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Authors: Bernadette Calonego

Stormy Cove

BOOK: Stormy Cove
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ALSO BY BERNADETTE CALONEGO

Under Dark Waters

The Zurich Conspiracy

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Text copyright © 2015 Bernadette Calonego

Translation copyright © 2016 Gerald Chapple

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.

Previously published in German as
Die Bucht des Schweigens
by Amazon Publishing in Germany in 2015. Translated from German by Gerald Chapple. First published in English by AmazonCrossing in 2016.

Published by AmazonCrossing, Seattle

www.apub.com

Amazon, the Amazon logo, and AmazonCrossing are trademarks of
Amazon.com
, Inc., or its affiliates.

ISBN-13: 9781503935846

ISBN-10: 1503935841

Cover design by Scott Barrie

For Hubert

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Lori Finning: photographer from Vancouver

Lisa Finning: Lori’s mother (lawyer)

Simon Finning: Lori’s father

Clifford Finning: Lori’s brother

Andrew Finning: Lori’s son

Danielle Page: Lori’s friend

Craig: Lori’s friend from Vancouver

Volker Pflug: Lori’s ex-husband (German)

Franz Ehrsam: Volker’s boyhood friend

Rosemarie Ehrsam: his wife

Katja Brosamen: his client

Waltraud: Katja’s mother

Erhardt: Katja’s father

Mona Blackwood: businesswoman in Calgary

Bobbie Wall: B and B owner

Gordon Wall: her husband

Noah Whalen: fisherman in Stormy Cove

Nate Whalen: his brother

Emma Whalen: Nate’s wife

Lance Whalen: Noah’s brother

Coburn Whalen: Noah’s brother

Ezekiel (“Ezz”): Noah’s cousin

Greta Whalen: Noah’s sister

Robine Whalen: Noah’s sister

Archie Whalen: Noah’s uncle

Nita Whalen: his wife

Winnie Whalen: Noah’s mother

Abram Whalen: Noah’s father

Jack Day: Noah’s relative

Ches Mills: Lori’s neighbor

Patience Mills: his wife

Molly Mills: their daughter

Selina Gould: Lori’s landlady

Cletus Gould: her son

Una Gould: his wife

Mavis Blake: shopkeeper

Aurelia Peyton: school librarian

Lloyd Weston: archaeologist

Beth Ontara: archaeologist

Annie: archaeologist

Will Spence: newspaper editor

Reanna Sholler: reporter

Jacinta Parsons: murder victim

Scott Parsons: her father

Glowena Parsons: her sister

Ginette Hearne: villager

Elsie Smith: villager

Gideon Moore: transport company owner

Rudolf von Kammerstein: German baron

Ruth von Kammerstein: his wife

Tom Quinton: dog owner

Vera Quinton: his wife

Rusty: the Quintons’ dog

Hope Hussey: lodge owner

Carl Pelley: detective

John Glaskey: fisherman

Isaac Richards: fisherman

John, Seb, Wayne: fishermen

Joseph Johnston: deceased fisherman

Mitch and Dorice: elderly couple

Richard Smallwood: Anglican minister

PROLOGUE

He hardly speaks at breakfast. His forehead, eyes, eyebrows, and lips look pinched—like his head is in a vise. He’s worried. She knows it.

That night, she’d been jolted out of her sleep again, her heart feeling tight and swollen, like a boxing glove. Her silk pajamas clung to her skin, and a damp chill to her forehead.

She sat bolt upright in bed, gasping for air.

Suddenly his face was right against hers; she’d startled him.

Not for the first time.

He brushed her unruly hair out of her face.

“I heard it again,” she said.

The howling. That terrible, incomprehensible, bone-shattering whine that seemed to come from nowhere.

He pressed her to his chest.

“It’s gone,” he whispered. “Nobody’s going to hurt you.”

Then he caressed her until she fell asleep in his arms.

She steals a glance at him.

Pretending to be sorting pictures on the computer, she watches him out of the corner of her eye as he sits there, bent over the table, his chin resting in a hand as big as a shovel. He reads the newspaper from cover to cover; it’s just the local rag, but he doesn’t skip over a thing, not even the classifieds. He’s never learned to skim. In his world, there’s no place for skimming. Everything must be observed: wind direction, the movement of the tide, wave action, fish movements, what men in the harbor are saying, news and rumors. Especially rumors. If you miss something, or don’t care what’s going on in the village, then you’re soon on the outside looking in. And that can be fatal.

She’s only known that since she came into his life.

How did we manage to survive?

Here he is, far from the grave of his boat, the
Mighty Breeze
. Far from the North Atlantic and the steep cliffs, the killer storms and currents. Far from the disaster that pulled him down in its wake.

He’s an outsider in Vancouver. A man who doesn’t want to be anywhere but on his boat or in his squat little house with green trim. He couldn’t even restack the firewood the storm scattered—that’s how fast everything happened. He must replay things in his mind over and over, neat and tidy as he is. In the chaos of emotions and threats, he is a man who clings to order.

So all he can do now is read the entire paper. He can’t bring himself to skip over even a page. He calls it wasteful, making a face every time he says the word. His shed by the ocean is stacked with pails, old ropes and tools, rusty winches, used nails, lumber from demolished houses, worn-out knives. A man who always expects hard times needs these things.

But he didn’t expect the disaster that befell him.

He suddenly looks up, and she feels caught in the act.

“Did you read this?” he asked. “The letters to the editor? People with oceanfront houses are complaining that people walking on the beach keep peeking in their windows.”

She smiles, happy that he’s found something he finds funny. Nobody in his village has any problem with people constantly looking in their windows. They see everything anyway, never miss a thing. Through trusty binoculars, they spy on the houses on the opposite side of the cove. They know when it’s lights-out and when somebody comes home late.

But she’d shut her eyes to what she really ought to have seen.

He stretches across the table to study the classifieds. She never tires of looking at him. A back as round as the leatherback turtle’s that washed ashore one day, dead. The morning after they first made love, her fingers felt for his vertebrae and couldn’t find them. As if he’d morphed from a sea creature into a human.

If someone saw the way she was watching him now, her fascination would be taken for love.

But it’s more like wonder. Silent amazement that they’re both here. Together. That he followed her, all this way.

How did we manage to get away?

Did
we get away?

He’s always been so afraid of the city. The cars. The crowds. The pace. Traffic lights everywhere. Eyes that look right past him. Mouths that don’t say hello. Losing himself in the sea of people on the sidewalks.

But now, after everything that happened, he feels secure here. Nobody knows him in Vancouver. Nobody knows anything. His name means nothing.

It’s been ten months now. He never talks about going back. Not even about the
Mighty Breeze
. Or the kitchen with its loud, ticking clock. Not one word about the cove or the dock with the rotting planks he’d long wanted to replace.

“Don’t you want to call?” she asks him occasionally.

He just shakes his head, raises his eyebrows, and looks out the window, checking the sky over the neighboring apartment towers. Then he wants to go for a walk before it rains. His route always leads to the ocean. Not to
his
ocean but to this other, western ocean, the Pacific. Water that never, to his astonishment, freezes over in winter.

She hasn’t taken any pictures of him since they came to Vancouver. As if photographing him were cursed. As if her pictures would reveal something she wasn’t prepared for. The way he’s sitting at the table, turning the pages, his brow furrowed, back arched like a bridge over water, lips pressed together—she doesn’t have to capture this moment with her camera. It’s already burned into her mind. Exactly like the secret that she must never reveal.

Do visions of what happened haunt him as they do her? She’s afraid to ask.

Out of nowhere, the memories appear before
her
eyes, and they’re not always the most terrifying ones.

The wall hanging, for instance, in a stranger’s living room, of a band of caribou at sunset. Blackish-brown shapes backlit with kitschy neon colors. The caribou stiff, as if blinded by the garish orange and yellow and red.

A wild animal frozen in the headlights’ glare, fearfully undecided between safety and doom.

BOOK: Stormy Cove
9.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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