The next day Roger didn’t cross paths with Jimmy once. Given the size of their school, this was a cause of mild concern. Perhaps Jimmy had made it home only to realise he was insane and hallucinating mythological creatures and skipped school to recover. That’s what Roger had considered. But at the end of the day, as Roger headed for the gates, Jimmy caught up with him.
‘Granddad gave me this.’ Jimmy pulled a small bronze telescope from his pocket. ‘I told him everything, and he admitted he had a ‘brief romantic encounter’ with a sea witch at some point during the 1940s. I refused to ask any more questions. He said that explained why I had refused to go fishing with him for the last six months. He was quite relieved, actually, he thought I was distracted over a girl.’
‘What a relief,’ Roger agreed. They did not speak again until they reached the beach.
There she was, lurking in the surf. Her hair, on second viewing, appeared to