This is a piece of creative writing centered around the history of Mevagissey. For non-fiction Mevagissey history follow this link.
You arrive in Mevagissey in a thunderbolt in March, 1888. You’re disoriented and rather dizzy and find yourself looking out to sea from a cliff top field. The village is covered in snow and a storm is raging thunderously at sea. Through thick snow, you make out a ship, drifting perilously towards the shore. Since you traveled in time using a quantum-derailer, you’re able to click your fingers and move wherever you wish, and nobody sees you. The elements cannot touch you and you stand effortlessly as trees around you are bent and broken by the wind.
Like a ghost, you hover, still and fixed looking at the ship, which is being thrown about like a rubber duck in a bathtub. The waves are 20ft high, each wave the size of a tsunami. The sail of the ship is torn and you see the ship drift ominously towards the rocks. A hill-side-sized watery lump is rolling and growing, approaching the ship, slowly, rising taller and taller, opening slowly like the gaping, hungry mouth of death.
The Lady Cassica is at the bottom of the trough, with a peak of the wave almost as high as the ship’s mast above it. You hear nothing over the wind. You can’t help but feel that this wave will destroy you, but sure enough, as it crashes down on the ship, pushing the boat towards you, you pass right through the ship and the wave. With glimpses of terror, chaos and then fizzing white water. You understand the Leonard Cohen lyric ‘I held onto you like a crucifix’ as the churning waters push the ship and you’re moved between different rooms. Scenes of men desperately guzzling rum, gripping Bible’s and comforting children. You pass through the boat in seconds, but the scenes seem like slow motion. People cling to anything – flung as if weightless. You hear a tremendous crunch as the ship is crushed by the wave.
Clicking your fingers with your eyes closed, you find yourself stood on the outer harbour, but no time has past since you watched the shipwreck of The Lady Cassica. There are no barnacles on the walls, they look clean and new. The harbour was built just three years earlier in 1888. The waves have cracked and scattered tones of the harbour’s stone effortlessly as if to mock the labour of men. The brand new wall in Mevagissey – the shelter of the village against the gnawing chaos of the sea – is in ruins.
Again you click your fingers and are walking through the streets, which are submerged in snow.
There are no people anywhere.
The village is in hibernation, completely cut off by the Great Blizzard of 1891.