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John Dyer Exhibition I Official Limited Edition Print I Art & Storytelling Competition

‘The Legend of Falmouth’ by Marine Montchamp Aged 15 years

Once upon a time there was a little town called Falmouth. It was very lovely with all her white houses and restaurants. There was the sea just near it. It was very practical because everybody could go fishing.
The people who were living in this town, which was very good, were always helping each other if there were any problems. You just had to ask if you were in trouble, or you couldn’t do something. The person next to you would say ‘No problem, I will help you. What do you want me to do?’
Everyone was friendly, people were sharing and giving things to each other without thinking. The children were quiet and not rude. There was no jealousy or madness. Everyone trusted his neighbours. It was the stereotype of the perfect town.
Falmouth was very famous for that but also for another thing. It was a fishing town. It had the most beautiful boats. Tall ships made from wood. They were always shining in the light of the sun. They were strong and could go for miles without having an accident. It would have been considered really rude to criticise any of these boats. They were the proudest elements of the town but there was one of the ships that everybody respected, almost venerated. It had big, giant white sails. Its wood was the best quality. It was the strongest. You had the sensation when you were watching him that even the biggest waves couldn’t beat him and break him. His name was the ‘King Harry’ and it was really treated like a King. It was cleaned everyday with total attention and care, polished and admired by everyone. It was the symbol of the town.
So for the people who were living there it was a duty to know how to swim and how to sail. Every parent taught that to their children at an early age. Now that you know the most important things about Falmouth I am going to tell you the other thing that made her famous for ages.
There was a man who lived in this town. He was the most beautiful of all the men. He had black, straight hair, which was as dark as the night. His eyes were blue, as blue as the sea. His skin was nearly burnt brown because he spent most of his time outside. He was 23 years old. Nobody knew his name. All the women wanted to marry him and all the girls wanted to go out with him. Because he never talked and was always going away when anyone wanted to ask him something, the other men of the town weren’t jealous. His eyes said everything, all his feelings, sadness, madness and anger, as he never talked. They hypnotisied all the people around him. He was scary. Some people in the town were saying that he was half angel and half devil.
But now I invite you to go into the mind of this guy, who was so sad and angry. The town surrounding him was full of happiness, joy and love and it was making him crazy. He knew that some bad things were happening in the world, outside from this little island, over the sea, miles away, in another country, and he believed that it wasn’t fair that nothing bad was happening here. He felt different from everybody. First he didn’t know how to swim and people knew that and so they were always looking at him in a different way. Second he didn’t know who were his parents. Were they still alive? Were they dead? Were they living in the town or in another place beyond this ocean where he couldn’t go? He was stuck here. The third and last reason of all was he couldn’t feel anything apart from bad emotions. What was love? What this thing called happiness? What was this other thing that everybody was talking about? Friendship, he remembered the word, but what was that? All these questions without any answers. He couldn’t handle that anymore. He was tired, desperate because he didn’t have the answers.
Today was the 23rd of July. The day of the town’s party. Everyone had decorated their houses. The town was magnificent and wonderful. People were happier than usual, it was a different mood, in a different way. Everyone was singing while they were preparing for the evening’s party. ‘The King Harry’ would pass in front of the town and would fire his six cannons. So men were carrying barrels of powder onto the boat’s bridge. Women were decorating it with colourful flowers, which were smelling very fragrant.
During this time of excitement, our young boy was lying on a rock near the beach. He was thinking, tonight he will set the ‘King Harry’ on fire! This idea began to excite him. At last the people will know his emotions. Yes, tonight he will enjoy being there!
The sun began to hide himself behind the rocks. It was a beautiful summer’s night. The air was hot and there wasn’t a breath of wind. You could clearly see the moon, which was sharing her light. The sea was calm. All the people of the town were on the bridge where you had the best view of the sea. Children were seated in front of grownups in order to have a better view. Everyone was waiting for the ‘King Harry’. For the children it was like a dream to see real cannons fire. For our mysterious boy it was also like a dream. He was at the top of the lighthouse where he had taken a gun in order to fire onto the barrels of powder.
Midnight was nearly coming and the people were now counting 10,9,8,7,6…even the lonely person at the top of the lighthouse who usually never spoke was counting…5,4,3,2,1 and 0!
The ‘King Harry’ appeared through the night. He was magnificent, full of colours, red, blue, purple and pink. He was carrying on his sail masts one hundred sailors who were all wearing the same uniform, a t-shirt with blue and white stripes with black trousers. They were singing the National Anthem. It was really amazing, even supernatural, with the moon above the ship, and the ‘King Harry’ sailing through the ocean to discover all new things.
People heard a BANG and a big explosion followed this noise. The ‘King Harry’ was on fire! A beautiful fire which was eating him, killing him with his giant flames, which were even bigger than his sails. Sailors were jumping, flying through the air, trying to escape. They were like seagulls diving into the sea to catch fish. The music was still playing. It was a dramatic show from which no sailors escaped. People at this moment said nothing because they were really choked with emotion. Just the children were screaming because they were afraid.
During this time some men have climbed to the top of the lighthouse and have captured our young murderer. He was happy and what a good feeling it was, even if he knew he was going to die.
The men brought him through the crowd and showed him to the people. Everyone was screaming, ‘Death! Death! Death!’ Even the children were shouting, they were full of anger. They weren’t thinking, just saying this word, ‘Death! Death!’ Now they were all carrying this man. They put their hands up and with just one enormous move, threw him into the air.
He fell into the sea. He didn‘t move, he didn‘t try to escape from all this water around him. He was just floating in the happiness. He knew he was going to die. Just before his last breath, if you could have seen into his magnificent blue eyes, there was love, all the emotions he had wanted to feel for years were all mixed with his death. When he drowned, fireworks appeared in the sky. One hundred fireworks, they were all the dead sailors. They were illuminating the town with their spirits and their souls, they were escaping from the heart of the boy.
Since this day we don‘t know what became of Falmouth. Some people said that she drowned in sadness, anger, madness and jealousy. We have got nothing else left from her except the skeleton of the ‘King Harry’ lieing on the bottom of the ocean.



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Artist Information: John Dyer I Joanne Short


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