The Snatcher


Off the coast
Out of sight
Lies a rock
A fisherman’s blight

For those who venture
Out to sea
It’s the last place
They want to be

A foreboding name
It’s pretty clear
Don’t get close
Don’t get near

It’ll take your soul
Straight to hell
Just another story
That fishermen tell

The Snatcher waits
On those who sneer
Those who dare
And have no fear

On the horizon the setting sun was only half visible. A red tinge appeared on the clouds and coloured the white walls of the houses. The village consisted of a mixture of old and newly renovated buildings partly obscured by park cars and vans. Some had signs for art galleries which was the reason for the new growth. In front of the houses was a harbour full of small boats bobbing about in the evening swell. The unmistakable sound of lines hitting the masts echoed through the village. In one corner were the fishing boats. Crammed together in the shade as if hiding from the sunlight. Remnants of the time when the village had another source of income. Once proud sea going vessels but now old and in need of major renovation. As the sun disappeared a shadow moved across the boats. Close to the fading sunlight was the Red Rose. She had returned from a fishing trip with her empty baskets telling the sorry tale of current times. Willie MacAllister, owner and captain of the Red Rose, had gone to the Creel, the only pub in the harbour area. He sat with his head in his hands staring into his glass of beer. A journalist, who was waiting on him, walked across to his table.

Captain MacAllistair?
Aye, who’s ask’n

Your glass is empty. Can I get you another
Naw, i’m just fine

You sure. You look as if you need another.
You nos’n about the Joanna

Only for the local gazette
Well I dinnae ken anyth’n

No need to be so hostile. Do you want another drink
Aye, but dinnae expect anyth’n fae me

What will it be
Scotch on the rocks, double.

Okay coming right up
I telt yeah. I only ken wh’t people say

George, can I have a scotch on the rocks. Make it a double please
You writ’n aboot that rock

Just trying to put a story together
What dae yae want to know

Tell me about it
Whit! It’s the only place wi fish

Dangerous. A lot of men have lost their lives there
Aye, too many.

I’m sorry to hear about your son
So yi know aboot that

It must have been a terrible time. Did they find the body

I lost my son but not at sea. A car accident.
Sorry tae hear that

I often wonder what he would have been like
Aye, I wonder that too. It would be so different if he was still here

I heard he fell overboard
Got too confident. Took too many chances.

That’s the problem. The snatcher claims to many confident ones
Got nae choice these days. It’s the on’y place with fish

Do you have a picture
Of who

Of your son
Aye what do you want t’ see that fur

No reason just interested
Your no put’n it in the paper

Okay no problem.
I dinnae want you writ’n aboot me or ma son

I have to write something even if I have to make it up
Bloody nerve you have.

I’ve got a job to do. Just like you.
Well do it somewhere else

You’ll not stop them

The council
The council w’ll no dae anyth’n

There’s a meeting next week. Will you be there
Naw, I’ll be working.

What will you do if they ban fishing at the snatcher
Huh, they’ll no dae that. They need fishing to keep the harbour go’in

What does your wife think about you going there
My wife does whit she’s telt. She doesnae think anything

She must worry that you’ll not come back
Nae business of your what she does

It must have been a shock to her when she lost her son
Aye, but she got o’er it

I heard you go fishing with your brother. What does he think about going to the snatcher
Ask him yoursel

No need. I can make up something from this. It’ll be in the gazette on Friday
I didnae tell ye anyth’n. Just keep me oot of it.

But your the main character. I can’t do that. Enjoy you scotch, I have to go now and put it together for the deadline.
Bloody journalist. I’ll sue ye.

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