7th March 9:30am Session 7 Blog Challenge

Welcome to the blog post challenge.

Write your own ‘blog post’ below.

Catamander

Prologue

You’ve probably been to Wonder-on-Sea. In summer, you probably dug sandcastles and leapt into the waves. When you came there would have been an ice-cream van, deckchairs for your gran and grandad and rockpools to explore. You probably got taken to the seaside museum. It’s that kind of place… in the summer.

But in winter, you probably felt the bitter wind driving the rain. You should try being there when the snow falls and freezes the streets. You should try being there when a sea fog smothers the town and the foghorn blows. Few people visit then. Even the locals keep away from the beach… and some say, they have good reason.

Chapter 1

My name is Frank Orange and I work in the seaside museum. Most people call me Frankie. I am the museum’s caretaker. I polish the glass cases, sweep the floors and tidy up at the end of the day. Someone once told me that it must be a terrible job but I like it. I have a little room where I sleep which has an old fire to keep me warm in winter. I’m lonely at night but, in the day, there is always plenty to do as we get lots of visitors in summer. It is not so busy in the winter and some days no one visits.

A girl taps on the window and hisses, ‘Let me in!” I stare at her not sure what to do. It is late and the museum is closed. She looks so cold that I open the window and in she slips, desperate to be inside. She stares at me with bright eyes as she scrambles down and sits on my ship’s box, panting. Immediately, she says, “Hide me!”

Before I continue with what happens next, there is one story about our town that I should tell you. It happened so long ago that no one remembers the dates or much of the detail. Local legends tell of a monster that comes out of the sea and walks through the streets at night. Apparently, it was a variety of mander known as a catamander and only came out of the sea in dark, stormy weather. It smelled of rotten seaweed and the bones of sailors. It left a trail of footprints like a huge cat on the prowl. They say that at nighttime, the catamander wandered the streets, sobbing and howling. When the locals heard this noise, they would lock their doors and close the curtains.

Some say that the creature must have been in pain. Some say it was searching for food. Some say it sought a lost child who had wandered ashore and stayed on land forever. I’ve never heard it though in the stormy weather, when the streets are dark, the wind does make strange noises that might be mistaken for something skulking.

“Why do you need to hide?“ I hiss back at her. “What’s the matter?”

“I’ve seen it!” she says, “Look sharp – draw the curtains!”.

©Pie Corbett 2021

You can listen to Pie reading this using the player below.

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