I was nine years old.
I grew up a stone's throw from the sea. Often, and especially in winter, my father, a passionate ornithologist, would take me with him for long walks along the deserted coast of Wicklow .
My father found his pleasure in identifying all sorts of bird life around him, while I on the other hand, liked to find refuge along the storm battered beaches littered with driftwood, and other wonders.
I remember the strong smell of salt in the ionized air after the storms, and the noise of the waves that crashed against the rock behinde me, and slowly they returned to where they came.
I remember the cry of gulls overhead as they shouted against the wind and fought hard to hover in one place.
At some point, my father would paused, find a dry rock to sit on. He would pour two cups of steaming hot tea. Then he would lit a cigarette. and turn it around in his hand so that the red tip was just an inch from the palm of his hand. I did not know if he was heating his hands with the glow of the cigarette, or if he was protecting it from the wind.
Slowly, as I warmed my hands on the outside of the cup of hot tea, my attention was drawn to the agitated shore line, just beyond the waves. where dark green waters swelled like some animal has passed.
A boy of nine years finds it hard not to let his imagination run wild.
Leviathan of the Bible,
The Greek Kraken,
They were all there, waiting for me, whispering to me.
Slowly a sense of caution instills itself.
A feeling that a boy of nine years was indeed an insignificant thing among Marauders.
FRANCE - SUMMER 2013
Somewhere along the Atlantic coast in the early hours of the morning.
Morning mist pushes through the continent as the spray of the tide violently pulls away from shore.
Visibility is variable, the gray mist slowly cleared as the sun rises in the sky.
In the distance, a shape. A dark structure, then another, and another. A light breeze, and is standing alone in the center of a nest. or in this case, a cemetery. A graveyard of marauders ... and I'm back nine. My old friends have surfaced, and gulls scream as they try to glide up