On a Thursday I work on an Intergenerational Project called BoomerZ. This is part of my Dylan Thomas Centre work and encourages the participants to create new stories and poems. Yesterday Sion, our tutor, lead us through some prompt based freestyle writing. We wrote solidly for 30 – 40 minutes, prompted every five minutes by a symbol of some sort.
My story evolved into one that related to today’s WordPress word prompt, base, so I’ve included that here. Anyway enough of me wittering on here’s my story.
I stand at the edge, soup sea lapping my toes, imagining something, anything, appearing on the blood soaked horizon.
The unctuous water flows over my feet like a blanket as they sink into the pearl white sand. I track the bloodline ahead, its edge pristine, unbroken by hope or possibility.
Sometimes I collect driftwood from the ocean’s edge and arrange them to form huge letters spelling my name. Sometimes I close my eyes and I launch those branches with bloodied feet. When I look at what is left I see her name. I always see her name in the wooden detritus and blooded sand. Then the shapes resolve back to chaos and she is gone.
Later in the day, as the suns fall into their scarlet slumber, I sit, propped against the old carved tree stump and imagine another world, another reality.
She always holds my hand as we leave the restaurant. We approach the busy intersection, pausing to allow the gargantuan steel trucks to streak past. The sharp air slaps my face, sucking pleasure from the dusk.
I squeeze Marie’s hand, she squeezes back, then lets my hand go to point at a Slowship ascending over the silver turrets of homebase.
“Won’t be long now Charles.” she says smiling at me
“I know. I’m counting the days.”
Marie turns her face up to catch the first drops of the evening’s fall. “I won’t miss this though,” she says wiping her face with her hand.
Sometimes, at this point, I turn my face to the emerald heavens and plead to whatever deity rules this planet for some rain. I don’t care what colour it is. I don’t care if the drops are misty soft or a thundering monsoon. Any rain would bring her back.
It is the sound that haunts me: the solid thump. One second she was there. The next she was gone. If I had not let her hand go would she have stepped forward? I was gazing at the Slowship, pendulous and inexorable, as Marie left me. The coroner said that she would not have felt anything, it was all to quick, too final, too momentous.
I left earth on the next Slowship. I did not care about the destination. I just had to leave. Part of me imagined Marie was travelling with me. Part of me was still at the intersection.
The Slowship took several lifetimes to reach Wanatu. Maybe those lifetimes were lived by others but when I awoke Marie was still with me. Just like she had always been. By my side. Holding my hand.
Each morning I fish. I fillet. I cook. I eat. I walk. I gaze at the horizon. Sometimes I see other wanderers, but I step back into the deep shadows. I move on.
Each afternoon I check the traps, clean out the catch and store what I do not need in the deep pool. I eat the charred meat at the sea’s edge and throw the brittle bones into the ink green depths. Each bone is launched with a wish. Each wish is wrapped around a hope that will never be granted. The Gods are unforgiving on this island paradise.