Rings and Fings: Episode 22
“Well, hello Rachael.” The voice came from behind the pair as they were waiting for their pints to be poured.
The Traveler glanced over at her with a look that said “you are extremely popular here for a girl who said she had never been here before.”
She gave him a half smile then turned her barstool around and there in full uniform and with a pint of ale in his hand was the village policeman, officer Church.
He was a small man with a disproportionately fat face.
“Oh, hello Officer Church. It’s been a while.” She heard the new pints being placed on the bar behind her. “Heard you had some trouble at Kelly Mill the other night,” he looked at the Traveler and took a swig of his ale.
They both twisted around and picked up their ales.
Rachael took a swig and said,
“No, no trouble. Nothing I couldn’t handle, but thanks for your concern.”
“Hmm,” he returned his gaze to Rachael, “I haven’t been on your farm for a long time; I really must start visiting again.”
“If you have the time, I’m sure your plate is full with all the crazy farmers that live around here,” “and besides, by the time you had cycled down there it would have been all over.”
“Harrumph,” the copper nodded, gave the Traveler a not so nice look then turned away towards the farmers’ corner.
“All they did was give the village idiot a badge so they could still do their crap without getting in trouble. This is a lawless valley, Stranger. Yup,” she said sipping her pint.
She thought the Traveler probably did not get the cowboy reference but he smiled back, and said “It certainly is.”
Behind them the two musicians launched into a new song, suddenly the Traveler’s eyes lit up, “I know this shanty!” he announced.
“Oh yes?” she replied letting the magic of the hobgoblin ale change her outlook.
“Yes, I’ll tell you the tale if you would like.” His face glowed in the dancing firelight as he began to recount the story.
Outside the weather was boiling up, swirly and dark.
The Story of the Wind
As always it is about a young fair maiden who lived in the countryside. In this one she married a wealthy farmer’s son.
So, they were living a very happy life on their farm by the cliffs when the big war started.
He, of course, answers the call from the King and joins the great Navy. Heartbroken she declares undying love for the confident sailor and off he goes. She stands on the cliff all day watching the fleet leave and disappear over the glowing horizon. Every day she goes to the edge of the cliffs and looks out to sea, waiting for that English flag to appear.
Unfortunately she hears the news that the ship her husband was serving on engaged the enemy’s flag ship, successfully sinking her but sustaining so much damage that the British ship was also lost. The battle was won and the fleet was heading home.
Very sad, indeed, in fact heartbroken, she walks to the cliff while a violent storms whips around the bay. After a long while staring and cursing at the Black waves, she flings herself into the raging sea, but the storm steals her spirit and she is doomed to haunt the bay as the very wind itself.
One day a ship comes sailing through the bay. The malicious spirit whips up a storm causing the ship to wreck on the ragged rocks. She, well her cursed spirit, watches howling with laughter as the sailors try to swim ashore. The ship goes down with a brave sailor at the helm holding the ship so his mates can abandon the doomed vessel. The ship is cracked and sinks into the deep dark bay.
She is the wind, howling and vindictive. She steals his spirit.
She then realizes that that it is her beloved husband, returning a hero from the war, captaining his own ship.
So now they are doomed to be together and howl as the wind forever more.
Sailors know to stay away from the bay, storm or no.