The Linnet's Wings :Take All My Loves, My Love - Page 62

The Linnet´s Wings By T Bill West he day started as normal. King Jim of Cockle Town donned his cockle hat and stowed his staff of office aboard the royal bicycle. He mounted and rode out of the throne room. His tyres hissed across marble halls clunked down staircases and his bell tinkled as he passed under the gatehouse arch and over the drawbridge. Jim reached Afon Dwyryd. The sun-burnished salt-flats were dotted with cockle maidens wielding rakes or pushing barrows. On the beach stood a brazier in which pan-fried turbot sizzled waiting for accompanying cockles. He smacked his lips as he scanned the foreshore. He loved to watch the maids as they toiled but always consulted the Court Astrologer to ensure their safety from tides and currents. He propped his bicycle against a rock, stripped down to his silk underclothes and started his morning Tai Chi regime to work up an appetite. Out in the deep water, something bubbled and spat. Gulls shrieked and wheeled away, and mermaids dashed for deeper water. Something emerged from the depths. Bigger than a giant turtle, Cardium Regina, Queen of Cockles rose in her fury. Her ridged shell quivered with rage at the slaughter of her subjects, her red toe pulsated like a warning beacon. With flicks of her shell, she hopped across the waves towards the unwary King. Jim was completing a flawless sequence of moves, Waving Hands Like Clouds, Snake Creeps Down, followed by Golden Rooster Stands on Left Leg. It was while standing on one leg that he was struck from behind. She knocked him to the ground and proceeded to thump up and down on him whilst spraying salt spume in his face. Jim groaned and spluttered. Several of his subjects looked up at the ruckus, clattered their rakes into their wheelbarrows and 62