It was 2016, and while on an evening walk, a conversation between two fella’s from the turn of the century popped into my head.
I knew exactly who they were. I ran home and wrote down the exchange in my journal.
The Oystercatcher of Southwark was born.
Here is an excerpt from the novel. Enjoy!
The Oystercatcher of Southwark, written by Erica Colahan-Ruggieri, Copyright 2022
Yes, the place looked perfect. Now, if he could tidy his thoughts, Jakob would be ready for the meeting.
But he couldn’t. His appetite for Mary was so strong he almost pivoted, marched back into their bedroom, and wrapped his hands into her thick black hair, if only to hear her yelp. She often undid him like this—ever since he first saw her, walking to work with her sister, unaware of his eyes on her.
That day seemed like yesterday.
Leaning against the wall of a market across the street from Arenberg’s, Jakob and his buddy Yakov shared a quick cigarette. Yakov saw them first—as he was scanning the crowd for a new skirt to charm. He nudged Jakob with his elbow and nodded over at the girls.
They were arm in arm, walking together and chatting. The sister giggled, but Mary was more serious and didn’t laugh. Jakob could tell she was concentrating on something and not paying attention. He found himself wanting more than anything to know what she thought about—to read her mind.
Jakob stared at her, cigarette forgotten. Yakov grabbed it out of his hand and took a long drag.
The giggler grew annoyed with her sister’s distraction and scanned the area for a different subject to discuss. She looked at the boys, and Jakob blushed as she caught him ogling. The girl smiled and whispered into her sister’s ear. Then Mary met Jakob’s eyes across the way.
Jakob was paralyzed—glued to the spot. Yakov and the giggler noticed, and both broke into peals of laughter, but Mary didn’t smile. She looked away and kept moving past them and into the sweatshop where he and Yakov were headed in a few moments.
“I’m going to marry that girl.”
“Which one?” Yakov chuckled, stamping their shared cigarette on the ground under his foot.
“The one with the haunted eyes,” Jakob replied, trance-like.
The memory made Jakob frustrated as his comrades were about to descend on his tidy home. He had to get his head straight—no time for romantic notions—too much to be done.
Eager to read more! Keep going Erica!
Great descriptive writing! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
So glad you like it!!
Looking forward to the next installment!
I’ll be excited to share it! Thanks so much for your support.
I am intrigued and can’t wait to know more about Jakob and Mary’s relationship!