The Crossing by Gracie Chick

I wrote this as a short story to carry on my favourite series of books, Swallows and Amazons. Yesterday we went to see a new film of the first book at the cinema. I was horrified at how my hero, Nancy Blackett, was portrayed. I wanted to show the world who she really is. 

To set the scene: With Captain John in command, Susan and Peggy have made a daring crossing of the sea to meet Captain Flint and Polly in their new boat and bring them back to Nancy and Titty, who are looking after the houseboat. Let the tale begin……

Crimson red hair and long black skirt flapping in the sea breeze, she leaves home, crossing the gangplank to the mainland. She turns her face to the wind, it’s streaked with ocean blue paint. The pistol in the holster on her hip sways dangerously. Her cowboy boot heels clack loudly, announcing her presence. She smiles mischievously and tosses her head. “I’d jolly well like to see how they get out of this one”.

“Thou art wedded to calamity, Nancy.” a younger girl comes up and cocks her head to look up at Captain Blackett. “Do shut up, Titty. Or at least talk like a man”. “But William Shakespeare was a man!” protests the girl. But Nancy isn’t listening, she strides determinedly across the dock and stands, hands planted on hips, waiting for a boat she spies on the horizon. “That’s them alright” says Nancy, a twinkle in her eye. Titty runs to join her “Oh Nancy, isn’t she beautiful? The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne, burnt upon the water.” She bounces up and down excitedly. Nancy turns and glares straight at her, fire in her spitting green eyes. “Stop it, you donk! Some pirate! Now where are they? Billygoats, the wind’s died.”

“From the barge, a strange invisible perfume hits the adjacent wharfs” murmurs Titty “Oh look here Nancy, I really can’t help it, honest injun, I can’t” ” I know!” growls Captain Blackett, scowling down at Titty.

The boat grows closer, soon Nancy and Titty can see four figures. “Ahoy!” shouts Nancy. “Ahoy!” comes the reply from the boat. ” Captain John! How was your journey? Was Polly seasick? Oh goody, you’ve brought cake, Susan! Hello, Captain Flint, how are you? I’m well thank you. Roger and Mother and coming later with the supplies. Superb! Peggy, here, pass me that box.” Titty gushes. “Why, that’s a jolly good little ship, Uncle Jim” Nancy catches their rope and moors them to the jetty. “What is she called? Calamity?” She glances across at Titty, who grins and mouthes “Told you so”. Nancy shakes her head and smiles.

“Well, everyone’s done very well on that crossing. I never thought you’d make it. You must all be famished and your throats must be parched. Goodness, I sound like Titty! Anyhow, come onboard the houseboat, I have gallons of grog and even more pemmican!” The crew clamber aboard.

Hope you enjoyed! Please comment below, constructive criticism welcomed!

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2 thoughts on “The Crossing by Gracie Chick

  1. hi Gracie I like Melissa have not read the book. I do have it recorded so I must watch it. Your amazing description of everything is so well thought out and written. It definitely makes me want to know more. Sorry you didn’t like the film as much as the original but look how it has inspired you to write and share with us all. Well done xx

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