Friday 17 April 2015

'Calm now' by Cath Barton

Everything is calm now, the sea, the sky, my heart. It’s all over. Except. I hadn’t thought people would come so quickly, there was no way they could have known. No way. And that dog, I don’t like dogs at the best of times. It’s in the water already, still near the shore, but if they throw a stick...

Deep breaths now. I can see them but they can’t see me behind this rock. Unless they start walking this way... But they’re not, they’re all heading for the lighthouse now. I can move. No, hang on, not so fast. Crouch further down.

I concentrate on my breath. Do that yoga exercise, alternate nostrils. Close my eyes. Yes, calm now. Open them again. The light is draining from the sky. The sound of the sea is calming, a susurration in and out, in and out across the little stones.

I must move before it gets any darker. Wait. Lights have come on in the little church behind the lighthouse. Faint singing. What the...? Calm now, stay calm. If they are singing in there they are not going to see me or hear me. I move.

There are shapes on this beach I hadn’t noticed before. Were they there before? They are in front of me, behind me, all around me. My heart is no longer calm. Some kind of trap. I was crazy to think it would be this easy. The people in the church, the dog, the traps...

I edge ahead. The shapes are pulsing, there are lights, a kind of glow. What the...? They are in the water too, blue-green phosphoresence. Hell’s teeth, they are jellyfish. I almost laugh. Jellyfish coming to get me. Bob Wilson’s revenge. He would have laughed for sure, but Bob Wilson is dead, stone dead and cold under the sea. It’s all over for him.

I pick my way through the jellyfish, guided by their lights. Now I’m on the concrete jetty. The lights of the church are distant. The glow of the jellyfish is fading. I take a deep breath of the sea air and turn. It’s all over.

FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
In the build up to the day we have now launched our Micro-Fiction Competition (stories up to 100 words) and also our annual Anthology (stories up to 500 words).  So if you have enjoyed FlashFlood, why not send us your stories?
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