wavy hair cascading across the pillow. She turned to face me and her arms slipped around my neck.
"You are mine now, Callum Kincade. When you fish a sailor out of the sea he is yours. Did you know that?"
"I've heard tales of such things. Seafaring men hear many tales and believe few of them. As beautiful as you are, Melia and as grateful as I am to you, in all fairness I must tell you of my life and my allegiances."
"I don't want to hear about your former life or former loves. You are mine now, forever. Is that such a bad thing Callum?"
"It would never be bad to belong to a woman like you Melia, but I already belong to a red-haired lass who waits for me by the shore at Lochinver."
She placed her slender finger against my lips to silence my words.
"No, not another word. It matters not now who you once were bound to or what you once were. This is where you belong, this is your only reality. In time you will grow to like it here and forget all others in your past."
Before I could reply she got out of bed. Her long flowing nightgown fell to her ankles and I couldn't help but watch her as she prepared breakfast and served it to me in bed. While I ate, she went into another room and emerged dressed for her day. She grabbed a bonnet from the peg as she opened the door to leave.
"I'll be back before supper to feed you. Stay in bed. you're still weak and I want you to be strong soon, strong enough to match my desire. Don't even consider trying to swim away for your home. The riptides will take you and the sharks will finish you. There's not a man anywhere who can swim these waters and live to tell about it."
I smelled the food as she placed it on the bedside table. Struggling to open my eyes I caught only a glimpse of her as she passed through the door into the night, closing it softly behind her. The food was delicious, lobster chowder. I was gradually regaining my strength and my frantic desire to go home to Maggy. Actually I was having mixed feelings. My heart was tied to home but my body was being seduced by the dark-haired, aqua-eyed Melia. I lay in bed awake until late that night, thoughts playing in my mind about what it would be like to let down my guard and enjoy the pleasures of the flesh she was offering me. With those thoughts transposing into dreams I fell asleep.
When I woke again in the candlelight the dreams had become reality. She rose and fell above me, her ample breasts bouncing, peeking from behind the strands of her long hair as it fell in front of her creamy white shoulders down to her navel. It seemed as if the force of her desire was pulling me deeper into the wet warmth of her harbor. The pleasure was so sharp it bordered on pain and I could think of nothing but my need for the next sensation.
Though Maggy would never be out of my heart, for a brief time she was out of my thoughts as Melia and I rode the tempestuous waves of passion until I lay exhausted and nearly asleep. I heard her slip from bed and out the door while it was still dark outside. This time she had not dressed nor grabbed her bonnet. Who and what was this mysterious lover?
I had to find out so I followed her. She ran on feet as light as a deer's to the cliffs overlooking the sea. Her pale skin was luminous in the moonlight and I could see it had markings from neck to feet. I had just seen her naked and there were no markings! The mystery seemed to grow as I watched her from a short
distance.The crashing of waves against the rocks drowned out the noise of my footsteps and she was oblivious to my presence. When she reached the cliffs she leaned over and held out her hand over the sea. The waves rose up to meet her fingertips and from them appeared ethereal forms of sailors, more than I could count. Souls of the dead imprisoned at her whim, bound to obey her calling.
I shivered in the cold, realizing that I too was a prisoner but unlike those ghostly forms, I was still a man of flesh and blood and yet capable of escaping her dark power....or so I thought.
I knew if I went back to the cottage, if I enjoyed her attentions even one more time I would become powerless to escape from her so I confronted her then and there with every ounce of bravery left in my soul. I stood behind her and called her name. When she turned around to face me, fire flashed from her sea-blue eyes. The moon hid its face as a sudden storm whipped the wind about us and lightning flashed in the dark sky.
"I want my freedom. I want to go home to my family and I'll not be held here by you, Sea Witch. I'll swim if I have to but I will go home and you'll not stop me.
"Oh no, I wouldn't stop you if you are determined to leave but you could never swim these treacherous waters. Let me give you a ship, Callum. A fine ship in memory of the night we shared. I'll even supply you with a crew."
She pointed to the harbor below and there was anchored a fine schooner, sails raised and ready to brave the boisterous waters.
"You are generous Melia, thank you for your help." I said as I ran toward the harbor and my journey home.
"Oh you are most welcome, My Captain, remember me and the Cliffs Of Purgatory as many sailors before you are still remembering. Yes, some have called me Sea Witch and others have simply called me, The Devil."
Her maniacal laughter followed me down the cliffs and out into the sea as the ship set sail on a course for home. Looking back at the cliffs I saw her again, this time in her true form. Eyes of fire, two horrific horns growing from her head and an evil smile on a face that chilled me to the soul. I wondered if any had ever escaped her but I forced myself to hope that I would be the one who had.
The crew were an amicable and able bunch and the voyage went smoothly with good weather. None of them wanted to carry on a conversation with me. They did their jobs and offered nothing in the way of talk or companionship. This was fine with me for my whole being was centered on home and family with thankful thoughts to be far from the Sea Witch's power.
Sixty long days and nights and at last the shoreline of Lochviner came into view. As the ship drew closer to shore I saw her, Maggy! She was walking the shore holding Christal's hand. I don't know how long I'd been gone but my baby girl was now walking the shore beside her mother. My heart skipped a beat with joy and love.
"Full sail ahead," I yelled at the crew but got no response
The first mate followed with a command to drop anchor.
"What do you mean Man, drop anchor with home in sight?"
"Those are our orders, Captain."
"I'm the captain, I give the orders."
"No Sir, not on the Sea Witch. You give no orders here."
So this was the She Devil's plan, to anchor me within sight of my loved ones and home and never allow me to sail into port?
"Then, by God I'll swim," I said to the first mate as I jumped overboard into the freezing waters.
It was Winter and the air was biting cold. I had no gifts for Maggy and Christal but perhaps my return would be enough to please them. I could see Maggy watching the sea but she hadn't seen me. I swam until it felt as if my lungs would burst and then all went black.
I woke on the moonlit deck of the "Sea Witch," too exhausted to try again that night but vowing to myself that the next morning I would make it to shore and the arms of My Maggy.
The next morning I jumped overboard once again and tried with all my might to make it to shore. I waved my arms at Maggy and our wee one until I could swim or wave no more and all went dark as I slipped beneath the waves. I woke on deck of the "Sea Witch" knowing that I must try again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
Anchored offshore in a ghost ship forever; so near to home, never to feel the earth beneath my feet again.....
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|Reviewed by Jon Willey
|Belle, a devil of a writ it is, purgatory as clear as the human soul can envision - you've given us one path, the path that Callum pursued to Perdition - it is an intriguing rendering and an artistic parable - I wish you peace love and joy my dear friend - Jon Michael|
|Reviewed by steve Chering
|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|Thank you for sharing this captivating tale, Belle. Nicely done. Love and best wishes,
|Reviewed by Budd Nelson
|great story of the eternal cycle of satan's torture
|Reviewed by Ronald Hull
|A very imaginative tale. I can only imagine what the rest of the book is like. Captain Callum's dilemma for having slept with the devil reminds me of a true story. My uncle drove his truck one day off into the dead of winter to buy grain in another state, and it was found by the side of the road before crossing the state line with one set of tracks leaving the cab in the snow.
My uncle, the captain of that ship, took the $2000 he had to buy grain, and joined his lover in her car on the way to California where they disappeared, he under a different name. However, my aunt was the local social reporter for the local weekly newspaper, and all the years after he subscribed to that newspaper and followed the progress of his five children from two marriages. He was never able to go back or contact his children, but he could see their lives from a distance––all because of his bargain with the devil.
Great write, LaBelle.
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|Great story, Belle; well done!
(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Texas, Karen Lynn. :D