The Secret of Trefusis Cove – Episode 08

Val refilled the hot-water bottles and Betty lit a candle in an enamel candle holder that they found in the kitchen. Turning off the oil lamp carefully, they made their way to bed.

“Those baked beans on toast tasted like manna from heaven,” Val said as she snuggled down under her duvet. “You worked wonders on that stove by candlelight.”

“I had a stove like that when I was first married,” Betty remembered aloud.

“But neither of us had a tin bath hanging on the wall outside next to a privy,” Val replied sleepily.

“One used to be able to buy sea-soap that worked in salt water.” Betty yawned. “If we could get some we could wait until the tide came in and have a bath. Or we could get a bucket, make holes in the bottom, hang it in a tree and fill it with warm water. That would make a good shower.”

Val snored.

Betty blew out the candle. Her eyes drooped sleepily, then opened wide at a sound like distant thunder. Closer and closer it came until it was almost overhead.

Betty sat bolt upright in her bed, leaned across and shook Val awake.

“What – what’s happened?” Val whispered.

“Listen! It’s like thunder but there’s no lightning or rain.”

The sound died away in the distance until silence reigned again and they could hear nothing except the wash of the waves on the shore as the tide reached its highest point.

“It wasn’t thunder, Betty,” Val said nervously. “It had a sort of rhythm to it.”

“I agree, Val, it wasn’t thunder.”

“What could it have been?”

“I have no idea, but morning will come and everything is less mysterious in the daylight. Maybe it’s rumbling from an old abandoned tin mine. There are lots of those around Cornwall.”

“I don’t think I’m going to get to sleep now.” Val pulled the duvet over her head.

A moonbeam came into the tiny bedroom through a gap in the curtains. Betty lay awake long enough to hear Val snoring again. She knew she’d locked the door and bolted it.

Then the fatigue of the long drive overcame her and she slept as the Cornish moon cast its light on the turning of the tide.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.