Archive for March 2009

crunch and slip

March 16, 2009

The sound of the snow pleased her. It crunched and it squeaked at the end of every step. Her boots slipped a little as they compacted the fresh powder. For each of those precarious split-seconds her heart jumped. Just a little. There wasn’t any real danger. Just that momentary slip – an inch or so, maybe less.

She breathed heavy and watched the steam of it drift away among the falling flakes. It was thick and turned the world around her into a winter mosaic. Everything familiar was different, temporarily veiled.

She stopped to kick a drift, giggling as the powder exploded from the tip of her wellie boot.

Her mittened hand waved at old man walking his spaniel; the animal amazed, confounded and delirious at the strange new medium that surrounded it. More laughter as the dog chased the falling snow.

She scooped with both hands and shaped a rough sphere. The ‘phap’ as it hit the stone wall echoed: a satisfying punctuation to her throw.

Before long she heard branches dripping, and saw above a sliver of blue sky.

She walked a different way home, listening to the crunch of her boots and the jump of her heart with every slip.


quiet sea

March 9, 2009

Sometimes he felt the sea too quiet. It lapped the butterscotch sand with a soft whisper next to him. He closed his eyes and the whisper gave no hint as to the vastness of it. His feet sank slightly. Cool damp seeped through his trainers. He clenched his toes against the cold and opened his eyes again. A fine ripple crashed and raced a foot or two up the beach.

There were no stones to skip. He couldn’t bring himself to look harder for any.

The sea whispered and he wanted it to shout, and to shout back at it. She wasn’t there with him. He crossed his arms and kicked a haggard clump of seaweed towards the water. He remembered the concentric ripples as her perfect skimmers danced across the opalescent water.

That was a different sea.

His feet sank again as he stood still, feeling the chill touch of the whispering water.

She wasn’t coming back.