Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Teatime Fiction. The Harbour Adventure. Part 3

Big Fat Helen has been knocked in to the harbour. She held up a Flying Saucer sweet and a huge seabird swooped at it from behind her.

The tide was high so she didn't fall too far, but she was fully dressed and she had her shoes on, and the little Rafts didn't know if she could swim the way wetbobs do. Seadogs are superstitious like that; they may never learn to swim as they think it invites drownding. Wetbobs learn to swim sooner than they walk because they are bound to fall in and swimming is the best way to survive.

"Quick Baba, the bell". Baba Raft ran over to the emergency bell and began to swing on it, dinging it madly. Middle Little Raft ran to the life-belt ring which was hanging on a hook and wrestled it down, heaving it in to the water where it hit BF Helen on the head. Big Little Raft went down the steps with a spare rope from the harbour-side, attached to a ring in the wall.

BFH was dressed, but she was big and buoyant, she hadn't hit the water too hard so she hadn't gone right down, and she was close to the steps. Her clothes spread on the surface.

By now grown-up sea boots were thundering down the steps, a cockleshell boat had appeared and great knuckles were grasping BF Helen, pulling her back from the sea's hungry mouth. She was slapped on to the dockside, coughing, spluttering, and being sick.

"Bloody kids" said a voice. "Always causing trouble".
"No" moaned BF Helen "albatross".
"We haven't got any albatrosses, nor golden eagles neither. We've got some pushy seagulls, if that's what you mean".

By now the Harbour Master had rushed down to clasp his daughter to his bosom and Dadder Raft was shaking us "What happened, what happened?" Baba Raft was crying, possibly because of the loss of the flying saucers, which were dotted over the water like rice paper petals and dissolving in a fizzy scum.

"I told you to deal with those gulls, didn't I. I said they would have somebody over" complained a voice in the crowd. There was a mutter of consensus. The public enquiry had found in under three minutes that this was all the fault of the Harbour Master, probably inevitable, and only justice that it had very nearly been his own BF Helen who was a goner. Perhaps that would persuade him to Do Something.

The alarm had gone round the harbour and up the cliff, and the Magistrate, who had been hard at work with his binoculars, came thundering over the swing bridge, carrying his Legal Authority in to Enemy Territory, in case the Harbour Master had been negligent in any way.

To be continued. Harbour Adventure part 4

No comments: