Maggie: A Brittle Sea Extract

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image of Magda The Brittle Sea novel

Nature takes its own counsel and its own course. Nature’s overriding loyalty is to nature and nature decided to cure Magda of all but one of her ills.

Magda awoke with a start, sat up, looked around the small cabin that had been Captain Blackmore’s and spoke for the first time in many days. “Where am I?”

Apart from a croaky voice, Magda’s English was excellent due to good tuition from a family friend, though her accent didn’t sound eastern European, rather there was an almost musical lilt to her voice.

A stirring at her side caught her eye and Magda observed a handsome man in a chair, mid to late thirties, dark hair, a short beard and, as he opened sleepy eyes, she saw the deepest blue eyes. The man suddenly sat upright, and Magda smiled at his sudden realisation that she was awake.

“I’m sorry, I woke you up.” she said quietly, “I didn’t realise there was anyone else in the room.”

“Oh, that’s fine,” the man said. “I’m glad you’re awake after all this time. How do you feel?”

“Sleepy, groggy, a little sick,” she murmured, touching the left side of her head, and realising her head was swathed in bandages. “What happened? Where am I?” She said the words with a touch of pathos that made the captain’s heart skip a beat. It was at that moment he knew the truth of his feelings. He and the doctor had taken turns watching over their patient, and he had studied the young woman’s face long and hard. He was so taken with the delicate beauty of this woman that he felt something long buried stirring in his chest. Now his stomach was in knots and he was tongue tied.

Magda searched the Captain’s eyes, looking for an answer to her question, but all she saw was an innate yearning, a desire she did not yet understand.

“I…” Blackmore said, stumbling over his words. You stupid fool, pull yourself together. Grow up, man. But another voice told him he didn’t want to grow up, he wanted desperately to hold her hand, tell her everything is fine and smile at her.

“I don’t remember,” Magda suddenly said, panic in her voice.

Instinctively, Blackmore took her hands in his and looked at her sad, soulful eyes.

“You don’t remember the ship? The iceberg?”

Magda began to cry, tears rolling ever downwards across her cheeks. “I do not know who I am!” She wailed. “Who am I? What is my name!”

Extracted from –

Copyright © Tom Kane 2020

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