Monday, March 15, 2010

Down the Islands


Treasure Queen departs Gasparee Island.

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LE NOIREAU- Prologue

There was chaos in Scotland Bay Village. Everywhere, everyone was busy; packing, unpacking, leaving burnt bare lands for the Americans.

Away from the noises and confusion the aquamarine Caribbean waves played a soft calypso rhythm, strumming, rippling, kissing bare toes, feet and ankles dug deep into the cold, clammy sand.

The air was laden, ready, thick with the rancid scent of seaweed, salt and smoke carried in the spray; pushed by angry, crashing, foaming waves against a stony coastline up and around the Bay’s end.

She was misted; creating an eerie appearance as she sat back hunched on a fallen tree trunk embedded in the sand; knees tucked under the wide folds of her skirt. Damp grainy sand and the sea waters rushed up; bubbling in between her fingers and feet. Gently she rested her chin on her knees and looked out at the fading horizon, watching the day in its brilliance and splendor of death at sunset. The fiery gold of the sun’s rays; fingering, shimmering on the aquamarine canopy of the sea, dazzling blinding and ever so slowly, churning to taunting, tangerine orange and saffron reds; cascading into purple, violets and royal blue of evening time with ballet like precision. And later as stars peeping first play hide and seek with the naked eye, streaks of charcoal gray strut into midnight black, shadowing the earth into illusions of peace-fullness, as twinkling jewels finally sparkle in the phosphorescent gleam of a splendid Caribbean moonlight.

The gulf steamer disregarding war time surveillance orders; tugged by, alerting Astral Le Noireau to the lateness of the hour. She sighed lifted tiny hands from the sand and stared as the grains quietly trickled back into their places on the seemingly un-rumpled shore. The signal light of the streamer as it passed by and answering flashed from the lighthouse, momentarily blinded her as she turned huge tear filled almond shaped golden eyes up and then out, taking in the silver-ness of the long familiar Scotland Bay coastline, now bathed in the beauty of a full Caribbean moonlight. The gentle breeze blew her blue black hair into her eyes and face, as one hand rose gracefully to whip the unruly strands back into place. Silently a figure standing in the shadows of a coconut palm tree observed her.

Astral stood crying silently, watching the village she so love fade into the night shadows as the steamer padded laboriously out into the first Boca. Every inch further way from Scotland Bay felt like a fist clenching around her lung, stifling her, killing her. She stood rooted until Chateau le Noireau was no longer visible as they rounded the bend at Delgada Point. Until tears of frustration overwhelmed her and she crumbled to the seat on the almost empty steamer. Astral Le Noireau and her precious possession were some of the last things to evacuate from her village.

The Marines had put her on the ferry.

(c) 2006 Cecly Ann Mitchell


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