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Night had fallen

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Night had fallen. She stood at the edge of the water, let it lap over her feet and draw away, leaving the scum and bubbles on darkening sand. They could have been words, those lines of scum and bubbles between, but as each burst or deflated more slowly, her reach for understanding, for being part of a story written down, showed itself fragile and was lost.

There was little light from the moon, quartered and hidden snug under clouds, but light was coming from somewhere; a white glow from beneath the water, and she began to walk forward fast. It seemed to her that she was being drawn in, that she had only one way to walk; her skirt which had hung tight and heavy around her thighs, ballooned suddenly up past her waist, slowing her, exciting her, and she carried on.

Rib deep now she pulled and twisted out of her skirt. She was close to the glow, and she dove deep towards it, keen to touch the light, to be inside it. Oh! It felt like waking up; it was as though, her lungs tight, she had found a way to breathe something in, something more substantial than air, more nourishing. Globes of light rushed about her, she turned in the force, lost her direction, began to sink.

At that moment, in the hug of the tide, she could have stayed. She could have let the water take the weight, stopped forcing her way through, given in to the slip down, but there was a voice. Someone was calling into the water and right to her.

Her body jolted; a decision of flesh, a spark to her heart and electricity in her limbs. She pushed up, surfacing through the water lid, and dragged in a gasp of that other type of air. Through the wheeze of breath she had managed to take she could make out a tiny figure. She lurched forward, straining her eyes, trying to adjust and make out who it could be. She stopped. There at the water’s edge, waiting for her, was a little boy, and in his hand a shell.

When she reached the shore, half crawling, she stopped at his feet. Rocking onto her side she lay to breathe and the boy pressed the shell into her raised and open hand. He lay down in front of her, his back pushed into the curve she had made. Did you enjoy your swimming? For a moment it was just the sound of his voice, the tone, its chime. She could hardly believe it. Yes, she said, but no more swimming now. They closed their green brown eyes – the colour of lakes his father swam in as a child, or so she’d been told – and slept.


Written by elikafm

February 4, 2011 at 10:46 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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