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The catch of the day at the Croaking Foghorn is not at all as expected… Strange things keep happening in the permanently fog-shrouded seaside town of Hallowind Cove, earning it the nickname "Harbour of the Weird". Paul and Rachel's date at The Croaking Foghorn pub is derailed, when it turns out that local fisherman Eddie Bramwell brought home no fish, but one hell of a story. But Paul has one hell of a story of his own to tell and he's not at all sure how Rachel will react. This is a short story of 3400 words or approximately 12 pages in the Hallowind Cove series, but may be read as a standalone.
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The Mermaid of Foghorn Point
by Cora Buhlert
Copyright © 2018 by Cora Buhlert
All rights reserved.
Cover graphics by © Iryna Rasko and Moloko88
Cover design by Cora Buhlert
Pegasus Pulp Publications
The Mermaid of Foghorn Point
It was what passed for a pleasant winter evening in the little seaside town of Hallowind Cove, known far and wide as the Harbour of the Weird. The fog that enveloped the town eleven months a year was light tonight, the banks looking more like a bridal veil than a thick woollen blanket.
Paul MacQuarie and Rachel Hammersmith, both relative newcomers to the town, strolled along the little harbour hand in hand. Last year, Paul had inherited a house he didn’t particularly want from a deceased uncle he’d barely known. As for Rachel, she’d first visited Hallowind Cove on one of the rare clear and sunny days and promptly fell in love with a little bakery on Gloomland Street. So she’d bought the bakery, only to find out what the other eleven months in Hallowind Cove were like. In spite of the fog and the general weirdness, both Rachel and Paul had stayed and even bonded over their shared experiences.
Tonight, they were headed for The Croaking Foghorn, a harbourside pub that always offered fresh seafood and good conversation. Okay, so the conversation at The Croaking Foghorn was mostly limited to Ian Rayburn, the talkative barkeeper, and Old Hank, a drunkard who had permanently installed himself on the second barstool from the left. But the seafood — well, that truly was exceptional.
A flicker of movement on the otherwise deserted street attracted Paul’s attention. A shiver ran down his spine, for on particularly foggy nights, a vengeful zombie — pardon, revenant — who wanted Paul dead for a crime committed by one of his ancestors, prowled the docks. Paul’s first encounter with the revenant had been a close shave and the last thing he needed was a repeat of that particular incident.
About the second last thing Paul needed was for Rachel to find out that one of his ancestors had been a ruthless killer and that his name was at the top of the most wanted list of a vengeful zombie as a result. Cause there were some things you really didn’t want to reveal on the first date.
The flicker of movement turned into a flutter of wings. A second later, a raven settled down on one of the bollards that lined the harbour.
Paul relaxed. “Oh, it’s you, Hugo. You just about scared me to death.”
Rachel turned to the raven and smiled. “How is it going, Hugo?”
Although he was a bird, Hugo was one of Hallowind Cove’s most famous or rather infamous residents. For unlike other ravens, Hugo could talk — well, sort of. At any rate, his croaking sounded very much like talking. He was also a veritable Cassandra and inevitably uttered dark warnings. Much of the time, they were even true.
“Tu-urn a-round,” Hugo croaked, “Go home.”
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