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The storm raged for three days. I clung to the rail, my dress plastered against the swell of my unborn child. Finaly the ship hit the rocks and broke. I was thrown overboard.


I woke on a beach more mud than sand, wreckage from the ship around me. Not far away another survivor stirred, a young man a few years short of my age. We - Gracey and I - were the only two, and no sign of other life as far as the eye could see. I would have sat and wept, but the child within me stirred, and I determined to survive. We sifted the wreckage around us, and found wood for a fire, a sack of potatoes, and the body of the ship's carpenter, still clutching his tools.

There was fish in the rock pools, and Gracey cut wood for a lean-to while I lit a fire to cook the food. We ate in silence, watching the cold stars emerge one by one.


My Da learned me his carpentry skills as I grew up, and now I thanked him by burying him on land instead of at sea. He always wanted a patch of land. I kept his tools and put them to use, building a rough wooden cabin for shelter, and cutting firewood to heat it.

I made me a fishing rod to catch more fish, baiting it first with a scrap of potato peel, and then with the guts of the earlier fish. No rescue came before Aiya's little daughter Citlillia was born, nor after it, as we hunted wild onions, mushroom and berries to supplement the fish. I liked reading about shipwrecked sailors growing up, but I never thought to be one. It's lonesome, more lonesome than anyone writes about.

Lonesome enough that when Aiya came to me and told me she didn't want Citlillia growing up alone, I was happy to help. When he came, we called our son Jovanna.

Still no sign of rescue.

A Nonny Moose:
Very nice start.  And then ...

And then the next generation takes up the story. (Adam and Eve mod style, I'm afraid)


We had two children, Citlillia and I, before she died having our third. Mother died a few weeks later. Father said it was from old age, but I think she died of a broken heart. We took them both up to the ancient grave on the peninsula and made two more graves for them there.

Sometimes I take the children up there, so Citlillia can hear them and know they are growing up well. Today it was the turn of our first grandchild, Anya. Father came with us, wearing the new leather coat Brietta sewed for him. He moves more slowly, these days, and he spends a lot of time staring sadly out to sea while he fishes. I tell him that all is going well, but he says that isn't the point.

He believes in the ships still. I believe in things I can see and hear, like the deer, and wind in the trees. I have never seen a ship.


My mate Edgardner and I are the oldest, since we buried Father beside Grandfather. The last words he said to me were "Watch for the ships," so I humoured him and nodded, looking out at the sea swell. Of our three children, Anya and Raymand have each other, while Fronna took up with Raymand's eldest, Delville.

We continue the tradition of visiting the graves at the turn of each season. It is pleasant down there, except in winter, and we take a picnic and let the children play.

My tailoring grows harder as my sight fades, but the deerskin is as soft as ever, and as comforting to wear. Edgardner cuts the wood for all of us, leaving the younger folk to travel the forest, gathering food and hunting the deer. We keep the houses sound and secure for when the little ones grow old enough to want a new home, and they all come to me to listen to my stories as I sew.

"Once upon a time, there was a ship, with wings as white as a gull's, tossed in a storm at sea...."


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