The Secret of Trefusis Cove – Episode 40

He released her after a time and held her close. She rested her cheek against his chest and could hear his heart beating fast, in rhythm with her own.

The only sound was the wash of the waves below on the little beach in front of Aircut’s cottage, and Polly munching the sparse bit of greenery at the edge of the lane.

A car came along the lane from the direction of the Crab and Mermaid. The headlights held them both in the glow.

It pulled up beside them and Alex released Val.

It was Betty and Aircut.

“Hi, you two, you haven’t got very far since you left the Crab and Mermaid. Did Val fall off?”

Betty’s laugh was forced, as she’d witnessed the romantic tableau in the headlights.

She was angry Alex had seemed to take advantage of the situation.

Val was her friend and it pained Betty to think that she would be hurt. The situation was going from bad to worse, as far as she could see.

Aircut called out from the passenger window.

“We’ll take you the rest of the way, Val. No need to struggle up into the saddle again.”

Betty sensed that he had observed the scene, too. He got out of the passenger seat, leaving the door open for Val.

“Thank you for the ride.” Val held out her hand awkwardly to shake Alex’s hand.

He took it and held it.

“It was my pleasure, Val.”

Betty was near enough to hear his next words.

“I have to see you again – we have to talk.”

“Full tide tonight,” Aircut observed as he gazed out over the water.

Betty felt relieved that he’d lightened the situation. She looked at the waves washing into the beach in front of Aircut’s cottage.

“Look!” She pointed to the large rock surrounded by the tide.

“Is that the seal you saw the other night?”

“Oh, my goodness!” Val gasped. “It looks like the very same.”

The creature sat poised on the rock looking out over the water. It shone grey and silky, glistening in the moonlight.

Alex chuckled quietly.

“It’s your mermaid again, Val,” he said. “Tell you what, I’ll give it a call that my old dad used to use on his sheep station.”

He raised his cupped hands to his mouth and let out a “Cooo-eee!”

It was so loud that the others put their hands over their ears and closed their eyes.

The creature turned its head to face the sound, then slipped quickly into the water and disappeared under the waves.

“That was unkind.” Betty frowned. “You frightened the poor thing nearly to death – us, too!”

“It did the trick, though, didn’t it?” Alex laughed. “I think it saw us.”

“I think you only startled the poor thing.” Aircut shook his head. “Seals are pretty adept at handling the unexpected. They can get out of trouble very quickly.”

“This particular seal especially.” Alex grinned. “I’m surprised that no-one saw what I saw.”


“Because this seal had arms,” he replied, “and a great swishing tail. You must have seen it, too.”

Val gasped.

“Arms? I didn’t see it because you made such a noise! I had my eyes closed and my ears covered.”

Her eyes widened.

“Then it must have been a real mermaid. Now we all know that they’re real  . . . and I didn’t have my camera!”

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.