Lillie-Ann in Lockdown: Part 2

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Welcome to our weekly CENMAC blog post.

Lillie-Ann in Lockdown: Part 2
Co-written with our English Advisory Teacher Zoe Tillotson

A Tale of Two Sea Creatures

René Magritte The Wonders of Nature, 1953


I promised our readers more of Lillie-Ann’s lockdown writing and here it is. Last time, I explained how we were using famous paintings as a stimulus for writing. Since Lillie-Ann declares herself a fan of everything weird and wonderful, I presented her with Rene Magritte’s strange and tantalizing image: Les Mervieilles de la Nature, or The Wonders of Nature, to you and I. She pulled out all the stops and wrote a short story in response. Personally, I think it has a lovely folk feel to it. It reminds me of a traditional tale handed down by word of mouth over the generations. What do you think?


A Tale of Two Sea Creatures
by Lillie-Ann Chart

A fisherman named Tom went out to sea one cloudy Autumn day leaving his wife and his brother behind. He set sail in his small fishing boat early in the morning before the sun had risen, and when he was far enough from the shore he cast his nets overboard hoping to catch a shoal of cod. But later that afternoon when all the other fishing boats returned, his was not amongst them.

From that day onward, Catherine, his wife and Tim, his younger brother, would sit beside the shore together watching the boats. hoping that one day he would return but their waiting was in vain.

A few weeks passed and one overcast afternoon as they stared hopelessly into the deep ocean, a mermaid swam up to them and said “I can turn you into fish so you can seek out your long lost loved one under the sea.” They agreed.

Together they dived far beneath the surface of the frothy waves and searched and searched. They swam in between rosy coral reefs, passing velveteen anemonies, jelly fish and turtles gliding slowly through the marine underworld alongside them. Their arms were tickled by kelp and seaweed rising from the depths and their legs were occasionally entangled in the dangling leaves of underwater trees. Starfish glued themselves to jutted rocks and an octopus swam by, waving its tentacles as though saying hello. A puffer fish popped up beside them making Catherine jump. Tim guided her away from an ominous shipwreck. Pebbles brushed their newly-webbed feet as they drifted over the sea bed.

Finally, they found what was left of Tom, cold and lifeless at the bottom of the sea. Catherine attempted to elevate her husband and drag him up to the surface but Tim prevented her from doing so saying this is what Tom would have wanted; to lay peacefully upon the ocean floor surrounded by seashells with the sunlight beaming down from above.

They swam back to the surface and sat together on a rock sobbing. They sat there for so long grieving that eventually over hundreds of years, they were frozen in place. Their stone bodies remain as they were all those years ago and are a warning to fishermen today.

As always, Lillie-Ann welcomes your feedback. An author is nothing without an audience so please send in your comments. And keep an eye out for future posts as we will continue to share more of Lillie-Ann’s lockdown writing in the future.


Don’t forget you can share your CENMAC experiences for our CENMAC family to enjoy.



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