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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Rough Draft, prose extract).

Somewhere between the devil and the deep blue sea he was holding me, bearing down with the weight of a colossus.

My angel was stopping me from drowning. Here eyes of steel blue bore through him to me, with a challenge, keenly sought.

I awoke with a start. The dreams never changed. The immortal longing for her, for good, to be understood. But it was not to be.

The routine was simple yet convoluted. Somewhere between the devil and the deep blue sea the truth would come to me.

The iron grip was upon me. Then like a dreary lament from an Old Testament Psalm the calm would come.

 

  The break in the wind, the gentle breeze from the ocean set me free again, I was away from all evil and back in the deep blue sea.

The calm would always come before the storm. Then those brief interludes of peace were suddenly snatched. His voice boomed out like falling shrapnel. Was I simply the collateral damage left over from the wreck? The sirens blaring out. Her voice, my daughter calling. I can barely hear her.

“The Devils rock, they call it.”

I shuddered quietly to myself, not wanting to wake the baby, my child, my Anna.

Her eyes of steel blue are similar to her dad’s. My eyes close as a fading memory bears down on me.

She’s six now, Anna, at school, bright as a button. The angel in the Christmas play. He’s gone now. So are they. Fading shadows from a silhouette show long ago. But it has only been three years since the divorce.

A curtain is raised visually in my mind. I anticipate the end. The rollercoaster is yet to abate.

Now here I am with Anna, caught up in a whirl of emotion, away from free-fall and safe.

His eyes impregnated me like thunder. On Devil’s Rock there was so much land un-ventured.

Nothing would be gained ploughing the fields for a lost love forsaken by the wind and the water. The thunder was still in my heart, leaving me breathless. Drowning I was with the demons in the deep blue sea. Then he rescued me. The tide abated. Jamie, windswept, tanned and fit in his life-belt threw us the rubber ring. Then Anna came round, spluttering into consciousness.

His eyes shone like sapphire. The medallion around his neck gleamed benevolently. A tiny wooden cross. Was he a Christian?

Yet Jamie, and I only knew his name because of a cursory word from his colleague somewhere between the auspicious of Anna losing consciousness and coming back to the land of the living.

We were minions, millions of us, blinded by the fluorescent lights emanating from the ceiling of our houseboat we had named, “St Christopher”. Devil’s Rock was an unusual community of travelling sailing gipsy rovers and rich wine soaked yuppies seeking the high life on the seven seas.

Yes, Devil’s rock had and always would remain in my mind as if like some strange distant cousin or fallen friend who like a bad penny would always drift back to me. St Christopher, our boat which belonged to Miles, my husband and I always stayed afloat through floods, wind and rain, it was our little beacon to freedom.

While I, Christina courted controversy with my unorthodox hippy lifestyle. Miles in his expensively tailored to fit Saville Rowe suit worked as a banker by day. By night we were together, two free spirits, united in our love of folk music, the eclectic and avant guarde. Miles would forget about the bank, the awkward customers, the country’s financial collapse. Everything was immaterial but our love which sustained us through everythin.

It was a peaceful paradise on the boat, St Christopher which kept us afloat through everything. Sometimes at night, with his head across my chest Miles would babble in his sleep like an excited child about his dream to be a guitarist and singer, following in the footsteps of his boyhood hero, Bob Dylan.

About Geraldine Ward

Geraldine Ward has been writing and performing various forms of poetry and prose from an early age, and is a regular contributor at the London Farrago Poetry Slam nights. She has published a number of books including the "Now" collection, and has featured in other publications including Katie Metcalfe's "Beautiful Scruffiness" series of magazines.

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