The scent of lavender was overpowering. Fiona’s eyes darted around in every direction. Why did it smell like lavender? She couldn’t make it out. All she could see stretching ahead of her was sand and sea. She rubbed her blue eyes, they had been watering all day. Maybe she was missing something? Maybe if she rubbed her eyes, a lavender bush would appear from nowhere. It didn’t work. Nothing ever went in her favour.
She kicked a grey pebble, watching it skim across the sand. She tried to erase the voices from her head. The cruel taunts that seemed to follow her everywhere she went.
“Ginger dwarf, ginger dwarf.”
“Fi Fi’s got flea fleas”
Those were just some of the kinder things that were said to her on a daily basis. Why were sixteen year old girls so bitchy? The boys at her school weren’t so bad, it was just the girls.
At five foot two inches tall, Fiona wasn’t exactly a giant, but she wasn’t a dwarf either. And she had strawberry blonde hair, not ginger. She actually wished her hair was ginger, then she could hold her head up high and be proud of it. It didn’t matter what she looked like, it didn’t matter how tall she was, they would still pick on her. They had done since she started the blasted school at the age of eleven. The bullying just seemed to be worse now they were all well into their teenage years.
Her older brother always told her that being sixteen would be the best year of her life. She laughed at the thought, shaking her head bitterly as she walked along the deserted beach. Some fun this was, skipping school in the middle of November , ending up on a freezing cold beach with a weird smell of lavender all around her.
She missed her brother. She adored him, even though he was twelve years older than her. The thing with big sibling age gaps, is they had a whole other life. Rowan had his own family now, his own house, he didn’t care about her anymore. She sighed, kicking another pebble. She was probably being a little harsh, Rowan did care. He just cared from afar. And that sucked for her.
She squinted into the low winter sun as she saw something in the distance. It was hard to miss really, a multi-coloured stripey deck chair, just sitting there in the sand. It looked spooky, there was nothing around it, it was just there. She frowned again, and quickened her pace. Her feet were starting to ache, maybe she could sit on it for a bit. Nobody would mind, nobody was here after all. It was as if she had the whole world to herself.
Fiona didn’t think she was a bad person, but she often wondered if it would feel good to get rid of all the girls in her school. Not in a crazy murderous way. She just thought it would be pretty neat if she was given some sort of super power that enabled her to chuck out everyone who had ever been mean to her. Just vanish them to another school far away from here. Was it really so bad, wanting these people away from her? Was it too much to ask, having people around her who actually liked her?
Her breathing became heavy as she continued to walk towards the deck chair. Her legs started to ache as she trudged along the sand. It wouldn’t be long before she reached it.
She rubbed her eyes again, it was a habit of hers. Her Mum was always nagging at her to ‘quit making her eyes sore’ but half the time, she didn’t even realise she was doing it.
She gasped and stopped walking, staring at the chair wide eyed. There was somebody sitting there now. She knew for a fact they hadn’t been here a minute ago. She shivered, took a deep breath, and carried on walking to the chair.
Her heartbeat sped up as she realised she knew the person sitting on the chair. It was her Nana. Her precious Nana, who she hadn’t seen for so long. Why was she here?
Fiona ran to the chair, closing the gap quickly. She gently hugged her , she looked frail and cold.
“Nana, you are freezing.”
She touched the old woman’s cheek, shuddering at the ice cold skin.
Her Nana looked at her with sparkling crisp blue eyes, the wrinkles crinkling around her mouth. She waited for her to say something, but only the sound of the crashing waves from the ocean met her ears.
“Let’s get you out of here.”
Fiona took her blue rain coat off, wrapping it around her Nana. She was seriously worried now, what on earth was she doing here on a day like this? Why wasn’t she saying anything?
She helped her carefully out of the deck chair, a hand on her shoulder as her Nana shakily stood.
“Say something Nana, you are starting to scare me.”
Fiona watches as Nana opens her mouth, but no words come out. She looked frustrated, and closed her mouth again. The old lady points towards the sea. At first, Fiona couldn’t see anything. She could only make out the murky brown water and a few pieces of litter floating on the waves.
Then ice cold fear clutched at her heart as she saw a blonde head bobbing up and down in the waves. She ran as fast as she could, the cold air getting into her lungs the further she went. She completely forgot about her frail Nana as she ran into waves that were so freezing, it took her breath away. The blonde head was further away than what she first thought. She swam, desperately gulping for air, trying to fight the current.
She realised with a start it was Becky. Becky the most popular girl in school. Becky, the girl who had been the ringleader of all Fiona’s troubles for five long years.
She grabbed Becky by the arm, trying to heave her back towards the shore. It was easier said than done with the weight of their clothes and the seas overwhelming power. Becky was whimpering, her lips had turned blue. Fiona grunted and used every last bit of strength to pull the terrified girl onto the sand.
Their teeth chattered as they collapsed into a heap, panting for breath. Fiona held Becky’s hand , and tried searching for her Nana who had disappeared.
“It’s OK , It’s going to be OK . You’re safe now. It’s OK .”
Fiona hoped her voice was reassuring, but Becky sobbed quietly throughout the whispered words. She seemed to be traumatised.
Fiona’s eyes were stinging from the salt water, she squeezed them shut and started rubbing them again. When she opened them, Becky was gone, and her Nana was back on the deckchair. She pulled herself up from the soggy sand and ran back to the chair, her brain telling her that it was OK , it was just some weird spooky dream. It had to be.
Her Nana rose before Fiona reached the chair, smiling at her proudly.
“I’ve been waiting for you sweetheart.”
Fiona frowned, and started to feel light headed, weightless. Rescuing Becky had sapped her strength. She felt like she was floating away.
“You’ve been waiting for me Nana?”
The old lady dipped her head once in a nod, then grabbed the teenagers hand firmly.
Fiona had to shield her eyes as they started walking along the beach, it felt as if they were walking into the sun. Each step she took felt light, but the light from the sun was becoming stronger. She couldn’t see the sand or the sea anymore, just white. White all around.
She felt her Nana squeeze her hand, and all at once she felt peace. She felt calm. She felt loved. She could honestly say that she had never felt happier than she did right at that moment.
Rest In Peace
01/01/1996 – 06/02/2012
Beloved Daughter, Sister and Aunt.
“We Will Pass Each Other Again, Like Ships In The Night.”
Copyright Laura Edwards, MysticMonkey86 Mystic Mumblings.
These are a collection of short stories. I realise they are not up to publishing standards yet, nothing I post on the internet would ever be what I would send away to a publisher. These stories get me practice, that is all. Thanks for stopping by!!