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 Saltwater Wounds

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Posts : 12
Join date : 2014-05-16
Age : 21
Location : The Emerald City

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PostSubject: Saltwater Wounds   Saltwater Wounds Icon_minitimeTue May 20, 2014 3:35 am

The sea holds many things. There are the obvious, the tangible, such as fish, sharks and seaweed. Then there are the abstract, the qualities that we give to the sea. For the asylum seeker, it may hold hope, while for the inexperienced swimmer, danger. The same water which holds adventure for the explorer may hold a living for the fisherman. Memories, betrayals, heartbreak and inspiration can all be held within the ocean’s depths, and influence lives with every flow and ebb of the tide.
For Adela Sage, the sea held secrets. It was her closest friend and only confidant. Every morning before school, she would make her way down to the beach and confess all her worries and desires to the waves, regardless of cold, rain, or the suffocating fog that the town of Solar Cove was known for. Some days, she would stay for only a few minutes, but other days, bad days, she would stay for over an hour, and arrive at school late and covered in sand but in good spirits. She’d been warned again and again, by her teachers, by her father, even by some of her more studious friends, that being late would have repercussions, but the ocean’s call each morning was like a siren’s song. No part of her could resist it, and she didn’t know how she would ever cope without being able to whisper her secrets to the sprawling blue horizon. Some people found solace in the company of others. Some found it in religion. Some found it through working. Adela found hers in the sea.
The sky was clear and the water still on the Tuesday morning when Adela first arrived at the beach. She made her way to where she liked to sit on one of the rocks that jutted out into the surf. It was a natural pier of eternally slippery rock, as treacherous as a liar when the waves crashed against it, but today, as calm a day as you could hope for in Solar Cove, Adela was able to sit of the farthest edge of the rock without fear of being swept away. As always, she placed her old plastic raincoat between herself and the rock, to prevent her school dress from being soaked through. The odd drop of water hit her face or her shoulders where the surf lapped up against the rocks, but she didn’t mind. The part of the beach she called her own was too rocky for tourists and the waves were never high enough for surfers, which meant she was always alone. Nobody, in all the time she had been coming here, had ever interrupted her, and it was completely silent, save for the rustling of leaves and the whispers of the waves.
I belong here, she thought happily, feeling an unconscious smile spread across her face, the kind of smile that she’d never let anyone else see.
She didn’t have any secrets to tell the sea today. Nothing noteworthy had happened, exams were ages away, no friendships were in peril and she didn’t have a crush on anyone. Her entire school had fallen into a kind of lull, and it had ignited a spark of fierce boredom and wanting in Adela, the kind of desperate feeling that wasn’t directed toward anything in particular, but was colossal in strength nonetheless. She stared out towards the horizon, searching for an answer in the glittering reflections on the water’s surface.
She felt in her pocket for one of the pebbles she had liberated from her neighbour’s front yard as she had first left for school. Pulling it out, she balanced it in her hand, pensive.
“I want…” she murmured as she threw it. It bounced once, twice, three times before disappearing into the water’s depths. She didn’t know how to finish that sentence. Wanting had become a directionless sensation that even her beloved ocean couldn’t cure. She yearned for something without a name, something different, something more.
“Uh, hi there,” Cutting through the quiet hush, the sound of another human voice startled Adela. She turned around slowly, feeling a strange cocktail of curiosity and bitterness.
“Hi,” she said coolly as she spotted the intruder. Intruder, because that was what his presence felt like, and despite his shy half-smile and the nervous slouch to his shoulders, he had violated the one place that Adela felt assured of solitude. He was also, she noticed, wearing shoes; a battered and faded pair of navy blue Converse. There were few things Adela despised more than people who wore footwear to the beach. Her own shoes were in her school bag, which hung from one of the branches of a tree at the edge of the scrubby bushland which separated the beach from the road. These same trees snaked up, inexplicably, onto the sand on Adela’s right, which was where her unwanted visitor now stood.
“I guess I’ve reached a dead end,” he looked up at the high cliff-face to the left of where Adela sat, which formed the third wall of her usually impenetrable fortress. “I’ll go back now. I didn’t mean to interrupt, or anything.”
“That’s okay,” Adela found herself saying, and meaning. The fact that he had noticed that his trespass had been unwelcome had lightened her opinion of him, and she couldn’t deny that there was something disarming about his unassuming posture.
“It’s just,” he began, “I thought I’d go explore the beach, but it turned out to be a bit more… adventurous than I expected.”
Adela smiled as she stood up, and said, “Welcome to Solar Cove, then. I’m guessing you aren’t from around here?”
She could tell that he was impressed by the sure-footedness with which she walked across the rock, as well as how she was able to give the impression that she was devoting her concentration to talking rather than avoiding a fall. He inclined his head ever so slightly before answering, “No, the Gold Coast. I’m just here visiting family.”
Adela didn’t really need to ask to know that he wasn’t a local. His sun-lightened hair and softly tanned skin hinted at being from a climate that was sunny for a greater percentage of the year than Solar Cove’s week or two in the middle of summer. Having inherited her mother’s fair, sunburn-prone skin, the lack of sunshine didn’t particularly bother Adela, even though the jokes about the town’s oxymoronic name grew old very quickly.
“Well, Solar Cove is slightly different to Surfer’s Paradise,” she said.
“Just a bit,” he said, smiling, “I’m Todd, by the way.”
“Adela,” she replied.
Todd looked around slowly, and Adela noticed that his gaze rested for a long moment on the horizon, a wistful expression on his face. She wondered if this was how she looked, when she looked out to the ocean. A blend of joy and longing was written so clearly on his face that when he looked back to Adela, she felt like she had just witnessed something very personal.
“This place is beautiful,” he said quietly, his voice so soft that Adela could only just make out the words.
“Yes, it is,” she replied. From the blank look he shot her, she realised that Todd’s statement wasn’t meant for her. It was a thought that had been so large that it had escaped his mind to be accidentally uttered aloud, “I love it here. It’s my favourite place in the world.”
“The beaches aren’t like this at home,” Todd said, “This seems wilder, less, I don’t know, perfect. That’s not quite the right word, but do you get what I mean?”
“Yes.” Adela nodded. “My dad and I had a holiday on the Gold Coast once. We went to the beach at Surfer’s Paradise. The sand was squeaky.”
A short burst of beautiful, unguarded laughter escaped from Todd’s lips, seemingly of its own accord, “Really? I live about twenty minutes from there, and I can’t say I’ve ever noticed that.”
“It weirded me out so much,” Adela continued, “I’ve lived by the beach my entire life, so I was used to sand, you know, and this just felt wrong.”
“I went to a beach with black sand once, overseas. That was strange, but also kind of nice. And then, in England, the beaches had pebbles. That was unsettling.”
Adela was about to respond when she glanced at her watch. She swore as she realised that she only had ten minutes to make the fifteen minute walk to school. “Sorry, Todd, I’ve got to go. Um, I’ll be late to school, but it was really nice to meet you.”
“You too.” He smiled, gracious but forlorn.
As she dusted the sand off her feet and pulled her socks on, Adela said, trying to sound noncommittal, “I liked talking to you. Maybe we could meet up again sometime?”
“I’d really like that.”
“Awesome,” she said, buckling her shoe and standing up, “How about I meet you outside the fish and chip shop? It’s on the main street. You can’t miss it.”
“Sounds good. Four o’clock?” Todd asked hopefully.
“See you then,” Adela replied, and with a last smile in Todd’s direction, walked through the trees, and back to normal life, which now felt painted brighter by the hint of possibility.
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Posts : 136
Join date : 2014-05-09
Age : 23
Location : Somewhere in the US

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PostSubject: Re: Saltwater Wounds   Saltwater Wounds Icon_minitimeWed May 21, 2014 9:13 pm

I really really like this and you have to keep writing it. I love the use of detail and the descriptive way that you painted the setting. 

The only thing that I really noticed that could use improving is simply the use of the word "bad." It's really just a personal thing, but it seems like such a simple word next to your vivid language. So maybe instead of "bad days" you could say "worse days."

I'm sorry if that's really nit-picky of me.

Anyways, I like it very much, and I can't wait to keep reading it!

"Here's another curse: may all your bacon burn." - Calcifer, Howl's Moving Castle
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