Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Monday, 4 July 2016


Here's a little tale I wrote some time ago, in part, based on  a story related by an Irish Peer, Lord Dufferin, to a party of close friends. 
I've taken Dufferin's account as a starting point and developed it into a slightly macabre short story. 
Maybe I should have saved it for Halloween? 

LUCKY LOCKIE?             

Andrew Lockie was a cautious man so when the lift gates clanked open on the fifth floor and he saw the lift’s sole occupant, he turned away and fumbled with the straps of his valise until the doors closed again and the lift began its ascent. Andrew Lockie was a lucky man because moments later the lift-cable snapped and the metal cage plummeted to the basement.
Andrew had refused to board the doomed lift because the night before he had dreamed himself in a gloomy churchyard observing a grave being violated. The grave-robber, a wiry, hunched man, had turned to glare at Andrew. His face, illuminated by moonlight, had a grotesque appearance, ape-like and malevolent. The lift attendant, whose appearance had caused Andrew to shy away from the doomed lift, had looked uncannily like the simian creature of his dream.
Later that day, Andrew Lockie made his way to Southampton docks to begin his journey to America.  This being a maiden voyage, the embarkation area was a hubbub of festivities. Steerage class had already boarded and the First Class passengers were making their way to the gangplanks with great ceremony. As a press reporter on assignment, Andrew was in no hurry to board but preferred to watch this parade of aristocratic finery. His eye was arrested by a figure at the guard rail: one of the crew, judging from his uniform. There was something familiar about the man and Andrew put his eyeglasses on the better to see him. He seemed to stare directly at Andrew, who recoiled with a shock of recognition.  It was the sinister man from the lift, the brutish grave-robber from his dream. Andrew stumbled away from the great ship and struggled through the crowd. He would not step aboard this vessel but would instead make some excuse: tell his employers he had been taken ill. Shaken, he hurried into a dockside bar and ordered a large whiskey then another and another. Some time later, emboldened by the liquor, Andrew made his way back to the quayside to watch the great ship’s departure. The decks were awash with brightly-dressed passengers and the sinister man was nowhere to be seen. A massive cheer went up from the well-wishers on the quay and Andrew joined in as the Titanic began its epic journey to America.
Walking back to his hotel, Andrew felt drained of energy as the effects of the liquor began to wear off.  He hailed a motor-cab and climbed in behind the driver, who was hunched over the wheel. Giving his address, Andrew sat back in the plush leather seat and closed his eyes. When he opened them again the cab was hurtling along, recklessly fast. He was flung against the door when the vehicle took a sharp corner at breakneck speed, the tyres protesting. Andrew Lockie stared at the hunched driver, who turned his grotesque, ape-like head triumphantly towards him and smiled his brutal smile.

Read the original story here:


  1. I wonder what happened to Andrew, did he come to and untimely end; or not. Spine chilling image too.

  2. Richard Fleming8 July 2016 at 10:39

    I'll let the reader decide, Julian. As for the image: well, I wouldn't like to meet him on a dark night!