Fiction: The Man Who Spoke to the Sea, a Ruon Chronicles Knitted Charm, and Some Interesting Reads
Or, I definitely need more practice with making lace knitting charts!
Hello again Fellow Adventurer,
I hope that the past week has treated you well! I have to say that the bit of rest that I got did absolute wonders for me and has also helped me to get back to my normal routine (which had gone out the window for a while there).
The Ruon Chronicles knitted charm
In more good news, the knitted Ruon charm (that features in the prologue of book 1 of The Ruon Chronicles) is finally finished. It’s a bit wonky, but it’s finished. It’s the first time I’ve ever tried to make a lace knit pattern, so I don’t think it turned out too bad, actually.
Here we go!
The test knit is in double knit Elle Charity yarn (because it’s easier to work with and I had it on hand). Did I lose the colour’s name? I did. I think it had something to do with “apple”. Once I get to the yarn shop again, I’ll be sure to check!
I’ve noted where the pattern needs improvement, so the next test should look better already. I’ve also added some lace knitting classes to my Craftsy lineup – including one for making patterns – so that’ll help as well.
Flash Fiction: The Man Who Spoke to the Sea
Dark thunderclouds packed together above the small, white washed houses behind the sand dunes. Dense shrubs clamored for space on the top and side of the heaps of sand as if to flee from the waves that today pushed foam fingers farther and farther up the beach. Sand-laden wind blew from the wide water over the dunes, today even lashing the houses huddling behind the dune. The storm came, like many on this part of the coast, with little warning. No warning to those not used to the weather. But here the fishermen knew when the wind blew just so to take their boats to the shore and batten down the hatches. Some said Reinard could even hear the storm two days out by the sound of the waves. All knew that he had had the best sea legs of all the fishermen in Vissermanshoek. Some of the older people in the village even said he had come from the waves, washed ashore as a baby when one of the great merchant ships sailed into a squall and sank, taking all other souls upon it to the salty depths.
But not Reinard. He was saved and adopted by old Dan Shoestring and lived the life of a fisherman, as connected to the sea as any could be. They said he heard it speak. “Not in a language you would understand easily, you know” as old Shoestring said. “He listens to all its secrets,” they said. They also said his wife, Sanna, was of the sea-folk, just like they said she had looked the water serpent in the eyes. Like they said he had given her the jewel from his brow to wear upon her neck. Like they said his family was destined for great things. Like they said Sanna went back to the sea-folk when her youngest daughter turned three. Like they said she had moved to Cape Town to live the life of the upper class. Like they said the rich strangers would come. Like they said Reinard’s heart was too broken to ever heal. They were right about three things. That rich people will come and build mansions to block the sea. That Reinard’s children would not be fisherman like generations before. That Reinard’s heart was broken.
The first to come and prospect for land was a certain sir with an unpronounceable surname that came form the city. Not that the home would be his residence, of course, just over weekends and holidays when he wanted a ‘silent retreat’. He drove in teams of builders and built a house the size of a small village, a three storey high monstrosity with a flat roof where he and his friends could go for a cocktail or three and stare drunkenly at the horizon. Not that he wasn’t friendly at first in a sort of speak-slowly-to-people-not-as-highly-developed-as-you kind of way that said he regarded all other people as imbeciles to be tolerated to do menial work, but not quite being able to reach his own level of perfection.
One weekend he even dared to go to one of the houses to quiet the children who we playing outside –five minutes’ walk from his sprawling home. Needless to say that the show of a shotgun and the village driving him back to his own house had his ego bruised enough to stay away from his house in the following weeks. It was during this lull in cocktail parties that The Accident came to the village.
It was a storm like no other – not even Reinard had heard it in the waves, nor saw it in the wind. It was just there, out of the blue, breaking the small fishing boats like kindle and sending Reinard overboard from his. He still survived, though, again saved from certain drowning much like when he was a baby, though this time with a broken leg that wouldn’t quite heal. The village was left in shock. Three of their brothers had been taken by the waves. Five more were in hospital. One thatched roof caved in and the first rich mansion to be built in Vissermanshoek sunk a foot into the sand.
After the house built on sand sunk and one wall was lost to the waves, the village rejoiced that the rich sir Whatshisname would be staying in the city indefinitely. At least now, so they thought, they would be able to live in peace behind the dune, making an earnest living. Unfortunately, this did not stop others from coming to build their own seaside mansions and host countless people. The working crews were soon transported to the village, shacks spreading out like wild-fire in a few weeks, bringing noise, shebeens and litter.
And Reinard saw it all from his house where he sat on the porch, waiting for his leg to heal and feel the waves beneath him once more. With his children long gone to the cities to work, he felt truly alone, stranded behind the sheltering dune and wishing only to see the sea again. He waited and waited, growing greyer by the day. Most of all he missed the voice of the sea as it spoke to him while he waited for a net to fill.
It was then that the strangest thing yet was said to have happened. Reinard took to walking to the beach every morning, pushing two rows of neatly spaced holes next to his own footsteps in the morning sand as he fumbled along on the old wooden crutches he had been given at the clinic. Then he would sit on the rocks all alone all day until the waters caressed his feet, after which he would silently go back to his empty house before setting out again the next morning. Those that saw him said that he spoke to the sea while he sat there on the rocks. Some said he spoke to himself. Some said he had voices haunting his head. The visit to the hospital had left him pale and wane, but with the sea around him he quickly grew hale again. But he only spoke to the sea. The children of the village took to watching him and poking fun at him, getting an earful from parents who grew scared of the grey old man that only spoke to the sea.
Around him more houses rose from the sand, never heeding the first ill-fated house where it sunk deeper and deeper into the sand. But he never seemed to give a thought to them, simply walking past the row of half-finished houses on his way to the sea.
Erika, the wife of old Shoestring became ever more worried for Reinard, seeing as his children – or anyone else - ever visited anymore. She took to following him to the beach and back, she thought secretly.
Then, the day of his sixtieth birthday, when the rows of houses blocking their view from the sea was finished and filled with rowdy city-dwellers, she followed him for the last time. He walked with his crutches as he always did; his frame smaller that it used to be. Around his neck was the jewel that had belonged to his wife. He climbed into the rocks with difficulty and threw the crutches aside. He held the stone before him and called the name of his long-gone wife.
Now, I know this because Erica told me herself. She said she saw his wife emerging from the ocean looking just like she did forty years ago. She also said he grew young and grew a tail just like a fish. She said he gave her the jewel and followed her into the waves.
They, of course, say it was wishful thinking. They say it was suicide. They say he drowned. They also say there is no water serpent and a fisherman could never own a jewel like he did. But they don’t know the sea’s secrets. They don’t know her language and they still don’t know that a storm is coming when the wind is just so and the waves splash at that certain angle against your boat.
Some Interesting Stuff I Found On the Internet This Week
“A chance encounter that gave us a chance” from Thrumming
“In the Twinkling of an Eye” by Thrumming
And a Beautiful Rendition of “Black is the Colour”