The walk along the beach that Sunday was wild. The wind racing across the sand was fast and powerful, blowing bubbles of foam into the dunes and sand into hair and eyes. The tall dark-haired woman in the Fair-isle hat bent down to stroke the terrier at her feet and lifted a stone from a small cairn deposited by the raging waves. She gazed at it, scrutinising every swirl and dimple before dropping it into the pocket of her thick calf-length overcoat. The collar was turned up around the nape of her neck, but the wind still poked its fingers in.
She turned to the sea and watched it toss an unanchored boat up and down. She wondered whether its owner would find it smashed up further along the beach, or whether it would be swept far out, never to be seen again. She continued walking. The terrier ran ahead, yapping at the foam. It stopped next to a dark lump and barked loudly.
It took her a while to catch up, stumbling over piles of windswept sand and seaweed. She could smell it before she reached the rotting corpse – a mermaid, perhaps. It was, in fact, the carcass of a porpoise. She wondered how it had died: attacked by a shark, or had it collided with a boat?
’Strange things happen at sea,’ she said to the curly-haired dog. ‘Whales and submarines sink while death floats on waves of delicate foam.’
Kim M. Russell, 8th February 2020
This week, a piece of flash fiction for Poets and Storytellers United Writers’ Pantry #6: And the Stars Make Love to the Universe
Rommy is our host for this week’s Pantry, still humming songs from the half-time show at last week’s Superbowl. I’m watching trees bending under the force of Storm Ciara. She’s blown the lid off our ash bucket and empty log bags are flying about like harpies. No beach walks for me today!