Want to help me out? Tell me what information of a larger story you glean from this chapter fragment from a novel I’m working on. I’d appreciate it.
Gentle waves of blue, rolling in against the soft sands – washing it away. The red sky bleeds down across the horizon, paint mixing with the sea into a tide pf pink and orange. Sand sticks to my skin, the weight of salt clings to my lungs.
You sit next to me on the beach as we watch our fathers standing waist deep in the surf. Fishing lines in hand, a strange kind of a feeling to know their fun is a life or death struggle.
“You think we’ll ever come back here?”
You ask me.
I lean in a little closer, your red skin peels back from me, raw and unengaging. I lean a little harder.
“I hope not.”
I glance down at the sand, “Why?”
“But, I’m here.”
You shrug, “Yeah.”
I sit back, plant my hand in the sand to keep my balance and watch the sea-gulls swoop deep red water. The tiniest specks of blue glimmer out at sea, jewels as bright as the setting sun.
“But it’s still boring.”
Your hand slips down along mine, coming to rest against my forehand, fingers curling around my palm.
I glance at you, my skin turning violet. You look at me, and smile. I look away, your squeeze my hand tighter. All the blue in the ocean has stained red, the gulls have flown away, full bellied and satisfied. A shift in the wind stirs the waves in at odd angles and our fathers are starting to haul up from their wading. Neither of them have fish, for that I’m thankful.
Sand scrapes against my legs as I shift uncomfortably, the wind blows it against my face but not enough to even make me blink. The salt in the air lightens, the heat of the day shifts tolerably into the heat of the night.
Your fingers uncurl from around me, you jerk your hand from mine as our fathers approach with fishing rods and bait boxes.
“Come on girls, we better stop by the chip-shop on the way home.”
We get up and follow my Dad to the car, they talk as they pack up their gear and we sit in the car next to each other in the back seat.
You hold my hand until our father’s rush to the car.
“You’ll be right mate,” my Dad tells your’s, “We’ve got a proper kit at the house.”
We both try to sneak glances around the sides of the front car-seat. You see something, “Dad?”
“It’s alright honey, I just pricked me’self with a hook.”
“Don’t worry girls,” Dad reassures us, “A little blood, he’ll be right.”
Your father chuckles, “Easy for you, John, you’re the one who forgot to pack the clippers.”
Your father holds his hand the whole way back to the vacation house. A nice little home someone has rented out to us for the summer.
I head into our bedroom and crash against the bottom bunk, it smells like you. Salt, sand and skin. The red sheets curl up around me like your fingers, dragging me in. I shut my eyes and hold my breath. I know what is happening, but I’d rather just let it take me. There is no point in struggling.
I was damned the moment I met you.
I roll onto my back and look up at the wall, a tiny man on a cross stares down with pity in his eyes. At least he isn’t real, I wonder if you know that.