A cup of Earl Grey Tea – light and refreshing
The boat rocked violently from side to side as the storm grew stronger.
The waves crashed on the deck and they were getting louder.
‘I get in the cabin, Grandpa!’ he shouted as he was thrown from side to side in the flimsy boat. His tiny fingers gripped tightly onto the sides for fear of being thrown overboard into the mouths of the waiting sharks.
‘I in the cabin now!’ he shouted.
We saw the beacon of a distant lighthouse in the early morning gloom. It was Pirate Island. The winds dropped as we sailed towards the flickering light and beached the boat upon the shore. It had been a terrifying journey, as I watched his little legs struggle to carry him safely through the surf.
‘I found a cave, Grandpa,’ he said and disappeared inside. ‘Can I have torch?’ he said, ‘It a bit too dark in here.’
The cave was hot and sticky and we went in deeper and deeper, crawling through narrow channels, the light of his torch leading the way. As we did we heard the thump of heavy feet and felt the thud of each step. ‘I no like Trolls, Grandpa,’ he said, ‘they scare me.’
‘They’re only pretend,’ I said ‘They’re not real.’
‘I still no like Trolls. No more Trolls.’
And he hit me.
‘Come on Joseph, it’s time to get up. Time for breakfast,’ his mother said as she peered through the bedroom door.
‘I not finished playing with Grandpa. We playing boats,’ he shouted as he popped up from beneath the duvet and slapped the bed. ‘We go to Pirate Island don’t we Grandpa?’
What do you say? Support your grandson who is having fun or your daughter who wants to start the day?
‘Maybe one more time?’ I said.
‘Okay, only one more time,’ she said, ‘I’ve got work today.’
‘Come on Grandpa, make the boat again,’ he said pulling up the duvet. I curved my legs and he jumped in the gap between them and started to sway one way then the other. ‘Faster, Grandpa, faster.’
I made the sound of wind and waves as I rocked him from side to side. I spun the torch in my hand, like the flashing beacon of a light house. Red, then green, then white.
‘I get in the cabin!’ he shouted and pulled the bedspread over his head.
‘No more sharks, Grandpa. I don’t like sharks. You pinch me. It hurts.’
‘Okay, no more sharks but this is the last time.’
‘Come on you two, breakfast is ready. Mummy’s got to go to work,’ said my daughter standing at the door, clinging onto a bleary eyed sister, untimely ripped from her slumber and not yet vocal. ‘Come on Grandpa, enough’s enough.’
‘Ookay,’ I said as I stopped rocking. ‘Breakfast now then, Joseph.’
Just as I thought everything was going well he shouted, ‘I not hungry. I not want breakfast. Again, Grandpa, again.’ He buried himself beneath the covers. His sister had now woken up and joined in. She screamed as loud as she could, her lungs almost popping out. A piercing sound showing she meant business. ‘I want milk, now.’
It was strange how the high pitched whine of a distressed baby turned the volume control up in everyone. It always did.
‘Now look you’ve upset Eleanor. Come on, breakfast is ready and Mummy has to go to work,’ shouted my daughter.
It was no use as he was already at sea again, in his cabin, battling the storms. Pirate Island, sharks, sorry, they had gone by request just like the trolls, and a dark cave on a distant shore.
Where would you want to be?
About the Author
Lloyd Jenkinson is a retired surgeon who now has the time to enjoy the delights of new life and word craft.
Published 24 February 2016