Fiction: The Mermaid Cave

February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 16 of 29

As a child I was happy to create stories and loved the escapism that they offered.  As an adult, I have now returned to the fiction form and have embarked on writing my first novel (of a trilogy). It is a blend of semi auto-biographical and fantastical elements, which feels to me like arranging a giant patch work quilt of my life: There are some favourite scraps of my own old clothes, which I am adding to, embellishing and turning into a brand new pattern.

Part of my blog challenge this month is to boost the content of this first fiction book.  Each excerpt, which will stand alone on this blog – will eventually be woven into the larger fabric of my book design.


The Mermaid Cave

Under Tregorwick Castle lies a cave, which, family legend has it, was fashioned out of dynamite by smugglers several hundreds of years ago… It was suspected that somehow the monks who built the original monastery were in cahoots with their local pirates, and that the two parties lived secretly and symbiotically supporting each other, given safety and storage in return for a tithe of the riches held in the womb of the mineral rich rock.

Now the cave is a playground, a subterranean swimming pool, half filled to its’ shelf like ledges with clear turquoise tidal sea water. It is lit by the very recent addition of electricity, and some how magically over recent decades, troublesome candles and lamps have been replaced with strip lighting over the stone stairs, descending into the oceanic gloom, where you are greeted with fairy lights, covering the ceiling of the cave with a curious Christmas like glow.

The water and the humid air has a strange and natural warmth, hatched as it is in this Cornish stone. And climbing carefully down its curving steps takes you out of the already rarefied world of Tregorwith and into a secret salty new atmosphere.

It has a centre circular sea pool with nooks and niches branching off it, all just deep enough to let you rest on the surrounding sofa rock, submerged up to your shoulders.

Ariel would come down here with Daddy and swim and splash and giggle for long lovely hours. The giggles would echo and reverberate as if the fairies who lit the ceiling were joining in with the merriment. At other times she was allowed to come here alone, as long as some one knew she was down there and she promised not to stay for longer than an hour.

Where she had failed to learn at school, here Auntie Sarah taught her to swim, with stern encouragement.

When she was on her own, there was less splashing and giggling. It was instead a time to dream and play at being a marvellous Mermaid Queen, sitting in her thrown room, half in and half out of the water and there was even a throne – the central most niche, facing the stairs, where she would sit and command legions of imaginary turtles and rainbow coloured fish to bend to her wishes and whims.


Through all the life that followed, Ariel never forgot the cave and often swam through it her adult dreams.  In those soft sleeping times it was, for ever, a place of fun, peace and special sanctuary, where she could silently reign supreme.

~ Sandra Peachey ©

PS: This blog post is a fiction and yet I also write about my own experiences.  In fact a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of my ‘real’ life in all its’ badness, banality and beauty. This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, whatever it holds for you… It is of course the perfect Valentine gift. You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites anywhere in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

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