07/08/2015

MORECAMBE MOON - 100 word story

MORECAMBE MOON

“Jian – don’t go. The moon is too full and I sense danger.”
“Mother – I must work. We owe the bosses so much money.”
Jian looked at his sleeping wife – she and the baby were both feverish after the birth in the crowded lorry with his hand muffling Chyou’s cries, but they had no money for doctors.

Jian was picking on the cockle-bed hours later, thigh-deep in seawater and listening nervously for the whistle to call his team ashore.

It never sounded. The spring moon had pulled the tide too high too quickly, and the whistle-man was the first to drown.
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The moon affects all kinds of tides, in our bodies as well as in the oceans. This photo prompt brought back memories of a heart-breaking disaster in Morecambe Bay in 2004, in which 21 Chinese slaves drowned when the tide caught them unawares. Slavery is never totally eradicated, despite all the laws against it. Read all about it on Google.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Morecambe_Bay_cockling_disaster

32 comments:

  1. When there's so much truth to a story, the effect is so much more poignant. In 100 words, you have moved the reader, Liz.

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    1. Thank you ccc - the event moved me at the time - cockle-pickers hponing on their mov=biles to say, "I'm dying - I love you - goodbye."

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  2. Oh dear, how tragic. Never ignore a mother's intuition and the pull of a full moon!

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  3. It was tragic - and the gang master got out of jail early.

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  4. Inhumanity and tragedy in such an event. Jian knew what women know instinctively.

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    1. Jian should have listened to his mother.

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  5. As a child I got caught out by a sudden rising tide at the foot of Beachy Head. I got saved, but your piece brought the memory of that day flooding back (if you'll excuse the pun!)

    Rosey Pinkerton's blog

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    1. I thought I'd answered this from my tablet! Oh well. I said that as a child I nearly drowned in the open air pool at Brighton. What a lot the world would have missed if the sea had got both of us!

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  6. I like this one, Liz! Having lived in Morecambe - overlooking the bay - I find it a very scary place. Once you realise how much quicksand there is, which is barely detectable to the untrained eye, and how rapidly the tides come in, you don't venture out there without an experienced guide whom you can trust!

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    1. Thanks Robert - were you there when this happened? Those poor people must have been terrified.

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    2. I'd left a few years before this. But only a few days before this happened I had been leading a Bible Study in church on the story of the crossing of the Red Sea and I'd been talking about the sorts of real situations which might underlie a miracle story. I had actually spoken about Morecambe Bay and how you need an experienced guide to get you across - and if you see someone out there you can't just run after them. I was back there on the Sunday morning after that tragedy - and folk found it all rather moving.

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    3. What a dreadful pity there was no miracle for those victims of man's greed.

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  7. This is heartbreaking. And you're right, too much slavery around still. Excellent story.

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  8. I remember that episode so well Liz. Heartbreaking. But the tides around that stretch of the coast are so dangerous, so fast. I once visited a stretch of beach a few miles up the coast where a bell rings to signal the incoming tide. One owner didn't make it back to his car in time. :( You captured it well.

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    1. I spent my adolescence in Brighton, and the swirls beneath the two piers were scary enough for me.

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  9. Dear Liz,

    Tragically realistic and well written.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    1. Thanks Rochelle - I'm taking a leaf out of your book, writing about real events!

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  10. A great piece of writing here, Liz. You told the tragic tale very well and made it personable in a few short words.

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  11. You've captured the tragedy of the event, and the vulnerability of these people, powerfully. It's dreadful that this was their reality.

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    1. The memory of those TV images is haunting.

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  12. So sad especially as it has happened and will probably keep on happening. You created the emotions beautifully in such a short number of words.

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    1. Thank you Ros. You could probably find similar instances in history too.

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  13. So sad - and so poignantly told Lizy. Thank you for reminding us of something that shouldn't be forgotten.

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    1. Thanks Susan - I bet there are still cockle pickers out there each day risking their lives under the orders of slave-masters.

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  14. A very moving story. I wonder what the next tragedy will be, because there always is one.

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