Merciless high seas driven by fierce ocean winds slammed against the catboat as black storm clouds rolled across the hostile sky. Antonia desperately clung to the mast with one hand while in the other, she gripped a salt-encrusted gold whale tail charm that hung around her neck. Chances of making it to shore alive dwindled with each angry swell. The waves seemed determined to swallow the helpless vessel and its fragile human cargo. Antonia knew there was little hope that she would see her beloved Carleton again as she prepared to meet her watery grave. Fate had dealt the young girl a cruel hand. The Grim Reaper marched slowly and steadily across the Great Way which bridged life to death, ready to lead her from all that she knew to what lay beyond her earthly dwelling….
“Stop right there!” AJ commanded in the tone of voice an older sister might use to reprimand a younger one. “It’s no good. Sounds soooo, I don’t know…..old fashioned. Do you even know what a whale tail means?” AJ asked while moving into a down dog yoga position."
“What do you mean ‘what a whale tail means’? It’s a whale’s tail.” Meg replied indignantly.
“Ha!” exclaimed AJ now standing tall with her hands to heart center. “The kids you’re writing for today use the term ‘whale tail’ to describe a thong when it’s showing above their pants. You know, like in a Y.” She used her pointer fingers to air draw the shape. AJ rolled her eyes, “I really think you’d better stick to your knitting needles.”
Meg calmly placed her notebook on the table and picked up her latest craft project. She paused, lifted her glasses to her forehead, and raised one eyebrow to emphasize the point she was about to make. She loudly drew in a deep breath in a vain attempt to keep her composure.
“I don’t understand how you can possibly be ready to give up the ship!” she barked. “No pun intended.”
Meg put her rocking chair to work at warp speed, indicating her displeasure. “Come on, we’ve got at least one more bestseller between us. I just think The Whale Tail Heart has soul. Don’t forget that Ida Pollack wrote her 124th novel at the ripe old age of 1-0-5. Are we just going to sit here wasting away and let her outdo us? Besides, our audience needs to know what a whale’s tail really means.”
“Seriously? Do you really want to ascend the throne and become the world’s oldest adventure novelists?” asked AJ sitting crossed legged atop her yoga mat. “Besides, you’d have to share the crown with me,” she added with a wry smile.
The two had shared thick and thin throughout their lives and after deciding to pen their adventures together, the authors found themselves on the NY Times best-seller list more often then not. They were prolific for a whole generation of young readers who found thrills and chills, love and laughter in their pages. Now, just a tad north of middle age, and both widowed, they were content to share a century-old home 30 miles out to sea, far from the limelight of the Big City.
“Let’s talk about this later,” AJ said rolling up her mat. Meg nodded in agreement. She knew they had a long To Do list around Little David’s Island before the arrival of their highly anticipated guests.
“I’ll grab the Woodie,” said AJ referring to the vintage wood-paneled station wagon that got them around The Island. “Do you have our list for the Stop & Shop?”
“Check. We need to make a run over to Dead Eye’s to see if he’s pulled up any fresh lobster too. Oh,” Meg hesitated before bringing up a sore subject, “shouldn’t we think about taking that old radio to get fixed? Just in case we need anything. There is a threat of a nasty nor’easter possibly heading our way you know.”
“Nor’easter or no nor’easter this house isn’t going anywhere.” AJ said with conviction. “The General is a fortress! If the Hurricane of 1910 didn’t take ‘er out, nothing will! We don’t have time for radio repairs today. The Little Darlings are expected on the 4 o’clock ferry and we can’t be late!”
The Little Darlings were the granddaughters of Meg and AJ who were coming to spend Summer vacation on the island. Midge and Annie loved the time each year with their grandmothers exploring beaches and learning to surf and clam by day and singing around bonfires and cooking s’mores by night. Their love of music and the lyrics of Jimmy Buffett were the work of their grandmothers. You see, Meg and AJ had learned early on that life really was ‘just a tire swing’. On this day in particular, one thing was for sure, they weren’t about to let a pesky little nor’easter get in the way. (822)
Authors Victoria Leigh and Margaret Grant are besties who have encouraged and inspired each other along the journey of life and are partners in finding an adventure around every corner!