The locals were used to the weird women who showed up on the beach each summer. They were used to their quiet ways and strange dress. They were even getting used to it when some of them asked for work during the tourist season and got cozy with the sailors and the stupider fishermen.
Of course, there was never any getting used to the way they’d disappear without a trace near the end of the season, taking a clutch of handsome boys and men with them off to Who-Knows-Where. The loss of manpower was tempered, though, by the suspiciously abundant fishing their harbor saw the rest of the year. It was a worth-while trade, most felt, and there were always new men – transients, runaways, and the like – to take the place of some young buck who’d “run off” during the summer.
And if any of their families complained, well…
A strong storm surge can sweep a family right out of their own home, and those old houses don’t hold up against the gales as well as they used to….