March 5, 2014 § 18 Comments


 A fragment of a longer piece

Come away with me, she said in the letter that made her body shiver. There are eagles and dolphins, and perhaps the whales will sing.

She didn’t know why he’d agreed; she did not know him well, but she wanted him, and had to believe. Over five hundred miles he drove as she dreamed. She waited in the rain where the road slipped into the sea, where the fishermen harvested the langoustines. She would be safe. She would sit in the lap of the Gods.

But he had changed. His back was bent, there was no kiss.

‘Come to my bed’, she said.

‘No’, he replied. ‘I feel her here with me.’

She took him to the North Sea where the whales blew. The wind was so fierce he didn’t see the tears. He was blind to her pain. They followed the curve of the bay to where the tide fed the estuary, where the old, granite mountains grew sharp and wild into the sky. She willed him to hold her hand, but she stood alone. ‘Stay with me a while’, she said.

‘I can’t, he said. ‘It wouldn’t work’.

‘Then leave me alone,’ she cried. I know what I want.’

             That night they slept in separate rooms, and in the morning he was gone. Her menstrual blood gushed furious from her body, and reminded her she was a woman. She ran to the bay to look for their footprints. She needed to find them, she needed hope. She followed them along the sand, but then they stopped, swallowed by the tide. And then she knew. She lay down, rolling over and over in the wet sand until she broke, until the pain came out raw and stinging on her skin. It felt better than the pain inside.

She took the wine she had bought for their supper and drank it on the granite slabs. The water crashed onto the rocks and slid over her feet. She was suddenly frightened of her own will. She would slip, she would disappear, she would be nothing.

She threw the empty bottle into the sea, all her wishes lost inside.


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