|Until The Sea Subsides (standard:fantasy, 2510 words)|
|Author: Brian Cross||Added: Feb 06 2009||Views/Reads: 1993/1203||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|An author takes a break on the Suffolk coast with the intention of completing a novel, only to discover a past he never knew he had.|
Until The Sea Subsides I'd travelled to Aldeburgh full of purpose and conviction. My new novel would be my most successful yet. I had the foundations laid, the framework constructed and three monts would be sufficient for me to complete my first draft. Except that three months later I hadn't progressed beyond the first chapter. Call it writer's block if you like, but I wasn't short of ideas – I had too many of them and I couldn't decide the best direction for my plot or my characters. I was living in the heart of tranquility and yet I needed something to stop my mind spinning themes I didn't require. So I switched my computer to standby and gazed out at the sea. It seemed little more than a grey mist amidst the hail rattling the panes. The spring had been unusually stormy but I wasn't inhibited by the conditions in the least. I really needed a distraction to allow my strangely lively mind to settle. I donned an anorak and headed into the elements, bound for the Aldeburgh bookshop. I'd no idea what I was looking for until my eyes captured a tatty, yellowing book laying flat, looking neglected in an alcove. It was the cover that drew my attention, although badly faded it pictured a fishing village overwhelmed by an onrushing tide. Vessles lay submerged with only their masts above the water, debris riding on the tide while a woman in black stood alone on the cliff, looking down on the scene, her long hair fanned by the wind. It was a side view, her face was hidden but nonetheless I was intrigued enough to examine the pages. “Until The Sea Subsides,” the cover read. I flipped through it tentatively fearing it might disintegrate, yet despite its age it was surprisingly sturdy and intact. And there is a strength in the woman on the cover; she could have been grieving, it seems she is, but her posture seemed to exude unusual power. Perhaps this observation enticed me, perhaps not. But I took the book to the counter and saw the shopkeeper frown, ‘Are you sure you found this here?' I thought what a stupid question, why else would I have handed it to him? ‘Yes,' I nodded. ‘How strange,' he continued, examining it as though it were a novelty. ‘No price, no stamp – where did you find it?' I pointed to the corner alcove, becoming irritated now. He must have noticed, ‘It's rather old but frankly wouldn't have interested me, I can't understand why we took it. Take it free of charge my friend.' He slipped it into a bag and prepared for his next customer. I could tell he wasn't impressed with my taste but taste is down to the individual. I didn't give a damn about that. I took it home, brewed some tea and began to read; the story soon drew me in. It was written by someone called Francesca Read, but with some historical context because around the turn of the century the seas encroached here, destroying a village, burying it beneath salt and slime. Antonia, the heroine had not been local, she was well-bred and from Suffolk's rural gentry. But she was the black sheep of the family, an untamed spirit, a twenty year old with a zest for life. She'd been horse riding the ridges between the marshes when she'd almost decapitated Sam Tye as he emerged through some rushes carrying his haul of fish. Sam had been indignant, had shouted and swore at Antonia whereby she leapt from her horse and confronted him. Antonia was six feet tall and athletic. My own books feature powerful women so I was hooked – but not so hooked that I wasn't aware of the aroma which had infiltrated the room – a strong smell of seaweed some Click here to read the rest of this story (224 more lines)
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