Wink the Seagull

It was late afternoon Christmas Eve on Torquay seafront. Wink the seagull landed high up on the roof of the Princess Theater, he gazed down at the scene below. The winter darkness had arrived. The colored illuminations that lined the seafront swayed gently in a breeze that came in from the sea. The street below was crowded with shoppers, looking for last minute presents. The excitement of Christmas was all around. It seemed everyone was having a great time.

It had been a tough year for Wink But then it always was tough. It seemed that people loved the cry of the gulls when they came to stay by the sea, but when they dropped in to share their lunch with them, they did not appear to like it much, shouting, jumping up and down and waving their arms in the air. He often thought, “These people really don’t know how it is to be a seagull”.
That’s not nice” said Wink

Mary and Joe walked hand in hand along the promenade. The young couple had met back in the summer while on holiday, staying at a nearby caravan park. It was the ideal story, where two people meet and fall in love, and why not the romance of Torbay lends itself to such events. They decided to return to Torquay, to share their first Christmas together. The couple stopped and leaned on the rail, looking out to sea. The waved gently embraced the sands as if the sound of a beating heart. In the clear sky above shone a beautiful star. “What a beautiful star” commented Mary, Joe looked skyward, “actually Mary, I think that is the planet Venus, it really shines brightly for us tonight”. The couple withdrew their arms from the rail, turned, and continued their walk.

Wink watched the couple make their way along the promenade. “No sign of anything to eat there he thought, he continued his observation of the scene below.

The doorman unlocked the front doors to the theatre. Outside, a long queue had assembled waiting patiently for this moment. Shuffling gently forward, they entered the foyer of the theatre. They had come along to see the first show of this years pantomime, *Cinderella” in which some well known stars were appearing. Pantomime always was popular, the terrible jokes, glittering costumes, and the chance to escape into a fantasy world, always lightened the long dark days of winter. In the foyer, stood a member of the cast dressed as an angel, giving out packets of sweets to children as they passed by.
“That’s nice” said Wink, looking from his perch above.

Mary and Joe had continued their walk along the seafront, eventually finding a bench on which they sat down. The bench overlooked some illuminated gardens, which had captured their eye, as they passed by. Joe fumbled in his pocket and produced a small box. On opening the lid, the sight of a beautiful ring caught Mary’s eye. “Joe, is this for me” “of course” came the reply, “Mary would you do me the honor of being my wife”. Mary looked stunned, smiled and cried at the same time. “Well” said Joe. “Yes of course” replied Mary giving Joe a big hug,
“Yes, of course” she repeated.
“That’s nice” said Wink.

Venus continued to shine brightly above. “Do you know Mary this reminds me of that first Christmas” said Joe “What do you mean Joe” she replied. “Well there was a star above the stable where Jesus was born” Joe Commented “Yes of course” replied Mary. Joe continued, “It is said that on that day, Christ brought pure love upon the Earth, to bring peace to all, and now under the light of Venus, we have found love too”. Mary once again shed a tear or two. She smiled at Joe and said “Oh Joe, that is so lovely, thank you” as she once again gave him a big hug.
“That’s nice”, said Wink.

The theatre show was coming to an end. The band had played its last tune “It’s time to say goodbye” and with much applause and cheering, the audience made its way to the exit. When the crowd made its way outside, they were greeted by members of the cast all dressed as angels. Above was a large banner, which read “Venus, the morning and evening star. May it bring all the people of the Earth much peace and love, “Happy Christmas”. That’s nice” said Wink.

By Ray Steed
Edited by Kate Whitmarsh