I'm a day early to Rachel Bateman's Beach Scene Blogfest. But, as my weekend is going to be cray-zee (house-hunting, no Internet), I thought it best to post this now and come back and read everyone else's entries as soon as I get a chance this weekend.
Anyway, here's my entry below, and do go to Rachel's signup page and check out the other posts tomorrow!
I was originally going to post something from my completed ECHOES, but as I don't actually have any beaches anywhere in there, I decided to use a rough piece from my work-in-progress, HALF, instead. To the curious or confused, the titles will take you to a page about my projects, which will explain plot and background better!
I watched Mrs. Warren carefully. She fiddled with her cup of tea. Her eyes drifted to mine and then away again. I tried to decide if she was preparing herself to lie to me - or if she was just torn.
"There was a day," she said at last, "At the beach, like. I took them because they told me they'd never seen the sea, bless them, the poor little things. Never seen the sea, can you imagine? Growing up on this island, never seen the sea!"
Given the way they had grown up, I could easily imagine it. "What happened at the beach?"
"There was a woman there," Mrs. Warren remembered, her face smoothing into that blank, faraway look people always seem to wear when they're remembering something. I decided she wasn't lying. "Lovely thing. Not quite so young, like, but not old. She was watching them, the two of them. Kenneth, mostly. She was watching them with this look. It didn't take long for little Seira to notice. Always the sharp eye, she had."
"That woman," said Mrs. Warren, dreamily, "Could of sworn I'd seen her before, somewhere. Such a familiar face. She stood by the edge of the waves, with the water at her feet and her dress drifting back, like one of those sea-creatures you read about."
"Mrs. Warren," I said, clutching my teacup, "Tell me about Seira and Kenneth Cross."
"Why don't you ask me yourself, Mr. Wade?" came a voice from the doorway.
I'm a poet, after all, so I have been known to be fanciful. But I had never been less fanciful than I was in that moment - and my nerve endings had never come so violently alive. The sound of her voice trickled ice shards down the back of my neck. I turned. I remember being afraid, though for the life of me I couldn't tell you what I was afraid of, or for.
I looked into the eyes of the woman I had set out to understand, the girl I had become addicted to, discovering the truth of her past and her story a quest burned into my soul.
Seira Cross looked back at me, and then she did something I didn't expect.
"Go on, Mrs. Warren," she said, her eyes as bright as jewels, "Tell the poet and spy what happened that day at the beach. I'd love to see what he makes of it."
While we're on the subject of blogfests, please do sign up for my Character Interview Blogfest (see the sidebar for the signup sheet)!
Happy weekend, everyone!