Zed and the Cormorants by Clare Owen
128 pages approx
Zed and her family move unwillingly from London to Cornwall, in an attempt to support her mother’s mental health.
Gradually the family fall apart, and it is only when Zed realises that the local cormorants are playing a part in the disasters that consume them, in revenge for an ancient wrong, that she and her sister, Amy, start working together to find a solution and call a truce.
‘But it’s your story Kerra. Because Gawen was grieving for you. It’s Eve’s story and Gawen’s story and your story but it’s also… my story. And it’s still playing out. And I think maybe you can help me… make a difference… to the ending.’
‘And that’s why you called me back from the depths of the ocean, to perform this task for you because I’m somehow… to blame?’ There was anger in her voice now.
‘No! No, I didn’t mean… It had to be you because…’
Zed took a moment to get this right.
‘I’ve heard that those who die at sea can return as a cormorant.’ Silence. ‘And I think… I believe that it’s true.’
Kerra nodded, slowly, ‘I once heard something like that but I’d forgotten…’
‘There is still a great deal of bitterness. The cormorants are angry about what happened to Eve and we, my family, have… without realising, given them an opportunity to retaliate.’
‘I see.’ said Kerra. ‘And there is no way that you can reach them by yourself?’
‘I don’t know how to!’ said Zed. ‘They won’t trust me and it’s like… there’s no common language.’
‘But in the shape of a cormorant, I could bridge that gap, between human and bird?’