Shadows on a shingle & amber sky – the final instalment.


Part 7 – the conclusion


I have fallen in love. Fiona is my life. I missed it happen. I think she is a witch! She cast a spell somewhere between the book-store, the burger-bar and the bus-stop.

She has golden curls that spiral down her back and I am transfixed by her. I want to be lost within her smile. I feel – poetic! The ‘bad stuff’ calmed down sometime after I turned seventeen. Maybe Doc Gray had it right all along? Maybe it was puberty/hormones just an extreme case! I don’t think about that anymore. I think about Fiona. Naked.

I am an uncle now. I feel grown-up, responsible. Though they live hundreds of miles away. I promise to visit soon. Naomi is wary about my intentions, I can tell. But I want to take Fiona to London and show her off. We plan a vague trip but Fiona doesn’t like plans, she’s an ‘of the moment’ person. Just two days ago, she showed me, exactly how ‘of the moment’ she is!

I asked Fiona to take this weekend to go to London. At first she was keen. She kissed me and called me ‘crazy’. But it is Friday and she has avoided me the last two days. I worry she doesn’t want to go. I asked too soon. I should have turned up on Saturday at 4am and surprised her. Maybe I will just do that…

Fiona says she doesn’t love me. She gives me a sideways look as though she is puzzled. My heart slides out of my body and lands by our feet. I watch as the bare feet with blue chipped paint disappear. The door shuts with a firm click. I stare, blink away silly tears.

I am walking away. I feel nausea rising and fight it down. My hands are shaking. My heart is crushed.

I cannot hear anything but a high wine. My eyes cannot focus. Pain rips my shoulders apart. I do not fight it. I have no strength, no will.

Suddenly I am jerking through branches. They slash my face, twigs snap – intense pain. Shooting pain! And grass, cold, soothing.

I came to myself with the feel of shingle, sharp against my cheek. I hear water lapping. I am home. But I am broken. I feel throbbing around bones, tightening unbearably. I cannot lift my head. I think my arm is broken, maybe a leg too. I lie still then focus on the shoreline and watch the waves move in and out.

I visited my sister. It was brief, awkward. We were all distant as if we’d never met before or maybe once at a grand event, introduced then glided away politely indifferent.

The baby is more interesting to me than I expected. “He is almost three” Joll tells me proudly as he asks his child to recite nursery rhymes and count to ten. I clap his efforts but I can see another talent, already developing. His movements are so sharp, his senses keen.

We both turn suddenly as scents of raw, wet earth drift past. I look at him, into his eyes and I think he recognises that we are the same.

I never mentioned this – we don’t talk about that anymore. My family prefer to ignore it, especially after my shattered arm and broken leg. Dad was patient enough to help me gain my strength on the golf courses. Now we don’t play together because I always beat him. I see flickers in his older eyes of envy, fear and pride – he is wary enough to remain distant. My career seems certain at least and Mother is pleased that I have a serious talent, she brags about ‘my son the pro-golfer’ – but I regret that she cannot be proud of me simply because I am her son.

I am on the course now. Clouds chase across the pale blue sky in a strong wind. I can smell the energy in the air. It is early morning and the sun is a washed-out amber light. I play a shot with my eyes closed because I know the land, the air – it’s mine. I hear the fizz of parting air.

Something slides, within – I welcome the familiar…

Flickers of land and sky fall. I am intensely alert. Smells, sounds are vivid but the colours I see – shimmering lights that are impossible to my human eyes. I watch tracks of animals. I soar higher. Rising on air with ease. This land is mine, this is home.

[the end]

The novel: Foreplay – a story about the chase will be available on Amazon very soon!


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