Alone On A Beach

Sharp rocks Rykardo DeviantArt.png

(Credit: Rykardo on DeviantArt)

The wind brought in a fine spray from the sea, which settled on her bare arms and made them sticky and salty. After a long day of beachcombing, she withdrew to a small cave, where she roasted crabs and apples over a fire and licked the salt from her lips as seasoning.

She was cautious when she climbed further inland, and she never went into the water. The rocks were slippery with algae and most of them were sharp enough to cut flesh.

However, she did not resent the traitorous rocks.

They kept the people away.

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Sea Of Stars

(Credit: writing.wikinut.com/img/1hhy8dvlct4px48s/mermaid-and-stars)

(Credit: writing.wikinut.com/img/1hhy8dvlct4px48s/mermaid-and-stars)

She drifts in a sea of stars, letting their white light warm her heart. She moves her tail only just enough to keep her from sinking deeper. From where she is, the stars look like they are sailing on the waves, right above her head, waving, inviting. She reaches out a hand, her fingers break through the surface and a chill wind strokes them. She makes the motion of picking something and draws her hand to her breast. If she could she would pick every one of them and never let them go.

My Mother at Sea (A Tribute)

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My father died at sea in 1936. His body was thrown overboard to prevent the disease that killed him from spreading. About half the crew died of the same thing. It came from the biscuits. So it goes.

I keep getting this image of my mother in the prow of a ship with torn sails. She is cradling me as she gazes out over the raging sea. I don’t know whether I’m time travelling, remembering or just dreaming, but I feel there must be some meaning behind it because it is so vivid, complete with the creaking of the ship and the smell of tar.

In the vision, my mother’s mouth is open and there is a song in and outside my head which cuts through everything. Whether she is singing to the sea or me or someone else, I don’t know, but there are splashes later and I wonder who has followed my father into the depths.

Namé Hara and the Sea

I tried writing another scene with Namé Hara. This is the result.

I hope you’ll enjoy 🙂

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The waves crashed against the shore as Namé Hara dangled her feet off the pier. There was some unpleasant static and she took out her earphones. She let her MPMAN keep playing as she reached for her phone. One new message. Catherine. Namé sighed. After about half a minute she pressed view.

“Want to go down to the shopping centre? 🙂 My class finishes at 2”

“Sorry :/ already got plans…” she texted back. A cold wind blew and she shivered.

“You had plans yesterday too…”

“Yeah, sorry :/” Namé pulled up one leg and hugged her knee. It was almost five minutes before the answer came.

“Is it a boyfriend?”

Namé stared at her phone. A boyfriend? She looked at the pier and her blue nails. As if…

“No.” she wrote back. This time the answer was quick.

“What’s his name?”

“Look I gotta go, write later. CU”

“Alright, don’t tell me. I’ll find out when we meet ;)”

Namé clutched her phone and made a motion as if to throw it into the waves, but stopped halfway. She put the phone back in her pocket and the earphones back in her ears.

“… Loneliness is just a state of mind… ” continued the lyrics and Name Hara looked out across the sea.

 

Moving Forwards part 4

When the sun went down, Rodger had still not reached any islands. He took off his safety harness, a lot of good that had done him, and packed it into his rucksack. As the choice stood between the stones and the water, he lay down to sleep in the middle of the path. With the cold stones digging into his back. He wrapped himself in his coat and the spare clothes.

The next morning he woke shivering. His nails blue as the water. He poured some biscuit dust into his mouth for breakfast and continued down the path at a run. Trying to force his muscles into generating the warmth that had left him. He had to slow to a walk after twenty minutes. Sweat would only make it worse.

Then there was something new on the horizon. A dark silhouette, wider than the path. And something seemed to be growing on it. One of the islands at last. He sped up. It had already been about twenty four hours since he left Frederick.

As he approached the thing, it gained colour. Green. Grass? And something tall as well. Trees? He began to run again. Even if he did not find anything else, at least he would be able to sleep softer tonight.

The green was indeed grass and looked very much like the grass from his own dimension, except it curled after about three inches and grew in spirals. It made the island look like one big curly pillow. The trees spiralled as well. After about three metres they curved back towards the earth.

He stopped right before the border between stones and grass. It was very clearly defined. No grass grew among the stones. No stones lay in the grass. He knelt down. Picked up some of the stones. There did not seem to be any earth underneath them, just stones piled on top of even more stones. But the grass grew in dark soil which began so abruptly that it looked like someone had shaped it.

He dug into the soil with one finger. There was a fine net holding it in place. That settled it. There had to be some kind of intelligent life somewhere. But where were they?

The ground seemed solid enough. In fact, it seemed hard- packed; it did not give at all under his weight. The left and right edges of the island were sandy beaches. But just beside the path large rocks were piled up, each more than a metre in diameter. Perhaps to keep the net in place?

On the opposite side of the island, the white stone path continued to another island, seemingly identical to the first one.

If someone had made these islands then someone had to be maintaining them. But how long until they came? Would they need to cut the grass? He grabbed a handful of grass and pulled. It ripped off in his hand. It even smelled like ordinary grass.

He dug down with his fingers and pulled up a clump of close woven white roots and plenty of earth. Just as the grassroots he was used to. The only difference was the spirals. And because of those spirals the grass stood no taller than about three inches anywhere on the island.

He paced from beach to beach, among the trees. What if they only had to maintain the islands once a month? He could not wait for that. He took three stones from the path and placed them in a little pile in the middle of the island. Hopefully, someone would see that if they came and know he was there.

He strode off to the next island. And the next. And the next. Leaving small piles of stones on each. When it grew dark he rested his rucksack against a tree and used it as a pillow. It was still cold, but at least it was not as lumpy as it had been the previous night.

 

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This is part 4, read parts 1-3 here:

Moving Forwards part 1

‘Almost,’ Rodger shouted against the wind, his cold fingers clutching the aluminium rungs of the rope ladder growing numb.

Frederick cupped his ear with one hand. He looked so small all the way up there.

‘Never mind,’ said Rodger, but the wind drowned his voice. He looked down on the white stones below. They looked like a path, about three or four metres wide and on each side, water, as far as the eye could see.

From the dimension machine where Frederick still sat, they had been able to see more. Further down the path there seemed to be more land, perhaps a string of islands. His safety harness was uncomfortably tight. He craned his neck to look down the path, as he clicked himself out of the safety line. 

A strong gust made the rope ladder buckle like a rodeo bull. Rodger’s fingers slipped. And he fell. He twisted in the air, reached the stones below thigh first and cried out as the pain shot up his leg.

He did not know if he was better or worse off having landed on the stones. Perhaps better, he could not see what was below the water. He lay still on his side and felt his leg carefully with one hand. It was sore, but there did not seem to be any broken bones.

Gingerly he rose to his feet and looked up. The rope ladder was thrashing about in the wind.Frederickwas waving at him, his face paler than usual. Rodger gave him the thumbs up. Frederick shouted something. Rodger pointed to his ears and shrugged his shoulders. Frederick made the wait sign and disappeared into the dimension machine.

The machine looked like a hole in the sky and was equally impossible to manoeuvre. This would have been so much easier if they had just been able to land the thing.

Frederick came back with a whiteboard. In large letters he wrote:

‘Are you still up to exploring?’

Rodger gave another thumbs up.

‘You sure I shouldn’t see your leg?’

‘Sometimes you sound like my mother,’ muttered Rodger as he gave an exaggerated nod. Then he pointed down the path. ‘I’ll just go down to the first island,’ he said.

‘I’ll lower down some provisions,’ wrote Frederick, ‘wait there.’

Rodger tapped his foot as Frederick disappeared from view again. It wasn’t as if he was going out on a large expedition. He would be back before dark and sleep in the machine, no worries.

Frederick reappeared with a basket clipped onto a steel wire. He put it over the edge and sat back to lower it down slowly. When the basket neared him, Rodger placed himself underneath and reached up his arms to receive it.

The hole in the sky flickered out of existence for a split-second and the basket plumped onto Rodger’s head. Then forty metres of rope ladder added its weight to the basket and Rodger’s legs buckled underneath him.

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