Haven #writephoto

The sun rose over the little seaside village. The bright yellow, orange, pink and purple colours giving the clouds a rainbow haze against the dusky blue sky. I drove home from my night shift watching as the darkness faded to light and another late autumn day was born.

Glancing over at the sea, it looked calm today. The dark blue, cream topped waves lapping against the crunchy sand shore. The rising sun creating beams of light as the clouds moved. There were no boats or people to be seen just yet. It was too easy to see why this place had been called Haven.

Entering the little road that led into the village which was made up of a handful of fisherman’s cottages, one shop, post office and four holiday homes, I drove past them all and to the larger house that stood by itself on a hill. Originally built for a Navy Admiral who had only lived in it a few years before being lost at sea, the house had then become a hotel and local pub. When that failed, my great grandparents brought it and made it a family home.

Parking up, I just had the energy to get out and make my way into the house. The smell of the sea was heavy and there was sand in the hallway again. Going upstairs, I took everything with me then abandoned it on the chair in my bedroom. I got into bed naked, loving the freedom and feel of the cold sheets.

By the time the sun was fully up and most people were too, I had made a nest out of all the bedding, I settled back and was almost asleep. A car horn sounded and voices shouted. I looked across at the window but of course I couldn’t see anything due to the black out curtains.

I had to wait until the neighbours had driven off or gone back inside before trying again. Being exhausted after a twelve hour shift on the hospital ward helped and I was asleep before I even knew it, safe in my own little haven.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2017/11/16/thursday-photo-prompt-haven-writephoto with thanks).

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He’d always liked watching the sea so it seemed only fitting for us to bury him there.

Ebb #writephoto

When the tide went out it left the small beach cove layered in seaweed which made it a dangerous place to go for an walk. It was my favorite spotted though because it was empty of people and great for finding items to make my crafts with.

I was walking along the edge, putting interesting bits of wood, shells and other items in my basket. The sea, though distance was still loud as the autumn wind was strong and a drizzle was falling. Letting my raincoat hood fall back, I heard the loud cries of a cat.

Frowning, I followed the sound and a few meters down on the beach I saw a movement of black and heard a strangled cry. Placing down my basket, I carefully walked over the seaweed and slippy rocks. Twice, I felt like I was going to slip but I was able to keep my balance.

From out of a large pile of seaweed rose a small, skinny black cat. He’s huge green eyes focused on me and he’s meows were so pleading it was heartbreaking. I slowly crept closer, but the cat didn’t try to run away, in fact he seemed to be awaiting me. Bit unusual for a cat!

‘Okay, kitty. I’m only here to help you,’ I said gently.

I began taking the long strips of wet seaweed off the cat’s back, thinking at any moment he would do a runner. My fingers touched the cat’s fur and I realised he was soaked through. He meowed at me and kept trying to pulled himself free.

‘How long have been here, cat? Did you decided to take a walk and fell into this seaweed?’ I asked.

He meowed at me some more. I took the last slimy piece off his back then moved on to his legs. Somehow, he’d really got himself wrapped up.  As I untangled a third leg the cat struggled out and shook himself.

‘You’re free now,’ I said with a smile.

The black cat pressed up against me, meowing more softer this time. I stroked his wet head and back. He was so skinny! His tail swayed around, sometimes hitting my leg, I ignored that as I glanced around.

‘Will you let me carry you?’ I asked, ‘just in case you get stuck again?’

Carefully, I picked him up and let him climb up to my shoulder. He pressed his head to my ear and give a low purr. I turned and began making my way back, slowly. It was hard going with just one arm for balance and the sight of a cat blocking my view but we made it back. Just in time for it to start raining.

I grabbed my basket and hurried home. The cat not seeming to mind as he bounced on my shoulder. Entering the  seaside village, I made straight for my shop front then around to the back door which was my front door to my apartment above.  When we got in and up the narrow stairs, I set the cat down then my basket. Taking off my shoes, coat and jumper, I left everything at the front door and went to get a towel.

I dried myself off then the cat. He wasn’t wearing a collar but he was too friendly not to be someone’s pet. Though, I’d not seen a black cat around here, since my own; Web who’d died two years ago. Luckily, I had kept her stuff and I give the black cat a bowl of water and a handful of cat treats that I’d not thrown away yet.

In the coming months, I tried hard to find the cat’s owner, but no one ever came forward to claim him. He made himself at home and was loved by everyone who came into the shop. People also said how fitting it was for a black cat to live in a witch’s shop. I had to agree and some days, I did wonder if he had actually come to me. A witch wasn’t a witch without her black cat familiar!

Oh, I called him Ebb by the way. That seemed kind of fitting.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2017/10/26/thursday-photo-prompt-ebb-writephoto with thanks).

Rising Moon #FridayFictioneers

We were in the safest place we could be as the full moon rose and the howling began. I felt a shiver run up my back which had nothing to do with the chilly autumn night air. The sea waves gently rocked the boat as if trying to calm me. I looked at my family, who were fitfully sleeping together down in the hold and I felt the urge to protect them growing. We were the last people in the world not to be cursed and I had to make sure it stayed that way.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/10/04/13-october-2017-2/ with thanks).

Fading #writephoto

The storm was fading and the sky looked peaceful once more. Casey had her doubts though. This suddenly burst of autumn weather wasn’t to be trusted. She pressed her head against the wall and looked through the collection of rain drops on the window. She could see a hazy outline of the sea and the docks. Working boats rocked on the still violent waves.

Casey’s fingers curled the corners of the book resting against her drawn up knees. It had been a day like this, five years ago, that she had lost her family on. They had taken their boats out to drag in their nets before a storm had hit. Casey had been ill and had to stay home which had saved her life. Though some days, she wished things had been different.

Turning away from the window, she looked up above the fireplace in which a fire was burning brightly and wrapping warmth around her. A painted portrait of her family hung there, dating back eight years or so ago. There was her mother and father, dressed in their Sunday best clothes and not their working clothes which Casey always remembered them in.

Mother was smiling, happy to be doing something exciting. Her curling blonde hair was down and she looked years younger. She was also holding a blanket wrapped baby in her arms which if Casey recalled was her sister Rose who had died at a few months old. Father looked the opposite of mother, he looked stern, proud and a lot older then he actually was because of the hard life he led.

Four children stood in front of them; three boys and a girl, all dressed in their Sunday clothes too. Casey avoided looking at her eight year old self and focused on her brothers. She whispered their names under their breath, ‘Will, Luke and Tom.’ They looked excited and trying to stay still, though it was hard. They had pretty much grown up into young men the last day she had seen them.

Casey turned back to the window as she heard a low rumble of thunder. A new storm was starting up and the sky was becoming dark once more. Rain splattered the window then began falling down in sweeping pattern. The lighting flashed and Casey’s fingers tightened on the book so that the corners and edge left an imprint in her palms.

There was a knock at her door. She let the book fall from her hands then closed it and slide it under a cushion of the window box. The door opened before she had time to invite the person in. Her uncle’s large framed filled the doorway, his stomach almost bursting out of his white shirt and green waist coat. He smiled at her but then began frowning as he walked across the room.

Casey stood, smoothing out any folds or wrinkles in her long blue and white dress. She clasped her hands and tried to look calm but nervous were over welling her. She give her uncle a bob of respected then avoided looking at him. Not because she feared him or was embarrassed, it was because over the last year her attitude towards him had changed.

‘I hope this dreadful weather clears for your wedding tomorrow,’ he spoke in a gruff voice.

‘I hope so to, uncle,’ Casey uttered.

‘The final preparations will be done this afternoon.’

Casey stole a few glances at him, he seemed to want to say more but was holding back.

He would still rather have wed me off to someone else instead of his son, Casey realised.

‘You will join us for dinner,’ her uncle spoke, ‘some of the guests have already started arriving. Your lack of presence will be noticed if you don’t.’

He shot her a disappointed look then with a sweep of his long black jacket, he turned and left the room. The door clicking shut behind him.

Casey folded into the window box. Holding herself and trying not to cry. Outside the wind howled and threw rain at the window whilst sea waves bashed into boats and the shore. She looked out trying to distract herself but her eyes were drawn somewhere else.

‘This is all your fault,’ Casey whispered looking up at her family portrait, ‘if you had not all died then I would not have to marry my cousin.’

Casey pressed her head into her knees and took some deep breaths. Even though her life was about to change dramatically from fisherman’s daughter to middle class man’s wife, she refused to let her true self fade away.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2017/09/07/thursday-photo-prompt-fading-writephoto/ with thanks.)

Job Hunter

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She set out to find a new job knowing that there was a whole ocean to cross before she got anywhere. However, she had braved this ocean before so, it wasn’t as scary but still she prepared her CV boat with a heavy heart. Later, she cast away and hoped that this time she could weather the storm again.

Window

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The window stood open and all I had to do was jump, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The dazzling street was far below me, hazy in the summer heat and packed with tourists. A mingle of voices and traffic rose upwards, blending into the other city background noises.

I was balanced on the bottom rail, the cold metal biting into my bare feet and my toes curled around the edge. My hands pressed into the top rail, my fingers tightly wrapped around. It was if my body was refusing to move from this spot and rebelling against the wanting of my brain.

My lungs started to burn with the breath I had been holding. I tried not to think about it but instinct kicked in and I opened my mouth breathed. This city smelt both familiar and foreign; sweat, pollution, car fumes, spices, warm food and dust. It was hard to separate all those different scents.

I stayed tense and looked out over the city. I had been here a few times now, but it had been awhile since I’d last been. The narrow, twisty cobblestone streets and tiny back alleyways looked like a rats’ maze. The multi-colored two or three store houses were so close together that neighbors could lean out of their windows and have a chat.

Looking beyond, it was easy to mistake the line of pale blue sky for the sea. The coast was about forty minutes away and I had walked across the deep sand beach a few times. I remember thinking I was in paradise. There was a scattering of sitting people drinking out of coconuts or pineapple halves whilst couples hand in hand walked through the lapping waves.

There was too much pain in my body to remain on the railings. I got down, my limbs stiff and went inside to the small sofa. I sank down, my attention draw to the dark screen of the TV. It was stuffy in here, too much heat had gotten in. I put the ceiling fan on and it spun lazily. Watching the fan, I let my thoughts tumble.

It had been my plan to come here and die. I wasn’t sure why but for some reason this city and this room had stuck in my head. I had wanted to be far from home so I wouldn’t have the chance to back out again but I didn’t have the will to do it. Trying to think about the whys added to my tiredness.

I got up and went to lay on the bed. I put the fan on in here too though it was already cool because I had kept the windows and curtains closed this morning. Face down, I stretched out on the sheets, frustrated with myself.

Green

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I had never seen a stone like it before on the beach. With the waves and wind whipping around me and Betty, my cocker spaniel whining, I bent and picked it up. The coat of my hood and loose hair strands got in my face, I blinked them away then looked in my hand. The stone was there. Sparkling wet, but perfectly round and a clear lime green colour.

I turned it over and it was the same on the back. Slipping it into my pocket, I straightened and began battling the storm back to my house. When I arrived, cold and dripping wet. I took my coat off and forgot about the strange stone. I had Betty to dry, myself to dry and though it was the height of summer, a fire to make up.

So it wasn’t until I put my coat on days later, to protect me from a miserable drizzly morning, that I rediscovered the stone. Taking it out of my pocket, I looked and felt it’s smooth edges. Betty was bouncing at my feet, eager to go out and wondering what was keeping her master from getting a move on.

I looked more closely at the stone and realised it wasn’t a stone at all. It was a piece of glass which the ocean had worn smooth and softened the edges of. It wasn’t unusually to find glass fragments on the beach, it was the fact the piece was so green that got to me. Wondering were it came from, I placed it safely on the little sill next to the front window. I took Betty out and once again forgot all about the green glass.

Vacation

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It was that time of year again and as she looked out of her office window, she long to be away. Some place quiet and warm. Where it was always sunny and not raining. Where blue ocean meet white sands and the sky went on forever. Turning back to her computer, she did a quick search on a travel site and a few clicks later, she had booked a week’s holiday on a beach.

Alone #writephoto

I knew I shouldn’t be alone but I was. Sitting on the edge of the cliff, I looked out. I could see an endless stretch of darkening blue sea, the waves bobbing gently and the sunset lit sky which tonight was a strange amber orange colour. I didn’t know why and I didn’t care. Listening to the waves, I was grateful there were no seagulls or other noises. It was just me, the sea, sky and this cliff.

I swung my legs and looked down at the sheer drop. I wasn’t sure how high I was, maybe two hundred meters? Perhaps more. I wondered how long it would take me to fall. I shuffled closer, so I was almost hanging off the edge. I thought about all the other times I’d seen people fall from great heights – mostly in movies. They had seemed to kinda enjoy the experience.

Tightening my grip on the rock, the urge to just let go and fall grew. I tried not to think about it nor how it would solve so many problems. I thought about what they say about attempts that it was a split second that made you change your mind and also the more time you thought about doing it the less the chance was.

The body wanted to survive but my unconscious didn’t. I shut my eyes and imagined the rush of air, the sense of flying and freedom. I wanted it so badly. Just for there to be nothing and to not have to think anymore. To be done with it all.

The sounds of the waves sounded louder now and there seemed to be less cliff under me. I knew it had been a bad idea to be alone.

 

(Inspired from; https://scvincent.com/2017/08/10/thursday-photo-prompt-alone-writephoto/ with thanks)