by Meridith McKinnon
The Apollo Bay Writers Festival recently presented me an opportunity to enter my short story S.S.Casino in the open category of the writer’s competition. It was short listed in the final twenty.
This story is about my Grandfather saving two men’s lives from a raging sea as their ship, the S.S. Casino, sank off the shores of Apollo Bay in 1932. It’s a story about an ordinary man and his family who did not hesitate to do the extraordinary on this day. It’s a story of amazing courage in an event of tragedy that I believe equates easily to acts of courage today in events of trauma and tragedy that are so very different to 1932. A testimony to mankind and modern bravery.
I hope you enjoy it.
The early morning wind greeted Frank as he struggled to secure his coat. Working dogs didn’t move from the warmth of their hessian floor, as they heard the back door slam shut. Grace had placed his boots by the wood stove overnight and his feet felt the coziness that lasted what seemed like only seconds.
Down to the outhouse, he didn’t sit long for the wind blew fiercely through the gaps, and he fumbled pulling up his long johns and cursed his braces caught on the edge of the seat. Frank noted the crashing of the waves, knowing the south easterly had been blowing since yesterday, he sensed the tide was well in.
Back along the footpath he headed for the milking shed, steadying himself at the gate to spot her huddled under the row of Cyprus.