It has been a few weeks since Sea Muse I was published to launch Sea Muse Sunday. Tonight I will attempt to erase that discretion by publishing two installments of the story my muse keeps feeding me one delicious morsel at a time.
Tale Of The Sea Muse (cont.)
…With you in my arms
…We’ll tame the sea’s charms
“And he wrote that one too, Grandma?”
Janie, who only looked her age because of one shining gray stripe flowing with the rest of the full bodied mane falling to the middle of her back, smiled, “I am sure he did, Charlie.”
Eight year old Charlie looked up from his bed, a playful blond curl danced on his forehead as he spoke, “Wow. Mysteries upon mysteries, huh?”
Janie stood, pulled the Old West themed cover up to Charlie’s chest, kissed him on the forehead and answered, “That’s right Charlie— mysteries upon mysteries —and mysteries are best solved when we are rested and alert. We don’t want to miss a clue,” her thin, bright lips spread gently across her face, “Tomorrow, we’ll dig into the trunk and see what clues we can unearth.”
“Cross my heart and hope to die.”
“Good night Grandma- I love you.”
“I love you too, Charlie.” She walked to the door, turned out the light, looked over her shoulder before leaving the room, and said under her breath, mysteries indeed.
After going downstairs and fixing herself a cup of tea, Janie Reagan sat in the living room- staring at the small trunk she bought earlier in the day. Gently rocking in her antique walnut chair, and sipping from her favorite mug, she thought back to the early morning when she was standing in Lars’ shop, drawn to that trunk.
Normally, Lars Jensen would get her full, amorous attention when she stopped in his antique shop. The younger Swede could be a foothill to the Alps, and his chiseled features, set off by straw blonde hair made most women take a second long sip from that tall glass. But, in reality, Janie was no cougar so there would never be anything beyond the playful flirting between her and Lars.
And there was not a single innuendo when she stood in the musty air, among all the old furniture- eyes locked on that small chest. So focused was she, that she nearly missed the fact Lars seemed to be overly anxious to sell that trunk to her.
She was increasingly anxious to buy it from him.
Lars claimed it was an old piece that his uncle Sven gave to him late the previous night. Judging by craftsmanship and materials, the Swede said it had to be 200 years old- if not older. Janie had a keen eye for authenticity, she had been not merely collector, but a self-taught expert in the arena of trunks and lockers; and outwardly, the small locker before her looked truly authentic.
The hand wrought hardware made of leather and brass, she thought as she ran her hand gently across the top of the trunk, and the tool marks across the wood, the construction materials themselves- none of these features could be found anywhere in the world today.
Yet- the piece looked oddly recent. Maybe it was the almost imperceptible salt damage. Trunks like this would have been found on corsairs and frigates, spending their entire existence on or near the ocean, and Janie knew first hand what damage occurred due constant salt air. Living on the coast of Maine meant accepting the Ocean’s fury in all of its forms— even her quaint, brine laden breath.
She nearly gasped when she gently opened the lid and saw a handful of documents, no- not documents -she saw as picked them up, these are…poetry and sketches. And the stationary is definitely from an era long gone, but it hasn’t aged a year…
“Lars- do these come with the trunk?” She asked as she held the papers up.
“Yes they do, dearest,” Lars tossed out the first thing remotely flirty, “Do you want to purchase the locker?”
A smile played across Janie’s face, “Yes.”
After she helped get Charlie off the bus, and wheeled him down the long gravel lane- after his snack -they began to study the poetry and sketches. It was well past his bedtime when she read the last poem to him.
And there she sat, tea at hand, in her favorite rocker, staring at the trunk.
Captain Abram Wolf, she thought, Charlie and I will discover who you are, and we will trumpet the tale of your love for the woman who sketched the Sea Muse.